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ACL Fest review: Haim

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Ramon Ramirez

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 5, 2013

Don’t call it a precocious sibling trio. Lifted by a rabid dog drummer and his magic blue, see-through kit, honest on-stage cursing and Walter White chemistry, HAIM’s family matters struck a death blow Saturday afternoon. Bassist Este Haim sparked the welcome, big stick attitude—cat-calling the photographers as they left the pit at their usual three-songs-in mark, “I hate to see you go but I love to watch you leave … Keep that ass tight.”

Her sister Alana pounded on a standalone, keeled over kickdrum, lording over it like a big game hunter posing for a post-kill snapshot. Singer, guitarist and middle sister Danielle is the quiet, brooding one, leading a set of scorching southern rock breakdowns on her Angus Young SG, working in r&b quakes and Paul Simon maraca pop. The set did meander slightly during tuning break talks (“Were learning together,” Este said) but more than understandable given that the King Kong hype that has been building up toward this set, as the band’s critical darling record, “Days Are Gone,” dropped this week.

Este played spokesperson for the occasion, “(Austin is) where it all started for us, we played south by southwest two years ago. It’s awesome that we get to spend our album release week with you.” In a bold power play, the surging band opened with hot single, “Falling,” and trusted Alana to pogo down the catwalk at the end like Arcade Fire’s drummer boy did on this very stage in ‘07.