Follow us:


A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

October 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Haim and Seattle love at first sight | Concert review


L.A.’s Haim sisters — Danielle, Alana and Este, from left — made their local debut Wednesday. Photo by Bella Lieberberg.

Neumos is one of the Emerald City’s bigger rooms. For many artists, headlining there might represent the peak of a career.

But Los Angeles’ Haim, which played to a sellout crowd Wednesday at the Capitol Hill club, is just getting started.

The band — multi-instrumentalist siblings Este, Danielle and Alana Haim, plus drummer Dash Hutton — has charmed mainstream audiences and KEXP types alike with its recent debut, “Days Are Gone.”

“Days” is a big-budget pop production, but anyone who pegs Haim as run-of-the-mill — or, worse, manufactured — isn’t listening hard enough. The album’s habit-forming hooks and top-shelf sonics have garnered most of the attention so far, but the group’s rock-oriented live performance really gets inside the songs, displaying remarkable musicality and presence.

Haim is a joint effort. Denim-clad guitarist Danielle, the middle child, sings the most and talks the least, while Alana, the youngest, does a bit of everything — vocals, keyboards, noodly riffs, short shorts. Bassist Este, the eldest, anchors the songs and acts as liaison to the fans, her unfiltered, stream-of-consciousness stage banter affirming success hasn’t changed these Valley girls just yet.

Still, the sisters showed Wednesday that beyond their playful façade — kooky chatter, hundred-watt smiles, synchronized hair flips — they approach songwriting and arranging with a scholarly ear.

Their hourlong set was a musical revue of sorts, hitting on everything that makes “Days” so universal — from jittery spirit-funk (opener “Falling”) and sultry synth balladry (“Go Slow”) to Motown call-and-response (“Honey & I”) and surging Prince choruses (breakup song “Don’t Save Me”).

The foursome even followed up its hit “The Wire” — a soulful Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks homage — with a showstopping cover of Fleetwood Mac’s sinewy, bluesy “Oh Well,” from 1969.

Besides diverse influences, the band’s hyper-syncopated melodies are a calling card, and Hutton, an alum of L.A.’s D.I.Y. punk scene, an ace in the hole. He can go all-out, but just as easily hold back, and his rhythmic interplay with the sisters’ occasional stand-up percussion was astute and intuitive.

Though the show marked Haim’s first-ever in Seattle, the reaction — especially from the standing-room-only all-ages section — suggested it’ll likely be the last time they play anywhere as intimate.

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Haim, Los Angeles, Neumos


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►