Published Aug 01, 2005If nothing else, you've got to give Edmonton's New City Likwid Lounge an A for ambition on this one; they took a real financial gamble flying in highly buzzed NYC disco rockers the Fever for an exclusive North American date just prior to their tour of Europe. As the night progressed and the crowd failed to swell, however, it became apparent that the gamble hadn't paid off. The tone for the evening was set early by local spazz lords Mark Birtles Project, who blasted through a sweaty, tight-jeans set of infectious synth rock that got the crowd out of their seats and onto the floor. And while things slowed down a bit during a pleasant though somewhat out of place round of bright, sunny guitar pop from Edmonton's Columbus, it didn't take the Fever long to get the kids in full bop mode again, as they hit the stage with their well-stocked new wave arsenal of cocky struts, organ skronks and twitchy guitars from their hopelessly catchy and woefully underappreciated 2004 full-length, Red Bedroom. In between blistering renditions of "Cold Blooded," "Labour of Love" and the fantastically Devo-esque "Artificial Heart," the group also took the opportunity to try out a good number of hot (but currently unnamed) new ones as well. In the end, as last call approached and the dust from the encore began to settle, the Fever had left in their wake an audience so wowed that they surely won't see a crowd this small whenever they come through town again. Whoever books them though might want to save a few bucks and wait for a western Canadian tour next time. You know, just in case.