Holy hell, Haim rocks!
The three Haim sisters—Este, Danielle, and Alana—put on a head-banger of a set at Mississippi Studios on Tuesday night, peeling the paint from the walls and the beers from the balcony (right onto our heads—guh-ross) as they performed a fucking blistering show to a packed house. With the set-up music blaring a gnarly bit of buttrock, it set the scene for the LA band's live show, which was far, far different than their slick debut album, Days Are Gone
. The record is polished and pretty, a delightful pop concoction that proudly shows off its myriad influences from the '80s and '90s, from Wilson Phillips to Fleetwood Mac, Sheila E to the Jets (anytime I mention the Jets, I have to take a "Crush on You" break
). But pure pop, through and through. Live, though? Haim is rock 'n' roll incarnate. Hair-in-the-face, guitar-ripping insanity from some crazy talented musicians. That set-up music was our first clue.
After careening into the opening songs from Days Are Gone
, the sisters and their accompanying drummer flung open the Fleetwood Mac back catalog to play "Oh Well." It was a move that had Ned reaffirming his decision to back early Mac in June's Debate Club
. And Haim hit it hard—adding three sonic tons of hot licks to the 1969 meandering rambler, favoring driving rock for Fleetwood's spaghetti-western noodling. They followed that with "Honey and I," a fitting choice since it sounds like Danielle is channeling Christine McVie on vocals, accompanied by the yips and shouts of her sisters. From there they played the rest of Days Are Gone
including great versions of "The Wire" and "Don't Save Me" with the enthusiastic crowd clapping along, while Alana banged on drums and Este did her charming shtick, and Danielle's still waters kept the sisters on point. My only complaint? I would've loved more—it was only 50 minutes long. More Haim! But there's something to be said for an 11 pm end time. Short and sweet, that's how I like my rock concerts, especially when the band kicks ass. I didn't even mind driving home smelling like I'd taken a mash tun bath.Some takeaways:
• ESTE HAS THE BEST BASS FACE EVER! I could watch a gif of her all day long. Somebody make that happen.
• I proclaim the Haim Sisters the new Ramones. The hair, the leather, the talent...
• Look! It's like the Evolution of Sister Rock. Left, from youngest to oldest: keyboardist Alana, 21, in T-shirt; guitarist Danielle, 24, in T-shirt AND leather vest; and bassist Este, 27, in full-on leather jacket. HORNS UP!
• Their banter was endearing as fuck. I can't count how many times Alana was called Baby Haim and Este veered off to amusing tangents. Give these ladies a weekly show.
I'm sure that's the last time you're going to see Haim in such a small venue. They'll be a mere speck in your squinting eyes at their next show in Portland. So, hit the jump for more of Inger Klekacz's up close and personal photos from the show, with a couple shots of opening band Io Echo.