Two of the most memorable moments at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards — held at the Prudential Center for the second time — made it feel more like it was 1992 instead of 2022.
First there was Johnny Depp making a surprise appearance as the iconic Moonman — now Moonperson — trophy to kick off the show after winning his sordid, sensational defamation trial against ex Amber Heard.
Then there was the performance by Global Icon Award winners Red Hot Chili Peppers, who picked up their first VMAs 30 years ago for “Give It Away.” Seeing the dynamic duo of frontman Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea rock the stage just like they were pushing 30 instead of 60 took you back to the golden era of MTV — when the network actually played videos and was a culture-changing force.
Even having classic rapper LL Cool J — who has previously hosted the Grammys — as one of this year’s three co-hosts was a throwback. But ultimately the experiment to have him co-host the VMAs with “First Class” rapper Jack Harlow and Video Vanguard recipient Nicki Minaj was a fail that gave the show no flow.
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And it was a bummer that one of the night’s biggest nominees — Harry Styles — accepted his Album of the Year award for “Harry’s House” in a virtual appearance before taking the stage just across the way at Madison Square Garden.
Harlow ultimately led the winners’ list with four VMAs, while Taylor Swift won the coveted Video of the Year for her epic, 10-minute “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).”
And now MTV can go back to forgetting all about music and videos for another year.