My story with letlive. doesn’t involve me directly, but to this day the time I saw them live has always been one of my favorite musical accidents.

It was a hot (I can’t emphasize that enough) day at the Warped date in Charlotte when I attended in the summer of 2014. I had gotten my way in to the show for free, by walking around and surveying people about Warped on a device that looked like it hadn’t properly worked since the late 90s. And it didn’t work properly.

With the job, I was given a volunteer wristband and the treat of standing backstage to watch a band of the group’s choice. My choice was one of my favorite acts on the bill that year, RDGLDGRN, though the majority was set to see Stick To Your Guns. My loss since I had no idea who they were at the time, but the day was redeemed when RDGLDGRN later invited me to play FIFA on their bus. I had to turn them down not for any particular reason other than I had no clue how to play FIFA.

My wristband gave me cause to bypass the huge line at the gate and get in via the volunteer entrance. After a quick wait for my friends to get in, we made our plans and split up. I followed one to see a band I had known nothing about except that they were insane live. They sold me the moment I saw the singer destroying songs in a Black Keys tee, and when one member was playing guitar while a circle pit ensued around him. That ended up being the first and only time I saw The Chariot.

From there, I went over to the main stages to see what was on there. Later that day I would catch sets from Reel Big Fish, The Wonder Years, Chiodos, and more, but not before I accidentally wandered into a letlive. set.

“My god. This energy is insane,” was all I could think about. The singer was climbing all over the stage, and the music hit me harder than a freight train. It was the most raw thing I’d ever experienced before.

My friends from home who had been fans for a while before, and who had seen them at a previous show in Pittsburgh, said that though Jason, the singer, looked completely insane on stage, he was the nicest guy you’d ever meet. I never personally met the band, but I happened to walk by Jason on his way back to his bus. Surrounded by fans, he attempted to take a photo with one while another person shot the image, all of them walking. The photographer girl took a tumble backwards after a misstep, and he rushed over to help her up and make sure she was okay.

It isn’t an exciting story, but it was my first experience seeing a musician act as a person, not on a stage and not trying to put on a show or facade. Thanks for the music and the message, letlive.

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