Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Hives and Hotnights

"Hello, Washington, D.C. We are the Hives!"

With that declaration, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist jump-started a raucous 60-minute-plus set to begin their tour in support of Tyrannosaurus Hives, released yesterday. Pelle and the Hives had the sold-out 9:30 club in a frenzy at "Hello," and kept us there their brand of hot 2-minute punk. They reached frenetic peaks with "I Hate To Say I Told You So," "Idiot Walk," and their encore, "a.k.a. I-D-I-O-T."

Howlin' Pelle allowed no lull, and kept his audience in his pocket with his cocksure charisma and gyrating body english, gesturing at the crowd and climbing stacks to engage the balcony-dwellers. The crazy Swede declared "You stole us from Sweden." He told us that he was confident that D.C. was the right place to start the tour: "There is always a crowd at the clubs in Washington, D.C. Maybe not for everyone, but there is always a crowd for the Hives in Washington, D.C." About halfway through the set, sent the audience into a collective scream: "At this point, they say that we should have you in the palm of our hand," and, reaching his arm to the us with palm facing up, "Do I have you in the palm of my hand, Washington, D.C.?" Yes, Hives, Washington, D.C. is in the palm of your hand.

The opening acts, Reigning Sound and the Sahara Hotnights, also served up solid performances. The Hotnights' Maria Andersson sang flawlessly through their set, and I was amazed at the force and clarity of her voice. You don't hear all of what she has on their CDs (which, by the way, are very good). It's the kind of voice that freezes you and resonates in your bones. Their new CD, "Kiss and Tell," comes out in the U.S. next Tuesday.

If you haven't bought your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? Check their show dates here or here.

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