Haim

Haim opened for Beyonce at Coachella, then came down to San Diego to share that same feel-good magic without the dusty drive to the desert.

Let’s start with the somehow subtly obvious: Danielle Haim can absolutely shred. The unspoken leader of the sister trio (quite literally) takes center stage, leading the band’s vocals and playing a killer lead guitar, showing off the chops that previously lead to a touring gig with Julian Casablancas. But, intentionally, the focus is never solely on middle sister Danielle, as the three powerful women dominated the stage and entranced a packed Observatory North Park for a mid-Coachella show.

Officially, this was the second stop of the Sister Sister Sister Tour, in support of their album Something To Tell You, released last year. Lizzo set the stage early, opening with upbeat, positive alt-hip hop, rocking every beat and lyric with her backing DJ and two dancers. She left the audience wanting more as she finished with “Good As Hell,” which left the place, well, feeling good as hell. If this performance was any indication, she’ll be back on a headlining tour soon enough.

Haim’s set combined their expected upbeat music with a side of stand up comedy, as both youngest Alana and eldest Este took to the mic multiple times to chat with the crowd; Alana welcomed her third grade teacher, prompting Este in to an impromptu rendition of the song listing the states in alphabetical order, while Este welcomed an old friend and transitioned to an after school special-esque message about the importance of friendship. These set breaks retrospectively allowed the sisters to share the stage, since much of the focus during the music is on Danielle, who held down center stage with her classic rock poses and incredible musicianship.

That music was on full display the entire set list, as they played the hits early, encouraging audience participation on “The Wire” three songs in. Haim opened with each member coming in to play on a drum set, and concluded the same way, with the sisters rocking out with individual drum solos (while pausing to highlight the actual drummer). In between, the sisters showed their personalities both individually and collectively, with Alana dancing and joking around, Este providing serious bass grooves in her own little world, and Danielle providing the backbone as a rock star playing to an adoring audience.

As predicted, the encore included a tribute to “Queen Shania,” dropping “That Don’t Impress Me Much” with current Hollywood crush Timothée Chalamet replacing Brad Pitt’s usual lyric. Indeed, the show’s concluding white confetti canons left us all feeling like queens, riding the high of a well-executed and just plain fun night of good music.

Review By: David Israel
Photos By: Allyson Ta