I’ve been on a concert hiatus for about three months and finally broke it with a vibrant Hippo Campus hometown show, featuring local band The Happy Children, and acoustic singer-songwriter Trent Romans. The show, which took place at the Fine Line Music Café, donated all its ticket proceeds to Second Harvest Heartland, an organization to help end hunger. Not only did I score a concert but I also got to participate in helping those in my community suffering from hunger.
I started my day with a long morning shift at work and then got ready for a night of excitement and new memories. I grabbed my disposable camera and started my way there. Before heading over to the show, I stopped by a local Somali restaurant to grab Zach Sutton, bassist of Hippo Campus, some dinner. I mentioned this Somali restaurant to him before and I wanted him to try and get a taste of what it was like. Before the show, I handed Zach the food and also the disposable camera I brought along, and then headed into the venue.
The first act, Trent Romans played a couple original pieces along with many singalongs that the crowd enjoyed. His small talk helped warm up the crowd for the next acts. The Happy Children, consisting of: Caleb Hinz (lead vocals/guitar), Mitchell Seymour (vocals/bass), and Jon Lindquist (drums), made their way on stage with compelling energy and electrified the room with their opening song “Honest Boy.” Caleb soon after announced their new single, “Long Jon Silver” off their unreleased album Self Help Book, was going to come out in a couple of days which had the crowd very excited. Throughout their set, both Caleb and Mitchell tossed out shirts and stickers to the crowd, interacting heavily with the crowd and making the set more intimate. They finished the set, leaving the crowd craving more and energized for the last and final set, Hippo Campus, consisting of Jake Luppen (lead vocals/guitar), Nathan Stocker (guitar/vocals), Whistler Allen (drums/vocals), and Zach Sutton (bass/vocals).
As Hippo Campus took the stage, the crowd lit up with excitement. The guitar riffs opened to the friendly song, “Way It Goes” setting the crowd into cheers which lasted the whole night. Following, they played favorites like “Suicide Saturday” and “Souls.” “Interlude” seemed to explode in the room as DeCarlo Jackson took a strong lead on trumpet.
The crowd’s energy softened as Hippo Campus slowly transitioned into the melancholy song, “Monsoon,” allowing the crowd to experience a much-needed catharsis. The intense feelings I have toward this song is related to the fact I had a sibling pass away. I didn’t know him just because he passed a few minutes after birth but, it’s the feeling of not knowing that hurt the most. Not knowing who he would be and what he’d do. Along with the sadness that he’d easily be forgotten, simply because no one knew him. The song brought me into a different state of mind, bringing up these emotional memories from the past. During the ending of “Monsoon,” the crowd encountered a delightful surprise when Nathan vehemently added guitar riffs leaving a strong warming feeling.
The show still went on with the same energy it started with. Next on the setlist was a fan favorite, “South” which drove excitement back into the crowd. The night ended with the kick-ass song “Buttercup.” The crowd screamed out the words and jumped to the beat. They left the stage, but the crowd still craved for more and started chanting, “One more song!” What’s a Hippo Campus show without an encore? They made their way back on the stage and tied up the night with “Violet.”
Sweaty and tired, I found myself satisfied with the night but also wanting more. I went around and said my farewells to some pals and made my way back to the car. My friends and I gathered ourselves while waiting for a response on my disposable camera that Zach took before the show. He informed me that Jake took the disposable with him. I wasn’t surprised or upset but I just laughed it off. Who knows if I’ll even get that disposable back. Not only did I end the night happy but, with a little mystery.
Written by: Hibo Muse / @hibo84muse / @hibo.muse
Photographs provided by: Connor Siedow / Website / @cruisinconnor