Concert Reviews

HAIM with Lizzo at Massey Hall

The fact that it was a Monday night had little to no effect on those attending Haim’s sold-out show at Massey Hall. The L.A. trio was in Toronto on May 7, 2018 for their Sister Sister Sister tour promoting their sophomore album, Something to Tell You.

Opening the night was the charismatic and empowering hip-hop artist, Lizzo. Accompanied by two dancers, Lizzo brought the energy as she confidently worked the stage. She banged out beat-heavy dance anthems like “Fitness”, “Good As Hell”, and “Phone”.

Haim started the night off with a dramatic staggered entrance as the sisters played drum solos on three separate kits along the front of the stage. They played a mixture of songs from their two albums interspersed with playful sisterly banter. Alana hammed it up in between songs, channeling her best Jerry Seinfeld impersonation (much to her sisters’ chagrin). She went into a long diatribe about how she got their future first single “Want You Back” onto Something to Tell You, concluding that “little sisters are always right”. Este argued that the song wouldn’t have been anything without her slap bass and claimed that she, as the oldest child, paved the way for her younger siblings. When Danielle revealed that their studio engineer David Schiffman was in the audience, their attention shifted. All three Haim sisters are clearly talented multi-instrumentalists, each having their moment to shine throughout the night. Danielle had several guitar solos and even switched to play drums during “Something to Tell You”, while Alana played guitar and synth, and Este played bass.

Having not seen Haim before, it was interesting to see how their music translated into a live performance. Their outfits and stage presence were reminiscent of a early 2000s pop band. There were moments of choreographed dancing during “Walking Away” and a revised cover of Brandy and Monica’s “The Girl [Boy] Is Mine” (sung by Este and Lizzo to an ecstatic audience member named Ashley).

While technically proficient, Haim’s vocal performance felt a bit lost and flat at times, buried within all the layered instrumentation. No one else seemed to notice however, as the audience danced, cheered, and stood for the entire show. Alana explained how she was especially excited to be in Toronto as a psychic she visited for her 26th birthday told her that her next lover would be a Canadian boy who can play a classical string instrument. While scanning the audience for a viable candidate proved unfruitful, she remained hopeful. The night ended with with white confetti floating down from above during “Right Now”—their final song of the night. It was a magical end to a nostalgic evening, bringing back the best of pop and rock from the last few decades to a millennial audience.