Alternative Press Music Awards Rock Playhouse Square

Gennifer Harding-Gosnell

Sleeping With Sirens singer Kellin Quinn walks in. A scream erupts from the mostly-female fans lined along the State Theatre’s upper rotunda balconies overlooking the red carpet area below.

It seems even the red carpet backdrop is stunned as it takes a tumble backwards, providing a rare, behind-the-scenes look. Of course this causes the fans to scream more as the staff rushes in to reset it.

The fourth annual Alternative Press Music Awards on July 17 featured performances by Machine Gun Kelly, Starset, The Plain White T’s, The Pretty Reckless, and Bone Thugs. Notable winners include producer and Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann winning the Influencer Award, Silent Planet with Best Underground Band, and Pierce The Veil with Album of the Year. But, the ultimate takeaway from this year’s APMAs is that the show unintentionally became a celebration of women.

Although no feminist or political stands were taken, it just turned out that the hard rock artists who really brought their A-game this past year also happen to have boobs. Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace accepted the Icon Award for helping open the doors to transgender acceptance. One of the most genuine performances of the night saw New Years Day frontwoman Ashley Costello joining forces with Halestorm singer Lzzy Hale for an amped-up cover of the Garbage hit, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains.” Even the audience nailed it—a girl with thick dreads dressed in a long, black-and-white-striped suit coat a la Beetlejuice, was singing along word for word to the Garbage cover, a song older than she is.

Alternative Press Managing Editor Rabab Al-Sharif says, “There are so many brilliant women in this industry both in the spotlight and behind the scenes accomplishing amazing things every day, so the fact that there were so many involved in our show—whether performing or accepting an award—was very natural. Such a large portion of our audience is made up of young women, so it’s amazing that they can see these strong, successful ladies kicking ass and being celebrated.”

This year’s Hopeless Records’ Sub City Philanthropic Grant recipient, Cassie Wilson, might have been the biggest winner of the night. She took home funding for Half Access, her organization which works to help create a better experience for disabled concert goers.

More highlights and a complete list of APMA winners is up on AP’s website, and check out PressureLife’s YouTube channel for our video coverage, including some notable and hilarious red-carpet interviews with the night’s biggest stars.   

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