Jason Butler stepped onto the stage in Pomona, Calif., on Thursday afternoon and decided he didn’t need to look at any of the photographers in the media pit.
So when letlive. kicked off its set with “Le Prologue,” he jumped over them.
He went into the crowd, thrashing his body and screaming into his microphone while the rest of his band began creating chaos on stage in the form of a melting pot of metal and post-hardcore. Butler ran back and forth, shaking with no visible modicum of control, yelling away. All at once, nobody was looking at anything else besides the maniac with the microphone.
This was nothing new for fans who had seen letlive. before; Butler’s insane stage antics are a staple of the band’s live show. But for everyone who just happened to wander by the Monster Energy stage on Thursday afternoon, they caught a glimpse of the singular most unpredictable act on Warped Tour.
There is no choreography here. There are no planned stage moves. Not even Butler knows what he’s going to do when he’s performing. During this particular set, he took a rug from the floor of the stage and rolled around in it, then leapt up and flung the rug to the side, hitting a guitarist. He looked at a guitar amp for two seconds, considered his options, then lifted it up and flung it to the floor. He spiked his microphone with full force. He launched his mic stand into the air and considered catching it, but instead let it crash to the ground.
It’s an intimate chaos that letlive. presents; a completely unpredictable show of force that is impossible to look away from. Butler explained himself slightly, saying that he went through a period of time in his life during which he felt that no one cared about him. Now, he says, it’s so incredible that people “give a f-ck” about what he’s doing that his reaction is to passionately exert massive amounts of energy.
On the precipice of releasing its fourth album, The Blackest Beautiful, via Epitaph Records on July 9, letlive. is sticking to an old-school way of growing their fanbase: By letting their craft speak for itself.