The Hives at Racket (photo by Kevin McGann)
After a decade plus long absence, The Hives made their return to NYC on Tuesday night for a jam-packed hour of greatest hits from their catalog. But fans were also treated to some new cuts from their highly anticipated new album, The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons, due this August.
There was something so immediate about this show—no opener, no frills, just an all-out frenzy of a performance from a group of (now) music veterans who were reveling in the spotlight. Front man Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist was all cocky swagger, reminding the crowd that while it had been 11 years, they hadn’t aged one bit and that they were trapped “in young sexy bodies.” Of course, comments like that all came with a wink and a smile before tearing into the next song, leaping off the drum kit or diving into the audience.
Once Almqvist and his brother/lead guitarist Nicholaus started diving into the crowd, it was utter mayhem on the floor. Everyone rushing in to carry them or capture them or even just get an up-close glance. And when all five members were on stage, the lights would occasionally be killed to reveal their glow in the dark lightning bolt suits and of course, their classic stage freeze. They packed so much into a one hour set that I’m guessing their upcoming show at Brooklyn Steel (October 30, 2023) will sell out in under a minute from fans clamoring for more.
All the usual hits were present, from “Hate to Say I Told You So” and “Walk Idiot Walk,” to “Main Offender” and “Go Right Ahead.” The new tracks fit in nicely and included “Bogus Operandi,” “Stick Up,” and “Rigor Mortis Radio.” For the encore, we were treated to the one-two punch of “Come On!” and closer “Tick Tick Boom.” We were even treated to an impromptu Happy Birthday song to one fan who made it on the stage before the final tick-tick-boom of an explosive set. Definitely one for the books.
Scroll down for setlist, fan shot videos, pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)
Setlist: Bogus Operandi, Main Offender, Walk Idiot Walk, Rigor Mortis Radio, Good Samaritan, Go Right Ahead, Stick Up, Hate to Say I Told You So, Trapdoor Solution, I’m Alive, Countdown to Shutdown Encore: Come On!, Tick Tick Boom