Pop Go the 2009 MMVAs
I should have known from the moment I realized there was a Tiger Beat reporter standing next to me: this was going to be a teeny bopper's paradise.
With current hunk band the Jonas Brothers hosting this year's Much Music Video Awards live on downtown Toronto's Queen St. W., it was guaranteed there would be plenty of the Lipsmackers-and-braces brigade. I guess we all didn't anticipate what would actually happen - some girls no older than 12 were wearing jean shorts that defied gravity, and one girl had her phone numbers written in huge writing on a sign, which she promptly held up for any passing cameras. Scary times, people.
After about 10 minutes in the crowd, watching the stars come in one by one on the red carpet, I was nearly deaf from all the teen screaming. It became like a scientific experiment: you could tell the caliber of the approaching star by the decibel of the scream. Taylor Lautner from New Moon? Loud. Kelly Clarkson? Piercing. The Jonas Brothers? Like a 747 was landing on Queen Street. The steel barricades holding the fans back suddenly didn't seem strong enough.
Thankfully the Brothers were ushered quickly away for hosting duties, otherwise I doubt I'd be able to hear the keyboard I'm typing on. There were, of course, small pockets of recognition for various other guests, like up-and-coming rapper Drake (Degrassi's Aubrey Graham), hockey star Alexander Ovechkin, and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, whose head is even larger in real life (still love ya, tho, Perez).
As attention turned away from the red carpet and towards the actual show, we got to take a good look at the set. Miles away from what it's been in previous years, the set-up resembled Superman's arctic abode in Superman II, complete with crystal pods and pointy shards sticking up every which way. The crowd could easily disperse everywhere, so there were people crammed right up to the sides of the stage. It had a real block party type feel, except the kind where they serve pop and chips instead of alcohol.
The Jonas Bros as hosts were harmless and saccharine, each of them sporting their 'purity rings' for all to see. And then they would - Joe especially - go up to the crowd and tempt them with sexual gestures. They'd pump their groins in the screaming girls' faces, lick their lips, and wink. And people still think these guys are virgins? OK, maybe two of them, but that older one? C'mon.
Indie acts of the night were generally relegated to the 'John Street Stage', which is code for 'We'll shove all the non-mainstream crap to the side here'. Alexisonfire, still making the hits (and arguably the best music at the show) seemed subdued, but who wouldn't in this environment? Billy Talent got to play on the roof, which certainly looked cool. They didn't scream as much as they normally do, so it was enjoyable.They said after the show that they didn't like being called "music veterans," because it made them feel old. Well, sometimes age is like vintage, Mr. Kowalewicz. Things just get better.
Others don't let themselves age naturally, as is the case with Black Eyed Peas leading lady Fergie. When I saw her up close after the bizarre-yet-highly-entertaining performance of 'Boom Boom Pow', I was certain she was putting on an act. Her face does move, right? That girl has been chiselled, big time. I can't deny her performing ability though. My foot tapped even though I didn't want it to.
And I must give kudos to Kelly Clarkson, who was one of the only female stars to appear on stage at her NORMAL body weight. That's the kind of woman these girls need to see - someone who's proud of the size of her body, and doesn't care what others think. Unfortunately for her, she chose to shroud it in a hideous orange shawl/wrap. No one's perfect.
Except maybe Lady Gaga, who - c'mon let's admit it - has recently won us over with her don't-care attitude and catchy tunes. Even my cab driver home asked me if she was there, and began singing "I wanna ride your disco stick" as he drove. (Have you ever had to explain what a disco stick is to an Iranian cab driver? Yeah, I thought not.) We first got to see the Lady when she came out and accepted the award for Best International Video - Artist for Poker Face. Adults laughed when she thanked 'God and the gays', but most of the teens just looked a little confused.
May we say that the show she put on was hilarious? She performed a remix of her popular songs, 'LoveGame' and 'Poker Face', which apparently was exclusive to the MMVAs. The set was made to look like a New York City subway - to make it more authentic, the Lady spat on the floor of it. During the song, she threw a bunch of fake dynamite onto the subway car as she ran from it. It exploded in a pyrotechnic blast. And as if that weren't enough, later on her boobs spewed fire out of their nipples. The girl is sex incarnate, I don't know what to say.
When the Jonas Brothers come out to say goodnight, there's not one, but several girls quietly weeping. Who knows how many of them were choking back those tears? But don't worry girls, if this year's festivities are any indication, the MMVAs are going to return next year with even more poppy celebs than you'll know what to do with.
If only they had this s--t when I was a pup. We had karma chameleons and Billie Jeans instead of purity rings and disco sticks. So enjoy it while you can, teens - soon you'll be old and jaded like me.
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