A night of surprises. That’s how I would recount Tuesday night’s Verge Music Awards in four words. Gord Downie, for example, played to 150, maybe 200 people tops, at the Mod Club.
The biggest award of the night — Artist of the Year — went to the Windsor boys in indie-pop band, Michou. They beat out now-Grammy winners Arcade Fire, as well as Tegan and Sara, and Stars. An upset? Sure. Like with the Polaris Prize this past year, the big award went to the band with the shortest Wikipedia entry. That’s what we call indie now, FYI.
The guys in Michou explained to me later: “These bands (the competition) are bands that we love. And not in a negative way at all, but we are all hyper-familiar with all these acts, and they’re probably not at all familiar with us. We’re new to the scene, a brand new band.” It is of note here that the award was presented to the four-piece Windsorites by Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning.
“So this is pretty mind-blowing,” Michou’s lead singer, Mike Hargreaves, said. “Like, how did this happen?”
The Zeus boys, originally known as Jason Collett’s backing band, have received the recognition they deserve, stepping into the limelight. They walked away crowned with Best Album of the Year for their solid debut effort, Say Us. Well, walk away is a misnomer because they didn’t make it to the stage to accept the award. George Pettit from Alexisonfire, who presented the award with Alexis-bandmate Wade MacNeil, accepted the award and money, quipping, “I’m going to spend the $25,000 on fireworks and machine guns.”
Read the rest of the story here on blogTO. Photos by Alex Kamino.