Revolver Golden Gods Awards Club Nokia April 23, 2014
Club Nokia in Downtown LA was filled to capacity on Wednesday night, as masses of fans and industry insiders gathered for the fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards, a show dedicated to all things hard rock and heavy metal, organized by Revolver Magazine along with VH1.
The four hour live event was hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, from That Metal Show, and included a plethora of night that was full of list some of Metal's biggest names, along with fellow head banging movie stars and comedians, athletes, including Alice Cooper, Tony Iommi, Scott Ian, Dee Snyder, Ace Frehley, Dave Navarro, Tony Hawk, Bam Margera, Nicholas Cage, Carmen Electra, and many others.
For diehard thrashers, the highlight of the show came early on, as Slayer made an unannounced appearance after the first presenter, Marilyn Manson, who brought back the darker vibe from his Antichrist Superstar era of the late '90s. Slayer paid homage to the late great guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died almost exactly one year ago, and ripped through three songs: "War Ensamble," "South of Heaven," and a new song (the first in 5 years) "Implode." Although the band's set was short, the energy in the air for each song was palpable, but the intensity never made it to the full level of violence or mayhem that a typical Slayer would result in.
Too bad that the next live performance came from Florida based pop punk/metal core hybrid, A Day To Remember, which unfortunately failed to connect with the audience, despite the few fans in the very front. Perhaps these guys should not have played directly after Slayer.
Since the event was being broadcast live, throughout the night the timing of each performer and award presenters were a bit off, with awkward moments of silence or commercials being played on big screens filling the empty time between.
The awards part of the ceremony brought many upsets, which even the presenters, and winners seemed to acknowledge, but all in all it was a positive vibe, and no one left feeling they were robbed, because after all the night was an all encompassing tribute to all heavy metal, old and new.
When Five Finger Death Punch bass player Chris Kael won the Paul Gray Best Bass Player Award, (named after the late Slipknot bass player), he immediately asked the crowd, "Are you guys high?? Best beard in metal, maybe, but best bass player?? Geezer Butler!!"
Scott Ian from Anthrax and NCIS star Pauley Perrette presented best comeback of the year, and Ian was visibly surprised and shocked that Black Sabbath or Carcass lost to Deep Purple, in a moment that was parallel to when Jethro Tull won the Grammy Award over Metallica, in 1991. 'I want everyone to know we didn't have any decision with this," he told the crowd after the winner was announced.
Making their North American live debut, Southern California's Suicide Silence performed with their new lead singer Eddie Hermida, formerly from All Shall Perish. This was the band's first live appearance in this country, after the tragic death of original singer Mitch Lucker in 2012. Fans ate up the energy Suicide Silence brought, and everyone could feel aggression and emotion in the death metalcore band's short set, which included "You Only Live Once" and "No Pity For A Coward." and a new song, on a new album that will be released this summer, called "You Can't Stop Me." The highlight of Suicide Silence came at the conclusion, when Max Cavalera from Sepultura/Soulfly came out onstage and began to perform the song 'Roots.' The bouncing, head banging crowd in the front center, saw the brief formation mosh pit that lasted a minute or less.
The NY-based rock band The Pretty Reckless also performed, with an introduction from legendary horror punk icon Doyle from the Misfits and the very beautiful Alissa White-Gluz, the new singer of Arch Enemy.
The Pretty Reckless aren't quite 'metal' but the female fronted rock band powered through a set that sounded like Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones, meets Heart and Hole, with lead singer Taylor Momsen flailing, dancing and rocking out on stage around like a hippie/head banger.
OC's own Avenged Sevenfold won the Most Devoted Fans award, as well as the awards for Best Drummer, Arin Ilejay, and Best Guitarist(s), Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengence. But unfortunately the band was on tour and fans at Nokia were presented with a pre taped video acceptance speech, at a concert in Minneapolis.
Josh Barnett won the Most Metal Athlete award and took time to make his love for true metal known loud and clear. "I've finally won this damn award and it's not all about me spilling blood and taking people down in the ring," he said. "It's about representing metal, DEATH TO FALSE METAL, it's all about Slayer, and bands like Carcass, and Bolt Thrower!"
The iconic guitarist and founder of the Runaways, Joan Jett was presented with the honorary Golden God Award, with an introduction by Alice Cooper, following a live performance by Jett) and her band The Blackhearts, who put on a set that was short but full of rock n roll vibes and punk rock energy that Jett helped to create.
Jett opened with the classic 'Bad Reputation,' and had the play the song 'I hate Myself for Loving You,' twice, since the microphones of her guest on stage, (Taylor Momsen from The Pretty Wreckless) were not working. During the second version of the song, ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons made a very brief on stage cameo.
Of course, the highlight of the entire night, and perhaps a reason most people came was to see the final band, Guns N Roses, which included original bass player Duff McKagan, along with singer Axl Rose, guitarists, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman, guitarists DJ Ashba and Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thai, along with drummer Frank Ferrer.
After comedian Andrew Dice Clay and actor Nicholas Cage introduced Axl Rose and presented him with the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award, Rose took the stage and humbly thanked all the past and present GNR line ups then disappeared for 15 minutes, before the band took the stage to conclude the evening, and what a conclusion.
The band opened with "It's So Easy," and of course played the mandatory hits "Appetite For Destruction": "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child Of Mine," and "Paradise City, " as well as several new songs, and the classic 'November Rain." In a set that lasted an hour, fans up front got a very intimate version of Guns N' Roses, that was in your face, authentic and stripped down hard roc/heavy metal at its core.
Although this was an awards show, fans seemed to focus less on the actual awards, and more on the live performances this year, where the founding fathers of hard rock, thrash, and heavy metal joined the next generation of bands to celebrate the music, culture and community that embraces rock music in all its forms (punk, metal, hard rock, thrash, etc) and shows no boundaries when it comes to age, ethnicity or gender.
The Crowd: A melting pot of metal and rock fans, old and young, men and women and even some families. Tons of people standing around, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon. Club Nokia was a colorful scene with heavy metal fans literally from all walks of life: Biker gangs, tons of hot ladies, hipsters, washed up groupies and old fogies, diehards waiting near the backstage with posters and vinyl to sign, longhaired, but balding rockers, doing coke in the bathrooms, and people dressed in everything from their armed service uniforms, business suits and pink wigs, tight dresses, Mohawks and clown make up.
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Random Notebook Dump: During a tribute to some of metal's lost heroes, Zakk Wylde performed a piano version of the Black Label Society song "In this River," while a big screen projected the names and images of those who have passed on, including Ronnie James Dio, Dime Bag Darrell, Oderus Urungus, Jeff Hanneman, and many more. However for a split second, someone made the mistake of labeling the late Jani Lane, from Warrant, as a member of the band Motorhead.
Overheard in the Crowd: Just after Scott Ian had announced that Deep Purple had won the come back of the year award, it was mentioned that the band was not in attendance and unable to accept the award in person. "That's because they are all at home in bed they're old as fuck they don't care about this shit!" said a belligerent, bearded drunk in a leather BLS jacket holding two beers. "Sabbath or Carcass should have won, Deep Purple?!?!?!"