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CONCERT REVIEW: “Sick Puppies”

Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 10:00 am
By Chris Vetter

Sick Puppies lead singer Shimon Moore said there were a lot of people doubting him and his band when they packed up and left Sydney, Australia, and headed to Los Angeles to pursue their rock n’ roll dreams.

Moore told that story in one of the few slow moments of their show Saturday in downtown Minneapolis, before launching into their hit “Maybe,” a song about pursuing those hopes and dreams.

Sick Puppies, a three-member rock band, released their fourth disc, “Connect,” in July, and are touring to promote the new material. The band played an excellent 17-song, 80-minute set at the Mill City Nights club before about 1,000 adoring fans on Saturday.

Moore and guitarist Emma Anzai formed the Sick Puppies while in high school in Australia. Drummer Mark Goodwin joined the band once they moved to the United States. They’ve opened for Nickelback and toured extensively in recent years, including a stop at Rock Fest near Cadott in 2011.
The band opened with “Die To Save You,” the first track off “Connect,” with Moore’s distinct Australian accent vanishing when he sings. Meanwhile, the beautiful Anzai thrashed her guitar in front of a fan, her long, black hair flowing throughout the set as she kept up with Moore’s energetic performance.

Moore belted out the new radio hit “There’s No Going Back,” then launched into more familiar tunes like “Odd One,” “Riptide,” “My World” and “Maybe.” Moore slowed it down briefly with the softer “Connect,” before immediately bringing the crowd back up for the football stadium-sounding anthem “War.”

Not every song worked – the new tune “Gunfight” quickly grades on my nerves.

The three-song encore featured “All The Same,” the new tune “Walking Away,” before the band finished with their biggest radio hit “You’re Going Down.”

Unlike some rock singers, Moore’s lyrics are easy to understand, even if you haven’t heard them before. The band is known not only for their catchy hooks and rock beats, but also for their fun videos. “You’re Going Down” features young boys in a water gun fight, while “Odd One” shows a teenage girl who shoots electricity from her fingers.

The new material sounded great, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sick Puppies return to the Rock Fest stage next summer.