Haim at All Points East
Following headliners like Stormzy and The Strokes, All Points East concludes with a triumphant bout of rocky, sisterly girl power. They may not be Londoners, but Californian-born Haim credit their first big break to the city that hosted their first radio airplay and record label signing a decade ago, declaring: “We actually call this home.” Therefore, it’s a fitting full circle moment as the trio close the London festival in Victoria Park, whilst simultaneously celebrating their debut album’s ten-year anniversary. Critically acclaimed record Days Are Gone sets the backdrop for the band’s energetic performance yet somehow still feels fresh. Refreshingly not plugging any new records or tours, it’s a straightforward, feel-good celebration for both Day One fans and new listeners alike.
Sisters Alana, Danielle and Este may have three successful studio albums, and have lately been supporting BFF Taylor Swift on her global Eras tour, but there’s still a humble and emotional sense of disbelief as they play to the crowd of thousands – one that even includes their proud parents. “We do this to bring happiness and to play music,” they say, taking it in turns to chat in between songs. Whilst the crowd inevitably (probably) wish they were part of the Haim family too, the band play tracks like Now I’m In It and Don’t Save Me to immediate fan delight. It’s an unleashing of rock’n’roll fun, alongside drum-offs and a playful take on girlband choreography in I Know Alone. Their quirky antics and audience involvement are part of the show-stopping delight, with Este even asking for local after-party recommendations.
Of course, their musical prowess is just as notable and they prove their might as musicians. Alana’s guitar riffs and shreds feel extra electric, the energy of Danielle’s drumming and Este’s bass is ramped up and there’s a funky extended sax solo into Summer Girl with their complete band – not to mention solid vocals and masterful jumping to and from instruments. The setlist spans the decade but never loses pace, from debut favourites Falling and Forever to more recent Gasoline and I’ve Been Down. The encore returns to Days Are Gone with a bubbly rendition of The Wire before blasting out more recent The Steps.
Haim’s headlining talent isn’t just musical – it’s about uplifting an entire crowd, some of whom may not have discovered their music for a decade until now. For those unfamiliar with their shows, they share their three gig commandments: “One, dance your heart out; two, sing your heart out; three, have the best f*cking night!” Checkboxes one and two are clear to see throughout the night, and, judging by the chatter and buzz all the way out, the third is a highly likely outcome too.
Photos: Jennifer McCord
For further information and future events visit Haim’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Gasoline here: