Community, charity, and change. These are the three pillars that provide the foundation for Los Angeles activist group FEVER 333. With a hybrid rap-rock sound and politically charged spirit, FEVER 333 have been making waves in the scene strictly by word of mouth and community support. Gaining rapid traction from their demonstrations over the past year, FEVER 333 have sparked a movement. A movement that provides a safe, inclusive space for people to interact and have conversations — a platform for everyone to let their voices be heard.
Their shows (referred to by the band as “demonstrations”) are notoriously high energy, raw, and extremely powerful. I had the opportunity to see one of FEVER 333’s demonstrations Monday night at The Varsity Theater. While it was my first time seeing FEVER 333, I am not new to them and the legacy they have already created in such a short amount of time. I was a big fan of FEVER 333 frontman Jason Aalon Butler’s former band letlive. So when news broke that Butler was kicking up a new band after letlive. disbanded, I was instantly intrigued with the new project.
FEVER 333’s demonstration at The Varsity comes two months after the band opened up for Bring Me The Horizon at The Armory. Which from what I’ve heard from others, was an unbelievable show where FEVER 333 stole the stage and were the talk of the evening. I was so eager to see how the band would hold their own performing a headlining show with no supporting acts. Of course, the response and turn out was overwhelming.
As I walked up to the doors of the Varsity, a sign stuck up with bright pink duct tape caught my attention. It read:
“THERE ARE NO OPENING ACTS AT THESE DEMONSTRATIONS. WHILE HERE WITH OTHERS WE ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO TALK AMONGST THEMSELVES AND RESPECTFULLY DISCUSS ISSUES IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR COMMUNITY AND CULTURE WITH US AND THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF TONIGHT’S DEMONSTRATION.”
Just like that, I knew this wasn’t going to be an ordinary show. This was going to be something bigger. I got into the venue just as the band were about to start. And to be honest, I was not ready for what I was about to witness. FEVER 333 came out and took the stage by absolute storm. Starting the show with “Burn It” every member of the band came out and played like it would be the last show they would ever have the chance to play. They played with intensity. Watching the high energy antics of the band member’s, the crowd came to life.
Frontman Jason Aalon was jumping around and screaming with high energy coaxing the crowd to follow his lead. It’s been a long time since I have seen a show with so much of the audience being involved and participating. The crowd came with a passion and willingness to go just as nuts as the band leaping around on stage. This energy did not go unnoticed by the band. Three songs deep into the set Butler stops for a moment and smiles. He says, “If you would have told me that Minneapolis would be one of the most lit shows we have had during these demonstrations, I don’t know if I would have believed you.”
FEVER 333’s set was a spectacle to watch. High speed, loud, and impassioned it was hard to know exactly where to look on stage. Drummer Aric Improta would often stand up on his drum seat and jump up before falling back down and playing his parts. Butler and guitarist Stephen Harrison would seemingly take turns climbing on top of the speakers and amps and jumping off of them from ridiculous heights. Between the band’s on stage stamina and the music, FEVER 333 were absolutely entertaining.
In addition to the intense live show, one of the things about FEVER 333 that really sticks out to me is just how genuine they are. They truly care about their fans, and their message. They want to carry and spread a message of hope and positivity. Before going into “Inglewood”, Butler softly speaks to the crowd about his appreciation and love for them. “Thank you for giving us the love we miss when we are away from our families. We feel that. I recently had a son about 19 months ago, and my son has taught me more in 19 months than the 31 years I have lived prior. Something I learned is that my actions have consequences. I hope tonight all of you chose to make better decisions. Today, tomorrow, next year, if not for me or this band, then for my son, and your sons and daughters, your nieces and nephews. Because that is the future. That is my hope.”
The band continued to play a handful of more high energy and emotionally driven songs. They ended with radio banger, “The Innocent” which went completely off the hook. High energy mania overtook the floor. After the main set ended the venue went dark. The crowd was still amped. The band didn’t even have time to walk off the stage before a thunderous eruption of people in the audience yelling “3-3-3!!!! 3-3-3!!!” broke out. Sure enough, the band responded to the call and came back on stage to play a high energy encore.
The last song of the encore included Butler climbing the side pillars of The Varsity and jumping back into the crowd. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to end the evening. If you haven’t seen FEVER 333 yet, go ahead and do yourself a favor and catch these guys the next time they’re in town. They are only going to get bigger and better.