I’m not always a great listener when it comes to music I’m unfamiliar with.
While I like to think I give stuff a fair chance before I write it off as awful, I often don’t do that. It took me forever to come around on Volbeat, for instance. I insisted they were terrible for years before deciding one day, “Ya know? These guys DON’T suck!” And they don’t. They’re quite good, actually.
Back in December of 2012, I made the three-hour trip from Memphis to Nashville’s Exit/In to check out Every Time I Die and The Chariot. Loving both bands and with both being dynamic live acts, I wasn’t gonna miss the show. The Chariot called it quits less than a year later, so I’m really glad I got to see them one last time.
Side note: This amazing video is from that night in Nashville. So good.
One of the other bands on that bill was Los Angeles’ letlive. and, to be quite honest, I couldn’t have possibly given less of a shit about them.
Being there to see what I considered to be the co-headliners, I half-ass paid attention to Kills and Thrills, which opened the show, and letlive. I walked away that night thinking letlive.’s music was kinda lame, but acknowledging frontman Jason Aalon Butler knew how to put on a show. Dude was pretty wild.
Jason Aalon Butler
Months ago, I happened to hear letlive.’s “Renegade 86’” on SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal channel and actually thought it was pretty good. Vowing to give the band’s music another shot, I forgot all about it once my drive was finished.
I opened Spotify Wednesday to put some background noise on in my office and, for no real reason, thought about letlive. I pulled up the band’s catalog, started listening and then kept listening.
I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong, and I’m here today to say I was damn sure wrong about letlive.
I’ve spent the past two-plus days listening to the band and wondering why the hell I ever thought they weren’t very good. To be honest, they were a perfect fit on that tour back in 2012. Hell, Butler recently filled in for Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley when he was forced to leave a tour because of a family emergency involving his pregnant wife.
Butler’s blend of screamed and clean vocals are a perfect match for the band’s music, which can flip from breakneck and frantic to beautiful and flowing in a split second. Listening to the band’s albums, you can hear the maturity in both the music and the vocals over time.
letlive.’s sound is an amalgamation of styles and influences – a sound that truly stands out in heavy music, where innovation, creativity and individuality are far too often pushed to the wayside.
letlive. is set to drop its fourth album, “If I’m the Devil…” in 2016 and I, for one, can’t wait to hear what’s next.
letlive. will be in Memphis’ New Daisy Theatre on March 25 along with The Wonder Years and Microwave. For ticket information, visit Ticketfly. For more information about the band, visit the letlive. Facebook page or follow the band on Twitter @thisisletlive.