2012 Revolver Golden Gods Awards
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By Jamie Harvey
"I WANNA ROCK!!!"
At some point deep into the evening of the 2012 Revolver Golden Gods Awards, rock and metal's biggest night, both the genre's fans and stars were screaming that statement and pumping their fists in the air as Twisted Sister's Dee Snider performed with new sensation Black Veil Brides.
Both classic bands and a new wave of artists descended upon the black carpet before congregating at Club Nokia for a night celebrating artistic achievement with comebacks, rockin' collaborations and lots of laughs in between.
Guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen opened the evening by performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the glorious way only a virtuoso could, accompanied by what appeared to be military color guard members in crisp white uniforms, standing out amid the sea of black. The evening was hosted by WWE wrestler Chris Jericho, who provided levity to an already naturally comedic segment of musicians serving as presenters.
Sixx:A.M. performed for the first time in several years with Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx on bass and Guns N' Roses' DJ Ashba on guitar, pleasing the crowd with their glam-rock sensibilities. Sixx also took home the Best Bassist award. The next to perform was Trivium, whose four-song set provided one of the highlights of the night as Slipknot's Corey Taylor and Machine Head's Robb Flynn joined them for a searing cover of Metallica's "Creeping Death."
Black Veil Brides may be one of metal's most polarizing new bands, but tonight's performance may have garnered them some new fans. Working a Kiss-meets-Marilyn-Manson aesthetic, their vibe has built an army of fans, who were easily spotted around the room. Having metal legend Snider join them onstage was a definite crowd-pleaser.
GRAMMY winners Evanescence provided the most melodic performance of the night as vocalist Amy Lee represented women in metal. Lee went on to win the Best Vocalist award. Slash, who won the Riff Lord award, also performed, providing another evening highlight when Alice Cooper joined him for the latter's classic "School's Out."
For me, it was the closing performance that stole the show. I've been a lifelong Marilyn Manson fan, and this was their first U.S. performance in three years. With a highly anticipated forthcoming new album, their performance whetted fans' appetites for a fix. Starting off with "The Dope Show," the Marilyn Manson/Twiggy Ramirez collaboration echoed the nostalgia many of us have for the late-'90s industrial metal heyday. They were joined by the Pretty Reckless' Taylor Momsen, and the crowd could see her image darken before them as the former "Gossip Girl" actress provided backup vocals. But the real surprise came when a man emerged on guitar for "Sweet Dreams" and "The Beautiful People," one whose charisma filled the room though his hat kept him hidden from recognition until Manson introduced him. It was none other than Johnny Depp. To see Edward Scissorhands play with one of the first musical acts I became obsessed with was a memorable moment in my concert history to say the least.
(Texas-based Jamie Harvey is the rock community blogger for GRAMMY.com. She attended 112 shows in 2010. You can follow her musical adventures and concert recaps at www.hardrockchick.com.)