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Photos of 2008 MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto

Arjanwrites_rihanna_mmmva2008

The MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVAs) were held last night at the MuchMusic Headquarters in downtown Toronto, although set-up for the big night have been ongoing for the past week. Performers and guests this year include regulars on the MuchMusic programming and videoplay rotation such as Rihanna, Melanie C. (Spice Girls), Jesse McCartney, Akon, Hedley, Simple Plan, Girlicious, Sean Kingston, Flo Rida and a return to the stage of New Kids on the Block - their first performance in 15 years.

ArjanWrites.com reader Will attended the show's soundcheck and shares his story and photos:

"The soundcheck for the show was kicked-off at 10:30 AM EST with an elaborate suspension cord-bound rapper Flo Rida descending onto the stage, joined by Canadian pop-rockers Simple Plan mid-performance, in what looks to be an exciting opening act.  The two acts collaborated on Flo Rida's #1 record-selling single "Low", followed by Simple Plan's decidely R&B-rock single "When I'm Gone", which the group is scheduled to perform also at Perez Hilton's afterparty.  Between takes, David Desrosier (bassist from Simple Plan) was seen signing autographs for fans while ordering a cup of Taiwanese specialty, Bubble Tea, on Queen Street."

Arjanwrites_will_mmva2008

Will continues, "After approximately 2 hours of run-throughs with the stage manager repeatedly warning all non-performers to clear the stage (Flo Rida was repeatedly missing his cues), a sudden rainstorm halted all rehearsals after a morning of blistering sun. Girlicious, the latest prodigies from Pussycat Dolls choreographer Robin Antin, came out to greet fans although they had entered the wrong stage. The girls were lovely and friendly under Antin's watchful eye, they eventually made their way onto the second stage on the other side of the building. Girlicious' young female fans could be heard screaming loudly from John St. during their rehearsal performance of single "Like Me".

Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall took to the stage with his supporting rappers and dancers, without collaborator Akon, who was scheduled to perform with him on their single "Dangerous".  Shortly after Kardinal Offishall's soundcheck, uber-popular pop-rock band Hedley fronted by Canadian Idol runner-up Jacob Hoggard made a splash on stage.  Half-way through their performance however, more rain arrived, putting an even bigger splash on their performance.  The band did however seem satisfied enough with their rehearsal with one simple request from bassist Tommy Mac requesting his vocal levels be turned up.

After a 30 minute rain delay, the eagerly-anticipated Rihanna came on stage at 5:00 PM with an elaborate entourage and crew, including someone to hold her boots, a choreographer to assist with the performance of her chart-topping ballad "Take a Bow", a baby-grand piano and several backing vocalists.  Not satisfied with her first run-through where her voice could be heard cracking during the bridge, the gorgeous Barbadian requested another go and she did a stellar job the second time around.  Fans were heard wittily noting that a performance of her Grammy-winning "Umbrella" would have been more fitting today.

As the crew increasingly fell behind schedule, New Kids on the Block were rushed on stage in what should have been the most exciting performance of the MMVAs.  Many of the young on-lookers failed to recognize the group when they did actually appear on-stage.  Several crew members were heard mumbling about the lack of organization involved in the New Kids performance, including one member who indicated that "there are 100 people trying to direct the group's performance and they want to fit 7 songs into a 5 minute performance." This of course was followed by a head-nod in the "nay" sense.  From an objective standpoint, the rehearsal was quite a disaster.  Joey McIntyre, arguably the most popular member of the group, repeatedly fumbled choreography during the group's hits medley and he was also very off-pitch on some falsetto notes.  Admittedly it was fun seeing the group on stage, they clearly have much to work on if they are to live up to the hype attached to their comeback tour this fall.  One thing is for sure, they have all been hitting up the gym regularly.

Although it was my original intention to stick around for the actual show, more rain and thunder followed after the soundcheck had ended. After 9 hours out in the brutal combination extreme sun and rain, this onlooker is beat.  Enjoy these photos I've posted and also, this video of Rihanna's rehearsal I've posted on my Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/mrwillw."

(A big thank you to Will for contributing this blog post to ArjanWrites.com)

June 16, 2008 in Guest Blogger | Permalink

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