Good morning and happy friday, hoddlers.
For those of you who follow along with Fitzie’s track of the day, you may have noticed female artists were selected every day. That’s because your hoddler-in-chief has been celebrating women in music all week.
And there is no more fitting way to cap this celebration than with some live music thoughts. That’s right, hoddlers: Your hoddler-in-chief went to see Haim LIVE at a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday!
I’ve rambled on before about Haim and The Steps. And in following the great musical tradition of releasing an iconic third album, Haim released Women in Music Pt III in 2020. The album debuted at No. 1 in the UK and peaked at No. 3 in the US.
But Haim were robbed of their victory lap. Two years later they finally emerged as the premiere act in rock music. Haim’s show at Madison Square Garden felt less like a concert and more like a shared celebration in a band’s long-overdue climb to the top of music.
And with Women in Music Pt III, the group have compiled an impressive setlist that features 14 songs off that album, with a breadth of musical genres that shows they are much more than a pop group or Fleetwood Mac knock-off. Haim jump from garage rock to hip hop, reggae, dance, R&B and ‘70s and ‘80s rock.
And how cool is it to create a body of work that doesn’t adhere to one kind of genre?
Let’s take My Song 5 (from their debut album), a doozy hip-hop-electro track that quickly switches into a heavy guitar solo from Danielle Haim. Then they transition into a re-imagining of 70’s and Stevie-Nicks inspired heartbreaker I Want You Back. So few artist are so adept at mixing myriad music styles into their music.
Fitzie’s track of the day, part one: Forever, by Haim
Haim have a deep connection to New York City, although it was not their home. Este Haim was inspired to write 3AM in a booty-call-gone wrong in the city, and all three sisters recalled the days when they first arrived in the City over a decade ago staying in the same hotel room.
Danielle, lead singer/guitarist/drummer, displayed a beautiful presence of consciousness with the event’s magnitude, at times asking the lighting director to turn on the lights so she can see the audience and driving the throng of people forward from song to song.
And that seemed to catch up to her briefly with Hallelujah - roughly halfway through the setlist. The sisters share writing credits on all songs from WIPIII, but this folksy ballad seems to very much be the band’s creed.
Este Haim (bass, vocals) first began writing the song after she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Soon the other sisters penned their own verses as well. Alana Haim (guitar, vocals) penned about losing her best friend in a car accident in 2012, and Danielle wrote about her two sisters.
Danielle Haim - the coolest woman in music (and the world) - briefly lost her composure when opening Hallelujah, being drawn to tears by a dream fulfilled.
Fitzie’s track of the day, part two: Hallelujah, by Haim
Being women, these artists faced the kinds of sexism and misogyny that one would expect from guitar salesmen and critics. And that’s how the Joni Mitchell-esque Man From the Magazine came about, and these unsavoury gentlemen are now immortalsied in unflattering and explicit language.
Your hoddler-in-chief jotted the final verse in his phone, which Danielle sang alone on the stage with her acoustic guitar: “You don’t know how it feels to be the ****”, and an extended one-finger salute to the uninspirational men behind the song.
The band tore through the rest of the set. closing with Summer Girl. Typically, you think it would be a mistake to close the first set of a concert with something a bit more mellow, but Haim have such a cool command of the stage that it works.
And it works because they reimagine a sample of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side, trading in his Warhol Factory sultriness for their Sunset Boulevard swagger.
But Haim’s final two songs of the night were unquestionably their biggest hits - and two absolute belters. Let’s take The Wire, which again reimagines The Eagles’ Heartache Tonight, into a high-energy pop-rock masterpiece.
And then of course: “Let’s do The Steps, come on!” shouted Danielle from her throne behind the drum kit.
There is this cycle in music where artists take turns at the top of the world - Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Queen, FM, U2, on and on and on.
In matching leather pants and bralettes, Haim are marching to their rightful place.
Fitzie’s track of the day, part three: Summer Girl, by Haim
And now for your links:
Jack Pitt-Brooke ($$): Tottenham to expand anti-doping training after Chioma Ubogagu ban
Everton secure Premier League safety after comeback win vs Palace
Palace manager Patrick Vieira appears to kick out at fan during Everton pitch invasion
Fan jailed for headbutting Billy Sharp at end of Forest-Sheffield United match
Swindon Town manager claims players were ‘physically and verbally abused’ during Port Vale pitch invasion ($$)