In a backyard in South Los Angeles, frontman Jason Aalon Butler held court in the center of about 100 friends and fans. His tone was appreciative, communicating a sincere sense of gratitude for the opportunity to convene in such an intimate setting.
Skipping the pomp and circumstance of a massive rollout, Fever 333 opted for sincerity over strategy to reintroduce themselves. Following a period of reassessment and some reconfiguration, the passion project spearheaded by Butler, emerged with a refreshed roster - marking the beginning of a new era for the band and presenting a unique opportunity to showcase a bit of home in the process.
Enlisting revered drummer Thomas Pridgen along with guitarist Brandon Davis and bassist April Kae as co-conspirators, the latest iteration of Fever revisited the salad days of backyard shows and house party gigs to convey an important message - one rooted in identity and integrity as the band began their next sequence in their ongoing campaign.
Performing a truncated set of seven songs including their most enduring entries like the confrontational "Bite Back", the empowering "One of Us" and the anthemic "Made An America", the ideology that fuels the potency of Fever was on full display - communicated up close and personal as possible.
In between the band's eruptive entries, Butler articulated the overarching mission statement that has always been core to the project. Butler carried on a conversation throughout the set that touched on talking points like inclusion, celebrating diversity rather than tolerating it and being mindful of the systemic division that tears at the fabric of our collective humanity.
He paid homage to his roots in Inglewood, recalling the inception of Fever just down the street at Randy's Donuts. He spoke candidly about his connection to punk and hardcore and the cultural lineage the sound owes to POC. He recalled how the house party stage was where everything started and expressed real happiness in being able to refresh such a universal component of musical discovery as a means of reintroducing Fever.
Between the lines of Fever's loaded stanzas, Butler was able to articulate the intent that drives the band's live intensity. Driven to challenge the status quo, confront social disparities and nurture a true sense of community in the process, Fever 333 have ushered in a contemporary era of protest music - A brand of dissent that aims to dismantle as much as it intends to build.
Galvanized by purpose, built for the long haul and rooted in self-awareness, Fever's backyard showcase served as a powerful reminder of the value of knowing where you going, while never forgetting where you came from.
Previewing new music with the track "Swing", erupting on essentials like "Burn It" and flying off the roof of the single story South LA home during the finale of "Hunting Season" - Butler and Fever 333 stuck to the script and ensured that with the new era, comes the same energy. Armed with a unique ability to articulate aggression, transcend cultural divides and turn spectators into participants, Fever 333 proved ready to resume their role as leaders of heavy music's new school.
Welcome to the Fever function...