LA’s soulful sister-trio Haim was certainly an anticipated act on Sunday, but the band’s set, which landed midday at the Huntridge stage, took fans and skeptics by surprise—in the best way possible.
Throwback ’90s debut LP Days Are Gone, released in September, blends R&B and pop, hinting often at the group’s effortless rock ’n’ roll appeal, but the glossy recording is far from a gritty rock record. Live, Haim is a completely different beast. The trio’s danceable melodies transformed wildly into classic rock-revival jams heavier than much of Life Is Beautiful’s weekend soundtrack.
Haim hit the ground running with “Falling,” during which Este Haim’s red-lipped contortions, dubbed her “bass face,” quickly became the focal point. Haim immediately launched into a bluesy, Zeppelin-meets-The Guess Who inspired head-banger led by Danielle Haim’s shredding lead guitar, while youngest sister Alana Haim jumped from keys to guitar to floor tom, then back to guitar for “Honey & I” and “Don’t Save Me.”
“Enough pussyfooting around, Las Vegas,” Alana said, taking a minute to talk to the crowd. “It’s time to start the party. Keep that ass tight.” Throughout the rest of the set, Haim served up its LP’s most palatable songs, “The Wire,” “Forever” and “Let Me Go.”
Danielle Haim’s husky, bellowing vocals took center stage, but the sisters shared backup vocals, showcasing the group’s never-ending list of talents. The last thing I expected to see at Life Is Beautiful was a band as commercially successful as Haim tear up the stage—but if all the band’s shows are like Sunday’s, these girls just raised the bar on their pop contemporaries.