LA-based trio HAIM have had a massive resurgence in the indie rock and pop world with their latest record “Women in Music pt. III.” Between features from Taylor Swift and featured roles in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film “Licorice Pizza” the band have gained new notoriety beyond their indie darling and music festival favorite status. Now three records in, the band managed to get over a sophomore slump hurdle, touring in support of “Women in Music pt. III,” produced by singer Danielle Haim’s partner Ariel Rechtshaid.
Opening act Faye Webster has had a year with her record “I Know I’m Funny haha” being released in June of last year to critical acclaim and even followed it up with the lush, orchestral interpretation of the album on “Car Therapy Sessions.” Backed by giant red “haha” circles reinforcing the laid back vibe of the record, Webster’s music curates a jazzy, southern-infused approach that features a four-piece band. While the primary set pulled from “I Know I’m Funny haha” and her debut “Atlanta Millionaires Club,” Webster dug into the reprise of “Jonny” that begs for a bigger arrangement, and her viral cover of “K.K. Slidin’” from Animal Crossing that utilizes a Hatsune Miku guitar pedal modulator, literally making the instrument sing.
Ushered on stage by a disembodied overhead voice that sounds like an air traffic controller, or realistically, a stagehand, the sisters of HAIM strutted onto the stage clad in uniform black bikini tops and leather pants. Launching into the track “Now I’m In It” from “Women In Music pt. III” the trio is backed by Tommy King on keyboards and Kane Ritchotte taking on drums and guitars. As the most compelling part of the show is watching Danielle, Este, and Alana effortlessly switch instruments, Ritchotte and King fill in to keep the momentum, especially on “I Know Alone” when the siblings break into a choreographed dance routine.
Their sundrenched brand of folk-inspired pop rock fit perfectly in Miami, though the show may have been a little light crowd-wise due to the show being on a Monday after the Formula 1 races. A few songs into the set, the band dusted off some older songs like “Want You Back” from their second record “Something to Tell,” sadly the only song from that album represented. As well as “My Song 5” which sadly did reveal some of the band’s vocal weaknesses when playing older material as Danielle struggled to hit certain falsetto range notes. While Danielle still takes the role of lead vocalist, switching between drum kit and guitar, Alana and Este manage to shine when taking the reins. Especially on “3AM” where Este provides comedic dialogue and belts the demanding vocals.
In between the more acoustic fare of their set, their ever dedicated fanbase asked the trio to sing “I’m Gonna Be Hungover,” a brief song the band made for TikTok, before playing the more downbeat “Leaning on You.” Closing out their main set with crowd pleaser “Forever,” the band acknowledged that the single spurred their initial success, but after the encore of “The Wire” and “The Steps” made me wonder…where is the representation for “Days Are Gone”? Yes, the band toured relentlessly for years on that record but it feels like such a missed opportunity to give new life to these classic songs. Especially, if it means changing the arrangements to better fit their more Paul Simon/Fleetwood Mac sound, the tracks could mesh better with some more momentum. While I did pine for some earlier cuts, HAIM played a solid hour and a half of tracks with an ever-entertaining live show of instrument swaps, Nokia phone calls, and drum circles.
Now I’m in It
I Know Alone
Up From a Dream
My Song 5
Want You Back
I’ve Been Down
I’m Gonna Be Hungover
Leaning on You