Between 2003 and the beginning of 2005 I probably saw the Fever over twenty times. At the time it was really easy. I saw them open for Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, I saw lead singer Geremy Jasper knock over the drum kit one and a half songs in at Plaid resulting in a frantic re-assembly before the show could go on, and I saw them play at Mercury Lounge more times than I can count on one hand. There was something about them that I never seemed to tire of. After the one-two punch of the Pink on Pink E.P. and the Red Room L.P. and a shit ton of shows supporting the two, the Fever disappeared for almost a year to record their sophomore release In the City of Sleep, set to drop on April 26 on Kemado. On Friday, the Fever played their one and only show in the NYC area before the release of the record at Maxwells in New Jersey. With the excitement of hearing new songs and finally getting to see the old favorites again, I grabbed a buddy and headed for the Holland tunnel.
In the year that the Fever have been away, they’ve lost guitarist Sanchez Esquire and have apparently opted not to replace him. I was a bit nervous about how that would translate on the old tunes, as Sanchez unquestionably added a lot to the band’s sound. On Friday, Keith Stapleton, who, with drummer Achilles Tzoulafis made one of my favorite rhythm sections around on the E.P. and Red Room, proved to be the bands’ switch hitter rocking both bass and guitar. More attention than ever now falls on keyboardist Jay Ruggiero as he covers the organ/synth sounds as well as filling in some low end synth bass on new songs. The star of the show remains Geremy, starting in the audience, then taking the stage and not relenting for the duration of the explosive set. Screaming, crooning, stomping, rapping the mic chord around his hands, alternately challenging the audience and turning his back on us, Geremy is the consummate front man. Check out two new tunes from the upcoming release over at the Fever’s MySpace page. “Redhead” will re-assure old time fans that the Fever still has it, while “Waiting for the Centipede” showcases some of the new direction the band is going in. The band will be touring in March around SXSW. If you’re lucky enough to have them coming to your town, don't miss this show.