Bands to see at Splendour in the Grass: The Hives (Gig Review 29/12/2008)
May 11, 2011
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Amidst the busy modern life I lead, sometimes, unbelievably, this blog has to take a backseat to uni assignments that take me into black-holes of circular logic about how useless and irrelevant the United Nations has become. Nonetheless, I wish to fulfill your needs, avid reader. (note singular) This is a short gig review I wrote nearly two and a half years ago about The Hives when they last played in Australia. They are widely recognized as one of the top live bands in the world, and this gig was probably one of the more intense experiences of my life. The Hives are playing Splendour in the Grass and are the band I recommend to anyone who wants to see and insane rock and roll show. Enjoy:
Lining up along the wall of the Forum Theatre in sight of the MCG I was less focused on the upcoming gig than I should have been, depressed at Australia’s lacklustre performance in the cricket. The boys from Sweden however cheered me up immensely, playing one of the most intense and engaging live shows I have had the pleasure of seeing. The Fearless Vampire Killers opened the show, nervously finding rhythm in front of probably one of their largest crowds ever, but their 60s inspired brand of hard rock showed a great degree of promise for the Melbourne band.
As A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors began to play over the speakers the tension grew and pushed against the railing of the stage no-one’s focus left the stage as the Hives exploded onto the stage with Hey Little World. Their set consisted of a well-balanced blend of old material (Pelle’s howling in the middle of Main Offender reminded everyone of why this band became so popular in the first place) and tracks from their new album. The music almost matched the on-stage shenanigans of both Howlin’ Pelle and his brother Nicholaus Arson, who must have thrown in excess of 25 picks into the audience while Pelle climbed amps, descended the stage regularly and chatted with the crowd like old friends would, as well as screaming his lungs out. The first set ended with Tick Tick Boom which almost managed to live up to its name in blowing the roof off.
The Hives’ showmanship continued even while they were off stage, waiting a good five minutes and building the excitement of their fans before returning for a frantically thrilling encore, which left the audience sweating, dancing and still reeling at the sheer energy of the Swedes.