JULY 26th 2016

Review by Lana Muirhead
Photos by Peter Ruttan
Gallery: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/letlive/

A Tuesday unlike many other Tuesdays: hitting up the Biltmore (again!) for Letlive and a crew of miscreant openers including Night Versus, Silver Snakes and Seahaven; as of then, the highlight of my two-day-deep week. Although I was only able to catch Seahaven and Letlive there was great crowd feedback about the other two openers.

Starting with Seahaven…tough one to talk about. They seem to have a good following yet the quintet fell quite short of an engaging performance.  Despite their elaborate composition and dreamlike flow, the artistry really overshadowed the live experience. There were qualities of Puscifer, Chevelle, A Perfect Circle and (strangely) Coldplay, but this made for a seriously mediocre mix.  Frontman Kyle Soto could pull off some good screams, when he chose to do so, and overall had a decent-sounding voice bubbling over with Chris Martin-esqueness.  And although the arrangements and instrumentals were inspiring, they are not a live band. They lacked that energy that you look for ignited by the passion of being on stage and it made for a sadly boring performance.  If the opportunity came up for a repeat I would have to pass.

Letlive was a whole different beast: and when I say beast, I mean it.  It was apparent from the opener “I’ve Learned To Love Myself” that Letlive was taking command. Lead vocalist Jason Aalon Butler dove into the crowd and was held upside down while he walked on the ceiling and spewed the lyrics. They followed up with “The Dope Beat”, “Enemies [Enemigos]”, “White America’s Beautiful Black Market”, new track “Another Offensive Song”, and “Renegade 86”, among others.  They closed the set with “27 Club” but came back with a two-song encore.  “Muther” was a very personal one for Butler and he sang it with all the emotion of a man on his last night of debauchery before his nuptials.  The night finished off with “Good Mourning America” and pulsed with the balls-to-the-wall ferocity of the entire set. This solidified for the crowd why they came in the first place and why they’ll keep coming back.

Guitarist Jeff Sahyoun held his own, providing an assaulting array of in-your-face crunching riffs, even when Butler picked up his own body to harmonize.  Ryan Jay Johnson, the bassist of the group, not only rocked it slamming his bass but wowed me with his grungy, gravely vocal chords. Special salute has to be made to drummer Loniel “Lonnie” Robinson who absolutely killed the rhythm!  His timing paired with the absolute brutal massacre of his skins really made him the star of the show for me.  Especially when he broke into a mini solo in “Renegade 86”.  

Although they are not necessarily an original sound on the scene (falling somewhere between Of Mice & Men and Bring Me The Horizon), what they may lack in originality they make up for in presence and charisma. I was among the barely countable minority popping their Letlive cherry this night, which speaks more to their live performance than me blabbering a single further word.  Even though I will, even though you can’t stop me and even though, deep down in places you don’t want to admit exist…you love it. Catch these guys live when you have the chance: you won’t regret it and will absolutely be back for more.