Port City Music Hall was packed on the night of February 11th as the crowd waited in anticipation for Minnesota-based indie rockers Hippo Campus. When the house lights finally went down, seemingly every person in the room cheered as the band took the stage. Opening with the moody “Poems” and playing a few more from their debut album, Landmark, the band got the crowd belting along with lead singer and guitarist Jake Luppen. They then announced a new and unreleased song, “No Pomegranates,” on which Nathan Stocker performed lead vocals much to the fans’ enthusiasm. Throughout the show, Luppen’s falsettos paired with three-part harmonies wowed the crowd—at many points, the audience members’ mouths hung open in wonder. Hippo Campus had quite an impressive stage presence, especially considering how young they are. Through playing a few old favorites and all three songs from their latest EP, warm glow, and cracking jokes about Maine lobster and their song “Baseball” being about, you guessed it, baseball, the band captivated their audience. The inclusion of DeCarlo Jackson on trumpet rounded out the performance and set them apart from a typical indie rock band. Wrapping up their set with fan-favorite, “Buttercup,” Hippo Campus’s energetic, feel-good performance left the crowd with smiles on their faces even as they walked out of the venue.
Photos by Katie Fielding