The Hives last played the desert at Coachella Music and Arts Festival this past April as part of the fest’s first year of back-to-back weekends at the Empire Polo Club.
The Hives’ schtick, while amusing, can get a little tired if you seen them multiple times. Very much so if you seen them on back-to-back weekends at Coachella.
Still, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist and Co. are a fun garage band – and they’re Swedish.
See them rocking out at the Rolling Stone office in New York:
Other acts that are worth your while: The Hives, Girl Talk and Florence + the Machine.
Before we get to today’s set times, a scheduling note: While most of Coachella set times have been unchanged since last weekend, almost all of Sunday’s Sahara Tent performances start a little earlier today than they did a week ago.
MyCoachella’s Kate McGinty notes that this keeps AVICII from competing with the headliners.
Here are today’s Coachella set times, with band names linked to past coverage and top picks italicized:
Mantastique 1 to 1:40 p.m.
Band of Skulls 2:05 to 2:55 p.m.
Santigold 3:25 to 4:15 p.m.
Fitz and the Tantrums 4:45 to 5:35 p.m.
The Hives 6:05 to 6:55 p.m. (One of MyCoachella’s top picks and winner of Sonya English’s award for best stage presence)
Justice 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.
At The Drive-In 9:10 to 10 p.m.
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg 10:35 p.m. (One of MyCoachella’s top picks)
Sleeper Agent 12 to 12:30 p.m.
Lissie 12:50 to 1:30 p.m.
Metronomy 2 to 2:40 p.m.
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 3:10 to 3:55 p.m.
The Growlers 4:20 to 5:05 p.m.
Wild Flag 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.
The Weeknd 6:55 to 7:45 p.m.
Girl Talk 8:25 to 9:15 p.m. (One of MyCoachella’s top picks)
Florence + the Machine 9:45 p.m. (One of MyCoachella’s top picks)
Alf Alpha 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Fanfarlo 12 to 12:35 p.m.
Housse de Racket 12:55 to 1:30 p.m.
Le Butcherettes 1:55 to 2:40 p.m.
Greg Ginn and the Royal We 3 to 3:45 p.m.
Real Estate 4:10 to 4:55 p.m.
Thundercat 5:20 to 5:55 p.m.
Gaslamp Killer 6 to 6:45 p.m.
The Airplane Boys 7:10 to 7:55 p.m.
Company Flow 8:20 to 9:10 p.m.
DJ Shadow 9:40 p.m.
Tyler Uppercut 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Gardens & Villa 12:05 to 12:45 p.m.
Oberhofer 1:10 to 1:50 p.m.
First Aid Kit 2:15 to 3 p.m.
Wild Beasts 3:25 to 4:10 p.m.
Beats Antique 4:35 to 5:25 p.m.
araabMUZIK 5:50 to 6:40 p.m.
Gotye 7:10 to 8 p.m.
Beirut 8:30 to 9:20 p.m.
Modeselektor 9:45 p.m.
Jimbo Jenkins 11 to 11:50 a.m.
Mogan Page 12 to 12:50 p.m.
NOISIΛ 12:55 to 1:45 p.m.
Zedd 1:55 to 2:45 p.m.
Flux Pavilion & Doctor P 2:55 to 3:50 p.m.
Porter Robinson 4:05 to 5 p.m.
Dada Life 5:15 to 6:10 p.m.
Nero 6:30 to 7:40 p.m.
Calvin Harris 8 to 9:10 p.m.
AVICII 9:40 p.m.
In this year’s Coachella lineup, The Hives took the spot its staked claim on — 6 p.m. Sunday.
Well, every 9 years, that is.
“We’re trying to make it a tradition,” frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist told a raucous crowd, then asked them to return in 9 years to see them again.
He called the slot Coachella’s main course. Served hot, after the starter, before the dessert.
What’d you think of your main course? he asked. On a scale, one-to-ten, show me with your fingers.
“Well, that’s a review,” he said, in his Swedish accent, when hands reached for the sky.
These silly questions punctuated The Hives entire set, earning him my (not-coveted) prize for best stage presence of the weekend yet. In his desert best – a tuxedo and top hat, matching his four bandmates — he charmed the audience between mosh-pit inspiring garage-rock tunes.
“We are The F—ing Hives!” he said. “This sh– is real!”
My other favorites:
Do you love me? he asked. Do you love The Hives? Do you love Coachella? Do you love Sundays? Do you love the Sun? “Good,” he says. “Because I am the sun’s closest cousin.” Genetically, he’s as close to the sun as you can get in a human being, he said.
He introduced a track off of The Hives upcoming album – the first in 5 years – called “Wait a Minute.” You’ll see why, he said, because we say “Wait a Minute” a lot. You can say “Wait a Minute” along with us, if you like it. Then – “it’s called singing along do you know what I’m talking about!”
And, of course, the make-believe pre-encore break. They wouldn’t have time, he explained, to leave the stage and come back out. “Pretend that we’re not here,” he said. Then he led the chant himself: One more time! One more time!
The act inspired a mosh pit by song two. Despite my best efforts not to, I kept earning a front-row seat.
The Hives have finished their upcoming album, “Lex Hives,” due out in June. When they return to the desert on Thursday, they’re just going to hang out with some famous local friends.
Members of the Swedish band, performing this evening on the Coachella main stage, plan to visit Rancho de la Luna studio in Joshua Tree, but they’re mainly planning to enjoy friends like Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal.
Homme produced two bonus tracks for their “Lex Hives” LP and the Hives toured with Eagles of Death Metal in 2008. They stopped over in the desert on that trip and Hughes said at the time they literally had a blast — shooting guns out in the middle of the desert.
Guitarist Nicholaus Arson said they plan to check out Joshua Tree National Park on this trip.
Their first single off the new album, “Go Right Ahead,” was just released on vinyl for Record Day.
Arson said the album will be less “hi-fi” than their last album and more of a return to the garage sound for which they became famous in the early 2000s.
“That’s one of the parts that’s super great about the Hives,” Arson said. “We’re not (screwing) anything up with this one.”