Concert review

Haim gives a welcoming Granada crowd a short, sweet dose of its debut album

Updated: 2013-10-13T03:02:19Z

By TIMOTHY FINN

The Kansas City Star

On Tuesday, the band called Haim, a trio of 20-something sisters from Southern California, released its first full-length album, the super-hyped “Days Are Gone.”

On Thursday, several hundred fans packed the Granada theater in Lawrence to see and hear what all that hype was about.

In return, they got a show that was as dynamic as it was brief.

Backed by a manic drummer named Dash Hutton, sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim delivered a set list that comprised eight songs, including the encore, and lasted about 42 minutes -- not much longer than a normal opening-band set. The show was appropriately priced, though: Tickets to the all-ages show were $17 for the general public, even less for KU students.

Haim’s music is a brash and invigorating blend of several disperate styles (pop, folk, rock, R&B) and decades, especially the mid- to late 1980s. On record, it’s forged and spit-shined into a sound that is glossy, taut and sweet, almost to an excess. Live, those songs sound less polished and more unleashed.

Thanks to time spent in other bands, including one called the Valli Girls that got some traction via Nickelodeon, the sisters command the stage with ease. They’re funny, self-effacing and charming. Este Haim, 27, the eldest, isn’t above dropping some profanities into her banter or flirting with some boys up front. And she’s already famous for the comical faces she makes when playing her bass.

The setlist included seven of the album’s 11 tracks plus a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh, Well” that was serviceable but couldn’t touch Peter Green’s version. Or Lindsey Buckingham’s. “Days Are Gone” charted high its first week -- No. 6 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the U.K. -- and the crowd showed familiarity with several of its songs, especially “Forever” and “Honey and I.”

Througout the set, they issued the kind of harmonies only siblings can render. On a few songs, the arrangements (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums) were embellished with some extra drums.

That’s how the show ended: with the sisters pounding drums in their own small drum circle, pushing the show beyond the 40-minute mark. Here’s to that fad taking a long hiatus and this band extending its shows with more of its own music or even another cover or two.

Sometimes less is not enough.

To reach Timothy Finn, call 816-234-4781 or send email to tfinn@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/phinnagain. Read more from him at our music blog, Back to Rockville, at KansasCity.com.

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