Live Review: The Hives at Showbox SoDo


Photo by Tyson Lynn

What: The Hives

Where: Showbox SoDo

When: Thursday, Nov. 1

Better Than: a basement punk show.

By Tyson Lynn

No opener was scheduled for the Hives' date at the Showbox SoDo, which usually means the headliner begins at a not-unreasonable time. Doors were at 7 p.m. Two-and-a-half hours later, the house lights went down. In between? Tron, the 1982 Jeff Bridges vehicle, shown mute in its entirety while a jumbled musical mix (including three Hives songs) playing behind it. That's a lot of time to stand and watch a movie obviously made for tripping to LSD, especially when you don't want to be watching it.

By the time The Hives swaggered on stage, there was a palpable sense of animosity in the crowd. Thankfully (for them, for us), The Hives knew exactly how to channel that energy. Drummer Christian Dangerous locked a furious drumbeat--martial, pummeling--against bassist Dr. Matt Destruction's low end, and as guitarist Nicholas Arson kicked the riff in, frontman Pelle Almqvist walked to the forefront and people lost their minds.

Pulling from their four full-lengths, The Hives set was murderously tight. Favorites "Hate To Say I Told You So" and "Diabolic Scheme" were fast and precise. Even "Well All Right" off last month's Black and White Album sounded well honed. Pelle knew it. "We practiced for ten years so we never have to practice again; we show up and shit just happens."

The pit was immediate. Those in the front were soon joined by everyone in the back as the surge towards the stage gained momentum. The Hives fed on the energy, stripping off their black suits piece by piece. "Tick Tick Boom," off Black and White, closed the show. "Thank you for coming tonight, Seattle. You may come see us again when we return."

The audience, knowing they were in the presence of greatness, roared its approval. We were sweaty, the band was spent, and the show, when it finally happened, was worth the wait.

Reporter's Bias: I stood packed in a crowd for two and a half hours waiting for the band to play, watching Tron. This cannot be emphasized enough. That sort of disregard for the audience is deeply uncool and unwelcome.

Random Detail: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which was played after Tron, makes a surprising amount of sense without sound. However, Seattle concert-goers were more interested in the climatic meeting between Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner in Tron.

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