I spent my New Year’s Eve attending the Shim Moore New Year’s Eve VIP Zoom Spectacular. Shim currently runs a Twitch channel called the Hollywood Rebellion on which he performs and records original music. The channel content includes collaborative song writing sessions, musical production, producing of other artists and weekly cover shows. The New Year’s Eve show was an oversized live stream VIP show which included original songs, a Vault Party, and a selection of Sick Puppies tunes.
A few years back while flipping through XM stations I came across a song that caught my attention. It was “Maybe”, by the Sick Puppies. The song totally blew me away. I subsequently went on iTunes and purchased two of the band’s albums, Tri-Polar and Connect. This was going to be one of my new favorite bands.
I did a Google search to see if the band was touring and that’s when I found out that Shim Moore had been kicked out of the band. I was like WHAT THE F*CK. How do you kick out the band’s founder, vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter? It’s like kicking Billie Joe Armstrong out of Green Day.
What attracted me to the Sick Puppies was Moore’s vocals and song writing. I had been waiting for him to tour, to see him perform live and photograph one of his shows. Unfortunately, the pandemic has limited in-person shows. As soon as I saw the promotion for his New Year’s Eve show, I immediately reached out to request access to the show.
This was a VIP show which created a very intimate atmosphere. Most of the audience kept their webcams on throughout the night which allowed everyone to view each other. People were very relaxed with some watching from chairs while others were lying on the sofa or bed. There was constant interaction between members of the audience via the chat screen. A familiarity seemed to exist between Shim and several of the viewers. I assume they were regulars on his live streams.
The show was split up into three segments. The first was a live acoustic performance of unreleased songs. The second segment was a Vault Party where Shim played previous taped songs. The last included a live acoustic performance of Sick Puppies tunes.
Shim Moore brings to me images of a tall musician with a big red Gibson ES-335 strapped over his shoulder. However, on this night the Gibson was nowhere to be seen, instead replaced by a set of Taylor acoustic guitars. The room in which the show was broadcast was the same one that is used in his Twitch live streams. A room with brick walls, lined with album covers and posters. He wore over-the-ear headphones and sang and talked into a microphone supported by a boom arm.
The first set consisted of five unreleased songs that he had rarely, if ever performed live. The opening song was an up-tempo tune for those that lost something during the year. It lifted one’s spirits with lyrics talking about being lost, praying for the clock to turn back time, and remembering ones that we lost. It sent shivers up my spine.
Another song in this segment was one he wrote when he was 16. It was a “breakup song” he hadn’t played in over 20 years. He was nervous about singing it and used typed out lyrics. Shim prefaced before he began that the lyrics for the song were simplistic, but I disagree and think maybe he just has high expectations for his music.
The Vault Party
Shim described the Vault Party as “Songs very different in vibe…Finished songs that are rough mixes of finished songs that could go on record”. These were recordings that he played while acting like a Deejay introducing and providing background on each song.
The 1st song was a demo that was the starting point for Howard’s Tale from Dressed Up As Life by the Sick Puppies. He stated that this was one of the songs of which he was most proud. It was the first song he wrote that had a beginning, middle, and end. Originally recorded as a joke, it had a great riff and chorus which got turned into the song a couple of years later. It had a weird Nightmare before Christmas vibe to it with high pitched vocals. Shim was holding back the laughter throughout the song. The second song was a slow song for the ladies that had a chorus reminiscent of Michael Bolton.
Moore has been working intermittently on demos for a covers album for quite a while. He currently has six demos including songs by Prince, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Linkin Park, and the Alman Brothers with unique arrangements of the originals. The song he shared was a mix demo of Soundgarden’s “The Day I Tried to Live”. This was a piano arrangement that had a much different feel than the Chris Cornell version.
The New Year struck in the Midwest during the middle of this segment of the show. Shim emitted optimism about 2021 commenting “it’s really great on the other side guys….2021 is so cool because nothing has happened yet. Nothing has gone wrong yet”. This was a recurring theme during whole show, leaving 2020 behind us and looking forward to the new year.
Sick Puppies Classics
During the final segment, Shim performed live acoustic versions of Sick Puppies tunes including “White Balloons”, “You’re Going Down”, and “Riptide” from the Tri-Polar album, “The Bottom” from Dressed up as life, and “Run” from Connect. None of these songs were originally recorded as acoustic songs so it was odd hearing them performed in this way. However, without the layers of distorted guitar, booming bass, and drums, the emphasis was on Shim’s vocals and guitar playing allowing him to highlight his abilities.
Why They Keep Coming Back
Three questions were posed to the audience on the live stream chat prior to the show. I think the best way to wrap up this review is to provide my responses to the same questions.
What separates this from different experiences?
I have viewed live stream performances by other bands. These shows had much larger audiences which resulted in the performances being rather impersonal. But beyond that, there didn’t seem to be much of an effort to reach out to the audience. In contrast, Shim’s show was very intimate with an extremely limited audience. It allowed him to personally connect with members of the audience. It was like being at a family gathering where someone pulls out a guitar and starts playing and singing for everyone.
How did you feel before you started? How did you feel when it finished?
It has obviously been a hard year for everyone. Living in the Eastern Time Zone, the show was a little late for me. Consequently, I was somewhat fatigued without a lot of motivation. I had a sense of pessimism for the upcoming months. After the show I had a much more positive attitude heading into the new year. Instead of being more tired, I actually gained more energy and ended up working on things for my new home office another two hours after the show.
Why do you keep coming back?
I am not a regular on the Hollywood Rebellion Twitch channel (yet), but I can speculate as to why people keep coming back. Shim possesses a vibrant, outgoing personality that allows him to connect with people. He is enthusiastic and has a constant smile. It was obvious that he has a connection with his followers, and I sensed an almost family like atmosphere.
The sound quality, vocals, and guitar work were virtually flawless and better than most live shows I have seen. In my opinion, the performance could go straight to CD with minimal work required. Shim was very enthusiastic and seemed to enjoy himself the whole night. In a year of full of negativity, this show was a good way to close out the current year and usher in the new. Shim tried to impart hope and positivity for the new year and least for this night I think he was successful.
Check Out Shim on the following sites
Have you ever seen Shim Moore in Concert? Comment below.
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