If you like your music to be completely wild with a spicy side of political commentary, then get ready — well no actually, there’s no way to be ready for Letlive.
The first time I heard the group my reaction went from, “What the hell am I seeing?” to “Oh my god this is amazing!” in a relatively short amount of time. Letlive is truly a testament that you can find soul in any genre of music.
Letlive (stylized as ‘letlive.’) was formed in Los Angeles in 2002 by vocalist Jason Aalon Butler (son of Aalon Butler, singer and guitarist of American soul group Aalon) and other original members who have since left the band (Jason is currently the only original member in the line up). The group falls into the all encompassing genre of post-hardcore, but Jason himself is very attached to the vibe of “American punk rock soul” and indeed, their performances feel that way.
The band’s 1st album had marginal success but the group really took off when they signed with Tragic Hero Records and re-released their second album Fake History in 2011, which was met with positive reviews. It only takes one live performances to be converted to the cult of Letlive, and we can’t really talk about Letlive without talking about their live show, as a band that is very “punk” in spirit. There is nothing quite like a live Letlive show thanks to the never ending antics of Jason Aalon Butler and his complete disregard for proper sound equipment maintenance.
The group holds a special place in my heart because they have a superpower — one that allows them to harness the most chaotic energy possible while still creating tangible music on stage. When Letlive performs, each performance enfolds as a beautiful creation where the audience members and band become one, creating a spiritual high of human connection I would compare to a religious rite. To get a sense of this, when Jason was asked in an interview with Rock Sound how he wanted fans to feel after seeing his band perform, he responded with the following:
“I would love them to be feeling like they finally had a human experience. That they themselves, with us, were able to exhibit emotive qualities that they maybe weren’t able to do elsewhere, and I want them to understand that it is possible and all it takes is a few words. I want them to feel like that is a moment in time that they can sanction and call upon whenever they need to, and go back and remember that they were truly understood and understood someone else. We don’t think we’re the patron saints of hardcore or soul music… we just believe.”
And Letlive deliver on exactly that experience at every show. Jason Aalon Butler has a way of exposing his heart on stage in a way that draws the audience into the performance. As an avid fan I can attest that seeing a life performance of Muther is about the most transcendent experience you can have at a concert. For the weedist looking to have that human experience, Letlive is where you’ll find it.