As the sixth stop of their Bambi tour, Hippo Campus will play a surely energetic sold-out show Oct. 24 at the 9:30 Club. Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, Hippo Campus blends a pop/rock, The 1975-esque sound with crooning, borderline emo vocals to create unique indie pop tunes. The ensemble features Jake Luppen on vocals, Nathan Stocker on guitar, Zach Sutton on bass and Whistler Allen on drums.
Originally known as The Turntan, Stitches, Espo or Beans, Hippo Campus began at a St. Paul performing arts high school. The group originates from a conglomeration of two separate high school bands: Blatant Youth with Luppen and Sutton and Northern with Stocker and Allen. Luppen told music blog Ones to Watch that the group originally formed in secret so as not to upset the members of the other bands, but it eventually led to some drama with the other members. Eventually, Hippo Campus took off after Luppen and Sutton played college gigs and the college radio station began to spin some of their music at the University of Minnesota.
Since their release of 2017’s “Landmark,” the band has grown their audience immensely, reaching everyone from music fanatics to top-40 listeners. Although they had previously released the EPs “South” and “Beautiful Creatures,” songs on “Landmark” like “Poems” and “Simple Season” pushed Hippo Campus into the realm of being a well-known indie outfit.
Their newest release, “Bambi,” provides listeners with a generally more experimental, choppier sound that sounds closer to alt-J than to Saint Motel. Setting them apart from other indie pop bands playing the 9:30 Club like Moon Taxi and Saint Lucia, this performance that will showcase HC’s experimental side will definitely be more memorable than others. Attendees will also have the privilege of seeing the four-piece ensemble on the first leg of their 44-stop, nearly year-long tour.
The entire band truly shows their young age at shows, with silly comments interjected between songs to lighten the mood. Not only does Hippo Campus entertain audience members with their childish humor, but Luppen’s vocals and Stocker’s crisp guitar riffs leave concert goers in awe.