Live Review: Hippo Campus – London

Hippo Campus

London, 23rd August 2018

Words & Photos: Luke Pettican 

As soon as you walked into Omeara’s delightfully styled main room, you could sense the raging excitement in the air. Before even the support band had started the place was crammed with eager fans, connected by an undeniable sense of feverish anticipation.

Before Hippo Campus descended upon Omeara, alt-pop quartet Orchards compelled with a set of tracks that interweaved powerfully punchy Pop influences with Math-Rock. Playing a set with tracks mainly taken from their debut EP ‘Losers/Lovers’, the quartet enthralled with their impassioned delivery. A definite highlight of the set was their track ‘Peggy’, which utilizes a crisp funky rhythm as an anchor for the track’s vibrant interplay of instruments.

After a short wait the crowd erupted at the split second the lights dimmed. The anticipation was palpable. Starting off with their triumphant newly released track ‘Bambi’ whipped the crowd into a feverish frenzy right off the bat. Everyone in the beautifully intimate venue was truly in the moment, in total awe of the Minnesotan indie-rockers.

After launching into their tracks ‘Western Kids’ and ‘Little Grace’, the elegant harmonies and soaring melodies of fan favourite ‘Way It Goes’ prompted a feverish sing-along from the impassioned crowd. The wall of sound hurling toward the stage lit the band’s eyes in joy as they continued to smash their way through their collection of beloved tracks.

One of the most impressive things about the band was their ability to fit their infectiously upbeat tracks alongside their more sombre, melancholy tracks into their set-list like a jigsaw. Although the tone of the tracks varied throughout, the band’s energy and undeniable adoration for performing remained ever-present.

Their playfully lively delivery of ‘Suicide Saturday’ and ‘Baseball’ were greeted by an incredible reaction from the enthralled crowd. Although the band saved their best till last with a spellbindingly expressive performance of their devastatingly dazzlingly tune ‘buttercup’.

Although their performance felt breezy and carefree, Hippo Campus managed to make each song encompass an astonishingly beautiful depth of emotion in a truly awe-inspiring way. Given their masterful performance it’s no surprise that the band’s sound will be filling the cavernous expanse of the magnificent Shepherd’s Bush Empire next February.


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