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2001 MTV Video Music Awards
by JayP: 09-04-2001

Every year in the first two weeks of September, MTV holds its Video Music Awards ceremony. Over the years, this event has become a mainstay in the realm of pop culture, as a place where all the major musicians, celebrities, and music fans celebrate the achievements of music artists and their visual compliments. Since its such a major event, MTV's party lasts all week long, with numerous free concerts and events featuring the nominees. One such nominee was Mr. Norman Cook, AKA Fatboy Slim, who is up for the most awards this year (9. To celebrate this achievement, Fatboy headlined a free mtv sponsored Electronic Music concert on pier 54 in downtown NYC. Other performers included Live breakbeat electronic act the crystal method, 2step pioneer MJ Cole, and Barry Ashworth, the frontman behind the Dub Pistols.

Some would say that MTV and dance music don't mix. That seemed to be the case, but MTV's presence at the event was virtually nonexistent, with the exception of a VMA banner atop the entrance to the peir. There were no sponsors, few cameramen, and very little hullabaloo. The night seemed to be all about the music.

The doors opened at seven PM to a huge line which spanned for about three blocks down the west side highway. The music finally got underway at around 8:00 with Barry Ashworth. Normally, Ashworth spins breakbeats, but last night he stuck to funky proper house with a twinge of progressive thrown in for good measure. I couldn't help but feel like I was stuck listening to a Ministry of Sound Ibiza compilation, but to each his own. Ashworth was quite animated and seemed to be having a great time behind the decks, even though the needles were constantly jumping (it was windy out on the pier.

At 9:00, MJ Cole took to the decks with his signature two step sound. He had the place going for the most part, but it seems that two step has yet to take off around these parts. His mixing was a bit sub par and his track selection was kind of dated, but Cole is known for his production work, not his deck prowess. All in all, it was a decent set, but not the way to introduce UK Garage to the masses.

Next up came the Crystal Method with the only live performance of the evening. They put on quite the show with their lighting and their constant jumping around and pounding on their keyboards. What it trickles down to is the fact that these guys are two nerd with synths and fx boxes, but they sure know how to get a place moving. They played all their hits along with a few album tracks. For the current single "Name of the Game, " they brought out legendary breaker EZ Rock as nosey, the man with the giant nose head from the "Name of the Game" Music Video.

At 11:00 came Fatboy Slim with his signature style of nasty funky house and dirty breaks, with a heavy influence on recognizable vocals. He had the place jumping like never before. A spotless set with beautiful turntablism techniques throughout. He went for an hour with the entire pier jumping like there was no school or work the next day. He even interacted with the crowd, taking a fan's giant wooden smiley face, Norman's adopted symbol; holding it up in front of his head and dancing around. He also sang along to every track, pumping his fist, smiling, and sticking his tongue out. When he finished his set promptly at midnight, it looked like no one was ready to go home.

All in all, MTV did everything the right way with this party. No overcommercialization, quality sound, decent security, and supreme talent. Everyone seemed to have a great time. For a free event, you couldn't ask for much more.


MJ Cole:
1. Bump and Flex - Promises
2. Rephlex - Put Your Hands Up
3. De la Soul - All Good (MJ Cole Remix)
4. Unkown
5. Azzido Da Bass - Doom's Night (Timo Maas remix)
6. Sticky Feat. Ms. Dynamite - Booooooo
7. Artful Dodger - Movin Too Fast
8. Mazwell D - Serious
9. DJ Zinc - 138 Trek
10. Unknown
11. MJ Cole - Sincere
12. Insomniacz - All I do (Bump n Flex Vocal Mix)
13. Artful Dodger - Whatcha gonna do (Wideboys Mix)
14. Craig David - 7 days (Sunship Dub)
15. Jammin' - go DJ
16. MJ Cole - Crazy Love

Fatboy Slim:
1. Chemical Bros. - Leave Home
2. Daft Punk Vs. Madonna - Da Funk Music
3. Unknown
4. Groove armada - Superstylin'
5. Unknown
6. Unknown artist - drop some drums
7. Queen - Bohemian Rapshody (real live breaks mix)
8. Chemical Bros. - Afrika
9. Underworld - born Slippy
10. Fatboy Slim - right here, right now (unknown remix)
11. Unknown
12. Fatboy Slim - Star 69
13. Unknown
14. Outkast - So Fresh, So Clean (Fatboy Slim Remix)

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