It’s night two at Alexandra Palace, and Haim are having a toast. “Can someone get me a beer?” Este calls, and in mere seconds the whole venue have their own pints in the air. It’s definitely the moment for it, as Haim wrap up their biggest UK headline run to date with the sort of show that second album ‘Something To Tell You’ was aimed for. Summer days looking over the city, the more you think about it the more sense it all makes – taking those infectious hooks and serving it up in all its glossy splendour. For Danielle, Alana and Este, tonight doesn’t just feel like a big show (which it is), but Haim throwing the doors open to the biggest front room get-together you’ll ever see. That’s what makes them pretty much untouchable right about now.
Staking her own claim to the crown, Maggie Rogers sets about proving she’s one of the most exciting names in fresh pop around. Bursting with energy across the stage, it’s a set full of unbridled technicolour, and effortless proof of how big she could become. It’s still staggering to think she doesn’t have a debut album out yet, already stacked with a whole range of anthems from her debut EP. ‘On + Off’ sets a spell across a packed room, ‘Alaska’ remains an unstoppable slammer of a track and new number ‘Fallingwater’ shows Maggie not just growing, but evolving into a superstar. Magnetising from start to finish, Maggie Rogers is about to step into a whole ‘nother league – and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Tonight is all about Haim making that grand statement. Two albums in, devoted masses at every turn but still waiting for that crowning landmark moment – it’s right where their wide-eyed vision for what they want to be needs to come to the fore. No surprise then that they hold absolutely nothing back as they emerge under spotlights at Ally Pally, breathing in the arena-rock swagger for a set full of character, charm and (most importantly) fun. Lit up in front of huge screens and more lights than Blackpool Pier, it’s a commanding presence – the opening punch of ‘Falling’ and ‘Don’t Save Me’ queuing arms in the air jubilance. The effect of ‘Something To Tell You’ can’t be overstated – all but one of the album’s tracks are aired tonight, and the new-found knuckling of that album’s ambition is a driver throughout. ‘Little Of Your Love’ rings with joyful ease, ‘Nothing’s Wrong’ fizzes with excitement and ‘Ready For You’ flexes its muscles in front of an enraptured palace.
The thing is, Haim live are a force aside from the rest. It feels more like a night out with three of your best pals than a usual headline show, and that’s a pretty bloody special thing to achieve. Trading stories between songs, cracking jokes and riding the wave of having 10,000 fans in front of them rather than the three they had at their first London gig – it’s what makes Haim stand apart. So when Este belts out ‘My Heart Will Go On’, it makes perfect sense. The hits add to the party, ‘Want You Back’ gloriously grows live into a shimmering synth weaver, while ‘Forever’ and ‘The Wire’ are met with the sort of reactions usually reserved for last minute goals in a World Cup final.
It all adds to an arena-sized headline powerhouse that manages to feel huge yet incredibly intimate at the same time. With ‘Right Now’ a fitting finale and exclamation point, Haim conquer Alexandra Palace in a manner only they could get away with. An invitation to the ultimate night out with every single person made to feel important, Haim take on their biggest stage with ease – now where’s that afterparty?