Review and photos by Ellen Eldridge
After a rousing rock performance by Blind By Sight, the band that later won the award for Best Alternative Band, GA Music Awards co-founder Christi Chambers welcomed the audience of the Buckhead Theatre to the inaugural show. GA Music Awards founder Omar McCallop stood at the podium and fully explained the fact that this show comes after two years in the making. McCallop thanked Kimberly James for her dedication along with the rest of the team that worked so hard to bring the show to fruition. According to McCallop, the purpose of the GA Music Awards is to put people of all genres and all walks of life together. “This is bigger than just the awards we hand out,” he said. Then, McCallop entertained the audience by asking us to “think of this show as a newborn baby” and humbly admitted that accidents will happen. He even went so far as to metaphorically compare things going wrong to a newborn “crapping on the red carpet,” and his true character shined when he asked the attendees to give all the credit for things going well to the team and to blame him personally for anything that might go wrong. From what I saw the entire evening the first Awards show was nothing but success and I can see why all involved from the founder members to each nominated artist should be thanked.
One of the awards presenters mentioned that Georgia hasn’t had an awards show like this in quite some time and the drummer of Throatpunch, Vic Ferla, mentioned backstage that he was proud of his band’s nomination because, “Who’s doing this? Venues aren’t doing this.” Throatpunch did go on to win Best Rock Band and performed an intense couple of songs that singer Adam Lahr asked the crowd to brace itself for when accepting the award.
One aspect that truly seemed genuine and pertinent to all the winners was that they each took the stage in complete awe and surprise to have won. It felt like these independent artists couldn’t believe they were finally being recognized for their hard work; they stood stunned thanking God, fans and friends for voting for them.
Notable members of the music industry who accepted awards in recognition of their contributions included Outkast, The SOS Band, Goodie Mob, Future, Mr.Collipark, the Dungeon Family of Rico Wade and Alan Walden, who told the crowd that the song “Dock of the Bay” received so much airplay that to play it continuously would have it running for 62 years nonstop!
As a writer and photographer working in Atlanta, I took a great amount of personal pride as I watched acts like The Sexual Side Effects win Best Video , Paris Luna and Ginger Fawcett win Best Rock Female, Mike Froedge win Best Producer and my friends in Throatpunch win Best Rock Band. Xavier Lewis won Best R&B Male and performed in the R&B category after the award was presented to Kazual for Best R&B Group. To list all the winners of the Awards show would take more space than I have here, but every single winner included those who won through nomination alone took away such a sense of pride from this event. To see all the winners for yourself visit http://georgiamusicawards.com/gma/nomineesandwinners/. I look forward to the future when the GA Music Awards will grow even bigger in our community.
Full Gallery after the jump…