ABOVE: Actual faces made by Este Haim at last night’s Neumos performance
About a month ago, Hanson came to play a sold out show at Neumos.
At last night’s sold-out Haim show, I felt how I imagine a tweenage girl felt in 1997, seeing Hanson perform for the first time right after the release of “MMMBop.”
That is to say, I was super ecstatic and squealed a lot.
In a lot of ways, the Haim sisters and their pretty much flawless debut album Days Are Gone harken back to the golden age of heartthrob 90s pop, not sonically, but vibe wise. This is a band you can get completely swept-up in: the music is unreasonably catchy, the shows are high energy, and they each have unique personalities and styles that make you want to clip and collage glossy Haim magazine photos so you can slip them under the clear plastic vinyl covering on your binder.
For the band’s very first Seattle show, the crowd reacted like the band had played here a million times, screaming out affirmations to individual band members like they were old friends.
“We love you Este!”
“Rock that leather jacket Danielle!”
“Marry me Alana!”
Haim were just as friendly, responding to nearly every audience shout out they got.
“This is our first time in Seattle,” Este said. “And it feels really good to be inside of you.”
When it comes down to it though, the important thing is if the music is good. And holy damn, the Haim sisters can shred. Live, their highly produced pop songs get transformed into a rawer, rocked out form, one with more screeching guitar solos and heavy drum breakdowns. One passage they played as a trasition between songs that isn’t featured on their album found the Haim sisters noodling out some 70s styled biker jams that would’ve put some of the city’s bearded blues rockers to absolute shame. All the while, the sisters traded off vocals like a modern day TLC, flawlessly belting out Michael Jackson-indebted R&B melodies.
Watching Este play bass is sort of mind boggling. Witnessing Este Haim pluck out the incredibly complex bassline to “Forever” while simultaneously contorting her face like a nutcase and singing spot-on harmonies is truly a thing to behold.
The only complaint I have is that the set was too short. We all just wanted some more Haim. All in all, the band blazed through eight songs before saying goodbye for good. Luckily it seems like they’ll be back soon. “I’ll honestly never forget this show,” Danielle told the crowd. “You all are insane.”