Golden Gods Awards Club Nokia May 2, 2013 The Fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards show celebrating the heavy metal and hard rock community had some unplanned extra heaviness with the untimely passing of legendary Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman. At the opening of this star filled extravaganza, heavy metal DJ Jose Mangin dedicated the show to the memory of Hanneman. Rather than turning into a mournful remembrance service, the show kicked it into a higher gear making it more like a rowdy Irish wake.
Fittingly, one of Slayer's co-conspirators in the thrash genre, Anthrax opened the show with a destructive version of "Caught In A Mosh" that had guitarist Scott Ian doing Godzilla like leg stomps across the stage. Special guests would appear throughout the evening and the first showing was mind blowing. Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown from Pantera joined Anthrax onstage for a head crushing version of "This Love". I can't remember the last time both Anselmo and Brown shared the stage together and it was especially touching since they too have suffered from losing a band member with guitarist Dimebag Darrell's tragic passing in 2004.
In between the performances, the awards were handed out with some extremely surprising results. While John 5 seemed worthy of the Best Guitarist distinction, Arejay Hale of Halestrom beating out Neil Peart of Rush for best drummer was akin to Jethro Tull beating out Metallica for a Grammy back in the day. Luckily, the show quickly shifted back to live performances with the Dillinger Escape Plan who almost tore down the whole venue with their brutally progressive sound. Another spine-tingling moment occurred when Chino Moreno of the Deftones emerged from the shadows to join the Dillinger Escape Plan for Depeche Mode's "Behind The Wheel". It was dark, dramatic and destructive all at the same time.
More head scratching awards were handed out as HIM won the award for Best Fans. The telltale sign something was wrong when HIM was announced as the winner was the dramatic hush that fell over the crowd as people looked at each other presumably thinking "WTF?." Kerry King of Slayer and Zakk Wylde presented the award of best live band, rightfully, to Slipknot. King had two shots in his hand and asked for a moment of noise for his fallen bandmate. I'm sure King was a bit teary eyed beneath his large sunglasses.
One of the uneven pairings of the evening was that of David Draiman of Disturbed joining Halestrom for a clunky version of "Whole Lotta Love." Gene Simmons of Kiss dutifully handed Rob Zombie the Golden God award joining the elite company of Alice Cooper, Rob Halford and Dave Mustaine. Corey Taylor broke down in tears when he won Best Vocalist award as I'm sure he was filled with emotion with Slipknot and Slayer touring frequently and also losing his fellow bandmate, bassist Paul Gray.
Five Finger Death Punch resumed the rock show with some help from Rob Halford for "Lift Me Up." They upped the ante once more by bringing out Rob Zombie and John 5 for a head banging take on the White Zombie classic "Thunderkiss '65." Another quizzical moment occurred when David Draiman won the award for Best New Talent for his project Device. It seems like Revolver needs to look closer into new heavy metal bands. Tenacious D won for Comeback of the Year beating out my favorite, Quicksand.
Stone Sour would take the stage and rip up "Children of the Grave" by Black Sabbath and members of Slipknot came out to add some extra chaos and drum pounding. Lemmy Kilmister won for Best Bassist and WWE wrestler Triple H won for most Metal Athlete. The largest amount of discord and anger was aimed squarely at Black Veil Brides for winning Song of the Year for "In The End" as boos and hateful chants reigned down from the balcony.
The award show was a rare televised appearance for Danzig as even he mentioned the last time he was on TV dated back to 1994. While it was great to see Tommy Victor of Prong and Ministry shred on guitar, Danzig's vocals didn't come through that well. Danzig did add a intriguing caveat by saying that Cliff Burton of Metallica called him up drunk one night to ask about the lyrics for The Misfits "Last Caress" which Metallica covered on their "Garage Days Re-Revisited" album. It was a good move on Revolver's part to include a band that was so influential to Metallica's DNA.
The parade of awards continued as Tony Iommi deservedly won the Riff Lord category. Korn--seeing the recent return of guitarist Brian "Head" Welch--gave the Deftones (still grieving the death of bassist Chi Cheng) the Album of the Year award which was finally something I could back one hundred percent.Overall, the night was a celebration for Metallica as they picked up the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award for the indelible mark they have made on heavy metal. Metallica wisely kept it old school and showed why they are the biggest band in heavy metal with scorching versions of "Disposable Heroes" and "For Whom The Bell Tolls." Rob Halford joined them on stage for a Judas Priest cover "Rapid Fire" that continued to blow people's minds. "Seek and Destroy" closed out the evening perfectly as it was difficult to believe that a band as big as Metallica was destroying the tiny Club Nokia. It will be hard for the Revolver Golden Gods to top themselves next year but I'm sure they will find a way.
Critical Bias: I have Metallica's Kill 'Em All on cd that contains "Am I Evil" and "Blitzkrieg" before it got pulled off the shelves.
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The Crowd: Metal heads and metal chicks. What did you expect?
Overheard In The Crowd: "I paid $1200 for these seats just for Metallica". Damn.
Random Notebook Dump: This Revolver Golden Gods Awards show was five times better than their first show.