Friday night marked what would be the first time the Haim sisters, also known as HAIM, stepped foot in the capital city for a gig at the EXPRESS LIVE! Pavilion. The young LA-based pop rock group touched on songs off of its impressive debut Days Are Gone, while also showcasing two new songs off of the band’s much anticipated sophomore record.
Fans and critics alike raved about the three sisters’ live performance, but what I witnessed that night left me in a state of awe.
The Haim sisters relied on lengthy guitar solos, bright, concert-friendly lighting and heavy interaction with excited fans to create a night I’m sure many fans in the audience were not expecting.
As the lights dimmed, drummer Dash Hutton began to play the drum beat which appears at the beginning of the band’s track “If I Could Change Your Mind.” At that moment, fans in the pit knew what was coming. On cue, Danielle, Este and Alana Haim all walked on the indoor EXPRESS LIVE! stage and began to go straight into the song. Screams filled the packed venue and a look of astonishment flashed across each of the sisters’ faces, almost as if they weren’t expecting the crowd in front of them.
The end of the song only signaled the start of the rest of a night that would leave almost every person in attendance in awe. Only two songs in, and the band was going full speed through a setlist of hit upon hit upon hit. Bassist Este Haim stopped the crowd to thank them just before playing an energizing cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.”
“Columbus is LIT! YAAAAASSSSS”
The lights switched to the iconic color of purple before Este put her bass aside and had everyone dancing along to a Prince classic. The pit, which was already packed full of sweaty fans, became even sweatier and the night had just begun.
HAIM moved on to another one of the band’s hits, “Forever,” harmonizing beautifully with each other all while keeping everyone engaged and singing along at the top of their lungs. Alana played a catchy guitar riff, and as Danielle came in with the guitar solo everyone was hooked. That was, in fact, the majority of the show. The sisters’ would constantly do something, whether that be an unexpected guitar solo or an in sync dance routine, that would make the crowd smile and scream with approval. The night was full of those moments which made the concert that much more entertaining.
Most of HAIM’s music is influenced by pop, but the live show I witnessed was a rock ‘n roll show more than anything. Songs like “Honey & I,” “Running If You Call My Name” and “The Wire” were turned into stronger ballads, making it almost impossible to listen to the original studio versions after hearing them live. Even the Hip-Hop influenced track “My Song 5” sounded so much better with raw vocals and a larger drum beat.
The band, staying true to the purpose of the tour, also played two new tracks from its much anticipated sophomore release. The songs, titled “Give Me Just a Little of Your Love” and “Nothing’s Wrong,” took on an ‘80s/’90s-like vibe that had everyone singing along, regardless of the fact that they had never heard the song before.
The Haim sisters ended the set with an encore performance of one of the band’s most popular tracks, “Falling,” with a twist. At the end of the song, the three sisters got behind a modified drum set and played a 10-minute drum compilation that I’m pretty sure no one was expecting, making it the biggest surprise of the night.
HAIM’s charisma and fun-loving attitude on stage proved to me, and I’m sure everyone in attendance, that the three sisters had the potential to grow and achieve greater success than they already have.