An awards show befitting the brief attention spans of its young viewers, the eighth annual mtvU Woodies packed a half-dozen prizes and performances apiece into one frantic, tightly choreographed hour in its first year at Austin’s South By Southwest music festival.
The show, which largely honors college rock and rising hip hop artists, gave its top wood block of the night to Wiz Khalifa, presented to him by the previous year’s winners and spontaneous street nudists Matt & Kim.
And while the “Black and Yellow” rapper received many of the loudest cheers of the night, both for his performance (of that hit and “Roll Up”) and award acceptance, the hour belonged to meteoric hip-hop crew Odd Future, whose pranks and general berserk-itude — their gonzo performance of “Yonkers” and “Sandwitches” included but was not limited to roaming midgets, high-arc crowd-diving, plushie costumes, and a hauled-away-by-bouncers stage exit — owned the evening.
It almost made the Woodies’ openers, the Foo Fighters, seem like refugees from a gentler, more sensical time, though the rock veterans pummeled their way through the chugging new single “Rope.”
While host and Community star Donald Glover good-naturedly corralled the festivities (with a late assist from his NBC Thursday-night neighbor Aziz Ansari), angular Irish rockers Two Door Cinema Club — who also won the night’s Breaking award — spiraled through the melodic “What You Know,” Sleigh Bells corralled a real live marching band for their blistering bubblegum chant “Riot Rhythm,” and the night was over almost before it began.
Other random high- and lowlights of the evening: Berkeley MC Lil B’s Kanye-style awardus-interruptus speech when the absent Yeezy won the night’s Left Field prize; a hair-shorn Pete Wentz declaring his love for OF’s Tyler the Creator; Kanye’s Amazonian ex and current Khalifa squeeze Amber Rose repeatedly slinking the perimeter of the VIP area like a bored, spandexed panther; a disappointingly nonplussed reaction from the crowd when young Brit presenter Eliza Doolittle offered a shout-out to the late Nate Dogg.
And below, a complete list of awards:
Woodie of the Year — (Artist of the Year) Wiz Khalifa
The Breaking Woodie — (Best Emerging Artist) Two Door Cinema Club
Best Video Woodie — (Best Video of the Year) Chiddy Bang “Opposite of Adults”
Performing Woodie — (Best Tour) Matt & Kim
Left Field Woodie — (Most Original) Kanye West
College Radio Woodie — (Best Campus Radio Station) WVUM College Radio — The Voice of the University of Miami