Dedicated fans hugged the railings late afternoon as their favorite alternative rock bands and musicians walked the red carpet outside of Rock Hall. Attending the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards were several press, news anchors, journalists, and social media gurus, lined up with their camera crew to interview and photograph rock artists like Joan Jett, Ice-T, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, and Smashing Pumpkin's Billy Corgan. Also making an epic appearance were band members from Korn, Yellow Card, Paramore, Silverstein, Mushroomhead, and many more.
Hosting the red carpet was suited up wrestler CM Punk and the Voice's Juliet Simms. Screaming fans couldn't get enough of the duo as they acknowledged their audience, preparing them for what was to come next.
Fans placed their vote in several categories such as Breakthrough Artist, Album of the Year, and Best Live Band. Black Veil Brides was honored with Most Dedicated Fans award, All Time Low received Artist Philanthropic for their dedication to SkateForCancer, Pierce the Veil was awarded Best Live Band, and United Kingdom's Bring Me the Horizon took home Best International Band. Some band members were individually recognized and awarded in categories like Best Drummer (Mike Fuentes), Best Bassist (Jaime Preciado), Best Guitarist (Phil Manansala), and Best Vocalist (Brendon Urie). Several other honorable awards were given to legends like Joan Jett (Icon Award presented by Blackstar Amps), Billy Corgan (Vanguard Award), and Slash (Guitar Legend Award).
Outside of the actual awards were performances some only dream to witness live on stage. Panic! At The Disco's Brendon Urie opened the ceremony with a memorable Frank Sinatra performance, nailing each song and mannerism to a tee. Joan Jett, known for her radical tunes and powerful messages, included artists like transgender band member Laura Jane Grace from Against Me and Slash, who just happened to be in town Sunday for a sold-out show at the Hard Rock, to join her on stage for what turned out to be the best performance of the night. Also added to her performance was Cleveland's Billy Crooked of the Vacancies in the first song of her set. Not a single fan looked elsewhere as Jett lit up the stage.
It wouldn't be alternative rock if something explicit wasn't said or seen. However, some artists left fans puzzled and disengaged. Ice-T's performance with his band Body Count included repetitive lyrics like "talk s**t, get shot", adding to the already overused profanity throughout the lengthy song. Another performance rumored to be disappointing, as heard throughout the crowd within seconds of it ending, was Fall Out Boy's one and only song. Immediately following their short performance, phrases like "that's it?" and "only one song?" spewed from the mouths of dedicated (and let down) fans. For the last performance of the night, Fall Out Boy didn't leave much of a "wow" factor.
Setting aside two questionable performances, the first annual award ceremony ran smoothly and experienced minimal audio and visual complications. Even so, any error was quickly corrected and saved by quick wit from its presenters and MC Blink-182's Mark Hoppus.
Topping off the evening was the after party held inside Rock Hall which included a DJ, excess room to dance, and a tour of the museum. Beer, cocktails, and wine were served amongst band members, media reps, and those fans who purchased exclusive VIP access. Rock Hall called it a night around 2 a.m. It's no question whether or not fans and even more epic bands will be attending next year's AP Music Awards, rumored to be held yet again in Cleveland, Ohio. This is just the start in the growing support for alternative rock music.
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