APMAs bring night packed with live music to Cleveland

MGK poses for an AP reporter on the red carpet at the APMA’s Monday, July 17, 2017.

Jenna Kuczkowski

2017 APMA Winners:

Best Vocalist

Lynn Gunn, PRVIS

Best Guitarist

Jordan Buckley, Every Time I Die

Best Hard Rock Band

The Pretty Reckless

Influencer Award

John Feldmann

Best New Artist Video

With Confidence for their video, Voldemort

Best Music Video

State Champs for their video, Losing Myself

Best Underground Band

Silent Planet

Best Break Through Band


Best Bassist

Fieldy Arvizu, KORN

Best Drummer

Frank Zummo of Sum 41

Best Live Band

Falling in Reverse

Icon Award

Laura Jane Grace

Most Dedicated Fan Base

Twenty one pilots

Song of the Year

Andy Black for his song, We Don’t Have to Dance

APMA VanGuard Award


Artist of the Year

Panic at the Disco!

Album of the Year

Pierce the Veil 

The fourth Annual Alternative Press Music Awards took place on July 17 at the State Theatre in Cleveland.

The awards show, hosted by Alternative Press Magazine, recognize artists within the alternative music genre, as well as brings together artists for various collaborations.

This year’s show was hosted by Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides and featured performances from All Time Low, New Years Day, Starset, One OK Rock, Nothing More, The Plain White T’s and many more.

Before the show, many performing and presenting bands walked the red carpet in the theatre, cheered on by screaming fans who waited all afternoon for a chance catch a glimpse of their favorite artists.

Anita Sarkisian,14, came from Burton, Ohio, to be first in line at 10 a.m. to get a spot near the red carpet.

“New Years Day is one of my favorite bands, but I also love Motionless In White even though they’re not here tonight, so I’m kind of bummed about that,” Sarkisian said. “I’m really hoping, though, that Motionless In White wins Most Dedicated Fanbase since they were nominated.”

Others among the crowd were first-time APMA attendees Brooke Bedzyk, 25, and Devin Hardy, 21, from Mentor, Ohio, who attended for Hardy’s 21st birthday.

“It was perfect how it all lined up, since his favorite band is Pierce The Veil and Warped Tour is the next day,” Bedzyk said.

Despite a few technical difficulties and the absence of a performance from the headlining band KORN, the show went on.

$10,000 award to Half Access

During the show, Cassie Wilson, founder of Half Access came onstage with The Wonder Years frontman Dan Campbell and was presented with a $10,000 award through Hopeless Records’ Sub City Grant.

Half Access is a program that gives disabled music fans a voice in accessibility issues and ableism at concert venues. Wilson said she hopes to use the money to create a database of as many venues as possible to track their accessibility for disabled fans, or lack thereof, so they know what to expect upon arriving for the show.

Sub City Records launched as the charitable arm of Hopeless Records in 1999 and has since raised more than $2 million for nonprofit organizations. This year, they asked fans across the country to vote for who they believed would have the most positive impact on the music community by being granted the award.

Performance By the Plain White T’s

The theatre and stage remained dark as the first few chords of “Hey There Delilah” rang out in the open space. Suddenly, a spotlight shined on one of the balcony boxes. There, the Plain White T’s performed their hit while overlooking the crowd. Despite the song’s release date being 10 years ago, fans voices echoed through the theater as the crowd sang along to the song.

The Drum Off

Drummers Frank Zummo of Sum 41, Adrian Younge of No Doubt, and Twenty One Pilots’ Josh Dun all appeared on stage with their sets to give fans a surprise with a massive drum-off. The trio performed a mash up of hits from each of their bands and added a little flair in between as the crowd went wild.

Chris Cornell Tribute

Following Pierce the Veil’s performance of their single “Circles” off their album Misadventures, the band took time to honor the late Chris Cornell of Soundgarden with a cover of Black Hole Sun.

The performance was overlaid with audio and video clips of the late musician performing the song and had the entire theatre singing along to remember Cornell by the music he left behind.

Jenna Kuczkowski is the managing editor. Contact her at [email protected].