"OMG Her Face!": America Reacts to Haim's SNL Performance

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When the previously unpublished excerpt from Fader's interview with Haim made the rounds this week--the one where Este Haim shares a painful memory from high school of a teacher telling her she'd never make it on Saturday Night Live--we got a little mushy in the feelings place, because hey, Haim made it to SNL!

Danielle, Este and Alana Haim have spent the bulk of 2013 touring behind Days Are Gone before the record's official drop in September, and "The Wire," the catchy as all get-out single off of their official debut, has worked its way into radio programming across the country. They're a love 'em or hate 'em band to be sure. Fans fall to pieces over their mighty live chops, unabashedly earnest appreciation for '80s and '90s R&B hooks no matter how cheesy and their intensely approachable lyrics. Critics write 'em off as a knock-off Wilson Phillips and a band that banks on mediocre pop tropes.

See also: Lady Gaga Was a Glorious Hot Mess on SNL

We're of the former camp, and when Haim made a cameo in a sketch devoted to The Outfield's "Your Love" with keytars in hand, we were donezo--and then they played. And they were great.

First up, "The Wire." Let's get the "fumble" puns out of the way now, 'cause they're easy: Danielle kind of tripped her way through the whisper-sung first verse, with Alana and Este anchoring the money-maker on their harmonies and strong vocal lines. "The Wire" serves as a great lesson in hard and soft, with shredding solos, shouts and a belted-out chorus offering up a hearty contrast to the song's steady, hushed opening measures. Truth be told, they didn't "fumble" when they came down to "The Wire" at all.

One of the most endearing qualities of Haim's is that they're not perfect, and it's totally fine! So Danielle's voice can get a little loopy when she's singing in her lower register and she's got some weird Cher/Patti Smith hybrid-thing going on when her tone delves into wonky territory. It's the imperfect affectations on their infectious pop hits that ground them and grit them up, and it's something they embrace--and something that worked especially well in their SNL performance of "Don't Save Me." At times, Danielle got caught up in her own chorus, but the track's sunny disposition--and Danielle and Este's great harmonies and back-and-forth--saved it, cowbells, Cher-esque "HA-A-A-A-O-o-o-o"-es and all.

Popular topics on Twitter surrounding Haim's performance: Este's facial expressions. Girl's an expressive singer to be sure, but was that really the only talking point about their SNL set? Nope. Here are the rest.


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70 comments
younginvestoredmonto
younginvestoredmonto

Worst fucking band I've ever heard in my life. I wish Simon Cowell was in the audience.

volcom221
volcom221

Fuck these kikes, bunch of Vali Girls who's daddy gave them all the opportunities they got. And they're at least 75% uglier in person. 

augurae
augurae

So who's dick did this yet-another-jewish climber group come from?

Who is she the daughter or niece from ?

thinlizzycalhoun
thinlizzycalhoun

These girls are taking direct cues from late mid to late 70s power pop- Dwight Twilley, Nick Lowe, The Nerves, The Shoes...  I think the characterization of them being anything like Wilson Philips is only because it's 3 women singing together.  They are not auto-tuned, lip synching or processed.  They're harkening back to a time when people actually played their instruments & sang live without costumes and dance moves. 

pxbxcx
pxbxcx

I thought I was watching a joke.

Atomsk
Atomsk

"Jewish Hanson Tries Way Too Hard"

hushhushie
hushhushie

bass face reminded to mr. gene 'm#th#f#ck#ng' simmons combined with the big fish from mario 3, it ranges from uk's bananarama to yes indeed.. us's wilson phillips harmonies., haim has 70-80-90's written all over. worldwide/universal appeal,  corny, cheesy, quirky, sexy, ugly nerdy, etc.. sooo bad it just makes it good

lbudmelman
lbudmelman

What's the big deal? She's just playing and singing with passion.  I suppose if you've never done that on stage with a big audience it's hard to understand.

Kiersten Lisherness White
Kiersten Lisherness White

I like them, I'm the biggest Patti Smith fan in the world and I see a little of her in them, rock on girls.

megaburp
megaburp

Gotta wonder, what's with all the haters? Clearly many of them don't know talent because they don't have it themselves. 

megaburp
megaburp

Haim nailed it on SNL! Good music, good band, cute, sexy and talented!!

