The Hives are Worthy of the Hype
By
Mike Hess
7/14/2002 9:02:44 PM

"The Hives destroy musical conformity with an upsurge of wiry punk tension… but never cross that line of overly aggressive."

At one of the most anticipated shows in years, The Hives came out dripping with conceit, wit, punk fury and some Amstel Light launched from the crowd. Dressed in their uniform -- matching black-shirt/white-tie getups – frontman Howlin' Pelle Almqvist won the crowd with broken-English tirades of self-greatness, while the rest of the members selectively chose which audience member to bless with their sweaty towels... err... souveneirs. “You know you’re listening to the best band on Earth,” joked Alqvist, as his satire squashed any hint of pretentiousness. It’s punk-rock snobbery at its finest.


Playing a show in Boston wasn’t as simple as The Hives expected. They sold out The Roxy, which holds about 2,500, after selling out their originally scheduled venue, The Middle East (about 600 capacity). Promoters saw the hype and demand, and bumped the show to the better venue. Funny enough, The Roxy barely fit everyone. $10 tickets were going for $100 on EBAY. And plenty of folks bought 'em.


The Hives destroy musical conformity with an upsurge of wiry punk tension… but never cross that line of overly aggressive. Alqvist flails around like an early Jagger, and talks the crowd into frenzies between songs. “Supply and Demand” closed the first set, and the show-stopper of the night was the closer, “a.k.a. I-D-I-O-T”.


The opening band, NYC rock-purists The Mooney Suzuki damn near stole the show, zooming around stage with their guitars blazing for 40 minutes. They got the biggest applause I’ve ever seen an opening band earn, and it was for good reason. They’ve got the swagger, musical whim and look to headline right now… so expect them to soon.

 

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