Atlanta Sings Along With The Hippo Campus' Debut Album
The new Masquerade is in far better condition than the old venue and the outdoor courtyard adds a substantial amount of character to the space. I knew little about Hippo Campus' opener. Who were the Magic City Hippies? What genre do they play? Will this band be any good?
In answer to all of those questions, Magic City Hippies were some of the most soulful, groovy, and funky people that had made their way to Atlanta to conquer the stage in quite some time. However, Magic City Hippies' approach to not only their music, but also their stage presence was quite different than that of Hippo Campus. They specialize in "indie funk" so what they sang and how they went about singing it had a completely different vibe, but it could not have paired better with what Hippo Campus was about to bring to the stage.
I couldn't help but notice about four dads that had made it out on a Thursday evening to rage, because raging knows no age! I thought to myself, "Now this is a beautiful sight right here," and a beautiful sight it was indeed. It made me consider that music sees no age and no color, but just simply sees. So right on to all of the house dads holding it down at what could be considered a concert for a younger scene. Your presence did not go unnoticed.
It soon became time for Hippo Campus to grace the stage and rage the night away. Jake, Nathan, Zach, and Whistler wasted no time, but got straight to work. As the night progressed, Hippo Campus' setlist began to make more sense. Their set took us all on a journey from where they began as a band to where they are right now. I must say, as someone standing in the midst of the crowd, the energy was immense. My favorite was every time Jake would crack his smile. It seemed to always come at the right time, never forced, but a pure indication that he too was having the time of his life up their on stage.
I may be biased, but when Hippo Campus began performing "Monsoon" my heart was truly at its happiest point. The concert was on a solid level the entire night, but to have that one song in the mix to break up the upbeat tempo made a world of a difference. The energy built consistently through their set. After the set, the audience chanted "one more song" and demanded an encore, so Hippo Campus reappeared for one last performance. With little chatter left in between each song, Hippo Campus gave enough room for their hard work to truly showcase itself in front of an audience and they did not disappoint.
Hippo Campus was a true pleasure to attend. Not only because I was able to meet Robby, the lead singer of Magic City Hippies, but I also had a chance to check out the merchandise table with little to no one around. That's a true blessing in itself to be able to take your time and not feel like the fan directly behind is going to throw their leftover drink on you because you took a smidge longer to decide between an oversized concert tee or the "favorite flat surface" stickers set before me. What a night... filled with rage, spice, and everything nice. Hippo Campus is one to keep an eye out for. This up and coming band is at their peak right now and I do not foresee them coming down anytime soon.
Photos By Sidney Spear for Bullet Music