The inaugural Loudwire Music Awards concert and ceremony took place at the Novo Theater in downtown Los Angeles last night (Oct. 24) as the rock and metal communities came together for a historic night of loud rock ‘n’ roll. With hard rock and metal seemingly getting squeezed more and more out of recognition by mainstream award shows, the Loudwire Music Awards gave a platform to not only pay homage to some of the greats in rock and metal who laid the foundation for the genre, but to showcase the amazing younger talent that is providing the lifeblood for future generations and taking rock and metal in new and exciting ways. Our recap, videos and a photo gallery from the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards can be viewed below.
The evening kicked off with a spirited performance of “Black Wedding,” In This Moment’s take on the Billy Idol classic “White Wedding” with a giant assist from none other than Lemmy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Rob Halford. With the curtain drawn to open on what appeared to be a wedding ceremony between Maria Brink and Rob Halford literally “married” the generations of metal’s new and old school together for a stellar introduction to the night. The explosive open was followed by Ritual track, “Roots,” with the dynamic Maria Brink captivating the crowd with her sultry voice and stage presence.
Host Chris Jericho welcomed fans to the Loudwire Music Awards before the stage was set for the night’s first award, and had a little assist from the accounting firm of Steel Panther and sweepstakes committee head Eddie Money during his monologue. Zakk Wylde, who has enjoyed success with his Book of Shadows II solo album, rocked stages with Zakk Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne himself and is now turning his attention back to Black Label Society, was the winner of the Best Guitarist Award as sponsored by PRS Guitars. During his acceptance, Wylde paid homage to the “Lord Iommi” who influenced him and whom his would honor later in the night and called it a win for anyone strapping on a guitar. Wylde would return later in the evening in a video game showdown with wrestling great The Miz.
The second performance of the night came from Ice-T-led band Body Count, which raged through their topical call to action, “No Lives Matter.” Ice and his crew then gave fans another great collaboration with Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine stepping in to join “Civil War.”
As audiences caught their breath, it was time to hand out two more awards. After headlining the Loudwire Awards Kickoff Concert the night before, Beartooth were the winners of the Breakthrough Band of the Year. Fans were able to register their support by streaming the band’s music during the Loudwire Music Awards voting period through our partner Apple Music. Beartooth have generated a lot of buzz over the last year-plus and are a solid example that the younger generation of rockers have plenty to offer to keep the harder rock genre moving forward.
Following the Breakthrough Award, it was time to salute an artist who has long since established himself. Tony Iommi accepted the Courage Award, as sponsored by Ultimate Classic Rock. Iommi’s hand had also been cast prior to the ceremony to be the “Hand of Doom” trophy given out to each of the winners, and the guitar great joked that he now had three hands, before speaking about how moved he was by the honor.
If anything, rock and metal have had some great showmen over the years, with acts finding new ways to capture the imagination of their audience. Nothing More delivered one of the night’s most buzzy performances with a blistering rendition of “Go to War,” which eventually segued into a bit of Skrillex’s “First of the Year” while the band’s scorpion-tailed drum contraption transformed onstage to give Jonny Hawkins an elevated platform as he dished out whizzes and buzzes triggered by the handlebars of his metallic monstrosity. The innovative contraption certainly piqued the interest of viewers who might have caught the band live for the first time. Taking a beat, Nothing More then invited Of Mice & Men’s Aaron Pauley to the stage as they performed a rousing tribute of Audioslave’s “Show Me How to Live” in honor of the late Chris Cornell.
After the memorable performance, two legends got their due. First up came Iron Maiden‘s Steve Harris, winner of the Best Bassist honor as presented by Indigo Hotels, with another metal legend, Rob Halford, getting his proper respect as the inaugural Lemmy Lifetime Achievement Awards winner. Halford paid homage to the man the award is named after, looking skyward and screaming “Lemmy.” He then thanked the fans, adding, “The fans are the lifeblood of what we do … We share so much together.”
Following a break in the action, Starset, who have a reputation for a unique stage show, didn’t disappoint as frontman Dustin Bates and his spacesuit-wearing cohorts made their mark with performances of the Vessels favorites “Satellite” and “Ricochet.”
Two of the night’s biggest awards came next, with fans having the say by streaming music during the voting period through partner Apple Music. In the Metal Song of the Year category, exciting up-and-coming rockers Power Trip took home the “Hand of Doom” for “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe),” with singer Riley Gale issuing a warning to the status quo, exclaiming, “Watch out old timers, we’re here.” And after their blistering performance later in the night, they certainly backed up their words and showed that metal’s got a bright new star on the rise.
Meanwhile I Prevail emerged for the Hard Rock Song of the Year with “Alone.” I Prevail accepted their honor via video, but had a special gift in store for those who supported them during the voting – a brand new live video of “Come and Get It” that debuted during the ceremony.
Fresh off their win, Power Trip took the Loudwire Music Awards stage for one of the heaviest performances of the evening. “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” had the Novo rafters shaking and a pit starting. They followed it up with a special pairing with Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta on a cover of Motorhead’s “(We Are) The Road Crew,” bringing it full circle from the Lemmy Lifetime Achievement Award earlier in the evening. Jasta and vocalist Riley Gale traded powerfully gruff vocals to the delight of the crowd, with Gale making his way into the crowd and hanging by the scaffolding to the side of the stage.
