Vegas Shock-Rock, Aussie Alt-Metal, Atlanta Post-Grunge

Distract yourself fro the textbook with a healthy dose of Sick Puppies

Sick Puppies

Sick Puppies

Like a lot of people, I’m caught up in the back-to-school grind (as a part-time college instructor, not a student). Which means I’m desperately seeking live music to help me forget the stacks of ungraded quizzes on my desk. Fortunately, this week delivers concert gems to ease my anxious brain.

If you need to bang your head a bit harder than usual, allow me to suggest a show by Australian alt-metal trio Sick Puppies at 7 p.m. September 13 at Fremont Country Club. I keep hearing their single, “There’s No Going Back,” on rock station KOMP 92.3-FM, and it’s catchy. The Puppies have a litter of albums out, but their latest one, Connect, is their most grown-up and ambitious. I’m digging the deep cuts, like acoustic-based “Under a Very Black Sky,” which builds a wall of harmonized vocals à la Queen. Canada’s Redlight King opens.

Wow, I learned something new today. Las Vegas has its own locally manufactured shock-rock band called I.D.S.F.A. From what I can suss, this bizarre-looking, genre-crossing ensemble—not quite punk, not quite metal—offers a stage show that involves zombies, hazmat suits, radioactive-waste barrels, anti-aircraft guns and an army of fog machines. I.D.S.F.A. has a sense of humor. They perform “Shot Down by the Double Down” about being rejected by Double Down Saloon for not meeting the venue’s Ass Juice-slinging standards. In any case, my curiosity is piqued by “Two Cops,” which has been characterized as Alice Cooper fronting Blue Man Group. I.D.S.F.A. plays LVCS at 9 p.m. September 14 with 7 Days Lost, Willie Psycho, Vile Child and Resurrection.

I plan to be back at Fremont Country Club at 7 p.m. September 17 to finally see hometown hard-rock heroes Otherwise live. I’m really digging their third single from last year’s debut album, True Love Never Dies. The track is called “Die for You,” and it’s a heavy, riff-lurching beast of a song, with singer Adrian Patrick giving a helluva performance. Otherwise is opening for longtime nu-metal act P.O.D.

Yes, it’s true, I’m not a huge fan of post-grunge rock ’n’ roll, but there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Sevendust, which plays Hard Rock Live at 7 p.m. September 18. After taking some serious time off, the band roared back to life by releasing the terrifyingly heavy Black Out the Sun in March. Indeed, there’s nothing rusty in “Decay,” with its barbed-wire guitar solo and singer Lajon Witherspoon’s gritty yet immense voice. Sevendust wipes the floor with most other bands working in this genre by insisting on musicianship and emotion. Also, this is one of a few modern-rock bands to have the self-respect not to add electronica flourishes to their music. 10 Years opens.

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