The atmosphere of excitement at the Institute on a cold December night had reached a sky high level. Saint Vincent had done a decent job warming up the crowd with music not too dissimilar from that of Two Door Cinema Club. Stage crews took their time setting up for HAIM to make their entrance, meaning that by the time they exploded onto stage with “Falling”, the crowd went crazy.
Performed live, HAIM’s material is far more guitar heavy and harder than the album would have you believe. Their raw ability as rock stars was most evident with their manic cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” which had the entire crowd jumping. The band went through the entirety of their debut album in a set that was (ever so slightly too) short and sweet. The biggest reaction from this writer came when they performed the lovely yet pumping “Honey and I”
All three sisters had excellent stage presence though it was lead guitarist Danielle who stole the show (having recovered from an illness that has postponed their Norwich show). She ruled the stage with her guitar; especially during the aforementioned cover and “My Song 5” which had the crowd dancing away. Finishing the first act with “Forever” before ending their encore with all three sisters pounding away at drums really showed how much energy and talent is in this wonderful band. It’s hard to imagine them doing many more gigs at a venue as small as the Institute.