posted 2012-05-13 00:20:10

Itching for The Hives

Band plays secret show at Webster Hall

Alden Burke

Contributing Writer

Image courtesy of
For the first time in five years, The Hives are back on the map with their fifth studio album, Lex Hives, which is expected for release on June 4. However, the Swedish garage-rock band’s upcoming tour to support their release seemed to

fly right over New York City. What many did not know, though, was that The Hives did touch down here. They played a secret show at the Studio of Webster Hall, a 300-person-capacity room, on April 26.

A week before the show, Brooklyn Vegan announced The Hives would be performing at a secret location, and that throughout the day they would release clues of the location. The first ten to guess the venue correctly would win free tickets.

On the night of the show, a line of eager fans trailed down 12th Street, right outside Webster Hall. The Hives’ front man, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, came out to mingle with everyone waiting on line before the show.

As a secret show, no other acts preceded The Hives. Once everyone packed inside the studio and crowded around its modest stage, The Hives finally took the stage. Dressed in tuxedos and top hats while exuding an undeniable charisma, the band quickly hypnotized the crowd. During their set, Almqvist proclaimed, “silence is not on the guest list! Silence will have to take a lap around the block before it comes in!” The Hives demanded raucousness.

The audience howled in response to Almqvist’s provocations, everyone relishing in his antics. Almqvist is undeniably charismatic as an engagingly obnoxious, handsome-prep-gone-bad retro rock star. Still fresh off the buzz surrounding an acclaimed performance at the Coachella Music Festival, Almqvist and his fellow Hives, Nicholaus Arson (backup vocals, guitar) and Dr. Matt Destruction (bass), came ready for rambunctiousness. Yet again, they delivered an energetic, crowd-pleasing performance.

The Hives played both new songs and old songs, keeping the audience on their toes and dancing throughout the show. At one point, after Almqvist asked the crowd to part in two, he moved to jump off the stage and yelled, “Moses don’t got shit on me!” – a unique kind of “Geronimo.” Of course, though, he became engulfed by fans, singing and dancing all together in front of the stage.