Written by Rosalie Cabison • Photography by Colleen Callahan, One Nation • November 16, 2016
The scene: Night 15 of Red Bull Sound Selects 30 Days in LA. As I walked toward The Fonda Theatre, I could feel the uplifting energy glowing from the marquee down to the eager fans waiting to get inside. Whoever selected headlining band HAIM for what could've just been an ordinary Tuesday night, bravo. These Angelenos always bring it for the perfect pick-me-up.
While the band has been busy recording (ladies, let us know when that release date is pleeeease), they’ve only done a handful of sets this year. They were craving the stage, obvious right from the first beats of the opening song “If I Could Change Your Mind.” I’ve been seeing the sisters live since 2012 (my one claim-to-fame in live music discovery) and by now their on stage personas are fully-fledged and captivating. Este is queen of the bass face; Danielle masters Stevie Nicks front woman vibes; and Alana (aka Baby Haim) plays it coy and unleashes a fury of mastery on the guitar, keys, drum pads, vocals – whatever the song calls for.
Early in the set, they honored Prince with a cover of “I Would Die 4 U,” which had the trio syncing their dance moves guitars to the beat.
Before they played “Forever,” Alana took the time to get real with the crowd. “It’s been a weird fucking week,” she said, and declared The Fonda a “no hate zone.” The crowd agreed, cheering for the unity established among one another for the night.
Tracks they performed from the upcoming album included “Give Me Just a Little of Your Love” and “Nothing’s Wrong,” the latter of which struck me as one of the most diverse songs the band has ever played. It starts off with some southern-inspired strums, plays into an EDM-esque bridge and then soars into a guitar solo/jam session that would make Bruce Springsteen weep.
While the crowd kept up its energy throughout the show, dancing the whole way through, once HAIM hit the first chords of “The Wire” all hands shot up in the air, a resurgence of energy.
The night flew by, and I felt like I had barely blinked by the time we got to the encore, which concluded with “Falling.” To Alana’s earlier message, the repeated mantra of the song’s lyrics “I’ll never give up” was the best way to send the crowd out. No matter who was there, we all were surely empowered by these three badass women who rock.