Detroit Music Awards winners: Event hits some high notes with its second pandemic stream

What a difference a year can make.

For its second streaming edition, the Detroit Music Awards served up a crisp, lively, tightly produced affair Sunday night — a bright and optimistic contrast to the homespun virtual event scrambled together during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If nothing else, it’s clear that everyone has gotten better at the self-video routine after 12 months of practice.

The DMAs were marking the 30th year of a show that began as the Motor City Music Awards and which traditionally has been held at the Fillmore Detroit. Sunday’s presentation was more cohesive and compelling than some of the in-person Fillmore shows of recent years. And the technical leap from the 2020 stream was clear from the get-go.

An intro segment from Paul Stanley (Kiss) was followed by a hard-rocking, slickly edited “Detroit Rock City” revue led by Derek Jendza with a style-hopping batch of local musicians.

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