Haim at the Olympia Theatre on June 12th, 2018
Tonight marks Haim’s euphoric return to Dublin as they bring their ‘Sister, Sister, Sister’ tour to The Olympia Theatre for the first of two sold out shows. It’s a sunny Tuesday evening and spirits are notably high outside the venue as the the queue moves excitedly into the room.
Support act Maggie Rogers looks stunning in a blue, astrologically themed outfit complete with a cape (which she rips off with fervour half-way through her set). She opens proceedings with On and Off, which later blends into Splitting Stones, both serve as a somewhat lacklustre start to her set. A combination of sound issues and the slow tempo songs makes it difficult for Rogers to resonate with the audience from the get go.
The 24-year old dances naturally throughout each song, but seems to do so inwardly rather than perform outwardly to the audience and comes across as nervous despite her movements. She almost loses us completely mid set when she mentions her delight at the “Amendment Eight”, which she clearly knows little about as she stares blankly into the crowd seeking validation. She continues to explain that Ireland was named after a spiritual goddess which is met with a lot of eye rolling and laughter before she aborts the speech altogether, “is that right? Look, I read it on Wikipedia on the way over here, I did my homework”.
The latter half of her set improves considerably with some new songs from her forthcoming debut album. Give A Little is a highlight as is her current single and final song Falling Water. Rogers comes across as an artist who has not found her feet quite yet and is still experiencing growing pains adjusting to touring life. Hopefully by the end of this tour she will have learned some of the necessary skills that she needs to excel as a performer.
Haim are fashionably late and the room has become restless when the lights finally dim. The sisters walk on one by one, each beating a drum dramatically to sound their arrival before launching into the ambient Falling. The trio are natural performers eagerly encouraging the crowd to sing along.
Before Song 5, Alannah exclaims her excitement at being in Dublin again which is met with rapturous applause and squeals of delight. In the four years since their last headline show in Dublin, the band have refined and perfected their signature brand of pop-rock. Accompanied by an extra keys player and drummer, they boast a much fuller sound than their support act.
The set contains a mixture of songs from their two albums ‘Days Are Gone’ and ‘Something To Tell You’; the songs from their debut are generally better received, but their performance ability is so strong that it matters little.
At times, the gig feels more like a hang-out than a concert. The sisters exchange humorous banter with one another and invite the audience to participate, “whose side are you on, guys?” Before Want You Back, pints of Guinness are brought on stage for Alannah and Estee (Danielle explains she’s on medication so cannot imbibe) which they sip casually as Alannah explains the writing process for the preceding song.
Commentary on how Dublin concert goers have “the best singing voices” follows, a line that they undoubtedly use at all their concerts, but that we lap up none the less.
Alannah and Danielle showcase their musical talents by switching instruments regularly, moving from guitar to synth to drums with ease, while Estee remains on the bass for the entirety of the show. They visibly feed off the audience’s energy for The Wire and Ready For You which prove to be highlights of the evening.
Tonight affirmed that Haim are some of the best performers in the music industry right now. The next time that they return to Dublin they may need a much larger venue to accommodate their evidently ever increasing loyal, Irish fanbase.