2015 AP Awards Highlighted by Halestorm + Corey Taylor Collaboration, Sum 41 Reunion, Rob Zombie + More
Mischief, mayhem and (of course) music marked the second edition of the Alternative Press Music Awards, held last night (July 22) at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Surprise collaborations were also in the cards, highlighted by Slipknot / Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor joining Halestorm for a fantastic version of Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike." Taylor nailed his vocal parts with fiery gusto -- so much so that he forcefully took his jacket off mid-song and tossed it aside -- while his harmonies with Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale were note-perfect. Hale herself sounding outstanding on the song, amplifying the blues-rock aspects of her voice for the grunge classic (watch above).
Prior to the cover, Halestorm also performed their own "Love Bites (So Do I)," which had a bit more urgency last night. Hale's guitar solo was like a flash of white-hot lightning, while drummer Arejay Hale tossed and flipped his drumsticks in the air throughout the song.
The other surprise collaboration was also a success: Vanguard Award winner Rob Zombie joined Motionless in White for a take on White Zombie's "Thunder Kiss '65." The pairing was inspired, as the lithe Zombie stalked around the stage growling and barking out the song's clipped lyrics (and, at times, trading lines with frontman Chris "Motionless" Cerulli, who kept pace nicely), and even hopped offstage and hoisted himself above the general admission pit in front to sing.
The other song Motionless In White performed, "Reincarnate," showed their lineage both to Zombie and bands such as Marilyn Manson. Gnarly electro flourishes and sewer-gritty bass meshed well with the band's grimy, goth-metal guitars.
The return of Sum 41 was perhaps the most anticipated moment of the night; both the industry section on the floor and the crowd in the lower bowl clearly made an effort to catch the band. Not to be outdone, their set also featured two surprise guests: Both hip-hop legend DMC and the band's former guitarist Dave Brownsound joined Sum 41 onstage.
The latter's presence was a welcome jolt of energy to music that was gloriously chaotic and had Sum 41's usual shambling, breakneck-speed pop-punk vibe. Frontman Deryck Whibley, making his return from a near-death episode last year, sounded a little hoarse vocally, but "Still Waiting," "In Too Deep" and, of course, "Fat Lip" thrilled the crowd. In fact, the latter song turned into a massive crowd sing-along, energy that kept going when DMC joined them onstage for a cover of Run-DMC's "King of Rock," which found the hip-hop legend and Whibley trading lines back and forth.
Pierce the Veil's brief time onstage was also memorable and energetic: The group tore through their AFI-esque new single, "The Divine Zero," as streamers, confetti and smoke cannons exploded around them. Bassist Jaime Preciado in particular was mesmerizing, zipping around his corner of the stage and climbing on a platform like a kid overloaded on sugar.
Black Veil Brides also provided an early highlight with their Misfits-influenced performance of "Faithless," featuring Andy Biersack's guttural howl and plenty of unison headbanging from the frontline instrumentalists, as well as their cover of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell."
Black Veil Brides also took home Album of the Year for their 2014 self-titled effort, one of a handful of Skullys -- the magazine's version of a Grammy -- awarded last night. Pierce the Veil's Tony Perry took home Best Guitarist, while Issues was named Artist of the Year. (See the full list below.)
Many of the introduction and acceptance speeches were rather loose and off-the-cuff, whether due to pre-stage indulgences or TV nerves. However, Corey Taylor's introduction of Rob Zombie for the Vanguard Award was short, sweet and complimentary; among other things, he noted the filmmaker/musician was a "maverick, showman and someone who's been blowing us away for 25 years."
Amusingly, Zombie's acceptance speech noted that their earliest Alternative Press review was rather negative toward White Zombie. However, he then thanked people for "ignoring the review" and expressed gratitude for the fans and the magazine.
Many of the songs in the four-hour show were augmented by Cleveland's Contemporary Youth Orchestra--including Panic! At the Disco's epic, theatrical take on Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"--while other highlights included performances from New Found Glory with Paramore's Hayley Williams, Weezer and PVRIS (joined by Issues' Tyler Carter).
2015 Alternative Press Music Awards Winners
BEST VOCALIST presented by AXS TV: Hayley Williams, Paramore
BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND presented by AP Japan: The 1975
ICON AWARD presented by Artery Recordings: X
VANGUARD AWARD presented by Equal Vision and MerchNow: Rob Zombie
BEST BASSIST presented by Razor & Tie: Zack Merrick, All Time Low
ARTIST PHILANTHROPIC presented by Sub City/Take Action:
Taking Back Sunday for American Cancer Society
BEST LIVE BAND presented by Macbeth: A Day to Remember
BEST DRUMMER presented by DW Drums: Rian Dawson, All Time Low
BEST FANDOM presented by Tumblr: 5 Seconds of Summer
BEST MUSIC VIDEO presented by Journeys: “Drown,” Bring Me the Horizon
SONG OF THE YEAR presented by Epitaph Records: “Kick Me,” Sleeping With Sirens
BEST UNDERGROUND BAND presented by Sumerian Records: Being as an Ocean
MOST DEDICATED FANS presented by Fearless Records: All Time Low’s “hustlers”
BEST GUITARIST presented by Gibson Brands: Tony Perry, Pierce The Veil
BREAKTHROUGH BAND presented by Splat: PVRIS
ARTIST OF THE YEAR presented by Monster Energy: Issues
ALBUM OF THE YEAR presented by Journeys: Black Veil Brides, Black Veil Brides
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