Walking up the stairs to The Depot, I’m filled with anticipation. I requested this show months ago, and have been eagerly awaiting Haim for the past several months. I do a quick sweep of the upstairs balcony area before settling on a spot downstairs on the main floor—and I’m instantly glad I did so because, off to the side of the room, I notice a large backdrop made to look like Haim’s Days Are Gone album cover. Some guy hands people sunglasses as they sit in deck chairs to have their photos taken in front of the backdrop. Just as I’m about to head over and check out the photo op, I hear some shuffling up on stage.
The evenings opening band is Denver-based Tennis, who are primarily made up of husband-wife duo Alaina Moore (keyboard and vocals) and Patrick Riley (guitar). Riley has a very Cobain-ish thing going on—in both his current appearance and his performance/stage mannerisms. Drummer James Barone’s dark hair and beard are a stark contrast to Riley’s shoulder length, dirty-blonde mop and Moore’s frizzy-blonde mass. There’s also some dude joining them on bass, but he never gets introduced, so stop worrying about it. Their music is bouncy and happy and perfect for summer. Moore makes it a point to involve the crowd as much as possible, and seems genuinely thankful to everyone for coming out and showing Tennis some love during their set. Her voice is powerful, but not overpowering, and you should totally Google them right now and have a listen.
After Tennis finish their set, the crowd brakes up slightly into fetching drinks and general conversation. I make my way over to the album cover photo opp and enjoy watching people try their best to Haim it up, sitting in the deck chairs and rocking the sunglasses. It isn’t long before the floor begins to again fill with people pushing towards the stage, the lights dim and the music begins.
Dash Hutton (drums) and a keyboardist take the stage first, and we get the opening bit of “Falling” as Alana, Danielle and Este Haim enter to full-on screams from the crowd. The backdrop of the stage includes another, even larger recreation of the Days Are Gone album cover, and the Haim sisters take their usual layout—Danielle in the center, Alana to the audience’s left and Este to their right—which I imagine they’ve been holding down since their childhood days, back when they played with their mom and dad as Rockinhaim.
After “Falling,” Este thanks the Salt Lake crowd for the sold-out-ness—pretty impressive, as it’s only their first time here in Utah—and she somehow comes off with a marriage proposal from someone in the crowd. Just to be clear, the proposal was not made by me. Also just to be clear, Este did turn down said proposal, though not before having a little fun with the dude. Haim play “If I Could Change Your Mind,” and then invite the crowd into the “Haim house” for a jam session—they point out that “The Depot is the Haim house” for the evening, in case anyone hadn’t caught that. The “jam session” turns out to be a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well.” It’s fairly straightforward as far as covers go, but striking nonetheless.
They slow things down a bit with “Honey & I” and “Days Are Gone,” then kick things back up with “My Song 5,” a fun combination of R&B, hip-hop and a little soul. The setlist for this performance doesn’t stray from what it’s been the rest of their tour, so there aren’t any surprises, but a quick glance at the number of sold-out shows on Haim’s list of tour dates shows that what they’re doing is certainly working. Over the course of the night, they give us everything from their album except “Go Slow,” and I’m not disappointed.
As their set starts to come to an end, I notice there’s been a lack of iPhones blocking my view of the stage throughout the evening. A few here and there, sure, but it seems the vast majority were experiencing a night of music and lacking the need to Instagram that experience—hopefully this trend continues. Haim end with “Forever” and the crowd goes fucking nuts, bouncing up and down as one large wave. The band draws several parts of the song out, to make the crowd wait for it, which only makes them want it more.
Haim exit the stage and we beg for more. There’s applause and screams and stomping on the floor. Eventually Haim oblige us and, as Danielle hops up on drums, Hutton switches to her guitar and Este breaks out a lovely cover of Beyoncé’s “XO.” Hutton and Danielle switch back before Haim throw down the crowd-pleaser that is “The Wire.” They end, for good this time, with a song I’d never paid much attention to previously—“Let Me Go”—but, as I listen to the lyrics, I decide this is positively the most perfect show-ending song I’ve ever heard. It becomes an ideal end to a seriously fun night. Just as the song is coming to an end, all three Haim sisters take up their own drum and suddenly it’s a drum-line showdown. They get a little crazy and eventually Hutton joins in and the crowd explodes one last time. Haim profess their love for Salt Lake City and disappear off stage. I give this city a lot of shit, but I really do love it, too, and shows like this always make me remember why. I fucking love you, Salt Lake City.