A Bouncy Atmosphere At The Van Buren With Hippo Campus

By Hannah Ehrlich

This past Saturday night the Van Buren was alive. In a crowd of suede fedoras and vintage jean jackets I awaited the highly anticipated band, Hippo Campus. The atmosphere had a laid back feel to it as those between the ages of 15 to 24 patiently swayed back and forth to background music.

After waiting in a line for an hour and a half, followed by waiting 30 minutes inside the venue, the opener, Sure Sure, came out. The experimental pop band consisted of four guys who looked as if they were between the ages of 15 and 30. Though their sound was unfamiliar to most, everyone was swaying along to the feel-good sounds. They had a look that my friends and I could only define as “adorable.” They were silly and fun to watch as they jammed together. They had incredible vocals and a feel-good vibe, but their relaxed sound left me exhausted and impatient for the main act.

After the exit of Sure Sure, the crew started with sound checks for the main event of the night, Hippo Campus. After another 30 minutes of waiting around, background music was abruptly interrupted with the sounds of Hippo Campus. The feeling of slumber I once had was immediately washed away with the adrenaline of seeing the five incredible artists of Hippo Campus.

As an avid listener I can assure you they are just as good live, if not better. Vocalist Jake Luppen added his own style to each song. Jake could sing in a high-pitched tone, or rush the lyrics, and it still sounded beautiful. He was able to have fun with it and make it work. The song “Suicide Saturday” was one of the first to be played. Everyone knew the chorus by heart and bounced along to the beat. The soft tunes and happy atmosphere left you feeling on top of the world. Everyone was entranced by the sounds of each member and how they carried the crowd along through each song.

Before the song “Tuesday” came on, lead vocalist Jake informed the audience that the next song was about drinking and having a good time. Those who didn’t know the lyrics caught on quickly. Within seconds everyone was smiling and swaying along to the happy go-lucky tune.

The night concluded with a heartfelt message from guitarist Whistler Allen, he said the next song was about a little girl in need named Sula. He didn’t go on to explain why and instead they started singing the song “Sula.” They ended the night on that note as Whistler threw his drumstick into the crowd. We all left joyful and lighthearted. There were few drunk or smelly, for the most part everyone left with what they needed: contentment.