For those who have not seen Los Angeles’ unit letlive. live in concert, the experience will render similarly as the following: a symbiotic and cathartic energy between band and crowd, consistently fast-paced and chaotic at all times.
Given that 2014 was the last time the band ventured to the British Isles for Slam Dunk Festival tour, many people have been waiting with bated-breath for the band to announce a UK run – so when letlive. finally announced a four-day tour of the UK, tickets sold out in a matter of minutes.
Opener and fan favourite ‘Banshee (Ghost Fame)’ immediately gets the crowd going with fans screaming back every word. Renowned for his relentless and animated stage presence, frontman Jason Aalon Butler’s works both the stage and the crowd to create the best atmosphere possible in such an intimate venue like The Dome; and comes out to engage with the crowd, which is received well by the sight of mass amounts of people fighting for control of the microphone as well as trying to get on stage to stage-dive. Being a fan of the band for a few years now, being able to know Butler’s pains, pressures, journeys, strengths and struggles and have it pour out through every single song he performs displays a truly selfless heart allowing every person to know, where-ever you are, whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone. Working through a catalogue of songs from their third studio album ‘Fake History’ (2011) including ‘Casino Columbus’ and ‘The Sick, Sick 6.8 Billion’ as well as songs from ‘The Blackest Beautiful’ (2013) such ‘That Fear Fever’ and ‘Younger’, it is obvious as to why letlive. are one of the best bands in both the hardcore scene and beyond.
Apart from the emotion, pit etiquette and the amount of girls stage-diving tonight, one equally refreshing thing I noticed tonight was the significant lack of people watching the gig through their iPhone screen. I understand the desire to share everything we do with everyone we know is almost irresistible and I also get that people film their favourite songs so they can re-live that moment at a later date – but what’s the point in paying £15 for a ticket just so you can record the entirety of the show on your phone, you’re simply robbing yourself of the experience completely.
From the opening chords of ‘Pheromone Cvlt’, one of the most beautiful songs in the band’s repertoire, the notes ring through every ear and makes the hairs on the back of our neck stand up as the crowd erupts into a passionate sing-along. The last time I witnessed ‘Pheromone Cvlt’ live was Reading 2014, one of the first times the band had started playing that song and I must admit, it brought a tear to my eye just like it did two years ago. With the energy levels from the crowd still sky – high, letlive. wrap up yet another fantastic set with an encore of fan favourite ‘Renegade ’86′ and ‘Lemon Party’, a song from ‘Fake History’ that the band admitted themselves that they thought they’d never play – to me, these songs epitomise the personality, hard work and development of the band over the years and I couldn’t resist a good ol’ throwdown to the breakdown of ‘Renegade’.
All I can say to conclude is that if you ever feel like you’re lacking something in life, then listen to this band and go and see them live because I promise you – they’re one of the most important bands of our generation and you will never regret it. ll.ove. (10/10)
Written by Jack Simmonds (@jackxsimmonds)