Where to even begin with last night? There are some bands that have such a wow factor that they leave any band they are playing with in their dust. When you have a band like that open a show, it’s truly hard for anyone else to hold a candle to them. That was the case last night. It’s not that any of the bands were bad (hell, the second band to take the stage- Thrice- is one of my all time favorites) but the opening set from Fever 333 truly set the tone for the night and set up the other two bands for failure (maybe that’s a bit harsh but I can’t think of a better word for it).
I caught Fever 333 a couple times last year at various festivals around the midwest. I knew from the first time I saw them that they would be a force to be reckoned with. I mean, I guess that’s a given when you have Jason Butler from Letlive on vocals, Stephen Harrison from The Chariot on guitars, and Aric Improta from Night Verses on drums. A super-group for my generation, they have a sound unlike anything else and a live show that will truly make you stop everything and gasp. I thought that this effect their live show had on me was because I was seeing them outside in the sun while living in the high life working a festival complete with a media tent with unlimited energy drinks (truly living the dream). I learned within seconds of their set last night that this was not the case. The weather was crappy and cold, the venue (although one of my favorites in time) was still an indoor venue, and, well, it’s the middle of winter with snow on the ground. All of these factors didn’t stop Fever 333 for instantly capturing my heart and having me texting every single one of my friends about the mistake they had made by not going to last night’s show.
The show started promptly at 7PM and instead of the band coming out to a roar of applause, Jason Butler took the stage front and center and just stood there with his arms and hands crossed politely in front of him and a black hood covering his face. You could hear sound clips from various different political events which gave the whole moment an extremely creepy yet jaw-droppingly powerful vibe. This feeling lasted a couple of minutes before the rest of the band joined him on stage and he whipped off his hood and instantly started stalking the stage with a sense of aggression and fury.
Fever 333’s music is a bit (don’t kill me) nu-metal mixed with some politics, metal, punk, rap, and all tied up in a bow of pure energy. It’s truly an original sound but, again, when you have a frontman like Jason Butler contributing to the song writing, that’s not a shock. Having only been around since 2017, Fever 333 have only put out one album and one EP and seem to be spending the rest of their time touring. Their eight song opening set on Wednesday night seemed to happen in the blink of an eye and left the audience in shock. There was just so much energy and so much fury that it was almost hard to catch everything that was going on.
A prime example of the chaos that unfolded during their quick set would be the moment that Jason disappeared from stage and then appeared literally right next to me as he walked through the audience with his microphone in hand. I saw him eyeing the balcony but thought to myself- there’s no way. Then, just like that, he whipped his microphone up over the side of the balcony and disappeared into the staircase only to reappear momentarily standing on the edge of the balcony. Now, some bands have this shtick and you can tell it’s exactly that– a shtick. But something about his excitement as he had the audience help lift him down from the balcony (but not before asking them to just hold him up there for a wee bit because he was loving it) made it clear that this action was clearly organic.
People were clearly shook by the performance and when I started to wander around after their set, every single conversation I heard was about the power Fever 333 had. I wasn’t surprised, I knew they were going to kill it and be the talking point of the night but I was still just as impressed as I was the first time I saw them. Towards the end of the set, Jason mentioned a couple of times that he was loving the crowd and the energy in The Armory. He admitted that they don’t come to Minnesota much (which they really don’t) but that they would be changing that because Wednesday night’s show was truly one of the best they have played.
Their sixteen song set did a great job of covering everything from new to old and slow to fast. Just being able to witness the different styles and talents of this band in a span of just over an hour was definitely impressive. I was honestly a bit surprised when the band left the audience pleading for more in the form of an encore and never came back out but it also made sense. Their set was done with a sense of perfection and intent that made sense. An encore would have just messed that all up.
I’ve been going to a show nearly every night for the past five years (not a joke). I honestly don’t think I’ve seen a band with as impressive of a live show as Fever 333 (not being dramatic). Seriously, do yourself a favor and catch them live.