Due to illness, Madison-favorite Hippo Campus was unable to perform this past Saturday. However, Majestic Theatre opened its doors to the public for a free show with Magic City Hippies, Hippo Campus’ opener on tour supporting the release of their debut album, Landmark. The Miami, Fla. based band remarked on the 60 degree Madison weather when I met them outside to take their portrait. Their sunny origins are evident in their music. I can easily imagine listening to their indie funk tunes on a sunny beach day.
Their happy-go-lucky personalities offstage translated seamlessly into their live set. The three main members, Robby Hunter (vocals/guitar), Pat Howard (drummer/producer) and John Coughlin (guitar/vocals), began their enthusiastic live set with songs that charmed the audience. The Majestic floor filled as people trickled in, attracted by the upbeat and catchy music.
Howard’s enthusiastic and funky drumming stole the show. His playing was perfectly accompanied by groovy bass-lines and Hunter’s contrasting soft and deep vocals. Another highlight of the set was a cover of “Benny and the Jets” that kept the dance vibes present throughout the venue. Their popularity among the crowd was obvious toward the end of their set and, after some convincing, Magic City Hippies performed an encore. I have nothing but praise for the live performance from this band. Their music is perfect for the upcoming summer months and I hope they return to Madison soon.
Hippo Campus’ show has been rescheduled for May 18 at Majestic.