2007 mtvU Woodie Awards

College students across the nation made their musical opinions heard by casting nearly 4.6 million votes for the 2007 mtvU Woodie Awards, held Thursday night at the Roseland Ballroom.
According to MTV, the show’s name derives from the “indie tradition of giving a wooden record to those artists who generate a passionate response to their music.” It is the only award show honoring the music voted best by college students. It also honors those musicians believed to be the next big thing.

Boys Like Girls, Say Anything, The Academy Is… and Duke University’s Stella by Starlight were among the night’s top winners. Other artists that took home awards include Gym Class Heroes, Spoon, Madvillain, Guster and Muse.

For Gym Class Heroes, winning a VMA has not gone to their head, as they still feel honored to be nominated.

“It’s a completely different ballgame,” said bassist Eric Roberts in a red carpet interview. “After winning a VMA, I didn’t realize we were eligible to win a Woodie too. It was like getting two cherries on our hot fudge sundaes.”

Boys Like Girls had similar sentiments.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be nominated,” lead singer and guitarist Martin Johnson said. “It’s actually our first time for any award like this so we’re like kids in a candy store. We’re just stoked to be here and stoked to be nominated. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.”

Woodie winners were not the only up-and-coming and influential talent present. Artists such as Annie Lennox, Q-Tip, Fall Out Boy, Peter and Bjorn, Talib Kweli, Tom Delonge and Dave Kennedy of Angels and Airwaves, RJD2, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and many more were nominees and/or presenters. Although there were many celebrities in attendance that evening, they were outnumbered by the thousands of college students that packed the venue.

Debuting the “Best Music on Campus Woodie,” which recognizes the top unsigned college act in the country, mtvU awarded Duke University’s Stella by Starlight $5,000 cash and priceless industry exposure. The band, which beat out more than 1,700 college bands and musicians, were ecstatic to win the same award that has helped to launch the careers of bands like The Killers, Fall Out Boy and Plain White T’s.

Along with honoring many deserving musicians, the night also brought about stellar performances. Lupe Fiasco opened the show with his hot new single, “Superstar,” in which Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump lent his vocals. About his fame and recognition, Fiasco says it’s all about being yourself.

“I always just do ‘me,'” Fiasco said. “I’m a strong supporter in the fact that nobody can do ‘you,’ nobody has your experiences; everybody’s experiences are different. If you just do what you want with who you are, nobody can copy that and you’ll always be different from everybody else.”

Other performers included Canadian indie rockers Tokyo Police Club, Spank Rock, The Academy Is… and Rilo Kiley, who closed the show with an acoustic version of their single “Moneymaker,” followed by “Breaking Up.”

The full show is set to premiere on both mtvU and mtvU.com Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. ET. A half-hour special “Best of the 2007 mtvU Woodie Awards” will be aired on MTV Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and MTV2 Nov.18 at 12:30 a.m. ET.