Even though this Friday night in Hollywood was nearly arctic, the sunny songs of Sure Sure and Hippo Campus brought warmth to the Fonda Theatre. When entering the venue, the mostly teenage crowd ran to the barricade: the stage was set.
As the Fonda’s lights dimmed, Los Angeles-based Sure Sure’s catchy guitar riffs electrified the audience. With tracks like “Koreatown” off their recently released self-titled album, the self-proclaimed “left-field pop” opening act was the epitome of LA. In between their ethereal songs, guitarist Charlie Glick kept the crowd lighthearted with jokes about drummer Kevin Farzad being a snack.
This easygoing, lighthearted environment continued with Hippo Campus’ signature breezy tunes. Seconds into the intro to “Suicide Saturday”, cheers echoed throughout the historic venue. The high energy of the crowd was sustained throughout the hour and fifteen minute set.
Since their last show at the Teragram Ballroom in March, the indie-rock band, comprised of Jake Luppen (vocals), Nathan Stocker (lead guitar), Zach Sutton (bass guitar), and Whistler Allen (drums), have expanded their live set. The newest addition to their set? Trumpet player DeCarlo Jackson. Jackon’s contribution to songs like “Monsoon” offered a new complexity to the set.
The set hit a crescendo during Hippo Campus’ performance of a new, unreleased song featuring Stocker on lead vocals. As of now, the song’s title is unknown and features an angstier sound than the band’s usual with lyrics like, “take away everything/words like this don’t come around enough for me” coupled with heavy percussion and an electric guitar.
It seems that no one can resist Hippo Campus’ infectious tracks: at the end of the show, the entire lobby was packed and unmoving, all in line to get merch.
Words: Sammy Park