REVIEW: The Hives live at Big Day Out Gold Coast
Dressed in black and silver Mariachi suits, five-piece Swedish rockers The Hives took to the Orange Stage at Gold Coast’s Big Day Out yesterday, performing beneath the backdrop of a giant puppet master. But while it looked like it was the puppeteer pulling the strings from our spot all the way at the back of the stadium, it was lead singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist who was completely in control.
Almqvist stole the show with his banter, taking confidence to a whole new level with every bit of chat he unleashed on the crowd – often speaking about how talented his band were to be able to play so brilliantly in such searing heat.
Feeling for the fans in the front row, Howlin’ Pelle even took some time out to take a cup of water down for the thirsty punters.
“It’s getting very hot down there, maybe you would all like a glass of water?” he said as he stood level with the crowd and initiated a rhythmic clap for ‘Wait a Minute.’
The crowd just went wild for the track, with the whole field bopping away together in their own little groups, even if they weren’t right up in the mosh pit. In fact, it didn’t matter where you were standing (or sitting for that matter) there were parties going on in every corner of the stadium.
After thanking their fans for their constant support and declaring that it would take a nuclear explosion for them to stop playing, The Hives launched into an epic, drawn-out version of ‘Tick Tick Boom,’ during which Howlin’ Pelle introduced the band members one by one – including the “half man, half machine, half Swedish, half Australian” drummer, Chris Dangerous.
Highlights of the hour-long set also included ‘Hate to Say I Told You So,’ ‘My Time Is Coming’ (“the song we wrote about playing Big Day Out”) and ‘Take Back the Toys,’ but the greatest part about The Hives’ performance was that whether you were a diehard fan or you’d never heard their music in your life, you couldn’t help but be entertained.
And watching thousands of people go from moshing in the D to sitting cross-legged on the grass to all jumping back up at the request of Howlin’ Pelle really proved that they did indeed have “the audience eating out of our pockets” – his words, not ours (of course).