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Review: Ibiza Rocks Opening Party, 2014

HAIM reminded us why Ibiza Rocks and its live gigs are such an important part of the Ibiza sound-scape.

As first times go, your first visit to Ibiza has got to be up there with some of the most unforgettable, and none more so than for a certain three sisters, who last night spent one of their first nights on the island headlining the legendary Ibiza rocks opening party. The girls in question, pop-rock trio HAIM, took to the stage to kick off another season of must-see live gigs at the iconic poolside venue.

There was a decent turn out for the early seven o'clock start, with the usually nocturnal Ibiza crowd venturing out to enjoy what was one of the hottest days we'd seen all year. The central courtyard had been decked out with an assortment of white sun loungers and seating for the early birds to top up their tans, with event sponsors Malibu on pina colada duty and Ibiza Rocks resident DJs playing an eclectic mix of mainstream electric, urban and indie.

Following on from last year, the stage was tucked away at the far end of the venue looking out over the crowd, ensuring that not only the people at the front felt part of the party, but also those further back resting their legs, as well as the lucky Ibiza Rocks guests watching from their balconies. You know you've picked the right hotel when you can watch some of the biggest bands of the moment, beer in hand, from the comfort of your own bed. Well played, people.

Supporting Haim was South London, indie-rock five piece Breton, who played a brief but energetic set, including catchy electronic-pop tune Envy from the new album War Room Stories. Roman Rappak's deep, almost strained vocals on Envy were perfectly complimented by the echoing acoustics of the enclosed venue. As the sun disappeared, so did the chilled out atmosphere, as the thickening crowd and cooler air brought with it a renewed energy.

Headliners HAIM, the rock sisters who not only topped the BBC sound of 2013 list last year, but who have done the fairer sex proud with their refreshing brand of head-banging, bass-faced girl band rock, with not a stiletto or pencil skirt in sight. The Californian siblings certainly didn't hold back, going full pelt with hit track The Wire, proving that these are three girls who definitely know their way round an instrument, with middle sister Danielle impressing just as much with her guitar solos as with her effortless vocals.

Este, the eldest of the three kept the crowd entertained with her usual stream of banter. As well as letting us know that this is their first time on the white isle, she cheekily asked who was going to meet them for an after party, an offer I doubt many people in the crowd would have refused. At one point she shouted 'I love music, and shaking my ass to music, so sue me', before demanding that we all do a spot of ass shaking too.

With their infectious energy and faultless playing, it's not hard to see why just two years after releasing their début EP, Endless, these girls have skipped straight past the support act slot and are headlining this huge date on the Ibiza calendar. On an island saturated with amazing EDM line-ups, where world class DJ sets are a daily occurrence, HAIM certainly reminded us why Ibiza Rocks and its live gigs are such an important part of the Ibiza sound-scape.

WORDS | Joanna Wright PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman

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