Haim at Phoenix Park – Review
Haim opened for The Killers in Phoenix Park on Saturday 13th of July.
The girls took to the sun-drenched stage and got the audience up off the grass and down the front of the stage and cheering. They kicked off with ‘The Wire’ – three girls, three guitars and well over three hundred fans! When the song broke into three different vocal lines weaving together beautifully it was incredible and they followed it with a short but electrifying guitar solo!
The next track was ‘Falling’ which is one of their best known tracks. It was a slow starter with slightly muffled percussion and the slightly husky tone of the lead-singer’s voice which all combined to make the perfect complement to the blazing sunshine and the cool breeze. Suddenly the song kicked up a gear with the keyboardist hip-shaking and an incredible bassline that hit right to the chest absorbing you right into the music. A clap got going during the long guitar solo as the girls shook their long hair.
The girls then called their opening tracks a ‘warm-up’ and said they wanted to feel like they were just jamming again while encouraging us to get jumping! They kicked off a short cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’ with a hard rock guitar opening and the drums coming in hard like a classic garage jam! The keyboardist pounded the bass drum with the maracas. The song contrasted between quieter parts where the lyrics took priority and serious instrumental jamming. Every time the song built up the audience clapped along with the guitar and stamped along with the percussion. It was a real dance around, swing your hair, bang your head number.
They assured us that we had the best rhythm of any audience they’d ever seen and that they remembered Dublin also having the best singing voices!
They kicked off ‘Save Me’ with killer drums and showcased some completely exquisite harmonies. At some stages the instrumental line was simplified so that you could hear the low, slightly husky vocals of the lead singer that were so sexily rock and roll!
They encouraged everyone who knew it to sing along to ‘Forever’ which was one of their songs that broke them into the Irish awareness! This one completely overshadowed the mellow sunny afternoon surrounding us and created a rock experience independent of it! It had that slightly more retro rock quality and got the audience up and dancing. At one stage they did a spectacular slow build up: guitar to guitar and keyboard adding vocals then harmonies then drums before paring suddenly back to just the vocals and the audience clapping the rhythm before finishing in a burst of guitar!
‘Let Me Go’ started off slowly with gentle vocals and maracas before breaking into quick, slightly Fratellis-esque drums and rapid rock vocals while one girl pounded the bass drum and another whirled around the stage stirring up the crowd before an explosive instrumental took over with wailing guitars and ground shaking drums. It began to fade out into a slow wind down of drums before an unbelievable solo with all three of the girls and the drummer furiously pounding on an array of drums with the audience Yeah-ing in the intervals!
The drum-heavy finishing number was just one highlight of a phenomenal set. The three girls who seemed so small in the massive setting made music more than big enough to fill the venue and get the audience going. They really set the standard for the night with such a high energy performance. Awesome music and inspiring from such a young trio!
Review by Kat Clinch