Boston Music Awards: One Big, Rockin’ Family

I’ll admit, I was skeptical. For years I had avoided the BMAs for whatever reason you want to put in your own head. “It’s not MY scene”, “My genre is under represented”, “There’s a conspiracy!”…whatever the reason, it had been years since I have been and after last evening I am kicking my own ass for that.

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(Julia Mark, Colleen McNamara, and Mally Smith all smiles before Ruby Rose Fox’s set)

One thing that is extremely clear about what the Boston Music Awards are is that it is not about the actual awards at all. The awards part is a very, very small part of this wonderful event. It is a party. A celebration of the many different types of music and artists that we have around this wonderful city of ours. That was exceedingly present in the room at the Sinclair last night. Newly annointed leaders of the BMA pack Jake Brennan and Paul Armstrong have taken an event or idea loved by many (and also criticized by others) and kept the fire burning and most importantly the LOVE alive for art within a community that stretches far broader than what most of us as musicians or writers consider on a day to day basis. This was the first time in a long while that i looked outside my rootsy music bubble and was overtaken with the monumental mass of talent that could be crammed into one room spanning a vast sea of musical classification. For that Jake and Paul deserve all the credit, love and absolutely zero criticism for this year’s event. If I had another hand I would give it 3 thumbs up.

If you are interested in the winners you can hit this LINK and check it all out. But for me in this feature, that isn’t the focus.

I walked into the Sinclair to a mass of people gathered in the small, tight lobby before the main room…if I had one criticism of the night, I suppose the space there would be it, but then again I have that criticism every time I go to a show there, so no foul amigos. I was greeted with hugs and familiar faces, some from knowing for years and others from just seeing around town or on other fine local publications I tend to keep tabs on like Vanyaland, Allston Pudding, Guestlisted, and more. There was an energy in the room that was high but also relaxed and jovial. People reuniting and just hanging like this was the most natural thing in the world and not an “awards show” perse.

I could write about the performances for 18 more pages, but I will just keep it high level and list a few things I learned from them:

Worshipper taught me that I may indeed love heavy rock and metal music. Those guys were on fire and the raw spirit coming out from the stage was intense.

Louie Bello has more swagger in his pinky nail that most people can hope to amount to in a life time. Dude can sing, dance about, and engage a crowd.

Dutch Rebel threw it back with a dynamic set, managing to do what a band of 5 people can do with just a microphone and a back beat. Girl was fierce!

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Will Dailey is the king of rock n’ roll meets pop catchiness. Pours his heart into every performance, every time.

Ruby Rose Fox is a f*cking badass. Voice like no other, stage presence and charm for days. So, so, so good.

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The Boston Music Awards surprised the hell out of me this year. We really do have a gigantic family here in this music community. The choice of whether you want to be involved in that community is up to you. I, for one, plan on going to more metal and hip hop shows (never thought I would say that), hope to see your faces there…

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