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Hippo Campus energizes and revives students with unique sound

Students who went through midterms certainly deserved a night to vibe out, and for a bunch of guys from Minnesota, the band Hippo Campus definitely did the trick.

Man on stage with trumpet
DeCarlo Jackson, trumpet player and percussionist in the indie-rock band Hippo Campus, performs at Washington’s off of North College and Laporte on Tuesday evening as a part of the band’s Bambi Tour Nov. 12. (Alyssa Uhl | The Collegian)

The indie-alternative band performed at Washington’s in Old Town on Nov. 12, delivering a vibrant show one can only wish to experience in their lifetime. Dancing, drinks and baby dolls were all to be expected from the passionate, lively performance.


“I just love their music, and I’ve been listening to them for years,” said Abby Sand, a freshman at Colorado State University. “They’re super unique, and that’s what really drew me to them. They really stand for being who they are in all environments. It’s inspired me to be more like them.”

The Greeting Committee and Hippo Campus boasted a sold-out show. With hits like “Way it Goes” and “Buttercup,” Hippo Campus started as a small-town band but has found major success nationwide. 

“(Their music) sounds so original, and you can tell they wrote the music themselves, which makes it super interesting to me,” Sand said. “The concert was surprisingly cheap, and it was so close to campus I couldn’t say no. Of course I had to come!”

Hippo Campus consists of five members: Jake Luppen and Nathan Stocker on vocals and guitar, Zach Sutton on bass and keyboard, Whistler Allen on drums and vocals and, most recently, DeCarlo Jackson on trumpet. 

“I first heard about them in 2016 on SoundCloud with their demos that came out that year,” said CSU student Chloe Ellis. “Ever since then, I’ve been a big fan. I’ve never felt more at peace with a band, and Hippo Campus makes me feel excited for the future, so that’s why I’m here.”

Using pastel lighting and an incredible range of vocals, the band kept attendees engaged. Head banging, clapping and the occasional moshing were just some highlights from the night’s events.

woman on stage
Addie Sartino, the lead vocalist of the indie-pop band The Greeting Committee, sings their most streamed hit “Hands Down” at Washington’s on Tuesday evening before Hippo Campus takes the stage Nov. 12. (Alyssa Uhl | The Collegian)

“I feel like it’s very applicable to a lot of situations,” said liberal arts student at CSU Rachel Melton. “It’s very low-key and vibe-y, I daresay. It just makes me feel something.” 

The band kept an impressive vitality throughout their act. It was clear they were enjoying themselves and wanted the audience to feel the same. After roaring applause following their final song, Hippo Campus came back for an encore, choosing to play their biggest hit, “Buttercup.”

“I came tonight to have a lot of fun, especially in the middle of midterms,” said Amanda Rooms, a liberal arts and art student at CSU. “We’ve all been having a hard time in school, so I’m excited that we get to take a night off with a fun band.”  


Perhaps most memorable was the baby doll. Brought by a fan, and later pointed out by the band, the doll became a running joke for the rest of the night. At last, upon request, the crowd brought it to the stage where Stocker and Sutton signed and threw the toy back into the crowd.

“They’re my roommate’s favorite band, and I wanted to hang out with her,” said natural science and chemistry student at CSU Maggie Wellman. “I came to hang out with my friends because I really like this venue, and I thought it would be a great opportunity.”

Overall, the concert was a huge success, bringing stress relief, good times and unique experiences for all.

“We’ll just have to come back to Fort Collins; f*ck it,” Luppen said, wrapping up the night and sending the concert-goers home.

Autumn Sorrentino can be reached at or on Twitter @ItsNotTarantino

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