Guest writer Jane Man is a digital geek working in TV/film in a relationship with music. She instagrams a lot and tweets even more. Fun fact: she likes to tell everyone she’s birthday twins with Ellie Goulding. Follow Jane @janeccman.
Just days before Haim were named the cover girls of Nylon Magazine’s annual music issue, the three sisters from SoCal played a sold out show at Kool Haus. This was the first gig Este, Danielle and Alana (a.k.a. Baby Haim) played in Toronto after they, just one year ago, cancelled as the opening act for Vampire Weekend. Many early-adopter fans were disappointed then; but news that they were focusing on the finishing touches of their debut album Days Are Gone—which went on to make over a dozen publications’ list of top albums of 2013—kept fans reluctantly patient, myself included.
Fast forward one year later to a rainy, cool evening in the middle of May. Fans eagerly waited for Haim to command the stage in a packed venue whose days are numbered. As the lights dimmed, the loud thud of a drum sounded and echoed. Then, another. And, another. It was the unmistakable intro of “Falling”.
It wasn’t long before Haim enthralled the audience with rhythmic whips of their long hair, Este’s signature bass face, and, of course, their charming stage banter for which Este is particularly notorious. Kool Haus quickly became the Haim household. Toronto was transformed into the Valley. Fans were invited on a metaphorical journey into the sisters’ living room for a jam session—a thrilling cover of Fleetwood Mac (to whom they are oft-compared)’s “Oh Well”, which included a truly impressive display of Danielle’s talent in a guitar solo.
Haim flaunted their repertoire of original songs without skipping a beat, ripping into the tribal soul tune “My Song 5”, the retro synth-pop “Running If You Call My Name”, and the bass-heavy single that launched their careers, “Forever”. Their cover of Beyoncé’s “XO” was a fantastic surprise and an alluring start to an encore which ended with “The Wire” and “Let Me Go”.
Before launching into the retro-sounding “Don’t Save Me”, Alana quipped: “You guys are gonna party so hard I’m gonna wanna move here!” Well, Baby Haim, I sure hope the crowd didn’t disappoint, because if I can’t be adopted into the Haim clan, I shall want nothing more than to see more of you and your sisters on stage again and again. But seriously, just how do I join the awesome Sisterhood of Haim?
*photos by Bobby Singh from Front of the House Photography