Photo by Tobias Sutter

Reviewed by Meghan Player

You know it’s going to be a good start to the year, when the first gig on your list is Swedish rockers, The Hives. Once again returning to our shores for Falls Festival and a string of side shows along the East Coast – the anticipation of a full-blown rock and roll show with all the bells and whistles is almost feverish.

As the lights of the Metro dim, a chorus of swelling music strikes up and the smoke bellows out onto the stage – now dotted with the silhouettes of the five immaculately dressed Hives members. As drummer Chris Dangerous beats out the infectious rhythm of opener, ‘Come On‘ – the crowd is already whipping itself into a frenzy of noise, dancing and moshing. And it doesn’t stop.

Indeed if ‘Come On‘ is the quintessential call to arms for Hives fans, then ‘Try It Again‘ ramps the show up – ten fold. The band is tight, the instruments are loud, and there is certainly no containing the packed out venue from exploding with noise. Between the wild-eyed stares and frantic finger-work from guitarist Nicholaus Arson and the killer style of Vigilante and Dr Matt Destruction‘s rhythm guitar/bass combo – there is simply no stopping the eccentric Swedes once they’ve started.

Enigmatic frontman Howlin’ Pellé Almqvist is at his endearing and entertaining best – pushing the crowd that little bit further with each manic jump across the stage. Already the crowd, including myself – are well and truly eating out of the palm of his hands – as Almqvist enthusiastically points out, “We’re only two songs into our set!”.

Unsurprisingly, the set list never falters and never fails to entertain – with songs that touch on each incredible, yet individual part of the bands career. ‘Main Offender’, ‘Walk Idiot Walk’, ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’ and newer tracks ‘Wait A Minute’, ‘Patrolling Days‘ and ‘Go Right Ahead‘ all make a well-received appearance. Each song packs a mean punch in terms of energy and enthusiasm, with the band throwing every ounce of themselves into their delivery.

As the set begins to wind down, and the band closes the night with the explosive [and highly fitting] ‘Tick Tick Boom‘ – it’s undoubtedly clear that we have spent the evening in the presence of one of the most formidable, engaging, entertaining and utterly delightful bands of our time. And as Howlin’ Pellé screams, “The Hives are the best band in the world!” – there is certainly no one in the room tonight that would disagree.

Viva la Hives!


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