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Once-in-a-Lifetime Performances Highlight Inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards

The first-annual Alternative Press Music Awards successfully shone a spotlight on the best in music past and present during an outdoor event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland.

Post-hardcore faves Pierce the Veil were among the big winners, taking home trophies for Best Live Band; Best Drummer for Mike Fuentes; and Best Bassist for Jaime Preciado. Meanwhile Of Mice & Men‘s Phil Manansala won Best Guitarist and Bring Me the Horizon received honors for Best International Band and Album of the Year (‘Sempiternal’).

As for the performances, A Day To Remember proved why they’re one of the biggest bands in the scene with their charismatic takes on ‘City of Ocala’ and ‘Right Back At It Again,’ while rap-rock pioneers Body Count obliterated the stage with thundering versions of ‘There Goes the Neighborhood’ and ‘Talk S–t Get Shot.’ With an assist from the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, Fall Out Boy – who claimed the Artist of the Year award — closed out the show with a storming version of their call to arms, ‘The Phoenix.’

However, the standout moments of the nearly four-hour event were the cross-generational collaborations and unexpected performances. In fact, the hands-down highlight of the evening was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts covering the Rolling Stones‘ ‘Star Star’ with special guest guitarist Slash. This version of the song was nothing but grimy, dirty rock ‘n’ roll with plenty of sleaze and attitude. During her ferocious four-song set, Jett — who was on hand to receive the AP Icon Award — also brought Against Me!‘s Laura Jane Grace onstage during the punk-leaning song ‘Soulmates to Strangers.’ Grace was obviously ecstatic to be playing alongside her self-proclaimed idol. In fact, in an eloquent, passionate speech earlier in the evening, she talked about the importance of Jett’s music and mentorship, as well as her kindness to other musicians.

Asking Alexandria provided the night’s levity by using one of their two songs for a cover of Duran Duran’s ‘Hungry Like The Wolf.’ What could’ve been a disaster actually came off surprisingly well, thanks to Danny Worsnop‘s commitment and a guest assist from Korn‘s Jonathan Davis, who added much-needed groove to the band’s barking growls. Worsnop sported an ’80s-like white suit that recalled Simon Le Bon (down to the scarf and half-open shirt), and strutted around like a jaunty pop star.

Falling In Reverse also energized the crowd with their ‘Punk Goes ’90s, Vol. 2′ cover of Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ featuring Issues’ Tyler Carter and special guest rapper Coolio himself. All Time Low provided another of the night’s highlights by turning themselves into a pop-punk karaoke machine. The band also backed up Ryan Key and Sean Mackin to perform Yellowcard’s ‘Lights and Sounds,’ and accompanied Jordan Pundik and Chad Gilbert doing New Found Glory‘s ‘All Downhill From Here.’ The band received their biggest reaction when they brought out Pierce the Veil’s Vic Fuentes to perform their own single, ‘A Love Like War,’ which later won Song of the Year.

Black Veil BridesAndy Biersack, meanwhile, got a chance to fulfill a childhood dream by singing with the Misfits (watch above). The wiry frontman snarled out powerful versions of horror-punk classics such as ‘Die, Die My Darling’ and ‘Dig Up Her Bones.’ As the Biersack collaboration underscored, the older generation of musicians in attendance at the event certainly treated their younger brethren with utmost respect and reverence.

Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry introduced Slash, who was receiving the Guitar Legend Award, by praising his talents and multi-generational appeal. And Smashing PumpkinsBilly Corgan provided the night’s most emphatic speech while summing up the theme of the night. Upon accepting his Alternative Press Vanguard Award, Corgan stated, “The kids rule. Kids should always kick motherf—ers like me out of the way.” Later, he emphasized his own stance and philosophy as a musician operating in alternative music. “There are two paths when you put on a guitar. Please the audience or push the audience’s buttons. I’m willing to push your buttons,” stated Corgan. “I’m willing to tell you to go f–k yourself. I didn’t start a band to be anyone’s bitch. I started a band to kick your f—ing head in.”

Check out some of the video highlights from the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards above and below as well as a complete list of the winners. And stay tuned tomorrow for our full photo gallery from the event.

2014 Alternative Press Awards Winners:

Best Vocalist presented by Victory Records – Brendon Urie, Panic! At the Disco
Best Live Band presented by Vans Warped Tour – Pierce the Veil
Breakthrough Band presented by Beats Music – Crown the Empire
Best Bassist presented by Dyin 2 Live – Jaime Preciado, Pierce the Veil
Best International Band presented by Zepeda Brothers Productions – Bring Me the Horizon
Artist Philanthropic Award presented by Sub City/Take Action – All Time Low
Best Guitarist presented by Gibson – Phil Manansala, Of Mice &Men
Vanguard Award presented by AXS TV – Billy Corgan
Best Drummer presented by DW Drums – Mike Fuentes, Pierce the Veil
Icon Award presented by Blackstar Amplification – Joan Jett
Most Dedicated Fans presented by Fearless Records – Black Veil Brides
Guitar Legend Award presented by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Slash
Song Of The Year presented by Epitaph Records – All Time Low w/Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil, ‘A Love Like War’
Album Of The Year presented by Journeys – Bring Me the Horizon, ‘Sempiternal’
Artist Of The Year presented by Monster Energy – Fall Out Boy

2014 Alternative Press Awards Highlights

Joan Jett Receives AP Icon Award From Laura Jane Grace

Billy Corgan Receives AP Vanguard Award from CM Punk

A Day to Remember

Slash Receives Guitar Legend Award from Joe Perry 

Body Count

All Time Low With Pierce the Veil’s Vic Fuentes

Falling in Reverse With Issues’ Tyler Carter and Coolio

See Joan Jett Perform With Nirvana Members At Rock Hall Induction

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