Hippo Campus delivers mixed performance


Crowds flocked to the historic House of Blues in New Orleans to see Hippo Campus, the indie pop band from St. Paul, Minnesota last Saturday night. At 7 p.m., college students began to set up camp in front of center stage, preparing for the show and its openers.

Pennsylvania based band The Districts took the stage first, warming the audience up for the main act. They put on a high energy and engaging performance, filling the venue with the sound of electric alternative rock. The crowd surged in unison when the band played “Long Distance,” one of their most popular songs from their first album.  The Districts made the show their own, fully invested in entertaining the audience.

Hippo Campus took the stage shortly after 9 p.m., opening with their titular single from their recent album “Bambi”—which they released this September after months of anticipation from fans. This album strayed far away from the band’s usual style, making for a performance that was quite tonally confusing.

Although the band played with evident skill, their presence on stage was underwhelming. Jake Luppen, lead vocalist of the band, occupied center stage with a noticeably small Boston Red Sox cap perched on his head. He and the other band members walked around the stage occasionally, but, until the end of the show, generally remained robotic and rehearsed in their motions. In addition, there was no noticeable attempt to engage the audience. The band barely spoke a word to the crowd and remained eerily emotionless the entire time.

But by the end, Luppen had thrown off his hat and began to match the energy of the crowd. Hippo Campus saved the best for last, playing their most popular songs; “Buttercup” and “Violet.”  This final performance had the entire building rumbling as the audience screamed and danced along.

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