Hippo Campus show opens with up-and-coming artists at NMU

NAE hosted Hippo Campus with Lisa Heller and student opener LPM


Madoline Plattenberg/NW

ILLUMINATING LIGHTS — Hippo Campus performs under vibrant lights at the Vandament Arena.

Willow Rasch

Brought to NMU students by Northern Arts and Entertainment (NAE), the band Hippo Campus played at NMU on St. Patrick’s Day, along with Lisa Heller and student opener Lillian Pressnell-Manceau (LPM).

“This is the first big concert Ian Watson [president of NAE] said they have hosted for years,” said Mackenzie Anderson, NAE’s treasurer. “It’s really exciting for us to be able to bring this to campus for the students because COVID-19 was long and we need this.”

That night many of the attendees crowded as close to the stage as possible, both students and non-students alike. Many were decked out in green for the holiday, and one person dressed up as a leprechaun. In the darkness, the only lights were the colorful show lights, which illuminated the artists with a light amount of fog.

“’Buttercup.’ I think that’s my favorite [Hippo Campus song]. It’s just real peppy. It makes me happy. It’s on all of my sunshine and smile playlists,” said Cambria Jansen, an NMU student in attendance. “The few songs that I’ve heard, I know I like their style and I might as well get to know more of their songs.”

It was not just the attendees who were having a good time. The student opener was NMU’s own Lillian Pressnell-Manceau, under the stage name of LPM. Her own music trends towards indie folk rather than Hippo Campus’ indie pop.

“I was just so happy that the crowd was so accepting and welcoming because I’m not established in the industry or anything like that … they just made the space so welcoming for me and it was so exciting,” Pressnell-Manceau said. “I saw some people even singing the lyrics to one of my songs. I definitely want to do this again in the future sometime.”

Lisa Heller brought her own energy to the performance. At one point near the end of her set she climbed off the stage, onto the chairs that lined her side of the barrier between her and the attendees and asked them at different points to crouch, jump and sing along.

“It was so much fun,” Heller said. “Everyone was so fun. I felt like I could do anything, and people would cheer so that was awesome.”

Both of the openers played a majority of their own music, with a cover thrown in so that people attending who were not as familiar with their music as others were able to sing along as well.

“I actually do have a favorite,” Pressnell-Manceau said. “‘Let It Be Me’ was the first original that I played tonight, and my second single to come on streaming platforms.”

Heller had different options for her favorite song on the set she played, but it depended on how they were listened to.

“Some songs feel more special to listen to on headphones, and some songs feel more special to listen to live,” Heller said. “The last song I played, ‘Shut Ur Mouth’ didn’t do as well as my other ones online, but every time I perform it live people seem really connected with it. I think that’s my favorite song to perform, but honestly, ‘blue’, even though maybe people like it more listening to it on headphones or speakers, that might be my favorite song that I’ve written.”

Check out both of these up-and-coming artists on Spotify and other social media, under LPM and Lisa Heller.