The Dead Weather and Death Cab for Cutie didn’t pick up any trophies last night at mtvU’s Woodie Awards — the college network’s sixth annual party — but they won the crowd over with two strong performances that capped a night of rock & roll dominance as the big awards went to Kings of Leon (Woodie of the Year) and Green Day (Performing Woodie). The show, which was filmed live at New York’s Roseland Ballroom and airs on MTV, MTV2, mtvU, and Palladia December 4th at 10 p.m., stayed true to its grab-bag mission, mixing a stellar hip-hop collaboration from Clipse featuring Cam’ron and Rick Ross with performances by indie rock faves like Passion Pit and Matt & Kim.
Matt & Kim kicked off the show with raucous rendition of “Lessons Learned,” whose NSFW video — featuring the Brooklyn duo running the streets of New York nearly naked — won Best Video Woodie. The band skipped the strip show, letting eight backup dancers disrobe during the song instead. “We’ve done that, we don’t need to do that again!” Kim told Rolling Stone. “They were ready to take it off,” Matt added. “We were giving them clothes we had lying around, but to take off skinny pants while hopping around is not the easiest!”
Passion Pit had a few pre-show jitters and told RS it was their first-ever awards show performance. “This is like an assimilation, right?” lead singer Michael Angelakos asked. Despite his confession the band was “a little scared,” their energetic set of “Little Secrets” and “The Reeling” got the crowd dancing; Gossip Girl‘s Leighton Meester was even spotted singing along.
Angelakos also told us he was thrilled to finally get to see Death Cab for Cutie for the first time after years of being a fan, and their set did not disappoint: the quartet debuted their New Moon soundtrack song “Meet Me on the Equinox” before pleasantly surprising the crowd with “Sound of Settling” from 2003’s Transatlanticism. Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard and Chris Walla revealed to RS they saw New Moon earlier this week and cryptically hinted “just wait for it” when asked about where “Equinox” pops up.
While many of the night’s guests listed Death Cab for Cutie as their most anticipated performance (including Gibbard’s wife, Zooey Deschanel, who doled out the Breaking Woodie), Gibbard and Walla said they were most excited to check out the Dead Weather for the first time. Jack White told RS that a new album from the band will be on the way in early 2010, and they closed out the Woodies with an explosive set of “I Cut Like a Buffalo,” “Treat Me Like Your Mother” and “Hang You From the Heavens.” At one point a fan hijacked the stage, kneeling at the edge and thrashing on his knees as Alison Mossheart shrieked and pranced inches away. The band rocked on unaffected, only breaking its intensity at the end to offer a polite bow before exiting the stage and bringing the Woodies’ controlled chaos to a neat and tidy end.
Woodie Winners List:
Woodie of the Year: Kings of Leon
Performing Woodie: Green Day
Best Video Woodie: Matt & Kim “Lessons Learned”
The Breaking Woodie: Never Shout Never
Left Field Woodie: Tech N9ne
The Good Woodie: Jamie Tworkowski of To Write Love on Her Arms
Radio Woodie: KUPS, University of Puget-Sound, Tacoma, Washington
Best Music on Campus Woodie: Hotel of the Laughing Tree