Hippo Campus at The Ritz, Raleigh, NC

Photos and Review by: Blanton Leigh 

I was supposed to cover Hippo Campus back in February at The Ritz in Raleigh, only to discover when I got there that due to a member of the band being sick, the show was cancelled, with the intention of being rescheduled. A couple months later, a lot of new tour dates were announced, one of them being at The Ritz and another being at The Fillmore in Charlotte, which I was happy to see, because that was a lot closer for me. Fast-forward to October 22, and I can say that, almost exactly eight months later it was well worth the wait.

I won’t lie, I got to the venue late due to some issues with parking, so the opening act, j-pop girl group Chai, was already performing, so I had to jump right into it. This was my first time seeing a j-pop band live, and the positive energy they exuded was so infectious, colorful, magical and pink. Although my time with them was limited, they left such an impression, if you’ve not heard of them, I implore you to check them out.

From the first song to the encore, the crowd was singing, if not screaming along to every song Hippo Campus performed. You’d think a little over a year into covering shows, I’d have invested in some ear plugs by now, but you’d be very wrong. It might be time, because after this show, it took some time to re-configure any semblance of hearing I have. I mean this in the best way possible. All of that to say, I did have a really amazing time at this show. I don’t usually mind myself wanting to dance, because I can’t, but the rhythm and music of Hippo Campus broke that streak for me, I just wanted to dance, and I almost forgot why I was even there. 

This may be a weird thing to call out, but the lighting was insane, I loved all of the colors, at times it felt like I was in a kaleidoscope. 

The highlight song for me was the closer (before the encore) “Boys” from LP3, but I may be a bit biased, because I already loved that song going in, and was looking forward to it, and they did not disappoint – an excellent closer. Yes, I did dance and sing (scream) along to it. 

Stream Hippo Campus’ LP3: https://hippocampus.lnk.to/lp3
Stream Chai’s WINK: https://smarturl.it/CHAI_WINK

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