LIVE: letlive. @ Sound Control, Manchester (09/10/2013)

Date: October 9th, 2013
Venue: Sound Control, Manchester
Support: The American Scene / Night Verses


Reknowned by many on their live show, including those who may very little else about the band, Los Angeles post-hardcore outfit letlive. and their first ever headline tour of the UK has been a long time coming. Judging by the sold out show at Manchester’s Sound Control, demand for this may have been high for a long time. Hopefully what’s delivered tonight is worth the wait.

Opening act The American Scene (**) seem rather uncompatible on the tour line-up. The room starts to fill nice and early for the light punk rockers, but as a whole, they just come across as a tad one-dimensional and lacking of any real excitement. Essentially, The American Scene are like a diet bargain version of Basement, stripped of any true hooks.

Night Verses (****), however, step the game up dramatically, and from the get go frontman Douglas Robinson is bouncing around the stage and very rarely staying static, which is made all the more impressive when throughout the set he’s wearing a thick coat in the sweaty room. Their songs are full of heart, soul and offer a rather refreshing approach to the post-hardcore genre, especially for such a fresh faced band. It’d be interesting to see what the band would be able to pull off if they were to ever introduce a second guitarist to the fold.

Though introduced to the stage after a rather lengthy soul track, when letlive. (*****) finally do rear their heads, the Sound Control venue reaches a whole new level of insane. Frontman Jason Aalon Butler‘s beard is huge and glorious, and so is the band’s set. Opening with ‘Banshee (Ghost Fame)’, the amount of crowd surfers for the remainder of the night is staggering, Butler hangs from some of the railings and, on occassion, some members of the crowd follow in his footsteps and dangle from the ceiling. The band keep to material from their latest two albums, with the likes of ‘Empty Elvis’, ‘Younger’ and ‘H. Ledger’ sticking out as just a few highlights. At one point, some members of the crowd start fighting a few seconds into ‘Pheromone Cvlt’, to which Butler automatically runs to the situation to help sort it out. A true reflection of his dedication to his fans.

However, there are a few moments that really take the crown of the evening. ‘Muther’ sends spine tingling chills across everyones’ skin, as the crowd singalong “Don’t you cry mama, we’ll – we’ll be okay” so loud the jaws of each member drops. A little improv of the chorus of Craig David hit ‘7 Days’ midway through set closer ‘Renegade ’86’ shows despite their clear influence and seriousness behind their lyrics, there’s still a fun side to the band and, as such, it won’t be long until letlive. become one of the biggest forerunners of the genre.

Written by Zach Redrup