Monday, February 01, 2010
The awards really don't matter that much (quick...without Googling...what was the Album of the Year at the 2009 show? Yeah, I don't remember either), with the Grammy show, it's the music that matters.
The unavoidable Lady Gaga and the legendary Sir Elton John opened the show in bombastic (but admittedly fun) fashion and Green Day and the cast of the upcoming musical "American Idiot" made a good case for the blending of Punk and Broadway.
Beyonce got a jump on the Michael Jackson tribute with backup dancers dressed like stormtroopers and by grabbing her crotch during a searing medley of "If I Were a Boy" and Alanis Morrissette's "You Ought to Know" and Pink is apparently trying out for Cirque du Soleil (it's a bit odd but kind of cool too.)
The unavoidable Black Eyed Peas cranked up the spectacle to 11 (though after making a big deal about the fan videos of "I Gotta Feeling" they were barely seen in the far background.)
Second hour means the country folk can come out to play. Lady Antebellum leads off with a sweet and smooth performance. Best New Artists, The Zac Brown Band did themselves proud playing a spirited medley with the venerable Leon Russell. And Taylor Swift got to share a stage with one of her heroines, Stevie Nicks.
Jamie Foxx and his Auto-Tune continued the martial costume theme (T-Pain and his white tuxedo must not have gotten the memo and Slash is just too cool for that stuff.)
The Michael Jackson tribute...with Celine Dion, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, and Smokey Robinson singing along with MJ's recording of "Earth Song"...was stirring (and Jackson's children were dignified and gracious afterwards.)
Bon Jovi...with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles sitting in...was solid in their 3-song mini-set.
Okay, I will admit to misting up during the soaring performance of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige (and yes I will be ponying up for the Haiti-benefiting download available at itunes.com/target.)
And the jubilant performance by the Dave Matthews Band (and a WHOLE LOT of friends) was a joyous tribute to their fallen brother and bandmate, LeRoi Moore.
Maxwell and Roberta Flack were fine (though Roberta seemed a bit unsteady at times) and Jeff Beck's tribute to Les Paul was very tasty.
The performances were fair to great, the speeches were kept to a minimum, and the show kept moving...all in all the Grammys were fine this year and I was cool with that.