Indianapolis-based Christian metalcore band Haste the Day is the headliner for this show, but it's the Australia-native Sick Puppies who are the real attraction on this bill. Dressed Up as Life, the Sick Puppies' debut, features "All the Same," a song made famous via YouTube as the soundtrack for a guy giving out free hugs in a mall. Such naïve romanticism fits the band's aura rather well as Shimon Moore, Emma Anzai and recently added drummer Mark Goodwin make heartfelt music that's heavy on the punky angst but light on innovation. Songs such as "What Are You Looking For" and "Deliverance" mix Coldplay with My Chemical Romance without the pretension inherent in either band. Friendly and likable almost to a fault, what saves Sick Puppies from overdosing on earnestness is the band's way with a melody and its ability to lock into a groove with fire and flair.
Unlike their emo brethren, these three Aussies seem uninterested in hairstyles, eyeliner and pouty expressions. And charming cover choices such as Destiny's Child's "Say My Name" show a band willing to take chances. Interestingly more popular here than in their home country, these Puppies have a sound that, for better and worse, is distinctly American.