2016 APMAs: An Overview

3d2e8188-aea2-44d1-aa70-c7928d8c2851What do you love about the alternative music scene? Is it the universal acceptance and welcoming community, who don’t discriminate based on who you are or what you like? Maybe it’s the shamelessly honest attitude. Or, of course, what about the mind-blowing music that brings us all together?

No matter what you answered, the annual Alternative Press Music Awards is a night that brings all of the above together in a medley of powerful performances, raw humor, and even the 2016 election of the new President of Pop-Punk, Jack Barakat. Here are our “Top 10” essential moments from the 2016 APMAs. 

10. Tyler Posey: Debate Moderator?

Tyler Posey, Teen Wolf star, accompanied pop-punk superstars and this year’s hosts of the APMAs, Jack Barakat and Alex Gaskarth, onstage. He moderated the “pop-punk presidential debate” between the two, providing plenty of wise-cracks about the current election – knowing that when real life gets too intense, laughter is the perfect coping method. Filled with comedic gags and plenty of dick jokes, the three kept the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the show, appearing between performances to update the election results, joke about email scandals, and persuade the audience to vote – both for them and in the real election in November.

9. Yellowcard’s Goodbye

Unfortunately, not every iconic band stays together forever. One such group, Yellowcard, chose to end their stint as a band after this year’s Warped Tour. However, there was no lack of intensity onstage when they performed Ocean Avenue with Pierce The Veil’s Vic Fuentes. Prior to the performance, the band said their thank-yous and goodbyes while accepting the Vans Off The Wall Award. Since 1997, Yellowcard has put out legendary pop-punk anthems, all while refusing to play by the rest of the world’s rules. So if you get the chance, go see them this summer before it’s too late! There’s an approximately 0% chance you’ll regret it.

8. Unusual Performance Combinations

Babymetal and Rob Halford? Machine Gun Kelly and Papa Roach? Mayday Parade and The Maine? Often, the combinations of performers onstage at the APMAs seem unlikely, but there hasn’t yet been a performance that wasn’t incredible. While Babymetal and Rob Halford sound like a terrifying mix, it was the perfect (ridiculously intense) cocktail of rock and heavy metal. MGK spit the most fiery version of Last Resort with Papa Roack. The Maine and Mayday Parade played head-to-head, back and forth, before combining to play Third Eye Blind’s Jumper. Mold-breaking pop-punk group Issues even brought out pop star MAX for a song. So, yeah, unusual isn’t always bad and odd combinations can sometimes work out for the better. You’ll never know until you try, right? One thing is for sure, though: you’ll never see mashups like this anywhere else.

7. Awards Acceptance Videos

Although most stars were able to attend the APMAs, a few artists were too dedicated to their craft and were, unfortunately for AltPress, on tour and playing shows the night of the APMAs. The artists who won, but weren’t able to be there, had prerecorded videos. Best Vocalist, Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, gave a heartfelt speech about how excited he was that he’d won Best Drummer – before learning that he’d won Best Vocalist and being reduced to tears. Brendon Urie, who pretty much is Panic! At The Disco at this point, won Best Music Video and Song of the Year. He recorded his acceptance speeches in classic Brendon Urie style – with Jack Barakat’s nudes and alcohol. Finally, twenty one pilots streamed in for their acceptance speeches for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year, with drummer Josh Dun expressing his disappointment that he wasn’t even nominated for Best Drummer this year – to which many fans jokingly replied, “Go find Patrick and cry me a river.”

6. Outfit Choices. Enough Said

From The Maine’s matching leopard-print (!!!!!), to MGK’s exotic black-and-white patterned suit, to Chrissy Costanza’s gorgeous purple highlighter, to Jenna McDougall’s killer black jumpsuit, the outfits at the APMAs are always bold and exciting. Patterned suits, daring makeup looks, and (of course) plenty of music-related t-shirts always adorn stars and fans alike, and simply googling “APMAs Best Dressed” brings up pages of hits – pages that are sure to entertain and inspire your future wardrobe ensembles.

