LARGO, Maryland — On Tuesday, the mtvU Video Music Awards Tour descended on Six Flags America near Baltimore. It was one of the hottest days yet this summer, but that didn’t stop thousands of fans from cheering on , , and VMA nominee .
The show was free, but fans had to get admission bracelets near the main entrance, and those were gone soon after the park opened. Judging by the line to get in, which snaked through the park, the show was easily the biggest attraction there. As the temperature pushed 100 and the venue reached capacity, several fans had to be taken away in stretchers after collapsing from heat exhaustion. Even the artists started feeling the heat. “I almost passed out from heat exhaustion. Every five minutes I’d look at my drummer and say, ’I’m going to die from heat exhaustion,’ ” Perry said.
Still, spirits remained high throughout the day. “Not only do I love playing shows, but I also love riding roller coasters, so this is the best of both worlds,” All Time Low frontman Alex Gaskarth said. The band made one of the concert’s most memorable moments when they played an energetic cover of ’s “Umbrella.”
With the VMAs only weeks away and most of the nominees announced, talk of potential winners and losers was rampant backstage. While All Time Low, Boys Like Girls and Metro Station all had a good number of fans nominate them for Best New Artist , they didn’t get enough votes to put them in the top five with Katy Perry.
“I feel like I just kind of showed up on the scene, and I’m nominated with more established artists. They’re on their third single, and I’m still kissing girls,” Perry said of her nomination. And what if she wins? “I’d love to have a Moonman. Everyone wants a Moonman, but I think this is just the beginning, and if I get lucky enough to win, I’m going to create a necklace out of it,” she laughed.
Her tourmates say they’ll be supporting her when it comes time for the big show. “Her single is enormous. Everyone has it stuck in their head right now; it’s like a song of the summer,” Boys Like Girls guitarist Paul DiGiovanni said. At the end of her set, during “I Kissed a Girl,” the singer came down off the stage and sang the last verse with the cheering crowd.
As for other nominees, Lil Wayne was a big favorite among both All Time Low and Boys Like Girls. “I think Lil Wayne will probably take Best Male Video because he dominated this year,” BLG bassist Bryan Donahue said. And for Best Rock Video , Gaskarth said he would “put $400 on Paramore.”
This year’s VMAs, hosted by British comic and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” co-star Russell Brand, will feature live performances from the Jonas Brothers, Lil Wayne and Kid Rock. See how Perry and the other nominees fare when the big show is broadcast live at 9 p.m. on September 7 from the legendary Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.