Haim lived up to the hype.
The highly heralded sister act, which has gone from relative obscurity to teetering on the edge of superstardom in just a matter of months, was absolutely dynamite during its concert Wednesday at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
The Southern California group roared on the rockers, grooved through the R&B numbers and soothed with the softer, folk-tinged material. In all, Haim captivated the capacity crowd from start to finish of its approximately 75-minute set.
It was an astonishingly assured and professional outing, delivered by a band that just released its debut album, "Days Are Gone," in September. It's amazing to think where these sisters -- Alana, Danielle and Este Haim -- might go from here.
Actually, we do know where they will go in the near future -- to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Haim is one of the top attractions scheduled to perform at that mammoth music event, which takes place over the next two weekends in Southern California. Further down the road, the group will return to the Bay Area in August to play the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco.
Expect Haim to shine brightly in those high-profile settings, just like it did Wednesday, during the first of two sold-out shows at the Bay Area's most legendary rock hall.
Backed by two musicians, the Haim sisters opened the show with a powerful version of "Falling," the lead track on "Days Are Gone." Danielle Haim stole the show, repeatedly, with fretboard fireworks that announced there's a new guitar hero in town. She's something else on the ax, delivering leads that recall Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and so many other classic-rock icons.
The band is frequently compared to Fleetwood Mac, due to Haim embracing elements of '70s SoCal soft rock. So it's not surprising that Haim covered the Mac in concert Wednesday. But the sisters didn't go with "Gold Dust Woman," "Dreams" or some other "Rumours"-era pop number, but rather the hard-rocking "Oh Well" from Fleetwood Mac's pre-Stevie Nicks days. And Haim certainly did justice to the tune, delivering an absolute juggernaut, propelled by Danielle Haim's mighty guitar work and a type of unbridled enthusiasm that was an absolute joy to behold.
Beyond the music, it was also quite nice to see how comfortable the sisters are on stage. They talked casually with the crowd, chatted among themselves and basically acted like they were making music in the living room of their Southern California home. Heck, they even invited their parents onstage to perform with them during the encore. (The Haim family would rock through a fun, appropriately under-rehearsed version of the R&B standard "Mustang Sally.")
Most of all, the sisters always looked like they were having a blast onstage. And their joy was truly contagious.