Concerts heat up at the “Hot Topic Oscars”

The second-annual Alternative Press Music Awards feature All Time Low, Sum 41, Panic at the Disco

The second annual Alternative Press Music Awards, or the “Hot Topic Oscars,” as their hosts laughingly called them, were held at Quicken Loans arena on July 22. Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat, lead vocalist and lead guitar, respectively, of All Time Low, hosted the show for a live audience and broadcast on AXS TV.

The show kicked off with an awesome piece by the Contemporary Youth Orchestra. They played all six of the songs that were nominated for Song of The Year, and they were musically on point the entire time. The Orchestra also accompanied several bands’ performances throughout the evening.

Following that relatively calm opening, All Time Low took the stage to pump up the audience with an arrangement of iconic alternative songs such as “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, “Should I Stay or Should I go” by The Clash, “The Middle” by Jimmy Eats World and “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy.

It was an awesome way to set the pace of the show, and it really got the crowd moving and jumping to their favorite songs.

After their band’s strong opening, though, Gaskarth and Barakat were mediocre hosts for the remainder of the show. While some of their jokes stuck the landing—“We’re broadcasting live in HD; you will all see us wearing more makeup than Motionless in White,”—others faltered—“If we win, I am going to take my pants off…[and if we lose], I am going to take my pants off!”

Perhaps their audience contained fewer middle schoolers than the teleprompter writers had assumed.

At a few points the hosts and some presenters resorted to making fun of Cleveland, an increasingly taboo move for an audience made mainly of Clevelanders. The Cavalier Girls, cheerleaders for the Cleveland Cavaliers, helped to renew both the crowd’s excitement and their Cleveland pride, though, when they cheered and tossed t-shirts into the audience.

There were some decent performances; and then there were mind-blowing, once-in-a-lifetime performances.

Sum 41 blew the audience away with their insane performance of “Fat Lip”—they were easily the highlight of the night. Not only were they amazing, but they brought up Run-D.M.C. to finish their epic performance. The crowd was electrified once they left the stage, and the energy in the room was ridiculous.

Panic at the Disco also drove the crowd wild when they covered the legendary “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Brendon Urie crushed the vocals and did Queen justice. Everyone around was singing at the top of their lungs.

Pierce the Veil pulled out all the stops for their one-song performance. They had sick monster claws as an awesome backdrop, and they used all the special effects they could cram into one number, including confetti, smoke… and more confetti.

Other notable performances included Motionless in White with Rob Zombie. Rob Zombie worked the stage like a true rock star and even jumped into the crowd for a bit.

Between performances, the Alternative Press also gave its 17 awards, many of them having been voted on online by fans.

The award results can be found at the Alternative Press website.