It was a stellar night for Iron Maiden, who followed up Steve Harris’ win earlier in the night for Best Bassist with a win for Best Live Band, as sponsored by eOne. A younger generation have grown up watching Iron Maiden’s amazing live shows and they continue to deliver the energy and power of bands half their age, setting the bar high for up-and-coming acts.
Then came one of the more emotional moments of the evening – with the winner of the Best Vocalist presented. The biggest vote getter of the year came in this Fearless Records-sponsored category with the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park winning the honor. Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, who penned a moving tribute to Bennington after his passing, offered some moving thoughts about Bennington.
“All of us, we have terrible beasts and demons and vices that we battle daily. And as humans we have a responsibility to everybody, to each other to lift each other up. We are in this fight together,” said Hale, also using her speech to make a call to action to stop cyberbullying and speaking about the power that words can have in a negative and positive manner.
Finishing out the segment, one of rock’s true good guys, Sammy Hagar, was presented with the Humanitarian Award, sponsored by AXS TV, for his philanthropic work giving back to organizations in need over the years. His Chickenfoot bandmate Chad Smith did the honors, introducing Hagar.
Following on the heels of Nothing More’s Chris Cornell nod earlier in the night, Halestorm served up an equal parts soulful and powerful performance of Soundgarden’s “Fell on Black Days,” then welcomed their old tourmate Lita Ford out for a show of girl power with a revved up performance of the classic Runaways song “Cherry Bomb.” As the song continued, the ladies were joined onstage by New Years Day’s Ash Costello, Huntress’ Jill Janus, Pearl’s Pearl Aday, Sick Puppies’ Emma Anzai, Stitched Up Heart’s Mixi Demner and Butcher Babies’ Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd. This celebration showed that something Lita and her Runaways cohorts started years ago has inspired a very talented younger generation of female rockers ready to step up and carry the torch.
With each of the other instrumental categories dished out, Aerosmith‘s Joey Kramer came out to introduce the Best Drummer category. Gojira’s Mario Duplantier completed the four core pieces by taking home the Best Drummer honor as sponsored by Rockin’ Roastin’ Coffee. After a somber In Memoriam package, the Best New Artist category sponsored by Century Media was announced, with (mostly) sibling rockers Greta Van Fleet taking home the honor. And showing the power of rock and metal, Babymetal emerged victorious in the Most Dedicated Fans category, as presented by BMG and Rise, and also accepted via video.
With the award show hitting the home stretch, metal vets Anthrax got the pit going with “Caught in a Mosh,” then played an intriguing and raucous cover of the Kansas classic, “Carry On My Wayward Son.”
The Loudwire Music Awards finished with a flurry, as it was a double dip win for both Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold. Stone Sour won the Hard Rock Artist of the Year as backed by Frontiers Records SRL and the Hard Rock Album of the Year for the stellar offering Hydrograd as sponsored by The Music Experience. Avenged Sevenfold, meanwhile, won the Metal Artist of the Year, sponsored by BlackCraft, and Metal Album of the Year for the excellent release, The Stage, as sponsored by Razor & Tie.
Having just doubled down with two of the night’s biggest awards, Avenged treated fans to a climactic four-song finale that included “The Stage,” ”Nightmare,” “God Damn” and “Hail to the King.” Though many of rock and metal’s elder statesmen helped pioneer heavy music, Avenged continue to show that the future of rock and metal is in good hands as they emerge as one of the biggest acts in the genre.
The Loudwire Music Awards proved to be a perfect culmination to a celebration of rock and metal that started with the Loudwire Music Awards kickoff concert Monday night (Oct. 23) at the Echoplex, featuring Beartooth, Avatar, Ded, Royal Thunder, King Woman and My Ticket Home. The celebration continued Tuesday during the day with the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Summit at the Grammy Museum, featuring Sammy Hagar, Rob Halford, Steve Vai, Rex Brown, Alex Skolnick, Frank Bello and others designed to hit on hot-button issues for artists in the industry and also give fans a chance to see a live taping of our Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? segment.
See all of the winners for the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards listed below.
Courage Award (Presented by Ultimate Classic Rock) – Tony Iommi
Lemmy Lifetime Achievement Award (Presented by Eagle Rock) – Rob Halford
Humanitarian Award (Presented by AXS TV) – Sammy Hagar
Hard Rock Artist of the Year (Presented by Frontiers Records) – Stone Sour
Metal Artist of the Year (Presented by BlackCraft) – Avenged Sevenfold
Hard Rock Album of the Year (Presented by The Music Experience) – Stone Sour, Hydrograd
Metal Album of the Year – (Presented by Razor & Tie) – Avenged Sevenfold, The Stage
Best Guitarist (Presented by PRS Guitars) – Zakk Wylde (Solo, Zakk Sabbath)
Breakthrough Band of the Year (Presented by Apple Music) – Beartooth
Best Bassist (Presented by Indigo Hotels) – Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)
Metal Song of the Year (Presented by Apple Music) – Power Trip’s “Executioner’s Tax”
Hard Rock Song of the Year (Presented by Apple Music) – I Prevail’s “Alone”
Best Live Band (Presented by eOne) – Iron Maiden
Best Vocalist (Presented by Fearless Records) – Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)
Best Drummer (Presented by Rockin’ Roastin’ Coffee) – Mario Duplantier (Gojira)
Best New Artist (Presented by Century Media) – Greta Van Fleet
Most Dedicated Fans (Presented by BMG/RISE) – Babymetal
2017 Loudwire Music Awards Show Gallery