SHIM, Madame Mayhem, The End In Red
March 5th, 2019
With tonight’s show, we’re just about a month shy of the 12th anniversary of the first time Shimon Moore debut with Sick Puppies in Omaha, Nebraska. When Shim left Sick Puppies in October of 2014, many of us wondered if he’d continue a career inspiring with his artistic talent. He returned to Omaha, the first city to openly embrace Sick Puppies’ music, in December of the same year, for what many of us thought was a farewell appearance and a “thank you” to his fans for their years of support. Sick Puppies has played one of their earliest U.S. shows in Omaha back in 2009, and the acoustic 2014 set really did feel like the end of an era for so many of us. The next few years were rather quiet with very little interaction from the man and no word on when of if he’d even continue making music.
My mother, bless her heart, had always told me “Good things take time. Great things happen all at once.” It took me many years to figure out exactly what she meant but that was exactly the case for Shimon Moore and his solo career. 2018 brought news of new music, a full album, and several live shows, including his return to the Omaha Metro area.
KIWR’s 2018 Summer Concert series was memorable for multiple reasons, one of those being Shim’s performance at Westfair Amphitheater. After his solo debut earlier that summer during Rock on the Range, Shim was fully prepared to return to the spotlight and remind us why we adore him so much.
With the release of his solo debut, and several popular single, the Crucified Tour began during the coldest days of 2019. The third stop of the tour brought the man back through Omaha, welcomed with open arms. Testing the touring waters, the first leg of the Crucified Tour would be passing through smaller venues like tonight’s show at the Lookout Lounge. Had it not been for the subzero weather, I’m sure the show would have sold out beyond capacity, but the braves souls of Omaha and Shim’s dedicated fans nearly did sell out tonight’s performance.
Local heroes The End In Red opened with a blistering set the tone for tonight’s crowd, and set the bar high. These veterans of the Omaha music scene have perfected their stage show and once again proved that the Midwest has birthed some amazing musicians.
Madame Mayhem, fronted by the enigmatic New York native Natalie Ann Cohen, was the perfect transition from The End In Red’s heavy rock beats into Shim’s career defining set. It had been a few years since Madame Mayhem has played in Omaha, but we’d not forgotten about the band’s high energy performance. The band’s set was a splendid mixture of cuts from throughout their catalogue and enhanced the mood of the night to near breaking capacity.
By time Shim took the stage, the crowd was seething with an eager anticipation that I rarely see at shows. It was almost like his performance last summer was a a small taste of what the man could bring to the stage, and tonight’s show was the real test. There was also no introduction needed. The band smashed through A Brand New War, and Riptide before Shim addressed the crowd, telling us “Your asses are mine for the next hour and half, so buckle up.”
As a solo artist, Shim could have easily skipped over the cuts from his time with Sick Puppies, leaving the past in the past. Instead, he embraced the music that started his career and breathed new life into the fan favorite songs. Hundreds of us in that room tonight had seen the man on stage before with his previous band, and while he always appeared to be having a blast on stage with the Puppies, there was an exceptional level of excitement during tonight’s show. Shim was proud without being egotistical, and eager without being narcissistic.
It was also mandatory to participate during his set. There was not a single spectator. This was a full contact set. While some were still learning to embrace his new music, not a single voice was silent during his current radio hits and Sick Puppies’ “covers”. Can we even really consider them cover songs? I mean, Shim wrote them originally.
Shim told us that he’d warned his band about what to expect from tonight’s show. It was Omaha, after all. Not only are we a crazy fucking crowd at rock shows, we’re also one of the first cities to embrace Shim’s music. As a special treat, maybe more so for Shim than us, the band started an impromptu rendition of All the Same. Shim said he chose the song to play only in Omaha be cause it was the first song he’d played here. I doubt he expected us to take over the vocal duties for the duration of the song though. It was truly special to hear several thousand voices singing the song that first introduced us to Shim.
The remainder of the set was split between the heaviest fan favorite Sick Puppies’ songs, and banger cuts from his solo album, except for one song. Our Time, my personal favorite from his solo album, played towards the end of the set, was another reminder as to why Shim means so much to so many of us.
Kicking the set back into high gear, the moshing started off hard during You’re Going Down and elevated into War as Shim ditched his guitar and leaned into the crowd for vocal support. Giving us one last chance to really cut loose, Sting Like A Bitch closed the set and left the entire crowd out of breath and eager for Shim’s return.
There have always been only a handful of artists that I can personally thank for being an inspiration and a positive voice in the darkness during trying times. Shim is one of those artists that I will forever be grateful for and tonight’s performance proved why.
A Brand New War
Riptide (Sick Puppies)
Odd One (Sick Puppies)
Maybe (Sick Puppies)
All the Same (Sick Puppies)
All Of Me
Cancer (Sick Puppies)
You’re Going Down (Sick Puppies)
War (Sick Puppies)
Sting Like A Bitch