SHIM, with Big Story, Saturday, March 2, 7 p.m., 2106 E. Platte Ave., $9.43/adv, $14/door, all ages, 227-7625, blacksheeprocks.com.
At one time or another, nearly all of us have been approached by strangers bearing signs that say “free hugs,” a touching gesture that can be comforting or creepy or maybe a little bit of both. And, for that, we can thank the Australian musician Shimon Moore. As frontman of the Silverchair-worshipping band Sick Puppies, Moore made a touchy-feely music video that transformed the predilections of his serial-hugger friend Juan Mann into a worldwide phenomenon that periodically finds its way to Tejon Street. Over the past 12 years, that video — which pairs Mann’s public displays of affection with Sick Puppies’ melodramatic rock ballad “All the Same” — has gone viral to the tune of more than 75 million views. The band, on the other hand, has fared less well. In 2014, the singer was surprised to discover, through a social media post, that he was “pursuing other endeavors” while his former bandmates were holding auditions to find a new singer, an unceremonious dismissal worthy of the Trump administration. Left to his own devices, the now L.A.-based musician has returned with a solo album called SHIM, which is how he prefers to be addressed these days, and a single called “Crucified,” which is more alt-rock persecution complex than feel-good anthem. Sick Puppies fans can nonetheless be assured that “All the Same” will show up somewhere in Moore’s set list, at which point it’s best not to be standing near anyone you don’t want hugging you.