If the 2014 Revolver Golden Gods Awards proved anything, it’s that getting a bunch of metal-heads to do something organized is as challenging as it is entertaining.
The awards show streamed Wednesday night via various websites, including VH1, VH1 Classic and Amazon. Of course, no prime-time spot was necessary, because the purpose of the awards is to give rock and metal music the attention that the mainstream media denies it.
Brandon Geist, the editor-in-chief of Revolver magazine, wrote in his letter-from-the-editor in the April/May issue about his disappointment in the Grammy Awards (though he assured readers he only heard of the atrocities; he did not subject himself to actually watching it).
Geist was not impressed with any of the Grammys’ attempts to honor rock music. He said that the performance of Metallica’s “One” featuring Lang Lang on piano was basically a mess (I agree for the most part, though I think it was a cool idea. I just think the piano was competing with the guitars more than complementing them). He also complained that the only anticipated performance, Nine Inch Nails featuring Queens of the Stone Age and David Grohl, was cut off by the closing credits.
Contrarily, the Golden Gods features rock and metal performances throughout. This year, the show opened with a solid performance from Slayer, which seems only fitting after guitarist Jeff Hanneman died last year on the night of the show.
The guys from “That Metal Show” hosted. The crew was a good pick, especially considering Eddie Trunk’s extensive knowledge (watch any segment of “Stump the Trunk”). However, many of the trio’s jokes didn’t seem to win over the crowd.
The majority of winners were not in attendance because they were on tour, though most sent in thank-you videos. Probably the coolest video was of the Avenged Sevenfold members giving their award for “Most Dedicated Fans” to someone in the crowd during their concert.
Many wins of the night were surprises. Deep Purple took home “Comeback of the Year,” winning over Black Sabbath, Carcass and Nine Inch Nails.
And Pierce the Veil won for “Best Film & Video” over the epic documentary “As the Palaces Burn,” which chronicled Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe being accused of killing one of his fans, and not to mention Metallica’s “Through the Never.”
The fact that fans vote for these awards is what makes the Golden Gods justifiably different than the Grammys; but it also leaves room for a lot of questionable wins.
The night featured many memorable performances. Notably, Suicide Silence, who lost its vocalist Mitch Lucker in a motorcycle accident, performed “You Only Live Once” with a new singer, Hernan “Eddie” Hermida. He was impressive and executed some of the shrillest screams I have ever heard.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performed “I Hate Myself for Loving You” after Jett received this year’s Golden God.
Taylor Momsen from the Pretty Reckless chimed in on vocals as well.
And apparently, the band members thought they messed up, so they played the song a second time.
Every year, Revolver does a “Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock” issue with the top 25 “hottest” female musicians. And yet, other than Jett, only one female musician was nominated for any of the categories; Emma Anzai from Sick Puppies was up for the “Paul Gray Best Bassist.” The female-fronted Pretty Reckless was up for two awards as well.
The show wrapped up with the “Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award” going to Axl Rose. Though it seemed like a random choice, most can agree Rose is an icon. The award could have gone to, say, Tony Iommi, who accepted the award for “Album of the Year” on behalf of Black Sabbath, and who lost to Avenged Sevenfold for “Dimebag Darrell Best Guitarist.” But I don’t think anyone is necessarily mad about Rose taking the award.
What also seemed random about this award was that Nicholas Cage introduced Rose. Cage did a hell of a job, too, which makes sense because he is an actor. Rose even joked that he paid a lot of money for Cage to say all those nice things. His acceptance speech was short, followed by a very long, awkward sound check before G ‘n’ R actually performed. The guitarist started playing the “Jeopardy” tune as the crowd waited.
G ‘n’ R’s performance fell flat at first. Rose struggled to hit some of those high notes he is so well known for. However, original bassist Duff McKagan joining in helped things, and the band played many of its classics, which pleased the crowd.