by Cynthia Jo
– Columnist —
February 21, 2015 at Southside Ballroom in Dallas, TX. —
Letlive needs to be bigger than they are. It has taken them a long 10 years to become bigger and bigger. Their first LP Speak Like You Talk released in 2005 was a good start but not quite what they can bring to the table.
In 2011 they released the second full-length but what out them on the map with the post-hardcore fans, Fake History—definitely proving they were the breakthrough act of the year with great things on the horizon. The album is a well-crafted album where the consistencies in the hooks play their part as the sonic chaos of Jason Butler’s vocal performance oscillation ties it all together.
Their third-studio album, The Blackest Beautiful has been their most mature creation to date. It is very polished with catchy choruses and ever-changing tempos that took listeners to a new introduction of what this band can offer. The tone and timbre of Butler’s voice is distinct yet carries that familiarity the genre represents—a fierce bite in its sound but sweet and delicate with the docility of the words he sings (screams).
Call them Progressive Metal/Alternative, Post-Hardcore—Letlive holds their own unique sound in the broad genre that rock is and the live show definitely justifies that.
Getting right down to business on that gloomy Saturday night at the Southside Ballroom in Dallas, Texas, the entire show was a reflection of their dedication, passion and energy.
Beginning their set with “The Dope Beat,” Butler executed smooth clean vocals with impressively high Prog-Metal screams. The chemistry between guitarists Jean Nascimiento and Ryan Johnson balanced it all out with their Metalcore-esque riffing in “That Fear Fever” and “Pheromone Cvlt.” Fans nodded and sang along with “Banshee (Ghost Fame) not to forget the adrenaline hyped “Renegade 86’” and “27 Club.” The setlist was a just an eight-song short show however, there was never a weak moment and definitely a no holds-barred show—on point with every transition, especially with how Butler carries himself. He has been described as a zero-inhibitions onstage frontman that commands an ultra-devoted fan base that understands his compassion through his performance made you believe the pain in “Muther.” At some point during that song’s performance, Butler received a hero’s welcome as he made his way down to the crowd.
It is questionable as to why Letlive is opening for Taking Back Sunday on their Happiness Is tour—two great bands at two very different levels and dynamics. The America Dream Tour that happened last year with Bring Me The Horizon and Of Mice and Men needs to happen again—with Letlive headlining, perhaps.
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