@ZackTeibloom As they started counting down two minutes until showtime, we wondered where the band equipment was hiding, since the stage was empty. The screen lifted and there were The Foo Fighters, far enough back from the stage that it made what should have been a raucous performance feel sterile in person. Watch the tape. No one reacts for the first minute until the stage crew yells at us to put our arms up and go crazy. Dave Grohl storming out onto the catwalk to rip a solo sparked the only genuine reaction from the crowd. I’d been looking forward to a Foo Fighters live show since ACL ’08, but like the awards themselves, it was all bark and no bite. And Dave Grohl has the best bite.
As soon as the Foo Fighters finish, we hear a female voice say “welcome…” and stop. She’s way early. 17 seconds go by and she starts over. “Welcome to the 2001 MTVu Woodie Awards. The only college music awards show. Give it up for your host, Donald Glover!” Time out. The “only” college music awards show? 1) What makes this college related? 2) How can it be the only one? I don’t know the answer, so let’s give it up for DJ Scrillex and move on, because we’re being yelled at.
“Stop taking pictures! It looks like shit. Put your cameras down and put your hands up!” barks a production assistant roaming the stage, somehow not sweating, despite having a sweater over his collared shirt and a hat and headphones. I’m not going to act like Sarah Palin and say it’s weird that they used the TelePrompter the whole show. You have to expect that. But why did Donald Glover’s “freestyle” have to be on the TelePrompter? It’s a surreal enough experience to watch someone from behind and be able to see what they’re going to say before they say it, but a “freestyle?” Glover CAN freestyle. Why fake it?
Oh, well. Time for two people I’ve never heard of to introduce “Best Video Woodie.” Best video already? Seems a bit early, but don’t worry. The categories make no sense and they just award you for being there. Also, when you’re watching on TV, it’s quite easy to follow this simple awards show, but we could barely hear them name the nominees or even tell who won half the time until they came up. And even then…apparently Chiddy Bang won because he was there. Time for a performance. Wiz Khalifa is at the top of the venue in the balcony, and the guy who doesn’t sweat is imploring us not to swing the yellow towels around until he gets to the bottom of the stairs and starts singing “Black and Yellow.” In what’s being called, “the whitest moment of my life, you can clearly see me singing the chorus and pumping my fist. 3:17 into the video. Actually a pretty solid performance, considering.
Now we have Pete Wentz telling us he’s here to do three things. “First to find out what Wavves is smoking. The second to see how crazy Odd Future is gonna get… Second, I wanna see how drunk all you wonderful people get. And third, I guess, to hand out the left field Woodie.” Please re-read that quote. I’m embarrassed to say that Pete went to my high school. Most of us Trevians learned to count. Pete makes his drunkness quite clear when he tries to pronounce “unconventional” and it sounds like “unconvegetable.” Oof.
So, this award is “left field” which I assume is for artists that came out of left field after I see that Die Antwoord, Lil B and Yelawolf are nominated, but then Kanye wins? Huh. Drunk Wentz accepts on his behalf, drops the award, and Lil B. “Imma let you finish-es” him. Lil B yells a bit too much and it gets weird. He says “swag” three times.
We kick it over to Eliza Doolittle and a guy I don’t know, who tell us to toast because it’s St. Patrick’s day, then do a very quick RIP for Nate Dog and introduce Two Door Cinema Club, who are Irish. I missed all of this in person, because they presented from the back of the crowd. Someone tell me why there are three doors on stage. Isn’t it Two Door cinema club? They’re polished pop, but not very exciting. We jump around and pretend we’re excited when one of them touches our hand. It’s fun to pretend we care.
Next, we’re reminded that there’s still time to vote for breaking Woodie. Whatever that means. Then they give the best college radio station award to the U via video. I guess this is the college aspect of the show. Next up, is best performing Woodie presented by Deb and Lil B. They say the word swag 8 times. Matt and Kim win, which was pretty much a given, because they’re there.
Sleigh Bells come out to perform on the hidden side stage, which is impossible to see from where I’m standing, until they bring out a marching band and move to the main stage. That actually was pretty bad ass. Her voice is really dying fast. So is this show. It’s time for breaking Woodie and it’s clearly between Sleigh Bells and Two Cinema Club…because they’re there. Sense a theme? P.S. I always thought breaking Woodie was a bad thing. I should mention that for the last 20 minutes I’ve been pretty much staring at Dave Grohl drinking in the balcony with his arm around his girl. He’s got big time aura. Oh, Matt and Kim are on to present Woodie of the Year. Will it go to Festival Crasher favorites Black Keys or LCD or Arcade Fire? All are nominated. Nah, Wiz Khalifa wins. Ya know why? Yeah. He’s there.
This was the funniest part of the night. Wiz is back, so 20 fans start twirling yellow towels, and guy who doesn’t sweat goes Ape Shit! “Put the towels away! Put them away, now!” I guess the concern is that it would look bad on TV? I’m re-watching now. Guess what? It’s a complete non-factor. You see a few twirling and it’s kind of cool. That’s pretty much the end of the show. Matt (of Matt and Kim) hangs out near the exit, hugging anyone who wants a hug. On the way out, they give us a can of Sun Drop (the shitty new lemon soda you couldn’t escape free cans of during SXSW) and a bag of taco-flavored Doritos. I was glad I tried it, and it filled me up for an hour, but there was kind of an odd aftertaste. Same deal with the Doritos.