The Hives @ Marquee Theatre|10/9/12
Eleven miles from the US Airways Center, at The Marquee Theatre, an important question was pondered tonight.
"Do any of you like The Black Keys?" asked Hives lead singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist. Every band that took the stage before the Swedish garage rock band got to take shots at the Keys, who were performing on the other side of town. If one were so inclined, one might ponder the irony of such a question, and the implications of its answer.
The Hives, at their very core, are a stripped-down rock band whose energy and penchant for goofy stage antics are the polar opposite of The Black Keys' formerly stripped-down-turned-grossly-mainstream indie sound. But both are rooted in a no-frills, hard-hitting form of rock. The Hives, however, possess something the Keys simply do not have: a ninja road crew.
Opening for The Hives was U.K. punk band Turbogeist. Their sound is coarse and harsh on the ears in the most delightful way. They opened with "Alien Girl", a song about "making love to an alien". With songs titled "Ice Cold Beer" and what may have been titled "Kim Jong is Ill," you might know what to expect. (It doesn't hurt that the band is fronted by Mick Jagger's son.) The band broke into a brief impromptu cover of The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" at the request of someone in the crowd. Something about these guys' sound made me want to start a fire or commit a random act of violence.
Following them was L.A.-based Fidlar, who opened with "Cheap Beer" before cruising into "Stoked and Broke" and "No Waves." "Max Can't Surf" was a song about the drummer trying to get laid. These guys liked to sing about drugs, and they did it very well. They maintained a high energy and had a solid sound. I definitely plan on adding this band to my iTunes library.
The Hives took the stage while thrashing into "Come On!" from their new album Lex Hives followed by "Midnight Shifter" and "Take Back the Toys." Almqvist's energy bordered on frantic and his attitude, reminiscent of a young Mick Jagger, overwhelmingly arrogant, as he stopped to ask the crowd "What do you have against The Black Keys, anyway?" But that's what is to be loved about The Hives.
"1000 Answers" and the classic Hives songs "Walk Idiot Walk" and "Main Offender" followed. I never realized how much I enjoyed "My Time Is Coming" and "I'm a Man" until the live performance, as Almqvist took the opportunity to hop off stage and make his way to the adjacent "cash only" bar for a beer, never breaking song.
During "Hate to Say I Told You So", the band brought a fan onstage to sit in on bass guitar. The band, in a make-a-wish kind of way, had no problem altering tempo to oblige the fan's shakiness.
For the obligatory encore, The Hives pulled out "Go Right Ahead," "Going Insane," and finally, "Tick, Tick, Boom," where Almqvist parted the crowd like Moses and hopped off stage to frolic with the drunken audience.
Although the crowd at The Marquee wasn't the biggest, its loyalty and dedication to the band couldn't be questioned. I wonder if The Black Keys can say the same?
"Come On!" "Take Back the Toys" "1000 Answers" "Walk Idiot Walk" "Main Offender" "My Time is Coming" "No Pun Intended" "Wait a Minute" "These Spectacles Reveal the Nostalgic" "I'm a Man" "It Won't Be Long" "Hate to Say I told You So" "Patroling Days" "Going Insane" "Tick, Tick, Boom"
Last Night: The Hives with Fidlar and Turbogeist
The Crowd: All young
Unexpected Moment of Awesomeness: Road crew in full ninja costumes.
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