More and more, festivals are becoming the driving force for touring rock and metal bands. While obviously there were none in 2020, festivals are returning in force in 2021, mostly in late summer and early fall. Headliners and co-headliners include such heavy hitters as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, the original Misfits, Korn, Judas Priest, Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown. Live Metal’s “2021 Festival Spotlight” series aims to bring attention to some of the names in smaller print on the festival admats—the bands you can get up close and personal with at the smaller stages—along with a few higher profile acts we find worth calling out here. See you at the shows.

Playing: Inkcarceration, Blue Ridge Rock Festival, Louder Than Life, Knotfest Iowa, Welcome to Rockville

Website: www.fever333.com 

Latest release: Fever 333 released the “Wrong Generation” EP in 2020 via Roadrunner Records/333 Wreckords. The band dropped its debut full-length, “Strength in Numb333rs,” in 2019.

What You Need to Know: Led by former Letlive frontman Jason Aalon Butler and with a sound that’s equal parts punk rock and hip hop, Fever 333 follows in the tradition of politically and socially conscious bands such as Rage Against the Machine. In fact, Butler wrote and recorded the new EP after participating in Black Lives Matter protests in Southern California following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“I did the only thing I knew I could do,” he said in an interview with Alternative Press. “So I went out into the street, and I marched, and I yelled, and I cried, and I laughed. Everything I could to express how I felt about this thing and express our thoughts about Black people and people of color and disenfranchised people. Did everything I could for 13 days. I was in what people called ‘peaceful protests’ and was amid what people called ‘riots.’ And on the 14th day, I came home, and I wrote ‘Bite Back.’”

“At this moment,” Butler continued, “we do not have the time to explain to you why you should understand it. We do not have the time to explain to you why you should give a fuck. This is me saying, ‘This is why you shouldn’t be confused.’ But if you are, we don’t have time to sit here and explain it to you. You just need to listen.”

Butler and his bandmates—guitarist Stephen Harrison and drummer Aric Improta—bring the same passion and energy to their live shows. They’re wild, unpredictable affairs, especially on big stages—an absolute must-see act on any bill.

What You Need to Hear: 

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