Best Rock Band
It typically takes time for an emerging band to sell out First Avenue’s Mainroom. Hippo Campus, on the other hand, sold out a two-night stand at the beloved Minneapolis club before their debut album was even released. The quartet originally formed as teenagers in Woodbury, and quickly captured the attention of local and national tastemakers on the strength of two EPs — 2015’s Bashful Creatures and South — and a vibrant, remarkably polished live show. On their 2017 debut LP, Landmark, the group builds on that promise, while adding a textured, more refined sound to the mix. Landmark was produced by BJ Burton (Bon Iver, Lizzo, James Blake), who helped the young band take an anything-goes approach in the studio, leading to surprising sonic flourishes that add an element of adventurousness to their jaunty, infectious sound. The 13-track collection is the best, most complete work of their already successful career. Expect plenty more sold-out First Ave shows in the future.