The Used, Red Sun Rising, The Fever 333: May 24th, 2018

The Used, Red Sun Rising, The Fever 333
The Canyon Tour 2018
May 24th, 2018
Sokol Auditorium
Omaha, Nebraska

Since my first live show in 1995, and if my tracker is correct, I’ve seen just under 1,200 performances from almost 500 different artists. Shows like tonight, where I’ve never seen any of the bands live before, are a rare event and they are almost the concerts that I look the most forward too. It’s one thing to be a fan of a band’s studio material, but it’s another level of undeniability when their live show takes the musical experience to a whole new level. For me, that was what tonight’s show would be since I’ve not seen The Used, Red Sun Rising or The Fever 33 live before. For whatever reason, mostly because of work and adulting, I’ve always missed out on seeing The Used play in Omaha, but it was always their headlining sets that I wanted to see the most. Festival performances, while necessary when touring, are often only made up of 6 to 8 tracks and can sometimes feel rushed with the bands playing their radio singles. That rushed feeling would not be anything that we’d have to worry about tonight.
Opening tonight’s show, The Fever 333 are the talk of the spring festival circuit. I’ve read the reviews of their sets for Northern Invasion, Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion, and already had high expectations for the rapcore trio.
Formed out of the ashes of letlive., vocalist Jason Aalon Butler teamed up with former The Chariot guitarist Stephen Harrison, and drummer Aric Improta of Night Verses to create some of the most energetic music I’ve heard.
Butler stepped on stage, cloth bag over his head, standing in front of a stage length white sheet. Voice overs of news broadcasts about police brutality and various social injustices played as Butler remained motionless on stage. Several fans along the barricade even unfurled a banner with the band’s logo.
The political overtone was too much for one snowflake in the crowd though who screamed out “We didn’t come here for politics. Play some music.” What the bruh doesn’t realize is that The Fever 333’s message is very political, and he was in the minority with his opinion. The correlation between politics and music go back centuries, each seeming to affect the other on various levels depending on the generation and era. Whether its Jimmy Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock, John Lennon pleading during Imagine, Rage Against the Machine in front of a quarter of a million fans at Download Festival, or A Perfect Circle performing TalkTalk on Jimmy Kimmel Live, some of the best musicians use politics to craft their most amazing works of art. The Fever 333 could easily be this generation’s Rage Against the Machine.
To see The Fever 333 on stage is like no other concert I’ve experienced. Importa spent his time behind the drumkit thrashing about like a caged lunatic trying to chew threw a straightjacket. Spinning, jumping, and twirling, Harrison’s stage antics could have put in the running for an Olympic Gold Medal in Gymnastics, all the while slaying some of the sickest guitar cuts. Butler took to the crowd on several occasions, inciting an even greater positive response from the crowd. Even those that may not have known the lyrics to the songs were brought into the pit and welcomed with thrashing bodies and pumping fists. These guys are definitely the band to watch in 2018.
Ohio quartet Red Sun Rising followed The Fever 333’s energetic set with their own unique brand of rock. Touring in support of the recent release of their 4th studio album, Thread, Red Sun Rising’s live set was nothing like what I expected. Their moves seemed almost choreographed with an incredible precision, but they all looked incredibly confident on stage and really seemed to be having a great time. The band’s set was split between their Thread and Polyester Zeal releases, with the band choosing their heaviest tracks for this tour. Along with an authentic hard rock set, these guys looked sharp on stage.
Having only recently become a fan of theirs, it was really cool to hear a thousand fans singing along to Veins and Deathwish, both tracks off of their March 2018 release. Vocalist and founder Mike Protich worked the crowd with a zeal rarely seen outside of musicians twice his age. Without a doubt, Red Sun Rising’s authentic style of rock music made more than a few fans after tonight’s performance.
By the time The Used took the stage, our concert felt more like a gathering of friends waiting for the rest of the group that we’d not seen in years to show up. In fact, it had been just over 4 years since the band had passed through Nebraska, and just shy of 16 years since their Omaha debut.
Continuing their touring cycle for The Canyon, the band’s 7th full length album, The Used choose fan favorites from their lengthy catalogue for tonight’ set. For nearly an hour and a half the band rocked out with over a thousand of their closest friend. Throughout the evening, the band touched on each of their albums as vocalist and founder Bert McCracken bounced about the stage. Tonight’s show would also be one of the few times on this tour that fans would hear Empty with You, off of the band’s 2009 Artwork release.
Tonight’s concert really did feel like more of a reunion of sorts, except there was a killer soundtrack to set the mood. Don’t make the same mistake that I did. If you get the chance to see The Used live, don’t hesitate. You will not be disappointed by their live show.