“Are you ready for the greatest rock ‘n’ roll show of your life?!”
“I’ve been waiting since 7th grade for this shit!”
Nothing less can be expected from the fervorous banter sifting amongst eager rock ‘n’ roll fans refuging inside Lakeview’s Vic Theatre on June 30. This evening happened during one of Chicago’s most intense heat spells, and a competent set by The Hives was the all-appropriate adieu to the summer’s first weeks. Apparently, before their performance, the boys hadn’t made their way to the Windy City since leaving the garage space in Sweden en route to America circa 2007. We felt a little better after their amicable confession to Chicago being their second show in the States since their formation, a nostalgic nod to the days in the early 2000s when garage rock ruled the earth.
The night’s setlist was heavy on cuts from the band’s most recent release, Lex Hives (June 5, 2012), and however reassuringly, the crowd obediently ate up the Lex tracks with an almost equal appetite for the familiar staples. In between saw amiable bits of frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s showmanship and witty remarks coped in guitarist Nicholaus Arson’s eccentrically piercing gaze into his audience. So fixedly under the hex of Almqvist, the theatre’s pit staggered and struggled to sit on the floor as commanded during a breakdown whilst the upper floors were finally lifted to their feet.
The Hives indeed give away no less live as on par to each record. Both are served clear-cut on a simmering platter, baked to perfection. Though the result may not be so profound of a concert experience, but really is contrarily one that is purely fun. Bare bones, rock ‘n’ roll has no definition. It’s truly the energy that keeps it timeless. As long as there are bands like The Hives around to jolt life back into a genre we can’t ever forget, no matter how hard some seem to try, there’s no telling how long the revivals will last.