Concert Reviews

HAIM Brings Their Carefree California Rock to Irving

Natalie Perez
The HAIM sisters brought an effortlessly cool quality reminiscent of '70s West Coast rock to Irving.
HAIM is on top of the world. In the last couple of years, they’ve amassed Oscar noms, late show appearances, fashion campaigns and more. Their critically acclaimed Women In Music Pt. III was nominated for the Grammy's Album of the Year in 2020, leading some to anoint them as the new faces of rock and roll.

Yet the onstage bond the three Haim sisters share is accessible and relatable, even more so in moments when their sibling rivalry is on full display, like Thursday night when Alana and Este divided the Toyota Pavilion in Irving into competing sides for a scream-off. Shirts on the merch table even included a series with a version for each sister: “Alana is my favorite,” “Este is my favorite,” “Danielle is my favorite.” Their casually cool stage presence and giddy authenticity are uniquely HAIM – a chemistry that can be attributed to playing and creating alongside their own flesh and blood.
click to enlarge The house wasn't packed in Irving for Thursday night's HAIM show, but the crowd made up for it with enthusiasm, often singing along with the band. - NATALIE PEREZ
The house wasn't packed in Irving for Thursday night's HAIM show, but the crowd made up for it with enthusiasm, often singing along with the band.
Natalie Perez

HAIM delivered a care-free, dynamic performance for a slightly smaller crowd in Irving. Visibly empty seats in the large venue made the performance and production feel a bit quiet, but that didn’t stop the band from having a good time on stage and delivering a genre transcending rock show that at times felt like a casual garage band practice — in the best way.

Backed by sax, drum and keys players, the sisters took the stage one at a time, each having their own time under spotlight to introduce themselves with a mini solo. While all three members are dynamic instrumentalists, Alana and Este bring a lightness and personality to the stage while lead singer Danielle adds gravity to their performance.

The trio perform with an effortlessly cool quality that’s nostalgic of '70s West Coast rock and also of made-up dance routines you and your siblings used to practice and force your parents to endure, as was on display with the band’s famous “I Know Alone” choreography.

While the band played songs mostly from Women in Music Pt. III, they sprinkled in crowd favorites from Days Are Gone and Something to Tell You. Fans sang along to bops during the show from start to finish, showcasing that the band has amassed an impressive catalog of hits in only three studio albums.

The set hit a high a few songs in, starting with the fifth number — a crowd rousing “Want You Back,” followed by a “you up?” type skit from Este, cleverly leading into “3AM.” Danielle’s WIMPIII favorite, “Gasoline," was the song of the night, getting the crowd out of its shell when Danielle requested that they sing the first line with her: “When we wrote this song, it was my dream for a crowd of people to sing the opening line with me.” The crowd obliged with an enthusiastic, “You took me baaaaack! But you shouldn’t haaaaave!”

Mid-show, the band drew closer at center stage “as good sisters do” for a more intimate, acoustic-folk moment to perform their more tender tracks, “Leaning on You” and “Hallelujah,” a solid reminder of the authenticity and vivid personal connection that sets WIMPIII apart from the band’s previous projects.

For all the momentum and hype the band has earned over the last several years, their live show is a refreshing display of the band’s lightheartedness and familial roots. Serious musicians can be both revered, dynamic and successful while also staying true to themselves — something HAIM is doing better than most out there these days.