93.3's Big Gig at Red Rocks, 9/16/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

Eric Gruneisen
Howlin' Pelle Almqvist of the Hives at Red Rocks on Sunday. Slide show: 93.3's Big Gig at Red Rocks


Future rock stars of America, when they're doing their homework by watching all the YouTube vids they can find of fabulous frontmen lathering up a crowd, should instead go catch a Hives show to see how it's done. Like a rock and roll pissing contest writ impossibly large, 93.3's Big Gig was a spectacle of guys with guitars attempting to out-posture one another. (Spoiler alert: the Hives won.) Headlined by L.A. indie sweethearts the Silversun Pickups and assisted by the Hives, the Wombats and 3OH!3, 93.3's Big Gig, the daylong outdoor bash at Red Rocks, sounded like a big last sendoff to summer 2012.

See also: Slide show: 93.3's Big Gig at Red Rocks

Eric Gruneisen
The Wombats at Red Rocks on Sunday during Channel 93.3's Big Gig. Slide show: 93.3's Big Gig at Red Rocks

The Wombats, rumored to have just flown across the Atlantic to Denver just hours before the show, played to a smallish crowd in the mid-afternoon. With a catalog that spans just two albums, the guys pulled out most of everything they had -- snarky lyrics, disco beats, Gang of Four-like anthems and all. Singer/guitarist Matthew Murphy and his mates tried their damndest, despite the sleep deprivation and synth-heavy songs that seemed misplaced in the au naturale Front Range setting.

Eric Gruneisen
The Hives at Channel 93.3's Big Gig Sunday at Red Rocks. Slide show: 93.3's Big Gig at Red Rocks

The Hives came next, and there was no mistaking them either -- seeing five dudes dressed impeccably in white-bowtied tuxedos (with tails! And tophats! And a backing percussionist dressed in a ninja costume!) tends to leave an impression, even on those who might otherwise be easily distracted. A communal "WTF?" vibe appeared to overtake the crowd. Between songs, frontman Howlin' Pelle Almqvist said, "I feel like we're getting to know each other really well."

The Hives play the kind of music that needs no prior association. Throughout the band's set, the group shamelessly borrowed from the gutpunching dummy-proof grooves of AC/DC, meshing four-on-the-floor beats with humorous turns of phrases in songs like "My Time is Coming" and "Tick Tick Boom." Oh, and it doesn't hurt that Almqvist is a handsome devil and enjoyed walking -- nay, prancing -- into the audience throughout the set.

Eric Gruneisen
The Hives frontman Howlin' Pelle Almqvist at Channel 93.3's Big Gig Sunday at Red Rocks. Slide show: 93.3's Big Gig at Red Rocks

He also owned some of the best stage banter heard all summer. "It's very far from Sweden into your American hearts," Almqvist said at one point. At another, he deadpanned, "There are a lot of magicians here, but few wizards." Oh, and let's not forget when he asked all the fans for their Social Security numbers, their grandfathers' ages or closed with, "We've done some scientific testing on these rocks here, and this is as much height as the Hives can take.... We will always be the Hives!"

Location Info


Red Rocks Amphitheatre

18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO

Category: General

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jen123 and saxon, I'm with you. I would prefer 303 (i'm not spelling it like they want me to) either be first or last. However I could avoid them most easily. Horrible, horrible choice, 93.3. Completely unrelated to the other bands.  I spent the entirety of the 303 set in the Red Rocks museum.  Did you know the first bands to play Red Rocks arrived by burro?


I loved the Wombats and the Hives. Amazing sets by both bands. It was great to see the crowd up and dancing even though the majority of the crowd might not have heard either band previously.  


3oh3.  gahhh.  A bunch of priviledge spoiled frat boys from Boulder, at least that was my impression.  Having never before witnessed them live and knowing very little about them, I had hoped they would make me a fan, but it didn't happen. Their set and their immature ways only made me dislike them. 


SSPU.  I am a huge fan and was excited to see them on the same bill as the Wombats and the Hives.  I've been to 5 previous SSPU shows, even traveled to L.A. for a show, but last nights set lost me. I was one of those in attendence who headed out after about 8 songs. If only they would've hit us with songs from Pikul and Carnavas out of the gate, I might have stuck aruond a little longer.


Order of appearance should've been:  SSPU, the Wombats, the Hives, and 3oh3.  (I only say 3oh3 last, because it seemed most of the audiance was there for them, plus I could've left after seeing the 3 bands I was there to see, and not stuck around to witness 3oh3.)


No mention of how incredibly HORRIBLE a choice 3oh3 was?  I can't think of anyone who could have been more polar opposite to all the other bands, especially the headliners.  I was embarrassed that SSP had to follow their Justin Beiber act, AND the idiots from 93.3 radio station while they introduced their staff (oh and his WIFE is here!) and wouldn't shut up and get off the stage.


 @BoredAtWork1 303 was terrible and I was surrounded by tweens and their parents. 933 dropped the ball and hard.  Kids = Death of Fun

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