5. Good Charlotte’s Classics

Everyone knows Good Charlotte’s The Young and The Hopeless. It’s practically a rite of passage for the pop-punk community to listen to it, and that’s why they won the Classic Album Award. While introducing the award, clips of Warped Tour artists flashed on the screen, talking about how much they love the 2002 album. Following that, Good Charlotte themselves took the stage and performed tracks from the album, throwing the whole audience into a time-warp back to the early 2000s. The pop-punk legends were joined onstage by Sleeping With Sirens’s Kellin Quinn, Waterparks’s Awsten Knight, and Bayside’s Anthony Raneri, performing hits like The Anthem and Girls & Boys. The impact that Good Charlotte has had on the pop-punk community is endless, and this just goes to show their wide-reaching legacy.

4. Donald Trump Jokes

From promises to “make pop-punk great again” to building-a-wall jokes (specifically, a wall to keep Trace Cyrus in his dressing room), Donald Trump was a popular subject of jokes and wise-cracks throughout the night. Maybe it’s because the RNC was happening (and was the reason the APMAs were in Columbus), maybe it’s because the night was election-themed, maybe it’s just because the pop-punk community dislikes him. Most likely, it was due to a combination of the three. Either way, the jabs at Trump’s campaign allowed current events to tie into the night while balancing humor and seriousness, like when presenters said things like, “Hey, no offense to anyone, but F*CK Donald Trump!”

3. Andy Black’s Iconic Supergroup

What do you get when you combine Mikey Way, bassist for My Chemical Romance and Electric Century; Andy Black, solo artist and Black Veil Brides vocalist; John Feldmann, musical director and guitarist; Christian Coma, Black Veil Brides drummer; and Quinn Allman, guitarist for The Used? The answer: five musical legends from three different generations coming together to form one superpower band. Despite only being able to play two or three songs, the group left the audience in awe and begging for more. They were just a group of guys having fun onstage, and it showed in both their high-energy performance and in the audience’s appreciative reception. “Andy Black And Friends”, as the group was referred to all night, was one of the top performers of the night, and left fans with one question: Can they form an official new band?

2. Neck Deep…And Friends?

This year’s winner of Best Live Band, Welsh pop-punk group Neck Deep, performed with a variety of special guests – including one unplanned vocalist. With their performances of December, the hit single from their latest album, and the ambitious pop-punk medley that featured Dear Maria, Count Me In by All Time Low and The Rock Show by Blink-182, they were accompanied by ROAM’s Alex Costello, Creeper’s Will Gould, With Confidence’s Jayden Seeley, Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, and State Champs’s Derek DiScanio. However, much to everyone’s (un)surprise, co-host Alex Gaskarth jumped onstage unplanned and unexpectedly to throw down vocals on The Rock Show. But, really, nobody was surprised. After all, this is pop-punk, and anything goes here in this community, especially at the AltPress Music Awards.

1. The Ghost Inside

The first time the band appeared together in public since their terrible tour bus accident that left two drivers dead and members of the band in critical condition was to accept the Most Dedicated Fans Award. Frontman Jonathan Vigil spoke about his extensive injuries and how, when he first woke up from the accident, his mind was made up: he wouldn’t return to music. However, he then credited his motivation to keep playing as the incredible outpouring of love from fans, showing just how much the community can do when we put our minds to it. His blatantly honest speech reiterated some of the many, many reasons to love the alternative music scene and the community that it builds, and by the end of it, not a single person in the building was dry-eyed or without chills. It was absolutely magical to see the band, standing up there onstage with canes, crutches, and a drummer with a prosthetic leg, talking about how the fans encouraged them to keep going. It can easily be said that this band has the best fans ever, hands down. The Ghost Inside is rumored to be playing Warped Tour 2017, so get ready to get out there and be a part of that incredibly strong band/fan dynamic and support them!


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