HAIM kicks off Meadow Brook Amphitheatre’s summer concert season

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Photo courtesy of Ticketmaster

HAIM brought their “One More HAIM” tour to Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on May 25.

Tori Coker, Content Editor

Four time Grammy-nominated pop rock band HAIM took to the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre Stage on Wednesday, May 25 to kick off the on-campus venue’s summer concert season.

The “One More HAIM” tour sees the trio of sisters Danielle, Este and Alana Haim bringing their latest album “Women In Music Pt. III” to audiences all across the country. Filled to the brim with the sunniest, twangiest, Sheryl Crow-iest mesh of 70’s rock and 90’s R&B influences you’ll have heard in a while, this is an album which deserved its own boisterous-meets-classy outdoor venue tour to follow — and this evening at Meadow Brook delivered on every front.

Beyond some very aesthetically pleasing, colorful lighting, the fairly simplistic stage design could have left much to be desired production-wise – but between the fervent stage presence tumbling out of each band member and the effortless synchronicity connecting them as one fiery unit, the audience’s mind never had the chance to wander.

The siblings brought a natural chemistry to the stage that was hypnotizing to observe, consistently elevating the production of the show. Take the performance of single “Now I’m In It” at the top of the set for instance – each Haim’s entrance entailed a lone spotlight and their instrument of choice against an accompanying undercurrent of synths at the anxious song’s core, before the lights came up and the sisters fell into step alongside one another with a solidity you felt in your gut.

To put it simply, power in sisterhood was evident in the band’s every unified stride during the show. Every only child surely left that venue feeling a little more only child-ish than usual that night — or at least with a clever “Fourth HAIM sister” t-shirt from the merchandise stand under their arm.

The show marked the group’s first stop in Michigan since 2018. Each sister mused that they’d missed Metro Detroit in the time since they’d visited, with Alana – who movie buffs might recall assuming a leading role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza” last year – jokingly likening her time spent in Hollywood and away from the crowd to having cheated on the fans.

“It felt good for a second – but then I started missing you guys,” Alana teased, to raucous approval from the metaphorically scorned lovers in every row.

This type of onstage banter persisted throughout the night with a rhythm that felt natural instead of stuffy, as the whole musicians-attempting-to-be-comedians charade often tends to. Gimmicks such as a faux phone call between Este and the subject of the track “3 AM” were welcome moments of levity rather than eye-roll provokers, and the other joyful, slightly ironic theatrics such as the “I Know Alone” dance break recreated from the music video were simply a joy to watch unfold.

HAIM knows they’re cool, and will not shy away from a corny music video recreation here and there for any fear of jeopardizing that swagger — human in a way that only makes them even cooler.

While the overly-prepared music geek in me was disappointed that the setlist she’d studied so closely ahead of the show was shortened by two or three of her most highly anticipated songs (“Don’t Wanna,” and “FUBT,” I will avenge you), I must say that this is a group that knows how to fill out a set, curfews be damned. “My Song 5” was breathless from front to back, dark and angered and bathed in red lights – I can’t recall a moment in my lengthy list of live music experiences that felt anything like it.

By the time the encore rolled around with the unveiling of huge banners adorned with the album and band titles against breakout hit “The Wire,” I felt just as cool as the thirteen year old version of myself who discovered that song mid-Tumblr scroll in 2014 hoped I’d one day be – or, at least, as though I was a part of something just that cool.

I guess that’s the lesson here: being in the audience at a HAIM show – on top of being empowering, emotional, electrifying and freeing – feels pretty damn cool. I can’t think of a more promising first glimpse at what the summer of Meadow Brook concerts ahead of us might look like.