Last week was the first show I caught at Wooly‘s (not proud of that considering I’ve lived in the DSM area for 3 years now). I was very impressed with the venue. There is enough space for a big act but it would still probably be considered a smaller venue. Nothing wrong with that as it gets you closer to the band you came to see. There’s a full service bar with plenty of great drink and beer selections. It’s a great all-around place to see a show and they constantly have many different kinds of acts come through.
Fatal Addiction and Devour the Day were the openers, and they performed admirably. They got the crowd moving and ready for the headliner. Once it was time for Sick Puppies to hit the stage, we found a spot roughly dead center in the floor. They came out with one of their newer tracks. I am not 100% sure but I believe it was “Die to Save You“. Good new song, slightly reminds me of “War” which is one my favorites by this group.
Sick Puppies is a group that is mainly known for their harder stuff. Over time, the band has given us a steady offering of many types of songs. Whatever the type may be, a fast-paced fist-pounder or a slower, more heart-felt track; they have always excelled at whatever they’ve done. And their ability to get a crowd going is awesome as well. “War” was a great way to do this and I’ve posted below one of their more recent hits off their new album Connect. It has some smart, insightful lyrics but still rocks hard. They also later played the title track from the same album but I wasn’t a fan of that one. See what you think. And don’t judge Sick Puppies on this one song if you’re not familiar with them at all. Check out the other two videos posted or their other work first as “Gunfight” took me a few listens before I got into it.
I thought Sick Puppies’ setlist did about as good as you can as far as the traditional approach of mixing in new stuff along with pleasing the crowd with the popular songs. Most of Sick Puppies’s work that I like the best is from Tri-Polar. So I was elated they played all the best singles from that album including “Odd One”, “You’re Going Down”, “Maybe” and my personal favorite “Riptide”. They also included some tracks from their debut album Dressed Up As Life, which is as underrated album in my opinion (with solid tunes such as this).
“Riptide” is a song about doing your own thing and not letting others persuade you into conforming to doing what’s “normal”. While it has a short chorus, my favorite part is the outro @2:58 with the closing statement “I remember when it used to be easy, I remember when it wasn’t so hard.” Which I assume is a statement about all the hoops we now find ourselves jumping through in society; that we make out to be a priority but seldom turn out to be essential or fulfilling.
All three band members stage presence was entertaining. The lead singer/guitarist, Shim, was very charismatic and got the crowd involved throughout the show. You could also purchase a special pass to meet the band after the show. It was limited to 100 people or so but it was one of those fan appreciation deals that they didn’t have to do. They also introduced this blogger to his first mosh pit during the closing act “You’re Going Down”. While it was not completely voluntary by me or my friend that accompanied me, it was a worthwhile experience that everybody should probably have at some point of their lives.
Sick Puppies members Mark Goodwin (drummer), Emma Anzai (bass) and Shim Moore (guitarist)
My final hope was that they played their epic cover of Smashing Pumpkins “Cherub Rock”. I knew it was a long shot and sadly it was not featured in their show. It takes nothing away from what a fucking great cover it is, though. It’s a much harder, aggressive take on the early 90’s classic. It starts out slow and nonchalant but picks it up quickly and the best part is after the 2nd chorus (@2:06) where they brilliantly break-off and do another one of Pumpkins’s songs “The Everlasting Gaze”. It all culminates to my favorite cover ever. If you’re a fan of this group at all then you have to see them live, no exception. I’d say this link posted below is an indicator to the high energy level put on display.
http://grooveshark.com/#!/search/song?q=Sick+Puppies+Cherub+Rock+Cover (Select the bottom version for best audio quality)