I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards last night! I believe the event was originally scheduled to take place inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, but as the awards show planning progressed they decided to have it outdoors at Voinovich Park behind the Rock Hall. Knowing Cleveland’s unpredictable weather, it was a risky move, but it was one that really paid off! Seeing a concert with Lake Erie as the backdrop was pretty darn cool!
The nominated bands, celebrities, and guest performers walked a red carpet hosted by Juliette Sims from the Voice and CM Punk out front of the Rock Hall prior to the show. Fans watched and cheered for their favorite bands as they walked the carpet, and were even able to snap pics with their favorites as they walked in. As fans entered Voinovich Park, they were greeted by the dulcet tones of Brendon Urie from Panic at the Disco as he sang some Sinatra covers! After Brendon’s performance, the show got started with charismatic host Blink 182 front man Mark Hoppus who razzed a few of the bandmates throughout the show. Along the way, there were a few hiccups, but the stellar performances throughout the night definitely made up for it.
Highlights of the night included a pep talk from Ice-T where he MF-ed his way into the hearts of attendees, and Coolio revived his old hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” with a little help from Tyler Carter from the band Issues and Ronnie Radke from Falling in Reverse. Ice-T and Body Count also delivered a memorable performance as did Cleveland’s own Machine Gun Kelly, who steals the show every time he’s on stage! Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the stunning collaboration between Joan Jett and Slash! The two legends took the stage to cover the Rolling Stones’ song “Star Star”. Some other great performances included The Misfits, Twenty One Pilots, and Fall Out Boy.
Aside from the performances, there were tons of appearances from some pretty big names in music including Joe Perry, Billy Corgan, Against Me’s Laura Jane Grace, and more. It’s safe to say rockers Pierce the Veil took the most Skully awards beating out big names in some really competitive categories! Joan Jett took home to first Icon Award and Billy Corgan delivered an impassioned speech while accepting his Vanguard Award.
Overall, it was a stellar showing for Mike Shea and AP Magazine. By next year, it’s safe to assume the kinks will be worked out, and they’ll deliver another fantastic show. The best part about the evening was the access to the bands and artists. It was very cool to see some of the big names in rock music meandering among the masses and cruising around in golf carts! Fans were able to get photos with their favorite bands, and it was a very unique chance to see so many talented people on one stage!