Hippo Campus: Concert Review

Minnesota originated band shows up and shows out for their first ever show in South Carolina


On a chilly first Friday night of November, Hippo Campus quickly brought a "Warm Glow" into The Senate for many eager fans.

Many people I knew were on the way to see Hippo Campus when they announced months ago that they had scheduled Columbia to be apart of their Bambi tour. I myself would’ve gone as a fan had I not been taking photos, as the indie-rock band was one of the first of its kind that I had listened to. I vaguely remember when I first heard "Way It Goes" off of their Landmark album my junior year of high school and falling in love with it, along with many others. 

Hippo Campus opened the show with "Bambi," the headliner from their newest album, beginning their 80-minute set with mellow vibes on a song about trouble controlling your emotions and mood swings. 

The show was mostly shaded in blue and pink lights, similar to the Bambi album cover; however, these cool hues did not put a damper on the show, as fast-paced songs such as "Way It Goes," "Baseball" and "South" kept the crowd fired up throughout the night.

The stage presence of the band was electrifying and as any Hippo Campus listener would expect, very guitar-heavy. The band, including lead singer Jake Luppen, remained on stage for the entirety of the concert, but that didn’t slow the concert at all. Many of their high energy favorites paired with fans intensely singing along made for an exhilarating environment. One of the most pleasant surprises from the concert was the addition of DeCarlo Jackson, filling in what would’ve been synth lines on the trumpet and flugelhorn. 

For many shows, it makes me upset when artists choose to only perform their new albums - Hippo Campus didn't do that. They made a concerted effort to hit their albums Landmark, Bashful Creatures, Bambi, their Warm Glow EP, and two demo LPs released in 2019. Although Hippo Campus crushed the songs from Bambi, “South” was definitely the song of the night, as many people were discussing it after the show.

The more the show progressed, the higher the energy level got. The consensus crowd favorite I feel was "South," although my personal favorite had to be "Suicide Saturday." Hippo Campus performs with such raw intensity and passion for being on stage. 

Being the first concert I ever had the chance to photograph, it was an unforgettable experience and cemented me as a lifelong Hippo Campus fan. I can only hope that the band enjoyed their first show in South Carolina as much as I did and will make a return soon, hopefully with another groundbreaking album.

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