Wonder who won a Woodie?

Abbey Carr

By Abbey Carr

Staff Reporter

MtvU is slowly starting to invade Villanova’s campus, and let’s hope it doesn’t stop. Channel 67 on campus now hosts MTV’s college music station, and tomorrow, the Campus Activities Team is bringing Motion City Soundtrack, Mae, Anberlin and Metro Station (who are currently on an mtvU-sponsored tour) to Jake Nevin.

On top of all this excitement, 10 CAT Music Committee members were invited to attend the 2007 mtvU Woodie Awards on Nov. 8 at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom. If you are confused, a Woodie is the equivalent of a Video Music Award, only the winners are determined by approximately 4.6 million votes from college students.

The awards start with the expected, Woodie of the Year and Best Video Woodie, but also include unusual categories such as the Good Woodie, the Viral Woodie, the Left Field Woodie, the Best Music on Campus Woodie and the Breaking Woodie.

Mid-afternoon on Thursday, the 10 of us piled into a Campus Ministry van and set off to New York. After a longer-than-expected drive, we arrived in the city in time to grab dinner and stand in line.

Roseland Ballroom was dressed to kill, creating the illusion of being a “real award show,” complete with a red carpet talent entrance – which was really just a tent, lots of bright lights and some conveniently placed bicycle racks to keep fans out.

The doors opened at 7 p.m., and the show was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. As we entered the Roseland Ballroom, the venue was almost unrecognizable with the MTV atmosphere. The room was flashy and tacky with outrageous lighting structures lined with black fur, but the additional stage for the award presentations and numerous VIP sections were the biggest attention-getters.

Most of the Villanova group claimed a spot at the left performance stage, and the wait began. Before the official start, lights were tested, camera cranes swung to practice capturing perfect angles and rumors circulated throughout the crowd. Motion City Soundtrack’s appearance on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” was canceled because of the writer’s strike – would they do a surprise performance? Many fans insisted Rilo Kiley had been confirmed, but only time would tell. Most of those coming from Villanova were excited to see The Academy Is… perform, who were pretty much the only confirmed appearance. Amy Winehouse was supposed to perform but backed out due to trouble with her visa.

Finally, the lights dimmed, and the show began. Without an introduction, Lupe Fiasco took the stage to perform his new single, “Superstar,” accompanied by Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy. The crowd seemed confused but excited to see anyone considered “famous.”

The show quickly moved onto the night’s biggest award, Woodie of the Year, given to Gym Class Heroes for being the “music you lived your life to this year.” GCH beat out big names like Amy Winehouse, The Shins, Common and Lily Allen to take home this award.

The night continued with appearances by Motion City Soundtrack, Gym Class Heroes, Guster, Tom DeLonge from Blink 182 and Angels & Airwaves, Dave Kennedy from Angels & Airwaves, Fall Out Boy, Annie Lennox, Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, Say Anything, Keenan Thompson from SNL, Boys Like Girls and more.

Performances included Tokyo Police Club (who were relatively unknown, but were definitely a crowd favorite), Spank Rock (who came with an interesting group of dancers in neon bikinis), The Academy Is… (who performed a song accompanied by a string section made up of students from the Juilliard School of Music) and the night ended with a powerful performance from Rilo Kiley (who performed two songs from “Under the Blacklight”).

The awards show was short and sweet, ending exactly at 10 p.m. As we left the venue, a few people from our Villanova crew were asked for interviews and reactions to the awards.

As we exited the building, a few of us became starstruck when we met DeLonge. After a quick photo shoot, we all went around to the back of the venue to congratulate The Academy Is… on its Viral Woodie Award. TAI had an impressive win in this category, beating Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy and Meg & Dia through four weeks of elimination.

The band was also nominated for Best Performing Woodie along with The Rapture, Lil Wayne and Daft Punk, but Muse took home this prestigious award.

“We are so excited about the Viral Award – this is our first award!” said Adam Siska, TAI’s bassist. “I’m happy Muse won Best Performing Woodie. I saw Muse awhile ago, and their show was insane. If we would have won, I don’t think I could have accepted it.”

Everyone from the TAI crew was appreciative of the fans who voted and supported them at their shows. Expect to see bigger and better things coming from TAI soon as well.

They plan to finish up their current tour with Armor For Sleep, The Rocket Summer, Sherwood and Cobra Starship and then head to the studio to record a new album. They all said they are thinking about going back to L.A. to record but are not sure if they will work with Butch Walker as a producer again.

“It is crazy that we are getting this much attention and a lot of people are asking to work with us,” said drummer Andy Mrotek, a.k.a. The Butcher.

“It’s great that we have so many options, but we aren’t sure what we are doing just yet, but we’ve been writing a lot.”

After our fill of hanging with emerging rock stars, the Villanova crew got back in the Campus Ministry van to head back to campus, ready to post pictures on Facebook and brag to friends.

You can check out the 2007 mtvU Woodie Awards in its entirety on mtvU channel 67 or mtvu.com today at 8 p.m. or a “Best Of” show on MTV on Saturday 10 p.m. and MTV2 on Sunday at 12:30 a.m.