Nov. 21, 2011
BOSTON — Forget what was on at the House of Blues Sunday. The Boston music scene put on its biggest show of the year at the Liberty Hotel: the Boston Music Awards.
And while there were no shortage of awards categories, the real point was the live performances from bands such as tawdry-rockers Viva Viva and R&B chanteuse Shea Rose.
There were shows in rooms, parties, bars and a ballroom; a vagabond marching band and a percussion ensemble roaming the hallways and stairwells; people with tattoos, top hats and a diamond cane — all determined to put into action Viva Viva’s recommendation from its 2011 self-titled LP: "this is your lifetime / so let's have a good time."
WGBH News’ Edgar B. Herwick III was in fact a little disappointed by the winners of the top award, Artist of the Year: the good ol’ Dropkick Murphys.
“They’re terrific but I feel like it’s a story that’s kind of been told already,” he told Bob Seay on Morning Edition, whereas newcomers such as David Wax Museum and Slaine “are writing their story now.”
Those two acts didn’t go unrecognized: Slaine won Hip-Hop Artist of the Year and Wax took home Best Song.
Slaine, a Southie native now working with Everlast, didn’t seem to care much about recognition outside city borders. “I don’t think what we try to do is make mainstream pop hit records out here. What we try to do is make real hip-hop that reflects our culture. And that’s what it’s all about to me,” he told Herwick.
Nate Leavitt, guitarist of the band Oldjack, thought the real message of the night was that the Boston music scene has got it going on.
“You don’t have to necessarily wait for the big shows to come through and come to the big arenas,” he said. “You can go out any night of the week, literally, and not just Friday and Saturday, you can see great artists just as good as any artist that is known around the world. And I think Boston has always had something like that year after year after year.”
Check out the night on social media... buzzier than a wonky guitar string.