TVD Live Shots: Flyleaf at Slims, 11/2

Flyleaf photographed by Jason Miller

If a band’s lead singer steps down and they choose to continue with a new one and all parties are in agreement, then so be it. Flyleaf is more than one person and let’s be honest, if you don’t agree, then just move on as there are many more things to worry about in life than having to constantly comment all over social media about a former lead singer. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve seen Flyleaf numerous times, and the Flyleaf that I saw last week here in San Francisco has reinvented themselves, they have evolved.

New singer Kristen May was outstanding. She was singing as if the world was going to end the next day—it was nothing short of stellar. Opening up the set with the classic Flyleaf song “Fully Alive,” the band would make a statement that Kristen can hold her own and as they went into their new single “Set Me on Fire” shortly after, you could tell the original members of Flyleaf were very confident in their choice.

Flyleaf photographed by Jason Miller-11

Flyleaf has left Octone Records and moved over to Loud and Proud, which in my opinion is one of the only really hard rock labels left these days. They hired famed producer Don Gilmore (Bullet for My Valentine, Korn, Lacuna Coil, Linkin Park) to give their new album a sonic upgrade and that’s exactly what they got. It’s not as “heavy” as their eponymous debut, but again the band is evolving—they seem to be more focused on songs and melodies now instead of pure heavy grooves as they did in the past. And it works for them.

Flyleaf photographed by Jason Miller-2

Opening the show was a guy I had never heard of named Ryan White. This guy was fantastic. He has one of those voices that you swear you have heard somewhere before but just can’t put your finger on it. He really sang his ass off that night and on top of that he’s a pretty funny guy and a great storyteller.

Flyleaf photographed by Jason Miller-17

The other opener that evening was a band from Georgia called Lullwater and I thought they were going to completely destroy the stage before Flyleaf could ever grace it. It was like Pearl Jam crossed with My Morning Jacket with an extra dose of heaviness added in.

It’s so refreshing to stumble across a band this good as an added bonus to the night.

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Flyleaf photographed by Jason Miller-3

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Flyleaf photographed by Jason Miller-13

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Flyleaf photographed by Jason Miller-16

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Flyleaf photographed by Jason Miller-23

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RYAN WHITE

Ryan White photographed by Jason Miller

Ryan White photographed by Jason Miller-2

LULLWATER

Lullwater photographed by Jason Miller

Lullwater photographed by Jason Miller-2

Lullwater photographed by Jason Miller-3

Lullwater photographed by Jason Miller-4

Lullwater photographed by Jason Miller-5

Lullwater photographed by Jason Miller-6

Bottom line: Lacey’s gone from Flyleaf so get over it. Embrace the band as they continue to grow—it’s a new direction this time, but a welcome one. Fans of Lacey will be blown away when they hear Kristen.

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