The California sisters bring joyous catharsis with their bittersweet hits as they manipulate the audience like seasoned standups.
Although Haim is a touch late to the show, nobody in Glasgow seems to care when middle sister Danielle enters the stage wearing her typical bikini top and leather pants to start the Now I’m in It riff. They have endured three pandemics reschedules, after all. She is eager to reintroduce us to the family and is obviously happy to be back. Elder Este welcomes everyone with a yell of “Glasgeeeee let me hear yeeee!” before youngest Alana starts a three-person drum circle that shook the audience’s seats.
Sadly, Haim does not perform with the enormous sausage-punchbags they did at Glastonbury (which were modeled after the deli scene from their Women in Music Pt III cover art), but they nonetheless smash their greatest tunes into spectacular shape over the course of 90 minutes. They have room to move around with bare-bones rock’n’roll conviction thanks to the minimal staging. I Know Alone, replete with a choreographed dance break, is still the same salve it was during the lockdown, and My Song 5, with its hammering rhythms, still kicks hard: the crowd’s predominately female voice echoes the punchline “not your honeypie” loudly.
Haim performs standup where most bands engage in stage conversation. Alana says, trying to sound serious, “I’m stopping to smell the flowers since we’re playing our dream venue.” Este jokes, “I’m pausing to smell my underarms.” After four songs, I am ripe. They then begin their comedy, which this evening has Este pretending to be on the phone with Sean, a “short king” she met at Tesco, from Women in Music track 3 am. The joke goes on a little longer than it should, but because she’s diving into the throng to find someone to go on a “beautiful date,” you can excuse them.
With Haim, the inside jokes make up half of the charm and cover for any vocal stumbles. And even when they’re at their weakest, the live ad-libs still provide a great line in these bittersweet bangers: The outstanding performance of the evening is Alana’s vocals in the style of Alanis Morissette on I’ve Been Down, which develops into a sister-off to see who can sing louder (“I’m the baby of the family, I need this!”) during the song Gasoline.
Summer Girl, which ends the main set with the words “I feel it in your face, I’m relieved,” perfectly captures the band’s upbeat, escapist appeal. Was it worth the wait for Haim? Maybe not for people who demand pitch-perfect polish. But who cares when you have this much natural charisma to light up a room?