I don’t think any new band has picked up more buzz in 2012 without releasing a proper full-length than the sisters of Ones To Watch, HAIM. And I don’t think any act has been as intriguing and marketing-savvy as the mysterious male/female duo of MS MR. And that is why their joint Neon Gold-presented show was one of the best I’ve seen all year.
At 9pm, fellow LB4YB writer Nicole and myself (making for one of the first joint LB4YB writers shows?) walked into Music Hall Of Williamsburg to the sound of MS MR‘s “Bones” - a bone-chilling, icy-synth number that made the audience forget that it wasn’t the duo who was actually headlining. The MS, Lizzy Plapinger (yes – that Lizzy of Neon Gold), showed us all that she’s more than just a pretty voice on record, as she wowed the crowd as a top-notch frontwoman with her gorgeous, precise vocals and ability to rock out, while the MR, Max Hershenow, proved that his production can sound spot-on in a live setting. The New Yorkers played the entirety of their four-song EP, Candy Bar Creep Show, with “Ash Tree Lane”, “Dark Doo Wop”, and their debut single, “Hurricane”, along with some new songs, in usual MS MR fashion. The new songs, labeled “Kindred”, “Salty Sweet”, “Think Of You”, and “Fantasy” on the setlist, showcased more of the duo’s signature dark melodrama, that only left the crowd wanting more.
After MS MR‘s spectacular set, the crowd thickened (which included Jonah Hill), as everyone got ready for HAIM‘s homecoming, sold-out Brooklyn show. The band has been overseas playing their own shows and supporting the recent Grammy nominees, Florence + The Machine. As a casual HAIM fan, I enjoyed their few released tracks but never really understood the hype until seeing them perform live. Live music is a vice of mine, as I attend many shows, but it’s very rare that a band so unexpectedly blows my mind and melts my face at the same time.
As their first show on American soil in a few months, HAIM really proved that they’re worth all the hype. They played the new Neon Gold-released double single of “Don’t Save Me” and “Send Me Down”, and although only just recently released, the two tracks both yielding massive sing-alogs. “Go Slow”, introduced as the trio’s single single slow-jam, got the crowd groovin’, while “Better Off” and “Forever” showed off the girls’ god-given ability to shred and rock-the-fuck-out, as they showcased a newreincarnationof the Riot Grrl era.The recent BBC Sound Of 2013 nominees proved their worth by playing some similarly rocking new, yet-to-be-released tunes, showcasing their unique combination of folk, R&B, and straight-up rock & roll, proving that they’re one of the most unique and alluring live bands of the year.
After the rocking set, the band came back on and celebrated Alana Haim‘s birthday, as the sisters’ mom came onstage to celebrate what they referred to as Alanaukah. After Baby Haim’s birthday celebration, she called up her parents for the band’s first-ever encore, to play “Mustang Sally” together, with Mama Haim providing lead vocals, Papa Haim absolutely killing it on the drums, as the three sisters picked up their instruments and shredded in typical HAIM fashion. The tight-knit family put on an equally tight show, as (for anyone who doesn’t know,) the five family members used to have a family band until recently, when the HAIM sisters began their own path, while bringing their loving parents on the road, every step of the way.
Why can’t every family be as cool as the Haims?