The Hives at Live at Leeds - Festival Review - Music News


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The Hives at Live at Leeds – Festival Review

The Hives
Photo Credit: Raph_PH | Words: | June 2, 2023
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The Hives

Ahead of the release of their sixth studio album later this year, The Hives are truly maintaining their reputation as one of the hardest working bands around. A busy 2022 festival period is being followed with a UK stadium tour in support of Arctic Monkeys. Then comes a full European tour, and a US tour following that. It’s not hard to see why they also have a reputation for being one of the most tight and exciting live bands around.

At Live at Leeds, it was a rare chance to catch them in the UK in a more intimate setting at the Rolling Strong big top stage. They walked out to a backdrop of stadium sized light up letters of their name. In addition, they were of course addorning the latest version of their iconic monochrome suits. They then quickly enraptured the crowd with the opening riff to latest single ‘Bogus Operandi’. It then did not take long for frontman Pelle Almqvist to be climbing up the nearby scaffolding.

Walk Idiot Walk

There was no chance for anyone to catch their breath before the band broke into classic track ‘Main Offender’. Afterwards, there was no let up as they ripped through fan favourite ‘Walk Idiot Walk’.
Almqvist then demanded further adoration from the crowd, which he promptly received. There was then a further taste of upcoming album ‘The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons’ with ‘Rigor Mortis Radio’. Featuring clap along drums, memorable guitars and snarling vocals, The Hives are truly back to their best.

Then, they raised the tempo through the roof with 2019’s ‘Good Samaritan’. Although there was a temporary pause to this. The song slowed to a halt and the band held themselves in state for an impressive few minutes before frantically ending the song at breakneck speed.

Hate to Say I Told You So

Following ‘Go Right Ahead’, Almqvist took the time to describe the last millennium’s history of colonisation between their home country of Sweden and the UK. Another taste of the new album followed with ‘Stick Up’.

Then Almqvist’s earlier point was resolved as he then explained how The Hives had then conquered the UK with the next song they would play. ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ is one of the great all time garage rock songs and it sounds just as fresh and exciting 23 years later.

With no hesitation, new tracks ‘Trapdoor Solution’ and ‘Countdown to Shutdown’ immediately followed, leading to the quickfire ‘Come On!’.

Tick Tick Boom

The final track that the crowd were waiting for was the massive ‘Tick Tick Boom’. The festival ready rock banger was the scream along moment of the day. During the song, there was a pause while Almqvist implored that the full crowd sits down, before jumping up for the final chorus.

In 2023 The Hives may not carry the weight of a festival headliner. However, there are few bands that have the same ability of captivating a crowd. It’s often said that stadium support slots are tough to get the crowd warmed up for. But on their upcoming tour dates The Hives may well come away as the more well-remembered band from each night.

Sam Campbell
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