As far as totally sweet college parties go, the 2006 mvtU Woodie Awards were pretty rad. Like, completely on par with that Kappa Alpha beach-blast throwdown from a few months back (and they filled their basement with sand!).
The list of presenters, performers and nominees on hand for the third annual Woodies, held Wednesday at New York's Roseland Ballroom, read like a who's-who of innovative, genre-bending rock and hip-hop: Beck, Lady Sovereign, TV on the Radio, Angels & Airwaves, 30 Seconds to Mars and Gym Class Heroes, to name just a few. And the crowd — some 2,000 strong — were raucous, vocal and ready to party.
And they let their loyalties be known early and often. Though Angels & Airwaves took home the Woodie of the Year award (given to the artist "who made the biggest splash on mtvU and the college-music scene this past year"), the crowd screeched louder for some of A&A's competition in the category, most notably Panic! at the Disco and the Academy Is ... (see "Panic May Add Woodie To Award Collection; Arctic Monkeys, Imogen Heap Lead mtvU Nominations"). Their squeals during Gym Class Heroes' performance of "The Queen and I" — complete with a big-wigged Marie Antoinette look-alike onstage — nearly drowned out the group's percolating punk-funk.
Then again, this was the fans' show. They voted on all 10 winners via mtvU.com, which may explain some of the, uh, more questionable decisions — O.A.R. taking home the Streaming Woodie, given to the artist whose song was most downloaded on the site — and greeted TV on the Radio's droning, trancey set with stoic silence. They cheered loudly when AFI were announced as the winners of the Alumni Woodie, and voiced equal lust for other winners, especially Gnarls Barkley (who took home the Left Field Woodie, for the best "genre-busting" group) and 30 Seconds to Mars, whose video for "The Kill" scored the Best Video Woodie - Live Action.
And while last year's Woodies seemingly had more star power — winners and performers included My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Death Cab for Cutie; see "My Chemical Romance Win Woodie Of The Year At mtvU Awards" — the 2006 ceremony more than made up for that in sheer moxie and energy. Lady Sov — decked out in a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase "Midget" (classy!) — introduced the Gym Class Heroes with her typical swagger, yelling that she was drunk and promising she wasn't "going to go by the script." The Plain White T's, winners of the Breaking Woodie (given to the best emerging artist), sat in the crowd and sang along to each performance like a bunch of super-fans. And Beck delivered a rollicking and puppet-enhanced set of hits both new ("Nausea") and old ("E-Pro").
All in all, it was a solidly off-the-cuff affair, and as the crowds filtered out of Roseland — heading to keggers, ragers and various other theme parties, one assumes — there was a palpable sense of satisfaction in the air. It was, after all, the fans' show. And they managed to throw a pretty great party.
A 30-minute version of the 2006 mtvU Woodie Awards will air November 4 at 10 p.m. on MTV, with an encore presentation airing the following night on MTV2 at 11 p.m.
The complete list of winners at the 2006 mtvU Woodie Awards:
- Woodie of the Year (Artist of the Year): Angels & Airwaves
- The Breaking Woodie (Best Emerging Artist): Plain White T's
- Left Field Woodie (Most Original Artist): Gnarls Barkley
- Best Video Woodie - Live Action (Best Live Action Video): 30 Seconds to Mars - "The Kill"
- Best Video Woodie - Animated (Best Animated Video): Gorillaz - "El Mañana"
- The Good Woodie (Greatest Social Impact): Serj Tankian (System of a Down) - Armenian genocide
- Road Woodie (Best Tour): Taking Back Sunday
- International Woodie (Favorite International Artist Award): The Subways
- Alumni Woodie (a.k.a. The You're Still OK in Our Book Award): AFI
- Streaming Woodie (Most Downloaded): O.A.R. - "Lay Down"