The Hives: From energetic to electric

Has Finnish become a compulsory language in Swedish schools or what has happened as the Hives suddenly speaks Finnish, almost fluently? At least the lead vocalist Pelle Almqvist has been taking Finnish lessons for sure, although with a special emphasis on swear words. But nobody is perfect: Timo from Tampere, who is jamming along spots me taking notes and referring to Almqvist’s knowledge of Finnish, wants to point out that one should not start swearing in Finnish before achieving a perfect accent. Hey c’moon, do not judge Pelle for making such an effort!

Early 2000′s the Hives was one of the trendiest bands along with the Strokes and the White Stripes as part of the garage rock revival. When watching the Hives performing here in Ilosaarirock and seeing the audience getting wild when listening and watching their energetic live show, one could ask how on earth the band has ever fit in the garage-format. Their matching black-and-white suits and crazy stage antics make the five gentlemen from the neighboring country to get all the attention they want – and deserve while the audience is having a blast.

But the feeling was mutual: The Hives was visibly satisfied with Ilosaarirock and the wild audience that gave them all that was left after a day full of other great spectacles. ”We are not Finnish yet, there will be more rock’n roll”, Pelle Almqvist shouted at the end of the gig.

The Hives (Tuukka Pakarinen)During the gig, a wide range of hits from their earlier albums as well as from the latest Lex Hives were heard. It seemed like it did not matter from which album the song was, the crowd was excited in any case. As the night got darker, the lights got brighter and the Hives transformed from energetic to electric.

After the last song Pelle wanted to share his happiness with the cheering Ilosaarirock people: ”Look at my face, I am happy.” And so was the audience that had last time seen the Hives here in Ilosaari rock back in 2001.

Text: JH
Photos: Sampsa Geijer and Tuukka Pakarinen

Aihe(et): In English.