“Holy shit. I am motherfucking speechless,” HAIM‘s Alana Haim exclaimed as she looked into the crowd at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday night. “You have no idea how important tonight is to us. People told us we’d never play the Greek and you’ve sold this shit out in two fucking hours. I’m going to cry like 14 times tonight.” At the end of a small run of shows in support of the band’s sophomore album, Something to Tell You, HAIM — consisting of sisters Danielle, Este and Alana — celebrated with the best homecoming imaginable.
The thing about a HAIM show is everyone in attendance — which included Carly Rae Jepsen, Troye Sivan and Ryan Adams as fans — is excited because Danielle, Este, and Alana ooze excitement on stage. Opening with lead single “Want You Back,” both Este and Alana immediately screamed, “I fucking love you, L.A.” as the audience shrieked back in response. Bursting with gratitude and appreciation, HAIM beamed on stage as Danielle shreded on guitar, Este bass faced out and Alana slinked onstage navigating through her multi-instrument setup. The true testament of a seasoned performer is making every performance feel energizing and new no matter how many times you see it and that is exactly what HAIM is the best at.
The set list was the perfect blend of new songs off of Something to Tell You and HAIM’s debut album, Days Are Gone. They pinged back forth between the two albums, going from the pulsing “If I Could Change Your Mind” to current single and handclap-filled “Little of Your Love” while also switching things up including having Este take on lead vocals for the infectious “Ready For You.” Then there’s a quick setup change that led into yet another familiar sight.
“People who have been to HAIM shows know what happens when this drum comes out,” Alana said while making her way toward a massive bass drum. The crowd rustled with knowing anticipation as she continued, “This song is about that one motherfucker. We all have one.” HAIM then plowed through arguably their best track, the dark and pure rock “My Song 5.” And with that out of the way, it was time to have some fun.
Another thing HAIM have perfected is their banter both with each other and with the audience. Starting with debates on whether or not it’s called “Food Network” or “Cooking Network” that escalated to a mini fangirl freakout over the TV show, Shark Tank, their sisterly bond is endlessly charming as Este mentioned that their parents were in the audience, noting that her, Danielle and Alana were in a cover band with them for “like 20 years.” “We know a thing or two about covers,” she said coyly before going into a stripped down (and slightly lyrically updated) version of Shania Twain‘s “That Don’t Impress Me Much.”
— April (@aprilsalud) October 20, 2017
It wouldn’t be a HAIM show if there weren’t a few dance breaks. During breathy, R&B-infused song “Walking Away,” Danielle ditched her guitar and glided across the stage with her sisters in tow. It’s reminiscent of their now signature music videos — a glimpse into the sisters making up their own choreography in their bedroom but this time was in front of 7,000 people cheering them on. From there, they cranked things up with crowd pleasers “Forever,” “The Wire,” and “Falling,” bringing the set to a close. This trifecta was uplifting and let the audience soar with them, encouraging their fans to give back the kind of bliss they’d been receiving all night. During “Falling,” Danielle, Este and Alana ran through the crowd, hugging crying fans, giving out high fives to everyone in their path with permanent smiles plastered on their faces.
After disappearing briefly, the sisters returned for an encore on a second stage in the middle of the crowd. As their harmonies swelled during the hauntingly beautiful “Night So Long,” cell phone flashlights started rising up to make for a breathtaking scene. The emotional punches kept coming, as Danielle began, “We lost a legend a couple weeks ago… His name is Tom Petty.” On the eve of the late singer’s birthday, a tear-jerking rendition of Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” filled the Greek with the crowd cry-swaying throughout its entirety. HAIM made its way back to the main stage to close out the show, bringing on a string quartet to perform on “Found It in Silence” and the sonically full “Right Now.” The show ended with their signature group drum off, the sisters banging out the final nail in the coffin for anyone who ever doubted them.
Although they’re only on their second album, HAIM have the confidence of a band twice their age and an endless supply of exuberance. There’s nothing too complicated about them; their execution is straightforward and their talent very apparent. But what sets HAIM apart from any other act you’ll see perform is that instant connection they have with their audience, no matter the size. When you walk into a HAIM show, you’re not entering a music venue. You’re stepping into their living room just to watch three sisters have a blast. Danielle, Este and Alana make you feel welcome in their home, like you’re part of the family.
Want You Back
Don’t Save Me
If I Could Change Your Mind
Little of Your Love
Ready For You
My Song 5
That Don’t Impress Me Much (Shania Twain cover)
Night So Long
I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover)
Found It in Silence