Words by Harrison Brink

TSI’s second annual Tri State Indie Music Awards show took place this past Sunday, February 17!

It was yet again a great night full of celebration, synergy, and great live performances. The event kicked off early this year at 3 p.m. with the vitaminwater pre-party upstairs at World Cafe Live. Complimentary StarrHill brews and custom vitaminwater &  Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails were served till 5PM, and a very packed in crowd was entertained by 4 TSI award nominated artists on stage:  Aaron Brown (of Aaron and The Spell), The LawsuitsKuf Knotz, and Cheers Elephant.

Darry Miller & The Veil on the Red Carpet - 2nd Annual TSI Music Awards

Darry Miller & The Veil on the Red Carpet – 2nd Annual TSI Music Awards

The good times rolled into the night as everyone made their way downstairs at 5 p.m. for the main event- The 2nd Annual TSI Music Awards Show. Guests landed in the downstairs lobby to be welcomed by free giveaways and samples from vitaminwater, StarHill Brewery, WXPN, Philly Band Merch and continued on to walk the red carpet, stopping to have their pictures taken (seen here), and into the venue with a FREE groupie gift bag and 2nd Annual TSI Music Awards Nominee Collection CD. The Dirk Quinn Band, the house band for the night, took the stage to entertain the crowd as they mixed and mingled before the start of the show. Fans and attendees received a special surprise performance by a super group of nominees from the bands Toy Soldiers, Kalob Griffin Band, The Levee Drivers, The Lawsuits, Ali Wadsworth, The Districts and more, who together performed their rendition of Joe Cocker’s “I’m Feeling Alright” to kick off the show!


Soon after, Ron Gallo of Toy Soldiers took the stage as the host for the night and rolled right into introduce the announcers for each award presented live on stage. The awards were broken into sections across the night separated by live performances from bands such as New Sweden, Cold Fronts, Sweet LedaThe Levee Drivers, and Nicos Gun. The night ended with a final performance by Toy Soldiers & Friends.


The TSI Awards continues to grow as the crowd from last year grew by about 200 additional attendees than last year’s show. All nominated artists, venues, and festivals are selected by the TSI Awards Nomination Committee, which also grew this year from 34 members to 67 members. The committee votes on their nominations for each category and ballots are turned in by late November. Nominees are announced in December on TriStateIndie.com and public voting starts mid- December – February. Public voting through the site also increased from 58,000+ overall votes to 68,000+ over all votes.

TSI Red Carpet-5

Cold Fronts performing LIVE on-stage – 2nd Annual TSI Music Awards

Winners are revealed on stage the night of the award show and are presented awards from 57 different music industry professionals who pair up on stage to announce winners in each category. Some of the award presenters on Sunday included:

  • Mark Schulz, Executive Director – The Recording Academy (Grammy’s) Philadelphia Chapter
  • Jack Hedges, General Manager, Atlantic Records/Canvasback Music
  • Jackie Antonucci, Philadelphia Sales Coordinator-Hard Rock Cafe Philly
  • Levi Landis, Executive Director – Philly Folk Festival/ Folk Song Society
  • Wendy Rollins, Radio 104.5 -Program Director
  • John Vettese – Social Media/Marketing Manager – WXPN/The Key
  • Kuf Knotz – “Best Indie Hip Hop Artist Winner 2012” and 2012 TSI Music Award Host, and many others!

The whole night was a really great time for all, with good music, drink, and friends just celebrating together. Synergy is the key word for this event. It brings a lot of the music industry in the mid-atlantic region and beyond together in one place for one night. The TSI Awards plans to continue each year and to become bigger and better. So keep your eyes peeled for the announcement for next years awards show and mark your calendars! Planning for next year’s awards has already begun.

The Levee Drivers - 2nd Annual TSI Music Awards

The Levee Drivers – 2nd Annual TSI Music Awards

A huge thanks to all the bands, contributors, nomination committee, industry friends, TSI interns and TSI groupies and all who came and supported the indie music scene we all love through this event!