HOLLYWOOD — The Video Music Awards are always a party, and this year was no exception. There was plenty of music, dancing and very glamorous folks on hand, plus — thanks to a bawdy, rambling opening monologue by host Russell Brand — the kind of political discourse your weird uncle usually starts spouting after his sixth scotch and soda.
All in all, it was a pretty excellent time (especially if you were Britney Spears), but, as in years past, it paled in comparison to what happened as soon as the show ended, when all of your favorite stars left Paramount's Studio 16 to make the rounds on the VMA afterparty circuit. Because everybody knows that when you combine fired-up celebrities with copious amounts of free alcohol, truly magical things happen. And luckily, MTV News was there — at all of the exclusive parties, behind the velvetiest of velvet ropes — to bring you the sights and sounds of a pretty wild evening (and late night and early morning) in Tinseltown.
The first stop on the circuit was the official VMA afterparty, and, as luck would have it, the stars didn't have to travel far to make it there. Located at the south end of the Paramount lot — just steps (or a quick golf-cart ride) away from Studio 16, and in the shadow of Kanye West's still-smoldering stage — the event served as a launching point for the evening's adventures. The celebs showed up in droves.
A quick scan around the room turned up "The Hills" stars Lauren Conrad and Audrina Patridge lounging on white leather couches, while Fonzworth Bentley and Doug E. Fresh chatted at a nearby table. By the VIP section, Gym Class Heroes MC Travis McCoy laughed with Travis Barker, while Katy Perry and Paramore's Hayley Williams chatted and Brand lurked in the background. "Superbad" star Jonah Hill entertained a group with an impromptu dance routine to the strains of Rihanna's "Umbrella."
L.A. sports icons Kobe Bryant and new Dodgers manager Joe Torre (with his daughter) made appearances, Slipknot's Sid Wilson — in a mask and three-piece suit, of course — had a lengthy chat with Efren Ramirez (a.k.a. the dude who played Pedro in "Napoleon Dynamite"), and during a surprise performance by the Ting Tings, Plain White T's drummer De'Mar Hamilton told a friend, "I love this band!" before singing along to the duo's VMA-nominated song "Shut Up and Let Me Go" in a faux cockney accent.
As that afterparty was winding down, another soiree was just getting under way at iconic West Hollywood hotspot Chateau Marmont, where gossip mag In Touch Weekly threw a big-ticket event featuring performances by Leona Lewis and Good Charlotte, and a surprise appearance by everyone's least favorite afterparty guest, the Los Angeles fire marshal.
Seems everyone wanted to get into the Chateau, which put the event at max capacity, which — of course — meant that the marshal had to be called in to turn partygoers away. So while Lewis was singing, "Piece of Me" director Wayne Isham, "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson and about a hundred other Hollywood types were forced to wait outside. David and Victoria Beckham, however — not appreciating their elite status, apparently — left the party early, and Christina Aguilera followed not long after.
But somehow the celebs still managed to pour in. Kid Rock lounged with his shirt off, Mischa Barton shoved her way to the front of the stage to catch Good Charlotte's set, and Paris Hilton rocked out and shot the entire show on her camera phone. A bit later, Paris' sweetie, Benji Madden, and his brother Joel started making people in the front row drink straight from bottles of booze. "Sorry," Joel laughed. "We're having a drinking contest!"
Not laughing was Lindsay Lohan, who had a mini-meltdown across the room when someone spilled something on her. To make matters worse, LiLo then dashed into the men's bathroom to (presumably) throw some club soda on the mystery stain. Crisis contained, she — and much of the party — then headed to hipster hangout Hyde for some sort of unofficial VMA after-afterparty.
Over at Hollywood's Avalon club, Pepsi rolled out the blue carpet for another VMA bash, this one featuring mini-sets from Tyga, Keri Hilson and Ryan Leslie, who got an onstage assist from Fabolous, JoJo and West Coast legend Warren G.
While the party circuit was phenomenal, one couldn't help but notice that a pair of the night's biggest names — and — were nowhere to be found. Tip told MTV News that he was skipping the champagne because he's putting all his energy into "Bone Deep," the crime drama he starts filming Monday (September 8) alongside Oscar nominee Matt Dillon, so we gave him a pass. But Wayne? What's his story?
"You know me, I don't really trip off the parties and stuff," Wayne told MTV News on Saturday night when we asked about his afterparty plans. "I may pop up at a party or two. Tonight I'll be in the studio working on some stuff."
However, Wayne may not have been revealed everything about his post-VMA plans: Early Monday afternoon (September 8), he was in court in New York for a hearing about his July 2007 gun charge, after taking a red-eye flight from L.A.
"[Wayne] is the utmost, consummate professional," his lawyer Stacy Richman said of Wayne's trip to New York. "He recognizes his entertainment obligations, his business obligations and his obligations to the court."