The 2017 Journeys Alternative Press Music Awards Fueled By Monster celebrated its fourth year with a stellar lineup of presenters, an array of spirited performances and the evidence that rock music in all its myriad sounds and subcultures remains as vibrant as ever. This year’s APMAs took place last night (July 17, 2017) in the venerable KeyBank State Theatre, located in Cleveland’s renowned theater district, where a capacity crowd immersed themselves in a genuine award show setting, with the venue’s magnificent features further heightening the excitement of the evening. In addition to the joy felt by those experiencing the show in the intimate setting of the State, the excitement went international via a worldwide broadcast via Amazon Music and Twitch.
Hosted by Black Veil Brides and Andy Black frontman Andy Biersack, APMAs v.4 was a feast for the eyes and ears of those tuning in. Starting with a high-spirited version of “Good Time” by All Time Low (whose wisecracking guitarists Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat emceed the show’s two previous years), the event went straight vertical from there, powered by an array of inspired performances. This year’s selection of once-in-a-lifetime collaborations were Japanese rock ambassadors ONE OK ROCK teaming up with Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann on”I Was King”; New Years Day-led by AP‘s sultry red carpet co-host Ash Costello-showed that sisters were doing it for themselves with some help from Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale on a cover of “Only Happy When It Rains” by alt-rock icons Garbage. Fearless Records’ Punk Goes… series came to life when Grayscale performed a cover of Justin Bieber (“Love Yourself”) before enlisting State Champs’ Derek DiScanio to rock out Sean Mendez’ “Stitches.” Plain White T’s performed a dialed-down acoustic version of their 2005 hit “Hey There, Delilah,” while metal mavericks Nothing More also left their amps off for a compelling three-song set that included “Go To War,” “This Is The First Time (Ballast),” and a compelling version of Skrillex’s “First Of The Year.” Things heated up once again when The Pretty Reckless threw some fire with “Hangman”; Pierce The Veil delivered a rousing performance of “Circles,” as well as a stirring cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun”; brooding rockers Starset captivated the crowd with “Satellite”; and Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness visited “Cecilia And The Satellite” and other moments in his career from his days in Something Corporate (“I Woke Up In A Car”) and Jack’s Mannequin (“Dark Blue”). Wiseguy savants Waterparks essentially wrote pop-punk’s next chapter with “Stupid For You,” Dance Gavin Dance revved up the crowd with “Betrayed By The Game,” while Sleeping With Sirens enlisted a youth choir to perform “Legends,” the first single from their impending album.”
The Pretty Reckless, winners of Best Hard Rock Band, at the 2017 APMAs
Andrew McMahon performing a career spanning medley featuring songs from Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin
The APMAs keeps to the beat of culture, which is why the event featured a powerful “drum explosion” from three of music’s finest drummers: Adrian Young of DREAMCAR and No Doubt; Sum 41‘s Frank Zummo and very special guest Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots. The trio brought the house down with a dazzling display of impeccable musicianship and show-biz flash. Not to be outdone though, show host Biersack and his wife Juliet Simms delivered a heartrending performance of international superstar Adele’s “When We Were Young.” While rock and punk were the order of the night, the APMAs repped the city’s hip-hop cred in a big way, with a tough performance from old-school avatars Bone Thugs (“1st Of Tha Month,” “Crossroads,” “Coming Home”) and electrifying next-gen prime mover Machine Gun Kelly (“Gunner,” “Let You Go”).
Josh Dun backflips during one of the many highlights of the night, featuring fellow drummers Adrian Young and Frank Zummo
This year’s set of honorary APMAs “Skullys” included the introduction of the new Influencer award, which was given to musical polymath John Feldmann for his multi-faceted and highly storied career working with artists across all genres. Icon Award recipient Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! was recognized for her advocacy in the transgender community, promoting awareness and cultural understanding. After receiving this year’s honorary Icon award from PVRIS‘ Lynn Gunn and Mina Caputo of NYC metal unit Life Of Agony, Grace took the stage with Against Me! for some life-affirming versions of “I Was A Teenage Anarchist” and an amazing medley including “Delicate, Petite And All The Things I’ll Never Be,” the Supremes’ 1964 hit “Where Did Our Love Go,” and “True Trans Soul Rebel” – two of which featured passionate, crowd-stirring duets with Caputo.
Laura Jane Grace gives a passionate speech while accepting the Icon Award
Nü-metal progenitors Korn were given the Vanguard award for their significant influence in the realm of heavy music. This year’s Philanthropic Grant award sponsored by Hopeless/Sub City was given to Cassie Wilson, the founder of Half Access, whose organization (halfaccess.org) supplies information regarding various music venues’ ability to accommodate disabled patrons. Wilson was brought to the stage by Dan Campbell, frontman for strident pop-punk outfit, The Wonder Years.
Music fans may view encore presentations of the show via Amazon for a limited window of 72 hours. Go to music.amazon.com/apmas to watch the entire show before 7 p.m. ET, July 20.
See below for the full list of all the APMAs 2017 award winners:
ARTIST OF THE YEAR presented by Monster Energy: PANIC! AT THE DISCO
ALBUM OF THE YEAR presented by Journeys: Misadventures, PIERCE THE VEIL
SONG OF THE YEAR presented by Epitaph Records: ANDY BLACK, “We Don’t Have To Dance”
BEST MUSIC VIDEO presented by Journeys: STATE CHAMPS, “Losing Myself”
BEST NEW ARTIST MUSIC VIDEO presented by Journeys: WITH CONFIDENCE, “Voldemort”
BEST VOCALIST Lynn Gunn, PVRIS
BEST GUITARIST presented by PRS Guitars: Jordan Buckley, EVERY TIME I DIE
BEST BASSIST: Fieldy Arvizu, KORN
BEST DRUMMER presented by Guitar Center, Remo and SJC Drums: Frank Zummo, SUM 41
BEST LIVE BAND presented by Eleven Seven Music: FALLING IN REVERSE
BEST HARD ROCK BAND presented by Metal Blade Records and Blacklight Media: THE PRETTY RECKLESS
BEST UNDERGROUND BAND: SILENT PLANET
DEDICATED FANBASE presented by Fearless Records: TWENTY ONE PILOTS
HONORARY AWARDS: ICON AWARD presented by Laura Jane Grace, AGAINST ME!THE
INFLUENCER AWARD: JOHN FELDMANN
VANGUARD AWARD: KORN
PHILANTHROPIC GRANT presented by Sub City/Hopeless Records: Cassie Wilson of Half Access, presented by Dan Campbell of the Wonder Years.
Alternative Press acknowledges the awesome city of Cleveland for its support of its fourth annual award show. We are grateful for the immeasurable kindness and support from all the local companies, city organizations and music fans who attended. AP is proud to call Cleveland home, and it is committed to strengthening the city’s reputation as the rock capitol of the world.
The APMAs is produced by Mike Shea, Joe Scarpelli, Allyson Vecchione and Amber Funk.