red lights


The Hives still buzzin' loudly

The Hives / The Dirtbombs
The Rave
Milwaukee, WI
Dec. 4, 2004
The Hives
The Hives in overdrive
The Dirtbombs
The Dirtbombs
The Hives
Howlin' Pelle Almqvist

Review and photos by Phil Bonyata

Swedish quintet the Hives play rock n' roll like they're auditioning for a gig in front of the devil himself. Brash and confident and always over-the-top the boys tranformed the Rave into their own personal garage last night. The trailblazers of modern garage rock are chock-full of attitude. The Hives went into manic overdrive for "Abra Cadaver," "Anitidote" and "Missing Link" off of their latest release Tyrannosaurus Hives. The DirtbombsLead singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist has culled richly from Mick Jagger's early 1960s playbook. Cockily strutting like a peacock with neon feathers, Almqvist howled the opening verses to "Missing Link." Brother Nicholaus Arson lit his telecaster on fire with rippling and rhythmic chords. Almqvist teases the crowd with his high-pitched and jittery delivery, while flirting with every girl along the way. On "Walk Idiot Walk" the rhythm section took on a Sticky Fingers era Richards/Watts looseness. "B is for Brutus" had its punk rock roots grounded in the distorted guitars as the defiant Howlin' Pelle pushed the angry vocals over the edge. Drummer Chris Dangerous sets the tone for much of the Hives music with his minimalist, but hyper-charged attack.
The Dirtbombs All nappily dressed in black and white suits with Col. Sanders neckties - the band takes as much from the Rolling Stones (who incidentally aren't credited enough as punk pioneers) as they do from the Stooges. There is something charming in their bloated self-egos. They're cool - they know it and we know it. On "Diabolic Scheme" the band deconstructs the Stones cool and resells it as their own. It worked. "Hate to Say I Told You So" brought the house down with Almqvist's shrill-pitched voice finding a new octave on the chorus. "Two Timing Touch and Broken Bones" played out tight as it's straightfoward and lean attack laid waste to the chunky chorus that tried to take over the song. A misstep? Probably, but even when the Hives hiccup it still sounds cool.
Detroit garage-rockers the Dirtbombs performed a scrumptiously dirty set to open for the Hives. Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes are essentially followers of Dirtbombs leader Mick Collins. The sonic wave of sound began with Collins and company putting some heavy chunk into "Graveyard." With two drummers cementing the band's ferocious attack and bassist Ko forcing each heart-pounding note down our throats.
The guitar riffs float atop delicious distortions while the simple rhythms wail with abandon. Some of the gems performed were "I Can't Sleep," "Big Bird," "Closed Casket," "I Wanna Die," "Debt Collection," "2 x As Dead," "Hate This City" and "Burn Down the Village." This band has grease coarsing through it's veins - nasty and raw. Their music is brutally honest and truly alive. The Dirtbombs should be studied by all other musicians to see where the spirit and soul of rock music resides today.

The Hives
The Hives
The Hives
The Hives
The Dirtbombs
Mick Collins of the Dirtbombs
The Dirtbombs
The Dirtbombs
The Hives
The Hives
The Dirtbombs
The Dirtbombs
The Hives
The Hives

The Hives Milwaukee Setlist

Abra Cadaver
Missing Link
Main Offender
State Control
Walk Idiot Walk
A Little More For a Little You
Die All Right
Declare Guerre Nucleaire
No Pun Intended
Hate To Say I Told You So
Lost and Found
Supply and Demand
Diabolic Scheme
Two Timing Touch and Broken Bones
B is for Brutus
Dead Quote Olympics
aka I-D-I-O-T

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