I, along with the rest of the LAmb staff, have been in love with LA locals Haim since first listen of their 2013 release Days are Gone. Their rock and roll-infused, dreamy seventies pop style made them one of my favorite acts of last year, and they’ve carried their huge success into 2014, having already toured North America and played a few stops in Europe. Last Thursday night, I went with my own sister to see this trio of siblings bring down the house for one of two sold-out nights at The Wiltern filled with poppy harmonies and heavy electric guitar riffs.
Despite being under the age of 30, the Haim sisters (bassist Este Haim, 28; lead guitarist Danielle, 25; and guitarist Alana, 22) commanded the packed venue with the expertise of veteran rockers. Although their debut album has a delightful pop sheen, their live show was significantly more rock and roll, as openers “Falling” and “If I Could Change Your Mind” were filled with Danielle’s face-melting guitar solos. The ladies of Haim exuded a brand of cool all their own as they hair-flipped and playfully stuck their tongues out throughout the night.
Este was the spokesperson of the trio that night, explaining to the crowd how good it felt to be “back in our hometown” and informing those who didn’t know that the sisters were born and raised in nearby Valley Village. The fans were hanging off every word the sisters said, and each time the ladies addressed the crowd — usually with phrases like, “I can’t fucking believe this!” or “It feels so good to be home!” — the audience burst into applause.
Este then transitioned the group into a jam session “like we used to have in our living rooms” that could’ve captivated even the biggest stadium-sized audience, after which the sisters paid tribute to one of their clear influences Fleetwood Mac by covering “Oh Well” followed by “Honey & I” and “Days Are Gone.” The heavy thumping bass, combined with constant encouragement from the girls, kept the crowd moving all night.
Confetti canons signaled the encore as Danielle took to the drums, revving the crowd up again. The sisters did a dreamy pop-rock cover of Beyoncé’s “XO” (perfect timing, as I just saw her last weekend), before transitioning into their breakout hit “The Wire” as Este directed the crowd to echo Danielle during the chorus’ hook, “It felt right!”
The powerfully haunting “Let Me Go” ended the night with its pounding, dramatic beats and heavy electric guitar breakdowns, reminding the audience these girls have rock and roll pumping through their veins. The well-deserved celebratory evening ended with all three sisters pounding drums in a jam session with a pulsating light show, and when Este screamed out, “I fucking love you, Los Angeles,” the feeling was unquestionably mutual.
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