Inside the Fillmore on the night of Jan. 23, red and blue lights swept over the sold-out pit of people chanting, “We want Hippo Campus.” Wearing all black, the lead singer, Jake Luppen, grabbed the microphone as the rest of the band simultaneously picked up their instruments. They wasted no time, jumping straight into their song “Poems.” The fun and chill song easily kept the crowd pumped.
Fans swooned every time Luppen gently sang into the mic or bit his lip. The lead singer sang throughout most of the concert with his eyes closed, focusing on the words coming out of his mouth. The audience adored every second of it. The guitarist, Nathan Stocker, interacted with the audience between songs, even spinning the mic stand directly towards a girl in the front row so she could sing a few words. Although Luppen and Stocker were the most interactive, there was no denying that the quiet bassist, Zach Sutton, was the fan favorite. The audience kept chanting his name, and, in between songs, the whispers of his fans prevailed amongst the room.
In the front of the barricade, fortunate mega-fans wearing VIP wristbands barely held themselves together. All could not stop speaking about how personable and down-to-earth the Minnesota-based band was when greeting their ecstatic fans. It made sense, considering that the fans had just returned from hearing an intimate acoustic performance and meeting Hippo Campus before the concert.
When Hippo Campus began to play their song “Monsoon,” written by guitarist, Stocker, about the death of his sister, the whole audience sat still, as if they all felt the heavy atmosphere in the room. Fans listened to the song quietly, as a way of showing their support, love and respect for the band.
The mood soon lifted when the band jumped into their most popular and upbeat song, “Way It Goes.” Fans were once again jumping around to this fun, alt-pop tune and screaming along to every word. Hippo Campus did not disappoint their fans on that Tuesday night at the Fillmore. Admirers danced, cried, and sang their hearts out to one of indie music’s biggest rising stars.
The opening act, Sure Sure, was also an amazing and personable band. For fans of The High Highs or The Fox Academy, this chill indie band is perfect. Their songs “Friends” and “This Must Be the Place” were instantly audience favorites.
After the concert, Sure Sure stood at the merch booth, signed free posters and even took pictures with every fan, while not hesitating to engage everyone in line in conversation.
Hippo Campus fans once again waited outside the Fillmore, but, this time, after the show. They wanted to catch closer glimpses of the band – and, if they were lucky, signatures and pictures. While the drummer, Whistler Allen, ran straight into the bus, the guitarist, Nathan Stocker, greeted the freezing fans. He signed autographs, took pictures, and conversed with the remaining fans. He even exchanged information with the girl standing behind me, as she had a band of her own and wanted to open for Hippo Campus someday.
The night was filled with good conversations, meet and greets and amazing bands. There is no doubt that, with Hippo Campus’ down-to-earth attitude and fantastic music, they are headed straight for the top.
Featured Photo: Lead Singer, Jake Luppen, gives the audience an unforgettable performance at The Fillmore. Victoria Hunt/FOGHORN