Anton Corbijn While Montreal's Arcade Fire have been known to think worldly…
- Posted on Mar 2nd 2011 2:30PM by Anne T Donahue
XM Verge Music Awards
The four-piece from Windsor combined graciousness with genuine surprise as they applauded their fanbase, friends and family for the support that won them not only the award's $25,000 purse but confirmation that they're "being heard."
"We have the most incredible fans who went out of their way to promote the voting and open up a window for us to win this against such incredible artists," singer-guitarist Michael Hargreaves told Spinner afterward. "So I give it all to them."
"I think the one thing that you're most concerned with at shows is, are you being heard?" he continued. "As musicians, that's always the biggest thing. And to be recognized by an award like Artist of the Year over bands like Arcade Fire, it tells you that, to some degree, people are listening."
Before Michou's win, Vancouver's Hannah Georgas walked away with Emerging Artist of the Year; an honour she candidly described as "a big deal" and adding further proof to the argument that "good music will come to the surface."
"Good music is good music and [Verge] knows what that is," said Georges. "I know what I'm doing and I feel pretty blessed that it is being recognized -- I think that's the bottom line: Good music will come to the surface and people will find it somehow."
Rounding out the trifecta of winners was Zeus, who took Album of the Year for the critical hit, 'Say Us,' cementing not only the band's first win, but also one of the night's most memorable moments when their award was accepted by members of Alexisonfire -- who took the honour last year -- after Zeus momentarily went MIA.
Eventually, the Toronto band went up to "officially" collect their prize, topping their appearance with an impromptu (and invisible) sword fight.
"It's pretty cool that it's Album of the Year because we're really proud of the album," guitarist Mike O'Brien told Spinner. "It's something that we spent a lot of time on, so, to me, it's pretty cool that it's the music that's getting the award."
"I think this is an acknowledgment, really," added guitarist Carlin Nicholson. "I think it will tell probably a lot of people that haven't even heard of us that it's probably a really good record, and they'll probably check it out."
While the winners earned recognition for their 2010 accomplishments, the night's live performances were another reminder of Canada's musical diversity, with the Acorn kicking off the night with a commanding set (to a tragically small crowd) that was matched only by Tokyo Police Club and their famously energetic presence.
Despite the danceability of the Newmarket, On., natives, the crowd remained oddly still, hardly responding to their dynamic tracks, and thinning out far before Gord Downie took the stage for his supposedly highly-anticipated performance.
Regardless of the audience's waning interest, the magic of Downie's live show was undeniable thanks to accompaniment by Julie Doiron and the Country of Miracles. The Canadian legend then summed up the night by sweetly stating "you're all winners." Except for Arcade Fire, of course, who will have to console themselves with their best album Grammy award.