Dressed in full formal tuxedos, The Hives came to Coachella’s Main Stage to save the crowd from boredom.
At least that’s what bombastic frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist would have you believe after he’s finished with his brainwashing.
Never thought to be of the humble sort, Almqvist prowls the stage like a screaming banshee, screaming about how great he is and how much everybody should love him and his band.
That smirking confidence is part of The Hives’ charm. The Swedish rockers were a seminal part of the rejuvenation of the rock genre in the early 2000s, and considering it’s been five years since the band released an album, Lex Hives (due out in early June) could be the band’s dramatic return.
At this point, the few new tracks The Hives played were impressive.
The Coachella crowd was lucky enough to see “Wait a Minute” played live for the first time ever, and they responded by singing out the repeated line “Wait a minute” over and over with Almqvist and guitarist Vigilante Carlstroem.
Almqvist’s control was furthered when he told the audience how much he loved it and asked how much it loved him.
When the response wasn’t loud enough, he asked again. And again. And again.
But the bombastic reply that was the final result warranted a prize – The Hives’ massive 2000 hit, “Hate to Say I Told You So.”
As The Hives’ time to perform ran out, Almqvist said the band was going to do a fake encore since there was not enough time to actually leave the stage.
Still, he held the crowd accountable for cheering for one more song.
The fans’ obedient response earned two – The Hives’ new single, “Go Right Ahead” and the smash “Tick Tick Boom.”
For that last one, Almqvist played “Pelle Says.” At his beckoning, most everyone watching sat on the ground until he gave the final countdown towards explosion.
Like it or not, The Hives are back. And if Almqvist has anything to do with it, you will like it.