ACL Live Shot: Haim

Sisterly trio can do no wrong

Mainstage Haim, 10.5.13
Mainstage Haim, 10.5.13
photo by Gary Miller

I was standing outside at 1:15pm when three buses zoomed right past my stop, each stuffed with ACL adventurers. I shifted my weight nervously when the bus drivers locked eyes with mine. It was an ultimatum straight from the gods: I would have to walk.

I took down 20 blocks in about 25 minutes. The shuttle line added an extra 10. By the time I passed through Zilker’s pearly gates, Haim were already into a bubbly if disjointed mid-afternoon set. Nevertheless, the fear of lateness, and the threat of an angry editor, suddenly melted away.

There’s something distinctly soothing about the way Haim have fun. The three L.A. sisters aren’t phased by much. They tell us in plain language that we ought to treat the expanse of green festival grounds like we’re old friends in the family living room. Their new debut Days Are Gone might be a perfect album. Rarely does music sound so comfortable and catchy, the sort of glittery, low-stakes indie-pop that somehow turns into something transcendent.

Haim’s easygoing vibes are a product of remarkable confidence. Who can blame them? What other band can slam out a dozen immaculate pop songs before indulging in a stupid-good cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well?”

Haim had ACL under its spell. Maybe you chalk that up to an excellent marketing campaign, but who’s boring enough to care about that? Have you heard “The Wire”? It felt good. It felt right. I can’t think of many other bands that can make a mile-long walk feel utterly justified.

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