Alternative Press hosts second annual music awards show in Cleveland

Jenna Kuczkowski

The Alternative Press Music Awards honored numerous bands and artists in the rock music industry and featured performances from several artists during its second annual event Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Rock band Weezer headlined the event, and the awards were hosted by Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat of All Time Low.

Alternative Press Magazine created the awards last year. AP founder and CEO Mike Shea said the awards were created because he felt the alternative music scene needed its own day to celebrate together.

“You have the Grammys and other awards shows, but there wasn’t anything in the United States for this kind of community,” he said. “I thought, Wouldn’t it be great if we got everybody in the same spot, and made something like the Oscars where everybody who’s anybody is always there, and it’s always the same time of year, and we make it a hangout where it’s not just about the awards or the performances; it’s about all these musicians, crew and VIPs coming to hangout with each other.”

2015 APMA Winners:

BEST VOCALIST: Hayley Williams, Paramore




BEST BASSIST: Zack Merrick, All Time Low

ARTIST PHILANTHROPIC: Taking Back Sunday for American Cancer Society

BEST LIVE BAND: A Day To Remember

BEST DRUMMER: Rian Dawson, All Time Low

BEST FANDOM: 5 Seconds Of Summer

BEST MUSIC VIDEO: “Drown,” Bring Me The Horizon

SONG OF THE YEAR: “Kick Me,” Sleeping With Sirens


MOST DEDICATED FANS: All Time Low’s “Hustlers”

BEST GUITARIST: Tony Perry, Pierce The Veil



ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Black Veil Brides, Black Veil Brides

Simple Plan drummer Chuck Comeau said the he and the band were excited to get to perform at the awards after seeing the success of last year’s inaugural show.

“I was really impressed that our scene that we’ve been a part of for a long time, finally had its own kind of special evening,” Comeau said.

The show was filled with performances from bands including Sum 41, Simple Plan, Panic! At The Disco, Taking Back Sunday, Black Veil Brides, New Found Glory, All Time Low and Pierce the Veil.

“The APMAs blew me away, said 20-year-old Matt Omilinowski of Cleveland. “I got to see bands I thought I’d never get a chance to see, and there was a ton of energy and everything. I could even feel the sense of community in the audience, and I’m already looking forward to next year.” 

Award presenters included Amity Affliction, Asking Alexandria, Beartooth, Crossfaith, Man Overboard, Major League, Memphis May Fire, Never Shout Never, New Politics, New Years Day, Silverstein and We Came as Romans.

Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley said his band was excited to make a comeback at the show.

“I think it’s a great opportunity because we haven’t played in so long, and there’s been so much uncertainty with the band these past few years,” Whibley said. “It felt like a great thing to be the first performance back. It’s been over two years now that we haven’t performed, which is a long time in band years.”

Alexis Mendoza, a 16-year-old from Cleveland, said Sum 41’s performance was her favorite part of the show.

“I think one of the best performances of the night came from Sum 41,” she said. “In my opinion, it didn’t matter whether you were a fan or not, or if you knew the lyrics to their songs. The performance was good, the energy was infectious and I found myself having an amazing time during their set…it was a great night, and I loved it.”

Mike Shea, founder of Alternative Press magazine, on the red carpet for the Alternative Press Music Awards at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

Rock band New Politics on the red carpet for the Alternative Press Music Awards at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Rock band Pierce the Veil on the red carpet for the Alternative Press Music Awards at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

Contact Jenna Kuczkowski at [email protected].