In Case You Missed It: Inside the Woodie Awards


Published: December 13, 2007

Forget gold, forget silver, forget bronze. At mtvU’s fourth annual Woodie Awards, the only award show dedicated to music chosen solely by college students, it was all about the wood—and this year was crazier than ever. The awards show took place on Nov. 8, packing thousands of students into Roseland Ballroom to honor the “artists they lived their lives to this year.”

Nearly five million college votes were cast, presenting awards to emerging bands and mega-stars like Boys Like Girls, Gym Class Heroes, Say Anything, Madvillain, Spoon, Muse, The Academy Is…, Guster and Duke University’s Stella by Starlight. The night brought together rising and established artists, with presenters like Annie Lennox, Q-Tip, surprise guests Fall Out Boy, Peter and Bjorn, Talib Kweli, Tom Delonge and Dave Kennedy of Angels & Airwaves, RJD2, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and EL-P.

“Tonight we’ll see and hear from some of the most innovative artists in the world…” said presenter, rapper and NYC native Q-Tip, former leader of A Tribe Called Quest. He read mostly from a teleprompter, which provided lines for all of the presenters. “You put us here and five million of you picked the winners…we’re living our lives to each other’s music…so get loose and enjoy the show!”

The night catered to students, as they were provided with opportunities to interview artists, dance alongside bands on stage, take the mic and introduce presenters, pass off demos to super-famed rockers like Pete Wentz and Tom DeLonge and even score Woodies of their own with the newly-added “Best Music on Campus Woodie,” which awarded the top unsigned college act in the country. Most importantly, the night provided the college audience with an unforgettable show, including two-song sets from Lupe Fiasco, Tokyo Police Club, The Academy Is… and Rilo Kiley in between awards.

An energetic Lupe Fiasco, sporting dark shades and a skinny tie, had the college crowd moving, along with nominated rock stars, who took to tabletops and danced to his sweet beats and rhymes.  Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy joined Lupe, providing backing vocals on his hot new single “Superstar.”

Although all of the performers were well-perceived by the crowd, bloggers and students alike would have agreed that the next set, coming from Canadian indie-rock group Tokyo Police Club, was one of the only ones that anyone would have wanted extended longer than two songs in duration. The group hit the stage second, with “Nature of the Experiment” and “Cheer it On.”

Third up was experimental hip-hop artist Spank Rock with performances of “Loose” and “Rick Rubin,” both of which pushed the limit, complete with six neon-bikini clad dancers. A horde of college kids brought the party to the stage, converting it into a club-like setting, as Spank rapped, “She ain’t nothin’ but a hoochie mama,” and did his thing before the audience.

The Academy Is… followed after, winning their first Woodie and delivering an intense performance of “We’ve Got a Big Mess On Our Hands” and “Everything We Had.” The latter was backed by a 12-piece string section of our neighbors from Julliard School of Music.

Finally, to salvage the night of performers for many, was Rilo Kiley, who stepped in at the last minute to cover for Amy Winehouse, who dropped off the bill a week prior due to visa issues. With two hits from their latest album—a slowed-down, non-electric “Money Maker,” followed by a high energy “Breakin’ Up”—Jenny Lewis (in her signature bright-tights and romper) and the band made the night worthwhile.

Stella by Starlight took the award for best college band, topping more than 1,700 other college bands and winning a $5,000 cash prize and an unbelievable amount of industry exposure. The Woodies have helped launch careers for bands like The Killers, Fall Out Boy and the Plain White T’s.


Award Roundup:


Woodie of the Year: Gym Class Heroes

Best Video Woodie: Say Anything, “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too”

Best Performing Woodie: Muse

The Best Music on Campus Woodie: Stella By Starlight

The Left Field Woodie: Madvillain