The Youtube Music Video awards: Arcade Fire's Win Butler spoofed Kanye, M.I.A smashed it, and more

The inaugural Youtube Music Video awards: must-watch jamboree, or MOBO-grade shitstorm? 

New music awards ceremonies are inevitably fairly wobbly affairs, and, as Flying Lotus pointed out, the build-up to the YouTube Music Awards has certainly been haunted by a certain air of pointlessness. Still, the event had a fair few things going for it: improvised hosting spots from Jason Schawartzman and man-god Reggie Watts, Spike Jonze in the director’s seat, and the interesting decision to create on-the-fly music videos around acts as they performed live. For the most part, it worked, making for a characterful, pleasantly gimcrack ceremony.

The video for Arcade Fire‘s ‘Afterlife’ featured mumblecore pin-up Greta Gerwig pulling off a high-kicking dance number backed by a squadron of cheerleaders. M.I.A‘s ‘Come Walk With Me’, meanwhile, managed a very convincing approximation of an actual M.I.A. video, full of strobing lights and whirling dancers. Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler played the lo-fi card, presenting a no-frills approximation of a moshpit, and Eminem put in a stark, stylised performance.

In a slighter clunkier moment, Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler parodied Kanye West’s famous VMA tantrum, interrupting the presentation of the Phenomenon award to a gaggle of Swift fans by…look, you know what he did. The Arcade Fire clips are below; head here to watch all the other performances.

Video of the Year:

Epic Rap Battles of History – “Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney”
Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”
Girls’ Generation ­- “I Got a Boy” (winner)
Justin Bieber (feat. Nicki Minaj) – “Beauty and a Beat”
Lady Gaga ­- “Applause”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) – “Same Love”
Miley Cyrus ­ – “We Can’t Stop”
One Direction ­- “Best Song Ever”
PSY ­- “Gentleman”
Selena Gomez ­- “Come & Get It”

Artist of the Year:

Eminem (winner)
Epic Rap Battles
Justin Bieber
Katy Perry
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Nicki Minaj
One Direction
Taylor Swift

Response of the Year:

Boyce Avenue (feat. Fifth Harmony) ­- “Mirrors
Jayesslee ­- “Gangnam Style”
Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix ­- “Radioactive” (winner)
ThePianoGuys ­- “Titanium / Pavane”
Walk Off the Earth (feat. KRNFX) – “I Knew You Were Trouble”

YouTube Phenomenon:

“Gangnam Style”
“Harlem Shake”
“I Knew You Were Trouble” (winner)
“Thrift Shop”

YouTube Breakthrough:

Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (winner)
Naughty Boy

Innovation of the Year:

Anamanaguchi ­- “ENDLESS FANTASY”
Atoms for Peace ­- “Ingenue”
Bat for Lashes ­- “Lilies”
DeStorm ­- “See Me Standing” (winner)
Toro y Moi – “Say That”



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