Live Review: HAIM – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (20.07.17)

As the usual circus that is Splendour In The Grass rolls through this vast country of ours, so too does some of the best bands currently walking the earth. One of these said bands is HAIM, and I’ll tell you what, they know how to play a live show. Here at their only headline date for this tour, the Haim sisters graced the Enmore Theatre with tight pop classics, and some well worked new tracks.

After literally only catching the closing notes of opener Cam Avery (after a calamitous situation at the box office that really isn’t worth going into), I was left disappointed knowing I’d missed a guy who’s currently crushing it. Having enjoyed select cuts from his recent album Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams I can only hope he tours it once more on this album cycle.

As headliners HAIM entered the stage just prior to 930, I was thrown back to the first time I’d seen them live. It was Splendour 2013, I’d peaked a little too early in the day, and was crashing severely in the hour leading into their set. This one set was the saving grace for my weekend, and they proceeded to continued this fine form once more on their Splendour return.

Opening with “Want You Back”, they quickly moved into “If I Could You Change Your Mind”. Straight off the bat, you could tell they were more willing to play a little more loosely and adventurous on older tracks, as the appearance of a Danielle Haim solo got the Enmore’s juices flowing.

Early favourite and the first real party track of the night “Don’t Save Me” got the froth dogs down the front moving, as I was reminded why I loved these girls in the first place. Taking the time to explain to the crowd that she sees everything in the crowd (and online), Este kept the crowd hungry before moving into new single “Little Of Your Love”.

Telling the crowd to get angry, as this one’s about “a motherfucking motherfucker”, a quick apology to their parents followed as the band moved into sentimental favourite “My Song 5”. One of the stand out tracks from their sophomore album Something To Tell You, “Found It In Silence”, proceeded the anger of “My Song 5”, before Este announced that it was time to party.

Happily obliging to her request, the Sydney crowd got well into it, as the energy on stage transcended any physical barriers that were in place, as “Forever” and “The Wire” both made appearances. While it’s pretty obvious that Danielle is the lead vocalist of the group, it was great seeing both Alana and Este take their own verse on “The Wire”.

You get the feeling that Este is the loose unit of the family, as she went on a singing rant about the Disney movie Hocus Pocus before begging the crowd to once more get their dance on as they moved into an extended version of “Falling”. Convincing the band to stop mid set so that they could all have a little hoedown on stage, it was here you definitely realised that they’re all blood relatives. With near identical dance moves, I now know what it must be like watching me cut shapes on the d-floor. ‘Outstanding’ is a word that springs to mind.

Re-entering for a one-track encore in “Right Now”, it was great to see that the band has kept the percussion interlude in their set that they had back in 2013. While it wasn’t the track I’d have closed on, what they did on stage in those closing minutes of “Right Now” was bloody fantastic.

Promising to return as soon as possible, I have a feeling they’ll keep to their word. Haim is a force on stage. The Sydney crowd now know it, those that have seen them before know it, and I’m sure the Splendour crowd this weekend will too.


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