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Sick Puppies, Feb. 26, The Big Easy

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When the video for "All The Same" by Australian rock band the Sick Puppies debuted on YouTube, it hit a nerve. It's a short documentary, filmed by lead singer Shimon Moore, which shows a bearded bespectacled young man who goes by the name Juan Mann wandering through high-traffic areas holding up a sign that reads "Free Hugs." He is ignored by some, denied by others, but indulged by many more. Eventually, law enforcement gives the poor guy a cease-and-desist order. In response, the physically friendly guy gets 10,000 signatures on a petition, and the love is again soon shared.

The video is touching and an interesting paradox as the introduction for many to a band whose stateside debut release comes with a parental advisory warning. The three-piece band out of Sydney has received plenty of press based on their music alone. They have a "modern melodic rock" sound punctuated by Moore's oft-falsetto, whispery vocals as he emotes lyrics written by both him and rock-chick bassist Emma Anzai, who have been playing together since 1997. Drummer Mark Goodwin rounded out the trio when they moved to L.A., in a bid to show U.S. audiences what fans down under had known for a long time: Sick Puppies are a band worth watching, free hugs or not.

Feb. 26, with Saving Abel and locals Sub*Vert, 8 p.m., $13, The Big Easy, 416 S. 9th St., 208-367-1212, BigEasyConcerts.com. Check out the free hugs video for "All The Same" at YouTube.com.