The Truth About Music

"What's hot, what's not, and whats next in pop music"

52nd Annual Grammy Awards Gets the Awards Right, Performances Almost-Right

It’s almost too much to sum up into an article. After starring at both a television and my computer screen for over four hours (pre-shows included), sitting down to write about the Grammys seems like an endless task. What makes it easier is the fact that overall the Grammy voters got the picks right. Almost all of the awards went to the deserving performers. The other (more prominent) portion of the show was the performances. Most of them were perfect.

The show started off the show on a really high note, pairing Lady Gaga, the hottest singer of 2009 with Elton John who is famous for his duets at the Grammys. One of my favorite Grammy performances of all time was him pairing up with Eminem to perform “Stan.” Overcoming this over the top opening would be a challenge for the shows producers.

One of the most shocking (and Tweeted about) moments of the entire show was Stephen Colbert and his iPad. The product recently released by Apple does not ship for another two months and when Colbert took out the product people went crazy. He also presented the first award to Beyonce for Song of the Year. Although I did not pick her to win (I picked “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon) she deserved to win this award for “Single Ladies.”

Green Day took the stage after Beyonce’s pose accepted her award (she was getting ready to perform) and performed “21 Guns” alongside the cast of “American Idiot” the musical which will premiere on Broadway in the Spring of 2010. The song drew mixed reviews. Personally, I have seen the musical and know that any true Green Day fan will love the arrangements of the songs and in turn loved this song. Many see this as the band “selling out” but this is just them growing up and trying something new. The band would also win Best Rock Album, beating rock greats AC/DC, U2 and Eric Clapton.

There were a number of performances during the show that were simply bland for me. After Beyonce’s incredible “If I Was A Boy,” Pink followed it by once again, ascending to the rafters and performing while flying over the crowd. Some may remember, she did the same stunt at the 2009 Video Music Awards with a different song.

Best New Artist was an interesting category this year. Although I picked MGMT to win, the band I had on my mind at the moment was Zac Brown Band who took home the award. Just before the award was announced I Tweeted that I wouldn’t be surprised if they won and moments later, they did. The band also performed later in the night and although they are talented musicians, they did a huge injustice by not performing the song that made them stars, “Toes.”

The Black Eyed Peas spent a solid five minutes mashing up “Imma Be” and “I Gotta Feeling.” Although the first song was poorly translated into a live environment, “I Gotta Feeling” made the Staples Center go crazy. It is certainly the party jam of 2009 and had many of the famed audience dancing and singing along. Lady Antebellum did what Zac Brown Band did not. They took the stage and performed the song that made them a household name, “Need You Now” which was pure magic.

I knew they would win at some point and when Ringo Starr announced that Kings of Leon and “Use Somebody” had one Record of the Year I was far from shocked. My pick of the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” was made from the heart and not with the head. Luckily, the band would not be performing. One of the more confusing moments of the show came when Jamie Fox was introduced as a cloaked opera singer. He quickly raced into his single “Blame It” and was joined by T-Pain, Slash and Doug E. Fresh. This performance, while entertaining was very over done live and featured a number of vocal tracks. It was hard to tell if the three singers were actually saying anything.

When all was said and done, the night belonged to Taylor Swift. Although her performance with Stevie Nix was slightly off-key, she took home Album of the Year, beating out Beyonce, Kings of Leon and Lady Gaga for the nights most sought after award. Three of the best performances of the night came in the shows second half. First up was Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Usher, Smokey Robinson and Jennifer Hudson payed tribute to Michael Jackson, performing his “Earth Song.” Two factors made this an even more special moment. First was the background which was in 3D and represented what the audience would of seen on his tour that was scheduled for the months following his death. Second was the location of the event itself. The Staples Center was the final stage Jackson would ever perform on and it was fitting that he be honored there.

The next performance was by Andrea Boocelli and Mary J. Blige. The two singers were accompanied by legendary producer David Foster on piano and performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” in memory and honor of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Finally, the most exciting performance of the night came from Drake, Lil Wayne and Drake with Travis Barker on drums. The four superstars performed “Forever” (without Kanye West) and drove the crowd wild. The unfortunate thing was that the three singers took any opportunity they could to curse. CBS made an example of them by not only cutting their microphones but the entire audio track from the show. Much of their performance was silent. Nonetheless, Eminem made the entire performance, delivering his verse with a masterful command of words and melody.

Some other notable performances came from Dave Matthews Band who performed “You & Me” and Bon Jovi performing “Livin On A Prayer” which was the song selected by the fans for them to play. Overall the show was a success. Although many people will debate the awards for many weeks to come, I believe that the voters got it right, they picked the artists that not only deserved the awards, but created great music in 2009.

Add A Comment

1 Legacy Comment

  • Comment by Joe posted February 04, 2010 at 12:36

    Taylor is the shit. Congrats.