Indie rock strikes Juno gold

“So, what year is it again?” a humbled Neil Young joked as he accepted the Juno for Artist Of The Year during Monday night’s 40th Anniversary Award show in Toronto.

A fitting question, as the legendary musician was making his first Juno appearance in 29 years.

“It’s just totally incomprehensible that I’m here,” Young said while accepting the award.

Fans were quick to express their disagreement with a standing ovation.

Young was honoured with the “Allan Waters Humanitarian Award” at this year’s Awards, and shared a piece of gleaming wisdom in typical rock star fashion.

“Look inside yourself, and at those around you, and in the eyes of your friends and you’ll find the secret to being a humanitarian.”

Young also won Adult Alternative Album of the Year for Le Noise at Saturday’s pre-show Gala, because the televised Juno Awards are ostensibly for children.

Overall, the Juno’s were good this year. Drake delivered a hosting performance more engaging and at ease than he generally appears.

The “Old Money” skit was especially hilarious, as was his mid-show shout-out to the dressed up (and possibly armed) seniors in the crowd.

Doing an impressive job of concealing his disappointment at being beat out in all six of his nominated categories, Drake betrayed himself only once, as he congratulated the success of the Arcade Fire, saying “I hear those are actually pretty heavy when you get to hold one in person.”

The performances were indie rock-heavy and showcased Canada’s lesser known talents, like Sarah Harmer, the Sadies, Justin Rutledge, as well as up-and-comers Chromeo, who held their own on the Juno stage.

The low point of the evening came with Tokyo Police Club’s performance, which was discomfiting at its best moments.

Montreal’s Arcade Fire took home four Juno‘s, winning the awards for Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year.

With so many Juno‘s going to Montreal, Toronto‘s own pride and Juno host, Drake, who entered Juno weekend with a leading six nominations, went home empty-handed.

The Arcade Fire’s four awards made for a predictable show, but one far preferable to if the band had not been commemorated for their unique brand of orchestral rock.

A mere six weeks ago, Arcade Fire shocked the music world by taking home the Grammy award for Album of the Year.

In a shocking turn of events, Justin Bieber’s fans secured him the Fans Choice Award, earning Bieber his first career Juno Award.

The absent Bieber received his second Juno nod later in the night, as My World 2.0 won Pop Album of the Year.

Shania Twain, this year’s inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, was also honoured during Monday’s awards, and wanted Canadians to know, “I love our bush.