The Hives

Sunday, Jan. 16 House of Blues, Anaheim

Photo by James BunoanSo they come out and THE HIVES screams in neon behind them—and I know how much neon costs!—in this '80s font that looks like it should be airbrushed on the side of a Corvette; they march out, and five songs in they start saying things like, "Usually this is the part where we say 'the crowd is eating out of our hand!' And did you see us on television? DID YOU SEE US ON TELEVISION?" And then they played and they played and they fucking played, and they kept saying the name of the album, and this girl was asking me, "Aren't you excited? They put on such a great show!" But God, it was just three chords, somebody hits a pedal, the singer goes ABBA-JABBA-JABBA-AH! THE-GUITAR-IS-STRUMMING-AND-I'M-SINGING! HERE-COMES-THE-BAND! NOW-WE-HIT-THE-CRASH-CYMBAL! The average age of everyone was 18 dressed to look 15, and they were like, "Yay! They're playing a song!" My God, I can't take it—are these people subsidized by the Swedish government? Why does money always end up in the wrong hands? And this was his funny socialist joke: "Are we in Disneyland or Disney World? Because we played both, and both have House of Blues, and I'm starting to see a pattern. Does that make [unintelligible] 1969?" And everybody cheered because he had his hand cupped to his ear, so they knew to cheer. It was like a Christian rock concert—there was so much positivity. I wanna barf! And the white lights and the white coats and the bowties! And they wouldn't shut up! Why do bands play so long? It was over at the 10-minute mark. And then the encore! "We only know three notes, but we can rearrange them to write a new song!" they said. At that point, people were cheering for anything. He drops the mic? Yay! Andre Williams! James Brown! Bo Diddley! Jimmy Smith! Why are these guys still alive, yet music is so fucking awful?

 
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