At least when it came to their two-night stand at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul, Los Angeles pop-rock sibling trio Haim could have added a fourth “sister” to the name of their spring trek, the Sister, Sister, Sister Tour.
The excitement for Monday’s long-sold-out show seemed as much about locally cultivated opening act Lizzo as it did the headliners. Minnesota’s biggest breakout hip-hop star of recent years has been touring with the harmonious sisters for more than a month now, and has consistently earned rave reviews along the way.
Now based in Los Angeles after signing with Atlantic Records, Lizzo had yet to perform in Minnesota this year. Adding to the anticipation, she finished off some new songs in the interim.
Those new additions were among the highlights in her 45-minute set, starting with the self-care-preaching, twerk-flexing opener “Fitness.” Even better, the kiss-off anthem “Jerome Go Home” was at once soulful and slow-bobbing but also snake-tongued, like a bombastic version of Erykah Badu’s classic “Tyrone.”
Lizzo got a tad emotional mid-set about being back in town. Before “En Love,” she thanked audience members who dated back to her early-’00s group the Chalice for “supporting my journey to self-love.”
“The Twin Cities emanates self-love,” she emphatically added. “Prince laid the foundation for that.”
One of the ways Lizzo practices the pride she preaches is by wildly working the stage alongside two other curvy beauties in scanty attire; her faux-leather and see-through-lace bodysuit on Monday might’ve even made Madonna blush.
She and her dancers tied the visual pizazz to the sultry music beautifully in the full-on funk jams “Water Me” and “Worship” and her poppier, locally beloved anthem “Good as Hell” — all songs newly featured in national TV commercials. However, the stage still remains the best advertisement for Lizzo’s talent.
Haim faced a tall order following that wowza of an opening set, but there really was no comparison. The two acts carry a similar fun-loving, feminism-hammering spirit but are worlds apart musically — which only added to the fun of Monday’s show.
Playing only their second Minnesota gig, the sisters — Este, Danielle and Alana, ages 32 to 26 — blended their own influences as fluidly as Lizzo, from breezy ’70s Southern Cali rock like Fleetwood Mac to ’80s MTV pop to ’90s R&B. Their new album, “Something to Tell You,” is even more of a hybrid than their debut, making their 100-minute set all the more entertainingly varied than their 2014 First Ave set.
This one was a lot more dance-oriented, too. After the older openers “Falling” and “Don’t Save Me,” the sisters and their accompanying drummer and keyboardist offered what sounded like an appetizer for Wednesday’s Hall & Oates gig in St. Paul via the infectious new gem “Little of Your Love.” They upped the grooves again in “Ready for You” and did their own in-sync/’N Sync-style dance routine bathed in red stage lights during the fun electro-pop workout “Walking Away.”
While they once again proved tightly rehearsed and consummate showwomen, the Haims thankfully let their personalities shine through during the unrehearsed moments.
Young Alana sounded like the mouthy, wisecracking Danny Bonaduce of the clan as she animatedly recounted playing pool at the CC Club in Minneapolis the night before. Este, on the other hand, came off more earnest and weighty talking about touring Paisley Park on Sunday.
“I knew I wanted to do this for a living the second I saw [Prince] play live,” she said.
After the joyous peak “The Wire,” the Haims got a little too serious in the encore with the power-balladic “Found It in Silence” and a show-ending drum-off with all three sisters capably but hokily banging away. But by then they’d already proven they’re seriously fun.
Here's Haim's set list from Monday:
2. Don't Save Me
3. Little of Your Love
4. My Song 5
5. Ready for You
6. You Never Knew
7. Want You Back
8. Walking Away
9. Something to Tell You
10. Nothing's Wrong
11. Night So Long
13. The Wire
14. ENCORE: Found It in Silence
15. Right Now
Big singalong already 2 songs into @HAIMtheband’s set at @PalaceStPaul. pic.twitter.com/uU1utFKi61— C. Riemenschneider (@ChrisRstrib) May 15, 2018
Welcome back, @lizzo. #fitness @PalaceStPaul pic.twitter.com/64h87jD3vy— C. Riemenschneider (@ChrisRstrib) May 15, 2018