HAIM rocks Shibuya to the ground

LA’s HAIM shook the roof of Shibuya Quattro in Tokyo last Thursday with their punchy indie rock melodies, drawing a massive crowd eager to catch the girls’ renowned live performance. The venue was packed solid all the way to the back doors, save for the spaces behind the front pillars where some devout fans were showing their Haim appreciation with elaborate dance routines to opening track Falling.

Their set consisted exclusively of tracks from their debut album Days Are Gone, save for Go Slow which was replaced by a cover of Oh Well by Fleetwood Mac, and saw Alana contributing upbeat and playful vocals.

I last caught Haim playing at FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL here in Japan a mere seven months ago, and it was then that my love affair with their live performances began, absolutely knocking me flat with their intimidating musical abilities and raw passion. Since then they’ve officially released their debut album, which has been met with extremely generous praise from critics and fans alike, peaking at number 1 in the UK and number 2 in Australia. They’ve also been incredibly busy playing shows, proceeding to comprehensively tour the US and Europe.

With regards to their speedy return to Japan, Danielle proclaimed to the audience, “We just love Japan so fucking much, we had to get back here.” Este had a favour to ask of the crowd, explaining that when she was young she’d been taught a song in Japanese but had no idea what it was called, and asked if anyone could identify it for her. She then broke out into the opening phrases of a traditional Japanese enka song, and the audience went absolutely crazy, however nobody was able to help her out with a name.

The girls closed with Let Me Go, which features an awesome vocal cameo by Este and closes with all three sisters doing their signature drumming section to which the crowd contributed hearty Hey!s.

Their set at Quattro was overflowing with energy and passion, to the point that it was impossible for the crowd to stand still, making for one of the liveliest audiences I’ve seen at any gig in Tokyo, and solidifying Haim as one of my all-time favourite live bands.