Hippo Campus & The Districts bring Indie Pop to Milwaukee

The Hippo Campus stores the long and short-term memories in your life, most being short for the St. Paul Minnesota natives. Coming straight out of high school, Hippo Campus came out with their very first EP Beautiful creatures in 2015. Songs such as “Suicide Saturday”, “Souls”, and “Sophie So”. Their light indie pop-rock comes from their first album with fun guitar licks and lead singer, Jake Luppens unique vocals. The band's second release, “Landmark”, began Hippo Campus’ large following of fans. Their sound becoming more elaborate with songs like “Monsoon” and “Epitaph”. Also fan favorites such as “Way it Goes” and “Buttercup”, this album cemented Hippo Campus as one of the upcoming indie acts. With their new release of “Bambi”, Hippo Campus has evolved into having a more mature and developed sound, which is a reason to believe that someday Hippo Campus will be selling out stadiums.

Their new Bambi tour was launched in Milwaukee on Friday October 5th, with hype already built up about their new album with singles such as ‘Bambi” and “Passenger”. Experiencing the concert was something completely different than any other band I've seen at The Pabst. From Death Cab for Cutie to John Hiatt, the energy was at an all-time high. With the crowd completely engaged in the music, singing, cheering, and dancing; the band fed off the crowds energy as each song would get better and better.

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The gritty, punk rock opening act, The Districts, established the crowd into a dazed state as the singer threw his body around like a rag doll. Hailing from Pennsylvania, The Districts are inspired by original punk bands such as the Velvet Underground and the Ramones. Having a heavy electric influence that most indie bands lack in today's music. Excelling from album to album the band slowly turns there Alternative country/punk, into a more bitter and raw feeling. The band's newest album, Popular Manipulations, sets a dark tone to the raw music that is being played with themes of isolation and depression being key. Unlike most opening acts, their presence was confident and bold. They were able to hold the audience's attention throughout the whole setlist, having the crowd loving each and every moment of the show as if they were the headlining act. The Districts would end up setting a perfect contrast to Hippo Campus and their soft, more indie pop sound.

The shouting fans and dimmed lights led the young band members out to the stage. Sounding exactly like themselves recorded, the bands sound filled the concert hall. Jake Luppens astonishing vocal range showed throughout the whole night as he hit every note with perfect harmony. The youthful energy spread from the band and throughout the crowd, having every word being sung back to themselves. As the night went on, the audience was more devoted to each song, by the end, the crowd was roaring for an encore. It got to the point where the floor was shaking and the constant drone of screaming and shouting became so loud you had to press your hands hard onto your ears. The encore was a pulse-pounding banger as the juvenile band members jumped around the stage smashing symbols and slashing strings. The bright colored lights finally blurring to a finale and Hippo Campus left there blood, sweat and tears on the stage.

Below are some of Hippo Campus and Districts’ best tracks.

Hippo Campus:

Way It Goes:

Buttercup:

Bambi:

Suicide Saturday:

Epitaph:

The Districts:

Long Distance:

If Before I Wake:

Funeral Beds:

4th and Roebling:

Young Blood:

Music, ReviewsQuinn Harris