A Dream Come True; Haim Plays at the Santa Barbara Bowl

By Maya Al Sabeh, News Editor

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Sisters Danielle Haim (left), Alana Haim (center), and Este Haim (right) conclude the "Sister Sister Sister" concert by playing side by side in a powerful percussion performance. This served as an outro to the final concert piece "Right Now".
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The power trio that is Haim took on the Santa Barbara Bowl on April 7, blessing the audience with their energetic wave of electronic, 80’s inspired rock music.

Siblings Este Haim, Danielle Haim, and Alana Haim, currently on their U.S. tour of Sister, Sister, Sister stopped by Santa Barbara after playing Berkeley the day prior. Through the opening artist, Lizzo, and the band’s carefully crafted lyrics, Haim established the perfect atmosphere on stageone of feminine strength and unity, two pillars of their “Sister Sister Sister” album.

As Lizzo and her backup dancers walked off the stage in their ruffled, neon pink leotards, the crowd’s excitement peaked as they anticipated the sisters’ appearance. The lights dimmed, signaling the transition between performers, however it’s not the change the audience expected. The crew, appearing with the drum sets and guitars, walked on stage teasing the anxious audience that hoped to hear the high-heeled taps of the Haim sisters.

After a few minutes of silence, the venue became darker, paralleling the navy eight o’clock sky. From the projection of a deep red stage light, behind the misty fog that hovered on the stage’s floor, Danielle Haim emerged. As she walked to center stage, standing behind a clear silver-rimmed drum set, the backing track for the opening song accompanied her killer drumming.

One by one, Alana and Este joined their sister on stage, drumming a rhythm complementary to Danielle’s, until the bass of the drums drowned out all external noises. The audience’s attention fell on the performers and the lyrics of the opening piece “Falling.”

The familiar red glow of the stage lulled the crowd, the very way in which the soft rock melodies of “Falling” do so. The music faded and the humble baby Haim took the mic to tell the audience of the band’s beginning and their dream to play at the beautiful Santa Barbara venue.

“I remember being like, I don’t think we’ll ever play this venue.” Alana Haim said. “And now the fact that we’re playing this venue is mind blowing.”

Her energy resonated to the crowd as they cheered even louder. She then proceeded to make everyone blush as she complemented the Santa Barbara audience for being so attractive, prompting Este to do what sisters do—blurt out that Alana is single and ready to mingle.

Alana’s embarrassed reaction and quiet giggle segwayed the band into their performances of “Don’t Save Me” and “My Song 5.”

A comical sibling rivalry was made apparent as Alana took the mic once again between performances and walked side to side on stage in what Este called is her “stand-up comedy” time. The importance of family grew clearer as Alana talked about the role that their parent’s played in their career.

From a young age, the sisters were part of a family band called “Rockinhaim” with their parents. That Saturday, as they performed on the stage of the Santa Barbara Bowl, their parents watched supportingly.

The concert continued with the catchy tune “Want You Back” and the stage lit up in peaceful hues of pink and purple which matched the serenity in Danielle’s alto-voice as she sang the first verses. The stage lighting underwent yet another change as the song climaxed to the chorus. A burst of bluish hues shifted the scene and carried over until the end of the performance.

A concert cannot truly represent the Haim sisters without, of course, an impromptu dance performance. Encouraging the audience to take part in dancing to their song “Walking Away,” the Haim sisters took to the apron of the stage to groove.

Walking away, back to the main stage, Este took over to sing lead, covering Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Este’s vocals and the song at hand were perfectly matched for one another. There was a maturity and country-inspired depth to Este’s voice that contrasted the usual lead singer’s rock-based vocals. The cover hit home with much of the female audience as they sang at the top of their lungs, and laughed once Este said “Ok, so you’re Timothee Chalamet…that don’t impress me much.”

Near the end of the show, Haim reminisced on their past by playing the song that gave their name fame: “Forever.” In a matter of seconds, the venue turned into something of a “house party” as Alana called it, and the energy of Danielle’s epic guitar solos fueled the crowd’s dancing shoes. People jumped from their seats once they heard the initial chords and did not retire until they very last note of the song was sung. Euphoria. That’s what came over the crowd.

When the stage grew dark again, many were surprised… “Where did they go?” The sisters had run off stage and into the upper deck where a majority of the audience sat. After waving to their fans and giving them air kisses, they serenaded the crowd with an emotional ballad. The performance of “Night So Long” was dedicated to “anyone who was missing someone,” as Alana said. Upon hearing this dedication, the crowd turned on the flashlights on their phone and lit up the venue, just as the stars did that night.

There’s a certain genius to the setlist and progression of songs during the show. The order of performances painted a love story of sorts; a story of heartbreak, resilience, and second chances.

Finally, Haim closed their show with an unforgettable performance of the song “Right Now” and a beautifully organized drum performance. It is not possible to fully communicate the amount of musical talent these sisters hold. Not only are they soulful singers, but the sisters are also talented guitarists, drummers, and pianists; each one with their unique plethora of talents. The drum finale presented itself as a “call and response” performance, as Danielle played a few beats and Este responded with her own twist on the rhythm.

The concert ended as they played in unison, truly capturing the sense of togetherness reiterated through the “Sister Sister Sister” album and tour. With a final, forceful strike on the silver rimmed drum, silver confetti launched from the stage and onto the crowd. Haim, each member putting on an extraordinary performance that night, lifted their arms up in the air—a sign of relief, a sign of accomplishment. Their dreams of playing at the Santa Barbara Bowl as young artists came to fruition and the glory of their accomplishment radiated through their smiles as they walked off stage.

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