There’s nothing quite so special as watching a favorite local act make it big. Even better, though, is when that same local band returns after time spent touring to finally play another hometown show. There’s a special sort of energy at these shows, a mixture of hometown pride and the feeling that you had a part in getting that local-turned-national band to where they are today.

Photos by Connor Siedow:


Hippo Campus’ sold-out First Avenue show had this special atmosphere in spades. Headlining to an audience of over 1,500, Hippo Campus took that energy and channeled it into an hour-long set of fun, positive vibes, and sincerity. The four Minnesota boys used to be a band worth keeping your eye on, but now they’re a band worth obsessing over, as evidenced by their 1,550 fans singing along to each and every song they played.
I got to experience the energy of this show firsthand. I’ve known Hippo Campus since high school, where I played music with many of the members of the band. They invited me and another one of our best friends, DeCarlo Jackson, to play with them for a few songs on horns. I can’t speak for the quality of our performance with Hippo, but the crowd seemed to love it, and that’s what really matters.

Photos by Tanner Morris:


As a Minnesota music lover, there’s absolutely no excuse to miss a hometown Hippo Campus show. Although, it should be mentioned that this First Ave was sold-out since August, so make sure to get your tickets fast the next time they’re in town.

You can find more information about Hippo Campus at their website.

Review by Lee Tran.

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