Atlanta got a lot louder last Friday night when The Hives rolled into Center Stage for a Shaky Knees aftershow. The Swedish garage-rock band has been fairly dormant for the past decade with minimal touring and no new music since 2012’s Lex Hives, so when they announced their appearance at Shaky Knees and the brief tour of the Southeast that surrounded it, we knew it’d be a can’t-miss event.
After the long festival day, The Hives took the stage around midnight to a venue filled with enthralled fans eager to catch a glimpse of the band. The band’s last appearance in Atlanta was a decade ago in the same room, so there was a thrill of nostalgia with some fans having waited a whole ten years to see them again. They furiously took the stage to Lex Hives’ “Come On!” and from that point on, the world belonged to Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, the enigmatic and energetic lead singer. Friday’s show was a perfect encapsulation of what makes The Hives so unique — Pelle launched himself into the crowd immediately, guitarist Nicholaus Arson shredded as if his life depended on it, and drummer Chris Dangerous kept a steady rhythm for the chaos to dance around. The band touched on every part of their discography, with the biggest energy coming from the crowd for staples like “Walk Idiot Walk” and “Two Timing Touch and Broken Bones”. They’ve been gone for a while, but The Hives proved that they are still a vital live band that’s just as great as bands decades younger than them, and when they come, it’s a can’t-miss experience. Check out our photo coverage from the night below: