There was a time not too long ago when Howlin' Pelle's absurd boasts and puffery might have been mistaken for fact. In 2001, following the success of singles "Main Offender" and "Hate to Say I Told You So" and rumors of a hugely lucrative record deal, the Hives looked poised to become the commercial juggernaut of the so-called garage rock revival. Instead, the White Stripes stole the crown. While the Hives of 2008 may not enjoy the international superstardom of Mr. and Ms. White, they haven't exactly retreated into oblivion, either. (Whatever did happen to the Vines, anyway?) These five Swedes have managed to carve out a nice little niche, trotting across the globe every few years to promote a collection of new songs—essentially thinly veiled rewrites of their earlier hits. Sure, the songs might be showing some signs of wear, but Howlin' Pelle's manic enthusiasm ensures that nobody leaves their shows without a stupidly satisfied grin. The perpetually on-the-verge Donnas open. 18+.
Thu., Feb. 28, 6 p.m., 2008