It was only a matter of time before video-streaming mega-site YouTube got in on the awards game. On Sunday (November 3) they debuted the inaugural YouTube Music Awards. And, it was different from their competitors. First off, it was staged in a sprawling warehouse in New York. Secondly, in contrast to most slickly produced shows the agenda for the evening appeared to be a little bit, shall we say, open.
Hosts Reggie Watts and Jason Schwartzman seemed almost entirely in the dark about how it was due to be structured. Before it all kicked off the creative director behind the whole show Spike Jonze had told NME he wanted the production to be unpredictable. Well, leaving the two hosts to improvise only arming them with cards featuring the artist and award so they were “prepared for as little as possible” was certainly that. Jonze’s job was to direct a bunch of “live” music videos on the night. It certainly brought a bit more spontaneity to the whole thing.
Still, with an impressive guest list of talent, here are some of the biggest talking points from YouTube’s first ever music awards:
1) Eminem gave his first live performance of single ‘Rap God’ from his new album ‘Marshall Mathers LP 2’.
Slim Shady also went on to win the Artist Of The Year award.
2) Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler’s crazy performed ‘Sasquatch’.
It ended with a mosh-pit in a pink cube. Interesting.
3) Lady Gaga put herself through a disturbing performance of ‘Dope’ – a new track from ‘ARTPOP’.
Dressed up as a male skateboarder the crowd went wild for the theatrical performance of her wailing/singing while playing the piano.
4) Arcade Fire performed ‘Afterlife’ from their fourth studio album ‘Reflektor’.
Win Butler also took to the stage to spoof Kanye West’s infamous hijacking of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. He interrupted a gong being given to Taylor Swift for YouTube phenomenom by saying that Baauer’s ‘Harlem Shake’ deserved the accolade, before throwing his mic onto the floor.
5) Lindsey Stirling hosted a performance of her suspended in air flying through a make shift city.
She was simultaneously playing her violin to ‘Crystalize’.