Originally written for publishing on March 10, 2013.
Orange County’s headlining and rising bands from Young the Giant, Lit, Slayer Drummer Dave Lombardo, Sugarland drummer Travis McNabb and No Doubt drummer Adrian Young were some of the honorees present at the 12th Annual OC Music Awards this weekend, March 9th held in The Grove of Anaheim.
The showcase series began in January and ended at the Grove when the music industry came together to honor achievements of local artists in 27 genre categories.
Disc jockey Stryker of the world famous KROQ began the night by toasting to all of the locally talented “young bands on that cusp of going from one level to another” and “who create something from nothing.”
Nilu was the opening performance, whose captivating performance silenced the crowd with her keyboard and soulful voice that sang “Sing For You”. The Orquesta Cortez was another highlight performance singing “La Negra Tomasa” with latin-salsa-Afro Cuban vibes that had the audience dancing in their seats with an upbeat rhythmic tone. Moonsville Collective, winners of Best Country/Americana band, delivered one of their folk and blues song that had the audience tapping along to the beat. Other performers were best live band winners Robert Jon and The Wreck, GOGO13, John Easdale and a special performance from Pacific Symphony.
Sugarland drummer Travis McNabb was a special guest of the night who presented Un D Vided the Best Youth Artist Award.
“These guys are the one’s to watch out for,” said McNabb.
Best Indie Award winners Young the Giant’s presence was received as an exciting surprise by the audience since the band has recently broken into the mainstream and yet were still able to attend to accept their award.
Adrian Young, drummer from No Doubt, accepted three awards on behalf of the band for Best Music Video, Best Song, and Best Album. After accidentally dropping the second award during his acceptance speech, Young received the third one with more care but shared a memory with the audience of the times No Doubt used to practice nearby the venue. His story ended in a humorous yet disturbing way as he recalled having to pullover to use the restroom and arriving home pantless and dirty after not finding a public restroom.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to music director Carl St. Clair. It is the first time that the OCMA has ever honored a classical music artist. St. Clair accepted his award with pride and mentioned that before hearing of symphony orchestra, he grew up in a rural area where music played in back porches out of AM radios. He used to play keyboard in a rock band until July 3,1971, which marked the day his idol Jim Morrison from The Doors died. The turn in his career was the next day when he went into the opera and found his inspiration. He is now a music director celebrating the 23rd season with Pacific Symphony—the largest orchestra formed in the United States in the last 40 years.
American punk rock band Lit received the Impact Award for being responsible for the mainstream popularity of American alternative rock in the ‘90s and remaining true to their artistic expression as recognized by OCMA. Lead singer A. Jay Popoff accepted the award.
“We don’t know what alternative is; we are a rock band and if that’s what alternative is, then we’re badass!” said Popoff.
Lit dedicated their award to former drummer Allen “Big Al” Shellenberger who lost his battle to brain cancer in 2009. Zebrahead wrapped up the night with their heavy metal sound as the last performance and paid tribute to Big Al with the drummer of the band wearing an “I Love Al” T-shirt.
Other award winners include: Micah Brown for Best Folk, The Offspring for Best Punk, The Dirty Heads for Best World, Block for Best Electronic, The Originalities for Best Surf, Flashback Heart Attack for Best Tribute, Parker Macy Blues for Best Blues, Moonsville Collective for Best Country/Americana, Speech Impediments for Best Hip Hop, Jeramiah Red for Best Rock, Boogaloo Assassins for Best Latin, Suedehead for Best Pop, DJ Jeremiah Red for Best Club DJ, Nancy Sanchez for Best Jazz, Breach the Summit for Best New Artist, The Devious Means for People’s Choice, Dallas Kruse for Best Music Producer, and Railroad to Alaska for Best Metal.