Cleveland is now home to the first ever nationwide alternative rock awards show.
The inaugural Alternative Press Awards were held Monday, July 21 and broadcast live on AXS-TV. Stars and fans alike arrived at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the festivities, which officially began at 7:30 pm.
While the show took place in Voinovich Park, fans crowded around the entrance to the Rock Hall for a glimpse of their favorite stars walking down the red carpet. Wrestler CM Punk and “The Voice” winner Juliet Simms were on hand to interview artists and entertainers of the genre. Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, who hosted the ceremonies, even stepped off of the carpet to take selfies with fans.
The evening was unique in its blend of an awards show and a concert setting. The Contemporary Youth Orchestra, fronted by conductor Liza Grossman, provided entrance and exit music for all presenters and winners. The orchestra played segments of popular songs by Alternative Press artists, such as Paramore’s “Still Into You” and All Time Low’s “A Love Like War”.
Fans danced and partied in a pit in front of the stage while bands played anywhere from one to four songs. Popular punk band The Misfits performed four songs, two of which were with Black Veil Brides singer Andy Biersack, who walked onto the stage wearing a Misfits t-shirt. This
wasn’t the first special collaboration of the night either, as awards shows are never without a few surprises.
Rapper Coolio made a guest appearance, performing with Falling In Reverse on their cover of “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Brendan Urie of Panic! At the Disco opened the show, performing Frank Sinatra staples “Luck Be a Lady” and “Fly Me to the Moon,” accompanied by the Contemporary Youth Orchestra. And in one of the most outrageous and profanity-ridden performances of the evening, rapper-turned-Law & Order-detective Ice-T and his thrash metal group, Body Count, took the stage with their 1992 hit, “There Goes the Neighborhood.”
Billy Corgan (of The Smashing Pumpkins), Joan Jett, and Slash were honored with the Vanguard, Icon, and the Guitar Legend Awards, respectively.
CM Punk introduced Corgan, calling him a “god” in the realm of music. Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace made a heartfelt speech about Jett breaking down the gender barriers in rock music, while Jamie Sierota of Echosmith introduced her performance. In another surprise appearance, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry presented Slash with his award.
Other notable performances of the night included Asking Alexandria’s cover of Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf”, Cleveland native Machine Gun Kelly performing with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, and Twenty One Pilots active performance, where Josh Dun and his drum set moved on a platform held up by crew members and fans, and singer Tyler Joseph scaled the scaffolding of the stage.
12 fan-voted awards were given throughout the evening as well, including Best Vocalist for Brendan Urie, Best Live Band for Pierce the Veil, and Artist of the Year for Fall Out Boy, who ended the evening with a performance of “The Phoenix.”
Aside from a few minor hiccups, the ceremonies were a success overall, proving that the Alternative Press Awards are here to stay.