Brett Sherman
Brett Sherman

I saw in them Jools holland and they looked and sounded great. Haters can suck it

John DeBaun
John DeBaun

They looked strange, music was ok , we accept mediocrity to readily these days.

Matt Shipley
Matt Shipley

I was just upset it wasn't Corey Haim. The band's Ok.

Jennifer Convery
Jennifer Convery

This band sucks was the only thought we had when we watched.

Del Marte
Del Marte

I've seen them they look better in person.

Aramis Sartorio
Aramis Sartorio

God people suck! She plays bass with her fingers, not a pic and sings, with emotion to. She's perfect and beautiful. I'm a new fan.

Veronica Marquez
Veronica Marquez

They're all beautiful! Seriously, don't listen to trolls. They're sole purpose is to be a drag

Charles Bogdan
Charles Bogdan

they were horrible like a bad kareoke band they SUCK.

Charles Bogdan
Charles Bogdan

they sucked big time go back to pizza hut on open mike night...

tombrady12
tombrady12

they suck and they are ugly and would make it on open mike night at Pizza HUT.

RBDrDrey
RBDrDrey

Not sure if you've ever seen HAIM perform live? If this is your first time hearing them, thats unfortunate, its your loss. But judging them based off of this SNL show thing is most definitely saddening. NBC controls SNL and everything that happens during its broadcasting- not HAIM- they were a guest. Judging them while being on someone elses territory is like judging you without knowing anything about you, except for your writing of this clearly biased article.

Also, what were your thoughts regarding this scripted show, SNL? Cause from where I was sitting watching this "scripted funny show"- I incidentally didnt laugh once. But that just my opinion.

Jayson Messner
Jayson Messner

They are not even close to the Ramones, that's in insult.

Doober Broner
Doober Broner

Yes to this article. I couldn't believe the vitriol and superficial criticism coming from all the dolts who seemed to come out of the woodwork just to shit-talk Haim. (See the SNL, Stereogum, Pitchfork, CoS FB pages.)

Vicente Tiburcio
Vicente Tiburcio

Why is this an issue? Has no one ever heard of "bass face"? Basically almost every bass player makes them when we get into the groove. It's apart of the emotion. I thought it was pretty cool to see her getting into it.

Julian Lorber
Julian Lorber

so what if she makes faces- why does she have to be someone predictable? Lots of musicians make faces when they play. Bassists are usually pretty weird - Gene Simmons, Flea, Les Claypool... etc

xtremegt2
xtremegt2

This comments section pretty much sums up the reaction to them. I thought there were audio issues, the flub at the start of The Wire and their vocals being mixed too low during Don't Save Me. But at the end of the day, they gave great performances and were in the moment.

I just wish they would've played more upbeat songs like Forever and Falling, instead of the lower, more laidback ones they went with.

People are either gonna take 5 seconds of looking at them and hearing them and make up their mind, or they'll give them a shot. Regardless, they were one of the best musical acts of the year.

Dennis Natal
Dennis Natal

I get that musicians get that "face" when they're into something, but Jesus! That bass face was bizarre. Regardless though...I never heard of them and checked out their performance videos via this article with genuine curious interest and I must say...they were somewhat underwhelming to me. I probably won't be a Haim head anytime soon.

JohnnyDeep
JohnnyDeep

Has anyone ever sounded good at SNL? That must be the worst room to play in in America -- you'd think after all these years they'd get the acoustics right. Then again, maybe thats the point......

Harriet Vinson
Harriet Vinson

"The face" was a distraction, but a good one: she's into the music. It was interesting, far moreso than the last few weeks.

mjhellund1
mjhellund1

Both of these songs are miles and miles superior to any of the homogenized crap coming from the current tweenie-bopper queens. Hanson is a valid point of comparison. MMM-Bop was a great song and these compare well.

Wade Johnson
Wade Johnson

There better than the rest of their bubble gum contemporaries

Atomsk
Atomsk

@Charles Bogdan "Bad Karaoke" is EXACTLY what i was thinking while watching them.

tombrady12
tombrady12

@RBDrDrey AND THE BAND SUCKED THEY CAN NOT SING  . GO BACK TO OPEN MIKE NIGHT AT PIZZA HUT BITCHES .!

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