Cleveland-based music magazine Alternative Press wasn’t about to let anything get in the way of their annual award show-not even the Republican National Convention. So the Journeys Alternative Press Music Awards, Fueled by Monster Energy Drink headed down south to the state capitol of Columbus to celebrate its third iteration with a night of special guests and electrifying music that transcended generations of music fans. This year’s APMAs took place last night (July 18, 2016) at the Schottenstein Center, located on the campus of Ohio State University, where a capacity crowd immersed themselves in the transformative nature of music. The event carried even more resonance thanks to a worldwide broadcast via Amazon Music and Twitch. Not surprisingly, social media reaction and fan response spread fast and furious across the internet following the opening red carpet and awards ceremony.
As a tacit acknowledgment of both this year’s election and the need to change venues, the event focused on political imagery. After Dashboard Confessional opened the show with “Hands Down” (dubbed “the official APMAs national anthem” for the evening), returning hosts Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat from All Time Low participated in a comedic debate to determine who would be the president of this year’s show. Moderating the debate was Tyler Posey, star of the MTV series Teen Wolf, who deftly navigated the duo’s rapid-fire wisecracking. By the end of the night, it was Barakat who was elected APMAs president, via a live fan-voted initiative through Twitter.
During the show, attendees were encouraged to register to vote in the real U.S. election via TurboVote. A registration table located within Schottenstein Center was staffed by the Franklin County Board of Elections, reminding those of age to make their voices heard in what could very well be their first presidential election.
As in previous years’ shows, the 2016 APMAs featured plenty of one-time-only collaborations and combinations of rockers, new and legendary. Headliners A Day To Remember invited Creed frontman Scott Stapp onto the stage to play his band’s big hit, “Higher.” Worlds collided when heavy metal legend Rob Halford of Judas Priest teamed up with Japan’s heavy ‘n’ sweet trio BABYMETAL for spirited versions of Priest classics “Breaking The Law” and “Painkiller.” Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack performed with an all-star band starring producer/Goldfinger guitarist John Feldmann, guitarist Quinn Allman (formerly of the Used, currently of VadaWave), bassist Mikey Way (formerly of My Chemical Romance, currently of Electric Century) and BVB drummer Christian Coma (who also took home Best Drummer honors). Columbus homeboys Beartooth unleashed the fury with a version of Underoath‘s “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” where they were joined by two very special guests, UO’s Spencer Chamberlain and Aaron Gillespie. Nü-metal unit Papa Roach stormed the APMAs stage with help from Cleveland force of nature Machine Gun Kelly, Jenna MacDougall of Australian rockers Tonight Alive and Memphis May Fire‘s Matty Mullins. Third Eye Blind leader Stephan Jenkins teamed up with the Maine and Mayday Parade for a rigorous version of “Jumper.” A new generation of pop-punk movers and shakers converged onto the APMAs stage when Welsh outfit Neck Deep brought the noise with a pop-punk medley featuring rockin’ reinforcement from State Champs’ singer Derek DiScanio (Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Going Down”), Jayden Seeley of With Confidence (New Found Glory’s “Hit Or Miss”), ROAM frontman Alex Costello and All Time Low‘s Alex Gaskarth (Blink-182’s “The Rock Show”) and Will Gould from dark-rock unit Creeper(Green Day’s “Welcome To Paradise”). Last year’s Best Band award recipients Issues were joined by rising stars Max and Jon Langston. Of Mice & Men turned in powerful performances of “Pain” and “Never Giving Up.”
The 2016 APMAs also introduced several honorary awards to this year’s program. Four-time AP cover star/countercultural fulcrum Marilyn Manson made a rare appearance to receive this year’s Icon Award, in recognition of all the extreme gestures he’s made in service to rock ‘n’ roll.Pop-punk outfit Yellowcard received the Off The Wall Award, sponsored by legendary lifestyle clothing company Vans, to mark their maverick contributions to the music scene. During their performance, they were joined onstage by Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil (on “Ocean Avenue”), Emarosa‘s Bradley Walden and Eddy Brewerton of British up-and-comers Moose Blood. Good Charlotte, the highly influential pop-punk band founded by brothers Benji and Joel Madden, were presented with the Classic Album Award for their 2002 release The Young And The Hopeless. Their set featured guest appearances by Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn (“Girls & Boys”), Bayside‘s Anthony Raneri (“The Anthem”) and Awsten Knight of new-gen rockers Waterparks (“Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous”).
Music fans may view encore presentations of the show via Amazon for a limited window of 48 hours. Go to amazon.com/apmas to watch the entire show before 7pm ET, July 20.
For recaps and other show information, visit www.altpress.com/apmas.
See below for the full list of all the APMAs 2016 award winners:
Alternative Press is grateful for all of the hospitality accorded to it during their brief, yet exciting stay in Columbus, from the office of Mayor Andrew Ginther (who officially proclaimed July 18th “APMAs Day” in the city) to the excellent staff at the Schottenstein Center to all the local businesses and music fans who came to the party. The amount of goodwill generated toward the APMAs from artists, industry professionals and the city is ample proof that Alternative Press magazine will always remain at the forefront of the next shift in music culture.
The APMAs is produced by Mike Shea, Joe Scarpelli, Josh Bernstein, Marc Grant and Kevin Lyman.