The black-clad, pasty-skinned population of Utah emerged out of cavernous rooms and local Hot Topic stores to catch a glimpse of Evanescence Friday, Nov. 16.

The people-watching would have alone been worth the price of a ticket, since Evanescence is a little…two years ago.

Despite Gothfest 2007, a surprisingly fresh opening band was still capable of stealing the show.

Sick Puppies is a three-piece band from Sydney, Australia, now based in L.A.

Their heavily ’90s-rock-influenced sound appeals to the college crowd, serving as a nostalgic reminder of homegrown bands such as Green Day and Rage Against the Machine. Front man and guitarist Shimon Moore started the band with bassist Emma Anzai in high school.

They along with drummer Mike Goodwin deliver raw, honest lyrics carried by simple, guitar-heavy tunes. The classic blend creates a unique sound.

 "Music has become so safe and homogenized; you can hear it. Records are starting to be a little more experimental and that’s what we want to do," Moore said.

The band received an enormous amount of attention through their YouTube "Free Hugs" video, which Moore filmed and produced.

The video has been viewed by over 11 million people and is set to the bands song "All The Same."

"It was a great chance to bring down that initial wall. It set us apart from other bands trying to make it," Moore said.

The video shows a man who holds a sign saying "Free Hugs" at a mall in L.A. It documents the public’s initial hesitance then embrace, his struggles with the police that seek to shut his project down, and then his ultimate success in overcoming the resistance through a petition signed by the public.

Sick Puppies latest album "Dressed up as Life" is already receiving overwhelming attention and accolade. The single "My World" is all over the radio, but for the band, it’s been a long time coming and modesty shows.

 "We haven’t really reached the success of other bands. We’re not headlining tours or buying houses," Moore said, "We’ve been doing this forever. We just keep moving and playing the shows."

Sick Puppies will conclude their tour with Evanescence on the East Coast before heading out again in January. If their energetic shows, fan appreciation, and raw musical style continue, this band will be on MTV’s Cribs in no time.