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Photo by Vishal Malhotra.

Dude! Warbeast! Wait. Let me start from the beginning. On Sunday, the Weekly hosted the 20th iteration of our Music Awards ceremony at the Ridglea Theater. Nominees, guests, performers, and well-wishers packed the historic Westside venue to see which bands, solo artists, producers, talent buyers, and venues would walk away with a Panthy award. And Warbeast ripped a hole in the fabric of space and ti … Sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself again. 

Thousands of people from six continents and spanning more than 20 countries cast ballots, so even the acts that didn’t win still garnered, in many cases, thousands of votes from around the world. Cool, right? 

The big winner of the night was Dead Vinyl, the Zeppelin-esque outfit that won all eight Panthys for which it was nominated, including Artist of the Year and Rock Album of the Year (Gold Mine). Without looking, I’m certain that no one band has ever dominated our awards like that. Before a few of you rush to your keyboards to grouse on social media about how the quartet’s many wins was somehow unfair, let’s just get this out of the way now: Dead Vinyl won a lot of Panthys because 1.) they are badass, 2.) they work really hard, and 3.) The guys promote the ever-loving shit out of their band. In other words, they deserved it. 

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Vandoliers were the other band to clean up, taking home awards for Texas Music, Semi-Local Band, and Album of the Year (The Native). The only other act to win multiple trophies was The Hendersons, which carried away hardware for Pop band and Song of the Year (“Proctor Briggs, & Co.”). There were only five repeat winners in their categories from last year: The aforementioned Vandoliers snagged a second consecutive victory in Texas Music, Matt Tedder added another Blues/Soul trophy to his growing collection, Rage Out Arkestra won Jazz (Dead Vinyl drummer Parker Anderson also plays in Rage Out, so that makes nine Panthys for him this year), Big Mike Richardson was awarded a staggering seventh consecutive trophy for Cover/Tribute (he asked that his name be removed from future consideration), and Mean Motor Scooter’s Rebekah Elizabeth went back-to-back in the mysteriously named Other category. In her acceptance speech, she joked that she was now officially the “other woman.” We have a full list of winners on page 31. If you’re reading this online, the list appears on our website. 

In between Dead Vinyl acceptance speeches, we inducted three acts into the Fort Worth Music Hall of Fame. Leon Rausch was the first to be enshrined, and Ginny Mac and Devon Dawson played a touching tribute to the Western Swing legend who formerly fronted the legendary Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys. Fusion impresarios Berth Coolidge dazzled the more than 800 attendees with their dizzying jazz wizardry. (Sax god Johnny Reno inducted the quartet.) 

One of the heaviest moments of the night was provided by thrash metal royalty. Warbeast’s fans showed up in a big way, packing the areas around the front of the stage during the band’s set. Though it was for only three songs, the quintet’s performance hit the audience like a thunderclap delivered by ancient gods: loud, intense, and as precise as a Swiss-made watch. The band, led by singer Bruce Corbitt, who is battling esophageal cancer, wound the audience to a frenzy. Even non-metal fans were sucked into the moment. 

I don’t have enough room to thank everyone who deserves recognition for helping us produce the show, but we owe a huge debt to our sponsors: Topo Chico, Trinity River Distilling, and the United Way of Tarrant County. The staff of the Ridglea was, as always, amazing and supportive. Thanks to the presenters, soundmen, lighting team, Jeff Dazey, FemPyre, our hard-working Weekly staffers and volunteers and, of course, the musicians and music fans who make this scene special. Let’s do it again next year. Also, Warbeast!

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