The Hives rocked the Belly Up Tavern with an unrelenting garage rock attack, supported by Kate Clover’s electrifying opening set.
In a sonic storm that swept through the intimate confines of the Belly Up Tavern, Swedish garage-rock maestros The Hives delivered a relentless performance that left the audience in the tiny club wrapt and at the edge of exhilaration. Supported by the equally dynamic Kate Clover, the night unfolded as an ear-shattering testament to the enduring power of raw, unbridled rock ‘n’ roll.
Kate Clover, a rising force in the alternative rock scene, set the stage ablaze with her opening act. The sharply dressed quartet with frontwoman, Clover, commanded the spotlight with a blend of punk-infused riffs and a magnetic stage presence, wasted no time breaking the ice, and went hard wire-to-wire from the opening note to the last instrument-dropping note. Her raspy vocals cut through the air like a serrated blade, adding an extra edge to her guitar-driven melodies. With tracks like “Channel Zero” and “Love You to Death,” Clover’s set served as a fitting prelude to the high-octane sonic assault that was about to unfold.
As The Hives took the stage, they left no doubt as to why they were there. This tour is in support of their new album The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons. From the opening notes of “Bogus Operandi,” The Hives put the hammer down and did not let off the gas until the final notes of the “Tick Tick Boom.” Decked out in their traditional black-and-white attire, only now with custom glow-in-the-dark trim, the band launched into their set with the precision of a well-oiled machine. Frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, a charismatic dynamo, led the charge with his electrifying stage presence, engaging the audience with a combination of swagger and infectious energy.
The setlist, a carefully curated selection of classics and newer material, showcased The Hives’ ability to craft anthems that resonate across generations. “Hate To Say I Told You So” and “Tick Tick Boom” elicited raucous singalongs, while tracks from their latest album demonstrated that the band hasn’t lost an ounce of their edge over the years. The seamless transitions between songs kept the momentum at a fever pitch, creating a sonic rollercoaster that had the crowd in a perpetual state of frenzy. The one-hour set seemingly the perfect amount of time to release a frenzy of energy without wearing out the audience.
Guitarists Nicholaus Arson and Vigilante Carlstroem unleashed a barrage of fast and furious riffs, their guitars serving as a unified sonic weapon that punctuated each song with a staccato ferocious intensity. The rhythm section, comprised of bassist Chris Dangerous and drummer Chris Dangerous, laid down a foundation of pulsating beats that reverberated through the venue, ensuring that the audience was engulfed in a sonic onslaught from every angle in the intimate confines of the Belly Up.
What set this performance apart was the band’s ability to establish an intimate connection with the audience. Almqvist’s banter between songs felt like a conversation with old friends, infusing the set with a sense of camaraderie and unbridled joy. As if you were at the neighborhood Friday night keg party. The intimacy Pelle and the band created transcended the typical performer-audience dynamic. The charismatic frontman’s interactions were both humorous and heartfelt, adding a personal touch to the sonic spectacle. The show gave a vibe of as if you were at a friend’s garage or backyard party.
The lighting design, a mesmerizing dance of strobe and shadows, enhanced the overall experience. As the stark white stage lights pulsated in sync with the music, the atmosphere became charged with an electric energy that mirrored the band’s fervor. The intimate setting of the Belly Up Tavern amplified this sensory immersion, creating an unforgettable sonic landscape that enveloped the audience.
The Hives’ performance at the Belly Up Tavern, supported by the electrifying Kate Clover, was nothing short of a stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll revival. From the opening chords to the final encore, the evening was a masterclass in musical intensity, proving that, decades into their career, The Hives are still a force to be reckoned with. This was not just a concert; it was a sonic baptism blasting through even the best ear protection. The Hives are a reminder of the enduring power of live music to captivate and transport audiences into the heart of rock ‘n’ roll.