By Wal Reid
Date / Venue: Wednesday January 18th, 2017 - Kings Arms, Auckland
"Bang your fuckin’ heads Auckland” as letlive singer Jason Butler implored the packed Auckland crowd, who by this point were too busy to care as bodies bounced & careened about the front stage, while opportunists took to stage diving up a storm, the likes not seen for a while at the Kings Arms.
The L.A. based band took to the stage as the enigmatic Butler screamed his way through most of the set touching on songs from their four albums, including Banshee (Ghost Frame) & the epic heavy-as-stink Good Mourning America, the band in solid form backing the animated tattooed singer, especially drummer Lionel Robinson who made skin-bashing look effortless.
“I love Kiwi’s, in fact I married one,” admitted Butler referring to his musician Kiwi wife Gin Wigmore, who was also present. “If only our relationship with the U.S. was as tight,” I was thinking, “Then we’d be humming.”
The band had the crowd singing “Don’t you cry Mama, we’ll, we’ll be ok,” an ode to women making “men out of their sons,” the boisterous Auckland crowd banding together on the track Younger, as the band stuck with songs off their 2010 album Fake History reeling off Prologue & Renegade 86’ definite Letlive crowd favourites.
Butler continued the banter with the crowd, his ethereal screech cutting through the songs like the impressive Muther. It was a tangible connection as the band made a definite impression on the crowd and vice-versa. The band genuinely blown away by the turnout as they cajoled the audience with music & verse while Butler pulling out the guitar on occasional songs adding to the vibe on the night.
As they ended the night Butler commented that they weren’t going to be playing “fake-ass” encores as they treated the loyal crowd to a crowd slamming finale, which ironically could be one of the last gigs played at the iconic venue.
A great night of slamming and ear bleeding, and on a Wednesday night no less. Here’s hoping they come back again, and play in a much bigger venue.
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