Reviews \

High-Fives for the Hives

CHICAGO: The Swedish quintet break from supporting Maroon 5 for a sold-out show all their own.

In the honor of their forthcoming full-length LP, The Black and White Album,Swedish fivesome the Hives donned black ’70s-style prom suits withwhite-trimmed lapels, black-and-white-striped ties and white leatherdress shoes upon strolling into the Windy City’s famed Metro venue lastnight (Sept. 30). And with the first notes of bass-heavy new track”Bigger Hole to Fill,” the quintet set into motion an eardrum crunching14-song rock’n’roll assault.

Like a Southern televangelist,frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist preached between songs, at timesplayfully taunting the crowd; “You people look like you can’t take itno more,” while utilizing the entire stage to reach every fan — one ofwhich received a sweaty souvenir when the newly shorn Almqvistdiscarded his tie into the audience. With hands on hips, the fierymouthpiece swung the mic like a lasso, snapped high kicks and balancedprecariously off the stage’s guardrail. Later, during the hard-hitting”Hate to Say I Told You So,” Almqvist ascended the light rig, and onthe angular, high-energy “Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones,” hepropelled himself into the crowd.

Meanwhile, Almqvist’solder brother guitarist Nicholaus Arson channeled AC/DC’s Angus Young,oozing a crazed look from his eyes and an expression of open-mouthedastonishment, while spitting aimlessly and riling up the audience withhis finger-licking antics. But of course, the two brothers would benothing without the incredibly tight rhythm section, its timingimpeccable, exemplified with the numerous and precise stops and startsmid-song.

After ending their set with new single “Tick Tick Boom,”complete with bomb-like explosions, the Hives returned with four(mostly new) encore selections, and finally abandoned the audiencesatisfied yet still begging for more.
We asked:The Hives worked with Pharrell Williams on Black and White Album tunes “Well All Right!” and “T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.” What crazy collaboration would you like to see?