March 25, 2016 Hoodie Allen Brings Happy Camper Tour To Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA 3-19-16
In the early Fall of 2015, Long Island, New York based Hip Hop artist Hoodie Allen announced a 2016 Spring North American Happy Camper Tour to begin in Portland, OR and conclude in New York City. Becoming one of the hottest names in Alternative Hip Hop in recent years, Allen’s 2014 debut full-length album, People Keep Talking, debuted at # 8 on Billboard 200. The acclaimed album followed with Allen touring solo, as well as in 2015 on the Boys of Zummer Tour with Wiz Khalifa and Fall Out Boy to further build a strong fanbase. In fact, the fanbase is so strong now that anticipation of his new album, Happy Camper, hit # 2 on iTunes, directly under powerhouse Adele.
Proving an artist can achieve success independent of a major record label, Allen’s Happy Camper Tour has been lighting up city after city with support from SuperDuperKyle, so when Saturday, March 19th, hit, the “Hoodie Mob” unanimously sold out The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA. The Electric Factory was a special date due to its location’s proximity to Allen’s prestigious Ivy League alma mater, University of Pennsylvania. For some fans, the concert started hours before any artist walked on a stage. That is because dedicated fans gathered to be “first in line” for a chance to take a photo with Allen himself to be posted on his Instagram. With that in mind, as doors opened, fans ran for the stage, as well as the merchandise booth, where Allen was selling merchandise himself before leaving the booth, allowing the show to begin.
First to take the stage was the Rapper Bryce Vine. Born in New York City, but raised in Los Angeles, CA, Vine is also an independent artist making some noise. Debuting with his EP, Lazy Fair, in 2014, Vine has also built a following on his own, and he was ready to bring his passion and energy to The Electric Factory. Taking everyone by surprise, with great confidence, he performed a few songs and covered all parts of the stage. Singing songs such as “Sour Patch Kids” and “Guilty Pleasure,” Vine shared a resemblance to Hoodie Allen’s style of music as he had the crowd dancing with his contagious energy.
Then the artist known Gnash entered the stage, bringing a calm and relaxing set with new innovative music. Gnash had an obvious following, although he joined the tour about five days prior, as fans sang along to his songs. He performed popular songs “I Hate U I Love U” and “Fuck Me Up.” Then, friend and musician Goody Grace brought energetic vibes to the stage by singing “That One Song” alongside Gnash, to which the audience went wild. More relaxed and positive vibes were sent to the audience during Gnash’s set to get the audience ready for MC Kyle, aka SuperDuperKYLE .
SuperDuperKYLE, based out of Ventura, CA, is extremely inspired by all things ’80s. Debuting in 2013 with Beautiful Loser, in 2015 he dropped Smyle, an album that reached the Billboard 200. Well on his way to a successful career, SuperDuperKYLE was amped up for the chance to be direct support for Hoodie Allen, and it showed once he took the stage.
Starting out by bringing Star Wars, there was lightsaber duel which quickly grabbed the crowd’s attention. After the theatrics display, the music began with “The Force” where the chemistry between SuperDuperKYLE (vocals), SuperDuperBRICK (DJ/vocal) was very visible. Incorporating dances by choreographer extraordinaire Ian Eastwood into the performance, the audience began to realize the kind of show it was about to receiving. The dance combination between Brick and Kyle during “I Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” got the audience wishing they could pull off their moves.
The act said their goodbyes and thank yous before exiting the stage, but moments later Kyle returned for an encore, claiming, “We can’t end it like this,” to sing “Where Can We,” and crowd-surfed, literally. Brick gave the surfboard to the fans to hold as Kyle undressed into his Superman board shorts. Jumping from the stage onto the board, Kyle finished his song and impressed the crowd with his multitasking. Everything about the stage, from the colorful lighting, a light saber duel, entertaining performances of songs off new album Smyle, and a surprising encore, SuperDuperkyle did not fail at getting the audience ready for Hoodie Allen.
From the opening acts, it was apparent this would be an insane show all the way through the end. With that in mind, Allen came out to bright yellow lights with images of the album logo covering the stage with the audience losing their mind. Bringing with him DJ Fresh Direct, who has been by his side for years, as well as Pat Brown (guitar/backup vocals), Jimmy Kadesch (drums), and Nicky C (bass), they started off strong with two upbeat songs off his new album, “Intro to Anxiety” and “Remind Me Of.” With the third song, the show quickly flashed back to 2012’s “No Faith in Brooklyn” to play one of Allen’s most known songs. There was no need for Hoodie Allen to sing the beginning of the track because the fans were singing louder than he could. So, he stepped away from the microphone to let the screaming fans shine, and it was quite a sight to hear and see.
Playing many songs from 2012’s EP All American, 2013’s Crewcuts, and even Pep Rally from 2010, old fans sang along to nostalgic times. Before “James Franco,” Allen pointed out a James Franco lit up poster in the back of the venue, requesting it to be brought up to stage. Holding the James Franco poster on his head, the crowd sang about James Franco with a mix of an older song, “Eighteen Cool.” Moving forward, Allen incorporated hits such as “Stressed Out,” by Twenty One Pilots, to make his own song “Casanova” even more unique and easy for new fans to sing along to. Then, when playing “I Am Not a Robot,” Allen reflected on how he wrote the song in his dorm room junior year at UPenn, and was now singing it in front of a sold out crowd. A surreal feeling for any artist, Allen’s fan-friendly attitude merely amplified the audience’s response to this, and every track before and after it.
Keeping his energy levels high to match the audience, Hoodie used every inch of the stage, and when there was no more space to cover, he disappeared after “Two Lips.” Moments later, Allen popped up in the back of the crowd on a platform to bring the show closer to those further away from the stage, making the performance that much more intimate. Playing a song that includes a tradition of throwing cakes, entitled “Cake Boy,” it either made people scream in fear of being hit by a home-baked cake, or hungry. Following the cake war, Jimmy Kadesch’s drum solo wowed the crowd as he played to songs such as “Roses,” by the Chainsmokers. Even after the excursion to the back, Allen could not refrain from leaving the stage once again, and going in a blow-up lifeboat, Allen rowed through the sea of fans. Immediately after exiting, the audience began screaming, “Encore!” Thus, Allen quickly returned to give the fans two more songs, which were “King to Me” and “No Interruption.” Both songs were not ones to miss as confetti sprayed the room, celebrating the conclusion of the tour date at the Electric Factory.
In enough words, every second of Allen’s set was entertaining. From the lighting to LED screens with colorful graphics, visually, the show was aesthetically appealing. He not only knows how to entertain his fans, but knows how to make everyone feel like they are family, not just consumers of his music. With that said, any stop on The Happy Camper Tour is one not to be missed. It features opening acts that energized the crowd, as well as unique music styles. Hoodie Allen truly outdid himself with the entertaining and nostalgic set that will make any member of the audience feel happy, so any chance that arises to see him, take it.