April 16th, 2012, 6:59 pm · · posted by GUEST
As the saying goes, there are no second chances in life … unless, course, you’ve just completed Weekend 1 of Coachella and you’re headed back to Indio for round two (April 21-23).
Throughout these past few days – as myriad conflicts arose and forced me to skip or cut short certain acts – I found comfort knowing that I’d be back in no time. But if there was one act all weekend that made me forget that entirely, that convinced me along with thousands of others that theirs was a one-time special event, it was the Hives.
The last time the zany Swedish garage rockers performed at Coachella was on the main stage in 2003, between the releases of their second and third albums (their 2000 breakthrough, Veni Vidi Vicious and its followup, Tyrannosaurus Hives). Once again using that hulking, empowering platform, the outfit – clad in tuxedos, tails and top hats – went straight for the jugular with high-energy new cuts “Come On!” and “Take Back the Toys.”
Between high-kicks, big-air jumps and a few sprints through to the photo pit to rock face-to-face with fans on older favorites such as “Walk Idiot Walk,” “Main Offender” and “No Pun Intended,” frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvistaddressed his audience like subjects of a royal rock circus, playing the part of comedic yet commanding ringmaster.
“Does everyone love the Hives now?” he roared near the set’s explosive beginning. “There’s an American game called Simon Says … let’s change it to Pelle Says!”
Many of the wide-eyed frontman’s comments and requests were absurd (but still hilarious). For example: “We didn’t come all this way to play to grass … there’s an empty patch over there … could you fill it up, please?”
Most people played into the game, dancing and shouting happily along when told to during still more new tracks, “Wait a Minute” and “Go Right Ahead,” with the group’s 2000 smash hit “Hate to Say I Told You So” tucked in between.
“I feel refreshed, invigorated,”Almqvist exclaimed, “like someone took an ice cube straight outta heaven and put it in my hand!”
With this show capping off a gorgeous afternoon on the Polo Field following two cold ones, I’d guess most folks in the audience empathized with that statement. Regardless, it became clear why the quintet chose an image of a giant, looming puppet master for its backdrop: the audience was completely under its spell.
Case in point: Almqvist’s highly successful order (save for “the guy in the vest”) for the entire crowd to sit down during the show closer, “Tick Tick Boom,” then spring back up and continue to jump manically during the song’s cathartic climax.
“How much fun did you have on a scale of 1 to 10?” he queried before the band took its final bows.The question was answered with a tremendous cheer that rivaled the colossal response to Radiohead the night before. Grinning, Almqvist bellowed, “THAT’S a f***in’ review!”
‘Nuff said. Can’t wait to relive it next weekend.
Click here to see all photos from day 3 at Coachella.
By David Hall for The Orange County Register.
For more Coachella coverage all weekend (and next!) go toocregister.com/coachella.
Coachella 2012: The Hives conquer after nine years away is a post from: Soundcheck