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On Tuesday night, the feeling of girl power at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier One was palpable. The occasion? The launch of Levi’s new “Live in Levi’s” ad campaign. Rather than throw the commonplace cocktail party, the denim brand opted to throw a free outdoor concert with Sleigh Bells and Haim. The gig was open to the public with one simple caveat: all attendees must wear Levi’s. Judging by the massive line snaking around the pier, populated almost exclusively with backsides clad in the brand’s signature Arcuate pocket stitching, the trade-off was a pretty sweet deal.
The Haim sisters — Este, Danielle and Alana — arrived in an array of denim, a mash-up of cutoffs, skinny jeans and jean jackets, managing to look perfectly coordinated without veering into Destiny’s Child matchy-matchy territory. Still riding the success of their debut, “Days Are Gone,” the sisters have been on the road all summer.
“This has been the summer of our life,” said Este, sandwiched between her sisters in the band’s trailer. “We’ve had so much fun. We did a U.S. run, then we went straight to Spain, which was unbelievable. And then it’s been a lot of festivals — every weekend, and then some. It’s like musician summer camp.”
To date, the band’s summer festival itinerary has included Primavera Sound, Glastonbury and Osheaga in Montreal, among others.
“Osheaga was amazing,” Este continued. “It was nuts. They had this thing, which I’d never seen before, where they had bottles with the names of all the bands so you could put notes in the band’s bottles. We got one that was like ‘See you at Gelson’s, which is around the corner from our house in the Valley. We were like, ‘OK Osheaga, I see what you are doing there.’ The food was also out of control.”
“There was like…an oyster bar,” added Danielle. “Usually, a festival has French fries and burgers.”
In addition to dietary options, the festival circuit has inadvertently affected the band’s wardrobe choices.
“Being onstage is about being comfortable and not feeling restricted,” Este explained. “The minute you feel like, ‘My strap is about to fall off and I’m going to have a Janet Jackson Super Bowl moment,’ that’s when you get in your head and mess up playing.”
The sisters took a sartorial chance at Glastonbury, only to face a potential wardrobe disaster. “For Glastonbury, we wore all white,” says Alana. “And it was so muddy. We didn’t think that through.…We had to be very careful. Somehow only our boots got dirty, though.” Added Este, “We were touched by angels, seriously.”
Sleigh Bells’ front woman, Alexis Krauss, herself no stranger to the festival scene, is more agitated by what festivalgoers aren’t wearing. “I’ve seen way too much ass cleavage,” she said. “Even if you have a great ass, just keep it in your shorts.”
On stage, Krauss embodies the ultimate rock chick: jet-black hair flips, black leather, guttural wailing. In person, however, the singer is soft-spoken and unfailingly polite. “I love performing,” she said. “I’m just so incredibly grateful that I get to do this for most nights of my life.”