When Avril Lavigne sang "Here's to Never Growing Up" at the 12th annual MMVAs, it felt a little odd coming from a performer who became infamous for mooning the MMVA audience over a decade ago (accidentally in 2002 and then cheekily in 2003). But the focus this year wasn't about her attire or performance, it was mostly about her upcoming marriage to Nickelback's Chad Kroeger.
The same could be said for the MuchMusic's Video Awards Show itself, which has skewed younger and poppier as the years have progressed, but also become an infinitely more mature award show with the literal chaos of the early CityTV years giving way to the Bell Media’s well-oiled machinery.
The same goes for the backstage area. The old MMVAs felt like the doling of awards and shutting down of Queen Street was mostly an excuse for what happened off-camera in the building, which Moses Znaimer sold as Toronto’s best party. Moses did not lie.
But the old days are gone, as Billy Talent's Ben Kowalewicz made clear in a press room interview when asked about his MuchMusic memories.
"'Power Hour.' Master T. When ‘Weird Al’ would take over. Narduar, who is still on," he said. "MuchMusic was a huge thing for us -- The Wedge and watching seeing bands like The Pixies. MuchMusic used to play videos all the time, 24 hours, so you were always being exposed to new things, new artists, cool ideas. So Much has been a huge influence on us as people and even helped us as a band, as well."
And the onscreen changes reflected off screen, as well. The bacchanal has more of a cocktail party vibe now, but still a cocktail party where you see Ed Sheeran and the Billy Talent boys smoking on the balcony, Kardinal Offishall chowing down, Karl Wolf wooing the ladies and Vita Chambers singing with the fans.
Not to mention a chance to witness the intricacies of a huge television production from backstage, sneak to the front to watch a giant inflatable Psy get blown up right in front of you or duck into the press room to watch the winners answer questions.
Our fave? It's a toss-up between Psy saying "excuse me" before launching into a Korean-language conversation with a journalist, Classified defending selling "Inner Ninja" to Tim Horton's by saying "I've been eating apple fritters since I was three-years-old," Marianas Trench responding to a question with faux-outrage: "how many MMVAs have YOU won?" and Avil Lavigne’s description of her new song "Hello Kitty." "I love Hello Kitty, it's like an obsession. [The song] is about a slumber party and loving the kitty." (Who are we kidding, Avril wins this hand's down.)
Here are our behind-the-scenes photos from the MMVAs. And while yes, it looks like fun, you definitely had a better view of the show.
MuchMusic Video Awards 2013 Behind-The-Scenes Look
Classified, David Myles and video director RT!
Psy In the Press Room
Psy spent at least half his Q&A time answering a Korean interviewer's question in Korean, and while we have no idea what he said it sounded pretty good.
"How many MMVAs have YOU won?" responded singer Josh Ramsey to a press conference question.
Down With Webster
Members of Down with Webster chat with reporters at the #MMVA press room on June 16, 2013.
Oppa Hosting Style
South Korean pop performer, PSY, takes to the stage at the MMVA opening in Toronto on June 16, 2013.
Behind The Scenes At The MMVA
Ed Sheeran takes a smoke break at the MMVA on June 16, 2013.
Serena Ryder performing 'Stompa' from a producers-eye view.
VIPs, They're Just Like Us
Most of the party guests watched the show on TV
Hundreds of fans gather outside the MuchMusic building in Toronto for the 2013 MMVAs on June 16, 2013.
Everybody's Got To Eat
Toronto hip-hop icon Kardinal Offishall fuels up during the MMVA pre-party on June 16, 2013.
Quebec's Karl Wolf gets comfy at the MMVA pre-party on June 16, 2013.
Members of Billy Talent hanging on the #MMVA balcony before the show kicked off.
The Main Stage
The C.N. Tower peaks behind the MMVA main stage in Toronto on Sunday June 16, 2013.
Seriously, No Smoking!
Before the chaos
Behind The Scenes
2013 MMVA Red Carpet
Avril Lavigne And Chad Kroeger
Canada's First Couple Of Music went a big predictable in matching black outfits: Avril wore a sexy knee-length dress with a layered detail on her hip while Chad rocked a leather jacket and jeans. But Avril had the best accessory of the night: A spiked headdress! She really is a Punk Princess.
Chad Kroeger And Avril Lavigne
She's a good girl gone bad in a sexy body-skimming black and white number and strappy heels.
Well helloooo legs! The newly blond singer takes a risk in a very mini black dress. (Let's hope a slight wind doesn't cause a wardrobe malfunction!)
The former "Smallville" and "V" star proves that white is the new black in a hot thigh-skimming dress with sheer panels.
The Canadian "Arrow" star is handsome in a navy suit and classic striped tie. We love his vintage-looking shoes!
We love the Irish pop duo's fab (if a bit cheesy) style. Faux tuxes and Chucks? Yes please!
The "Glee" star turns up the sex appeal in a revealing LBD that not only shows off her chest but her undies too!
Don't forget, this is still all happening in someone's office!
The Canadian "Pretty Little Liars" star vamps it up in a hot crop-top and matching skirt. Those gold capped shoes belong in our closets.
The "Africa" singer goes Full Metal Jacket in combat boots, camouflage pants and a leather jacket. (Don't forget the Gucci belt!)
The "Pretty Little Liars" star goes short and sweet in a bell-shaped mini and plum shoes. So cute!
The "Pitch Perfect" star hits the right note in a sexy but sweet sheer polka dot dress and pink clutch.
The Juno-award winning singer wears some much needed colour on the MMVA red carpet. A bold print maxi dress is the perfect outfit for a fun night.
We're not sure why the singer wore a ripped-up skirt but it works with those sexy leather sandal-boots.
The Juno-award winning Canadian songstress is sophisticated in a sexy LBD with a sheer cut-put and that infamous messy 'do.
The singer goes for a classic tanned blazer and hot black button-up and matching pants. Gotta love this wavy hair!
Loving the hair and the muscle shirt but we're on the fence on that jean vest.
The rock band channels their inner mermaid. (Don't they look great with boobs?)
"American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips goes dapper in tartan and a sleek blazer.
Down With Webster
Down With Webster looking supa dupa fly complete with afros, hipster glasses and large chains.
Our favourite Ginger supports the Toronto Blue Jays!
The rockers look too cool for school in coordinating blue outfits.
Kardinal Offishall is straight up dope with the white sunnies, blue button-up and fun beaded necklace. But what's with the asymmetrical hair?
Earlier on HuffPost: