Article and photos by: Katie Cohen
The Jones Assembly is a trendy American restaurant located in downtown Oklahoma City specializing in artesian style food and craft cocktails, while also serving as a concert venue to local music lovers. This past semester has been stacked with shows including Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Father John Misty, Colony House, St. Lucia, Andy Grammer and Hippo Campus.
I got the opportunity to attend St. Lucia and Hippo Campus, and as a photographer I was able to get up close and personal with the two bands, unveiling the chemistry and personality of the artists from the pit.
St. Lucia is a musical project founded by South African frontman and lead singer Jean-Phillip Grobler. The band includes four other members, including his wife Patti Beranek. The band released “September,” an international chart-topper, beating out massive artists such as Taylor Swift. Soon after the recognition of their single, St. Lucia opened for Two Door Cinema Club on their 2013 American tour. Recognizable singles produced by St. Lucia are “Elevate,” “Dancing on Glass” and “All Eyes on You.” The project has now expanded to three studio albums, the most recent being “Hyperion,” released on Sept. 21 of this year. The music is dense with keys, and synthesized sounds causing an electric feel and velvety vocals.
As soon as St. Lucia walked on stage, the relationship between Gobler and Beranek was apparent. The husband-wife dynamic spoke to the Jones Assembly’s hospitality extending to even their daughter Indy’s dietary restrictions. St. Lucia opened the show on Oct. 25 with “September,” getting fans loose with the trademark single that started the buzz. The crowd remained engaged through the set and seemed to love the vacation on St. Lucia.
Hippo Campus returned to Oklahoma City nearly a year after their epic Halloween takeover, where each member of the band took stage in a unique costume. This time around, lead singer Jake Luppen lost the Spiderman costume but gained an entirely new crowd experience. The crowd bopped to the new synthetic sounds, purposeful glitches and popping bubbles. On June 12, 2018, the band released “Passenger,” the first single to surprise fans and a hint to a new album. The sound varied from the previous records and rests more on the pop side. Hippo Campus recently released a new album entitled “Bambi” on Sept. 28. The tracks are perfectly playful and carry a consistent beat. The band released a statement following the unveiling of “Bambi,” announcing this album is much more of a project to be heard as individuals unlatched from the instruments they comfortably identify with and live in the moment. The lyrics didn’t come as ambiguous or introspective, but rather speak clarity to the growth and progression of society. The band didn’t go on with expressive monologues, but interacted with the crowd through danceable tunes for fans to groove to. “Buttercup” was a notable favorite involving fans screaming the words while the instrumentals paused. The energy was high throughout The Jones Assembly and I was left in awe of the stage presence of each individual in Hippo Campus.