Friday, May 24, 2024

The Hives: Rock n roll exposure at critical mass in Manchester

Arguably one of the most influential rock bands of the 2000s, The Hives make their long-awaited return to Manchester after their iconic set supporting Arctic Monkeys. There was just as much rock n roll but significantly less microphone induced head trauma this time. 

Bad Nerves played their set first and they were a highly energetic punk throwback act in the style of The Ramones or The Buzzcocks. Modern punk has tended to move away from that grimy 70s style in favour of a more glossy sound but Bad Nerves leaned into it without losing their accessibility and keeping a hard edge. 

Bad Nerves

Manchester was practically foaming at the mouth for the greatest rock and roll band of all time, there were even chances of some people literally foaming at the mouth but it was hard to tell with the low lighting. A funeral March began to play as five of the most well dressed Swedish men alive took to the stage. 

Bad Nerves

The Hives kicked up the volume and the lights with ‘Bogus Operandi,’ the most energetic album opener since Lex Hives opener; ‘Come On!’. It’s absolutely impossible to resist the raucous energy on stage and it leads to a wild stage show that very few modern rock bands can replicate. 

The Hives
The Hives

The Hives are one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time for many reasons but the most glaring is their frontman: Howlin Pelle Almquist, a man powered by rock and also his mouth which also creates rock, therefore makes him a being of perpetual motion. 

The Hives

“This is a band that may or may not be The Hives and I may or may not be the most attractive man alive,” said Almquist as he began one of his frequent monologues of hysterically entertaining musings about life, music, alcohol and The Hives, a band that also happened to be playing with that night. His ability to talk about absolutely nothing and still be entertaining inbetween racing around the stage with all the energy and genuine joy of a sugar-addled child is a phenomenal sight to behold. 

The Hives

The band pulled out all the classics like ‘Main Offender’ and ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ and a personal highlight from the new record, ‘Rigor Mortis Radio,’ a song that feels as if Smash Mouth wrote a Kinks song. There were non-stop rock n roll classics being played throughout the night and the audience was always receptive, they even performed some of the instrumentals as they sang along to the bassline of ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’

The band were airtight and the mix was perfect, the guitar tone had the perfect amount of crunch as guitarists Nicholaus Arson and Vigilante Carlstroem blasted the audience with mega riffs using their patented combination of left and right hands to create sound using guitars and amplifiers. 

The Hives

After the hour mark, Howlin Pelle began warning the audience of the grave dangers of being exposed to too much rock n roll. Like the fools we were, we didn’t listen and demanded more chaos as they pushed through tracks like ‘I’m Alive,’ ‘Bigger Hole to Fill’ and the ultimate set closer, ‘Countdown to Shutdown’. “Are you ready to die and go to rock n roll heaven?” asked Howlin Pelle as he continued to irradiate the audience with his rock n roll swagger and mic trickery. 

The Hives

The show ended with the eternal banger to end all eternal bangers; ‘Tick Tick Boom,’ arguably one of the best rock songs to come out of the 2000s when rock was still dominating radio and it was possible to find a CD player without having to go to ultra-niche retro shops.

The Hives

By this point, the entire audience had succumbed to rock n roll exposure and they were forced to leave having experienced the greatest rock n roll show to ever hit Manchester. Before leaving Howlin Pelle asked “Do you love The Hives?” and it’s safe to say, yes. I love The Hives. 

The Hives

Will The Hives ever return? Will this article contain a worker bee reference? Was the idiot who wrote this article objective in his criticisms or was he blinded by his blatant fanaticism of The Hives? The answer to all those questions is… Probably. 

Think bee! 

The Hives
Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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