Words + Photos By: Amber James
Last time I saw The Fever 333 was in a massive concert hall of sorts in Buffalo, as they were supporting The Used on their spring headlining tour. And that was an intense experience to say the least with the combined energy of Jason Butler, Stevis Harrison and Aric Improta combining a super group of sorts. Now, take that same level of intensity and energy and cram it into a small 300-400 cap venue with a hip height stage. I’m amazed that the roof was not blown off the venue, however, the same cannot be said for the stage. We’ll get to that later.
Their set started similarly to the last one with Butler standing in front of a white kabuki cloth in a jumpsuit and a hood over his head while footage of protests, propaganda and the like are projected onto the cloth. As mentioned in my last review, Butler’s black hood is very similar to the black hoods seen in the photos of the tortured Abu Gharib prisoners as well as torture measures used at Guantanamo Bay. That type of torture is also used in order to prevent prisoners from seeing and disorient them, which also draws comparison from The Fever’s intro as it shows the state our country is spiraling down into with the majority doing nothing because they’re unable to see or are too deluded to notice what is truly happening. Somehow, seeing this start of their demonstration in a smaller venue in a closer setting made it even more powerful.
Instead of referring to their gigs as concerts or shows, they refer to them as ‘demonstrations’. These politically charged ‘demonstrations’, referred to as such to help set them apart from your run of the mill show and create a more intimate experience, are an attempt to help create solidarity between the band and fans.But, overall, their ultimate reason for it is to create a safe space for all those attending, as it is made well known, that any sort of bigot is not welcome. Before the show, there was a sign posted on the doors to the venue saying that there wouldn’t be any opening acts that night and, instead, the band wanted everyone to talk to each other about current issues and make new friends.
“Burn It” seems to have become their traditional song to open with as the kabuki cloth dropped to the ground. As this short run was a solo run, we were treated to a longer set this time around than we were when they opened for The Used. With a twelve song set, there definitely time for the chaos that the combo of Butler and Harrison are known for. For those who were wondering, this includes both of them scaling the bar and running up and down it and Butler doing the last song of the set from upstairs while sitting on one of the ceiling beams for the first floor flinging himself into the basketball game to snag a ball and then re-enacting that moment onstage by catapulting into the side stage curtains, bringing the whole one side of curtains down with him. Apparently someone forgot to inform him that it was only the venue’s second show.