May 18, 2022

HAIM played Madison Square Garden

A dream realized: HAIM played an impeccable show at Madison Square Garden.

One for the ages. After three excellent albums and tours around the globe, the Haim sisters finally made it to Madison Square Garden and put on a show of a lifetime. 

Faye Webster started off the evening with her dramatic storytelling and ethereal, dreamy vibes that sounded radiant in such a large space, her croon taking on extra elements and the slow, delayed guitar added extra effects to her already eased persona. Mic'd extra close, her sound felt highly tuned-in and gave her strong songwriting skills extra depth on such a large stage. 

Coming on second, Princess Nokia was ready to play her biggest hometown show to date and wasted no time upping the energy and serving the crowd. Cheering for her body and her choice, she let her prescience be known and unleashed her wicked dance moves on the crowd with no filter and ready to take charge. Armed with a furious vision of dancers, she wasted no time bringing her hits to a packed crowd that was ready to embrace her with open arms.

For the main event, Danielle took to the stage, solo, to start the opening riff of "Now I'm in It" before Este rushed on, hands waving to the rhythm as she picked up a bass, only to be joined, of course, by Alana who also couldn't have been more stoked to grace the stage with her sisters. From the stuttering start, it was clear that this was a special night, not only for those in attendance, but for the sisters as well. Rapture shook throughout the building and next level choruses and enthusiasm pushed the night ahead into new territory. Owning the stage with the utmost confidence, it was clear that the sisters knew exactly what they were doing and arrived in town precisely to deliver the hits to their biggest fans on one of the biggest stages of their career. The night belonged to their latest, and best, album and put their killer songwriting skills on display for the masses. Taking the time to not only acknowledge the crowd, but feed off their ecstatic response, the sisters played with unbridled perseverance that took things to another level within moments of them taking the stage. “The first trip we ever took without our parents was to New York to try and get signed. We shared one hotel room with our keyboardist and drummer and performed for one person. And now we just sold out Madison Square Garden.” The crowd erupted and they recoiled, hands over their mouths as they realized their accomplishment in real time. It was a remark to their first trip to the city to play CMJ in 2011 to a crowd of one, but clearly their story now precedes them and their love for performing knows no bounds. They quickly shuffled from leading the instrumentation on stage to arranging in tight formation to unleash killer dance moves on the end of "I Know Alone," a sequence that I'll remember forever. Their callouts of "c'mon New York City" felt more earnest and well-earned than most others, their joy actually surmounting anything else. Stellar solos permeated their set and their vocals were out of control. As they went into "Hallelujah," they had to take moments away from the mic to wipe away tears as the moment completely overwhelmed and really took hold of their emotions. Alana was sure to call out each of her sisters for getting too emo about the moment as she kept the mood of the night in high spirits. Naturally, they carried on and only let the moment push them to new heights and continue to deliver a show that superseded any and all expectations. "We wrote this song when someone asked Este if she made the same face she makes on stage in bed and it kind of became the thesis to the record we were making" Danielle proclaimed before "Man From the Magazine," a moment that saw the middle sister alone, owning the stage, in a real intimate moment. Marrying pop and rock has been a quest many have sought over the ages, but few have succeeded in the same way as HAIM and their night headlining the World's Most Famous arena proved that they're not only at a level above almost any other, but they can take it on with the utmost stride. Channeling the hooks of classic rock and combining arena-ready singalongs of massive pop hits is a challenge, but HAIM not only rise to the occasion, but rose above it at an extreme level. There were times when the entire room sang along to every word and others when we were waiting on their every move as they had open banter about casual hook ups and their road to stardom, but what struck with the most passion was their joy about playing the biggest stage of their career. Since most of the set was comprised of their latest record, when they finally did bust out "Forever," it was near pandemonium. Epic chants rained down from the rafters and they once again showered in the love the city poured onto them before the forever reminiscent riff of "Walk on the Wild Side" began to ring out in the form of "Summer Girl" which felt like the new, official welcome of spring and warmer times ahead. Of course, entering back on stage to unleash "The Wire" was another testament to their extreme position of being able to conjure up the ultimate vibes that sent the building into near hysterics. Still, it was "The Steps" (which once again featured Danielle behind the drums and still taking charge) that gave the night a final push and sent everyone reeling. To see Haim is always a special event in and of itself, but seeing them reign over The Garden isn't something to soon forget and will forever be remembered as a moment that sent them to a new height. One that saw them advance to the upper echelon of modern-day music stars and claim the top spot of rock and pop. 

Set list:

01 "Now I'm in It"
02 "I Know Alone"
03 "Up From a Dream"
04 "My Song 5"
05 "Want You Back"
06 "3 AM"
07 "I've Been Down"
08 "Gasoline"
09 "Leaning on You"
10 "Hallelujah"
11 "Man From the Magazine"
12 "FUBT"
13 "Los Angeles"
14 "Don't Wanna"
15 "Forever"
16 "Summer Girl"
17 "The Wire"
18 "The Steps"

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