Review: Hippo Campus/Saint Motel

Photos By Ron Valle

When I usually come home from a show, I usually have to pump 2-3 cups of coffee to knock a concert review out of the way by sunrise. However, with Saint Motel and Hippo Campus show last night at Bogart’s, that wasn’t the case. Both bands delivered with such noise and energy that Hippo Campus’ catchy riffs and Saint Motel’s infectious melodies will be stuck in my head for days to come.

Check out pics from the show HERE!

Before both acts came on, LA-based band, Weathers took to the stage to perform a very tight knit performance. The band has been together only since 2015, but they sound like they’ve been playing shows for nearly a decade. They played two of their most-known singles, “Happy Pills” and “I Don’t Wanna Know” which sent the crowd into a sing-along frenzy even if they have never heard of the songs before. Give it a couple months, but this band (who recently signed to RCA Records) will be playing on every radio station in the area.


The next band to take the stage was the four-piece band from Minnesota, Hippo Campus. Though it wasn’t a full length set like the last time they played in Cincinnati in 2015, Hippo Campus was able to provide the same level of energy with every single one of their shows as expected. As you sit back and watch them perform, you don’t necessarily see just a band playing music for you. You see four best friends having the time of their lives on stage, and you just happen to be there watching. In reality, Hippo Campus doesn’t have much to perform. With only two EPs under their belt, it’s almost inevitable that they will release new music, rumor has it, their first full length album in the near future. Cincinnati was also lucky enough to hear them perform their newest single, “Boyish” live. Hippo Campus is nothing but pure ear-candy, and we hope to see them in the Queen City again soon.

Hippo Campus

The main act of the night was Saint Motel. Saint Motel’s performance was both visually appealing as it was euphonic.  The theme for the night was “Saintmotelevision” which is also the name of their new album. Frontman, AJ Jackson played guitar and keys behind an old ‘50s television screen with a golden age television broadcaster chiming into set intermittently as a fun way to hype the crowd up.  However, the entire crowd felt like they have been waiting for this show all year. Not one person on the floor could stand still throughout the set. Songs such as “Cold Cold Man” and “Benny Goodman” were definitely crowd-favorites. Saint Motel also brings along their mini horns section comprising of a trumpeter and a saxophonist which sent the crowd into a frenzy whenever they got their time to solo. For the encore, they performed their most notable song, “My Type” which without a doubt proved to be the highlight of the entire night.

Saint Motel

Sure, Weathers, Hippo Campus and Saint Motel aren’t the types of bands that are breaking boundaries of rock music. They don’t have any crazy gimmicks or stunts either. They are just two bands that make really catchy, fun music and play even more fun shows. And deep down, for the music lover in all of us, that’s really all we ask for.