There’s no point in complaining about the only rock act performing at the Video Music Awards being a 20-plus-year-old band playing a song that sounds like it came out over 20-plus years ago, is there? Probably not, but we’ll touch on it anyway: While rock may not be the dominant form of popular music anymore (and hasn’t been for a decently long time now), it’s still sad that MTV has reduced it to complete token status at its award shows, and that the one representative act in the genre basically qualifies as a nostalgia act by now.
Green Day’s “Let Yourself Go” isn’t a bad song by any means, but it’s hardly an exciting or particularly new-sounding one anyway—if you were a casual fan and we told you it was actually a forgotten cut from the second side of Insomniac, you’d probably believe us. It’s good enough, catchy and energetic, and Green Day are always game live performers, inviting the crowd to basically bum-rush them on stage, but it’s not good enough to stand out as anything besides an empty gesture towards a genre now very far in MTV’s past.
Tellingly, Best Rock Video wasn’t even handed out during the telecast tonight, instead handed out to Coldplay beforehand. Will we even get the one token act next year? Let’s hope Imagine Dragons really takes off in the next 12 months.