Taylor Swift opens the show with a very Disneyland+circus theme which is different yet same ol' show to expect, none the less solid opening act for what it's worth. Gets blown away by LL Cool J's humbling opening speech which reminds everyone how awesome this man is and how much he has influenced rap/hip hop music as a whole.
The show takes a quick hard left right off the bat with Ed Sheeran playing "The A Team" but it's the Grammys, that isn't enough so what does he do? Oh he sings it with Sir Elton John, no big deal. Sir John is only a living legend. This performance is phenomenal and after such a great act I couldn't even recall how the show opened. Shortly after Adele picks up her very well earned grammy and Fun takes the stage. Let me add, I love how it seemed like an intimate show… til it started raining. Not a bad performance by any means. Just wish they played their single, I feel like it would have made a little more sense, less rain more old people dancing maybe? Bonnie and the snazzy John Mayer welcome Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert to stage, which is cool an all but I don't think the performance is what it could have been. Didn't sound big enough considering the circumstances. Maybe I don't think it's real country music? Having a southern accent/ cowboy hat doesn't make it country but what do I know!? Miguel quickly takes the stage and starts taking full control, then- of course Wiz comes in.. and makes me wanna punch myself in the face (although the dude has awesome style). Shortly after we see the badass-pirate-lookin' Johnny Depp introduce Mumford And Sons to take the stage and they do a great job performing. Always a good time watching them-nothing over the top but they sound awesome, look great and have minimal production which is great to have them stay true to what they represent. Justin Timberlake takes the stage moments later and takes over the entire show. Steals it. Destroys it, rebuilds it and then conquers it. I can't believe how R&B he sounded. How fun/solid the band was. Frank Ocean gets his well deserved award before Maroon 5 takes the stage with Alicia Keys, which is a great collaboration, they sound great as always. Bit later on the five grammy award winning Black Keys with legendary Dr. John, and this performance is everything I want it to be. Fun, messy, bluesy, rock. Just a great performance. Which is quickly calmed down to chill mode by Kelly Clarkson, stripped down to a great acoustic set; Her voice powers through every set I have heard her play. I have the most respect for her and her remarkable voice. Bruno Mars takes the stage and that feeling everyone felt when JT took the stage returns just as powerful of an emotion. The dance moves, the entertainment, the production all leads into a great Bob Marley tribute. Featuring not only Bruno Mars and his band but Rihanna, Sting and of course, the Marleys. As if the show couldn't get any more pumped it freakin' does, when Jack White takes over the stage! It is so rock and roll, it is so emotionally moving! It was a great performance nothing short of excellent!
Prince makes a great appearance welcoming up Gotye and Kimbra for Breaking Mirrors. Which was by all means such a great moment from the audiences perspective. To top it all off Elton John is in company with T Bone Burnett, Brittany Howard, Mumford & Sons, and Mavis Staples, who all payed tribute the great Levon Helm of The Band and it was a great tribute. It was more than just a highlight to the Grammys, but highlight of any show I have witnessed in some time. Not too long after Frank Ocean plays his single "Forest Gump" and it only reminds me how great his album is. The production of this performance is so amazing although the version wasn't my favorite and wasn't how it should have been played in my opinion who knows what restrictions he had.
The show ends with LL Cool J taking hold of the stage with some great musicians, one of which is my favorite guitar players of all time, Tom Morello. LL Cool J has total control of the crowd and stage his entire set. It's phenomenal to watch the power and confidence behind this performance if you didn't catch it. Find it on youtube. It's a must. All-in-all The Grammys were entertaining, a little long for my least but right when I was getting bored Justin took stage, or Black Keys or Jack White almost perfectly timed. . The first half was just a snow ball effect of excitement and did a solid job picking up during the times that needed.
Onto talking more about the performances a little more in detail:
Grammys summed up in one word? Entertainment. While observing, I can't help but admire the production behind the live performances and what it takes for them to be a reality; the amount of persistence the production crews put into topping their own show every year is admirable. Maybe it's just from having my toes in the business and have seen what goes on back stage do I truly admire and respect the show in its entirety from behind the scenes and in the audiences seat
Starting off with what the Grammys are really about, the music! For this I would like to focus on the talent and give respect to the crews and minds behind the production and even the lineup, what a great mash-up of artists. (consisting of the following):
- -Travis Barker, Chuck D, LL Cool J, Tom Morello, and DJ Z-Trip
- -Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert
- -Kelly Clarkson
- -The Lumineers
- -Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with the Black Keys
- -Elton John with Ed Sheeran, performing together live for the first time
- -The Black Keys
- -Alicia Keys and Maroon 5
- -Bruno Mars, Rihanna, and Sting
- -Miguel and Wiz Khalifa
- -Mumford & Sons
- -Zac Brown, Elton John, T Bone Burnett, Brittany Howard, Mumford & Sons, and Mavis Staples, who all payed tribute the great Levon Helm of The Band (whom most of you will not know of, but please understand that they helped curve what music is today and you should all watch The Last Waltz).
- -Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and Kenny Garrett in tribute to Dave Brubeck
- -Frank Ocean
- -Taylor Swift
- -Carrie Underwood
- -Justin Timberlake
- -Jack White
Going on, Who stole the show in terms of live performances? Well, it's subjective all acts had unlimited budgets top of the line production, great collaborations my personal favorites ranged from The Black Keys, Maroon 5 with one of my favorite singers, Alicia Keys), rank Ocean, Bruno Mars featuring Rihanna & STING, The Band tribute (easily the most important/ meaningful show of the night), Jack White and of course Justin Timberlake.
With that I would narrow it down and say that the performance that stood out the most and one I will be talking about the most; although might not have been THE best was Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z 'suit and tie'. Why you ask? It has been too long since he was on a stage of that importance, It was a perfect plan for his comeback show to be at the Grammys and it was perfectly executed. The showmanship of Mr. Timberlake is remarkable as Beyonce said, he is a triple threat. His live band, was spot on, his stage presences was perfectly executed and of course Jay-Z jumping on stage rapping over "What's Goin On" beat was the cherry on top. That performance was exactly what was needed and more. It's safe to say everyone is excited for this album coming out this year, I have a feeling "Suite & Tie" will be far from the best track on that album and that is clearly saying enough in itself.
Who Won? Who do I think should have won their awards? (please note these are not all of the awards just some I took a big interest in)
Best Rock Album
El Camino – The Black Keys
I love this album, I love this band, first of it's kind in this wave of indie-blues-rock they have brought mainstream, but should they have won over Bruce Springsteen? over THE BOSS? Wrecking Ball is one hell of an album, I mean… Mr. Springsteen is the boss
Best Alternative Music Album
Making Mirrors – Gotye
Gotye, The most over played man on the radio. A great song writer, a great live performer (that whole band sounds so amazing live). To me it's barely a win next to yet another legend, Tom Waits. You don't know who Tom Waits is? Wiki his name, he is a walking legend. Without him Our Jack Whites wouldn't be who their are as innovators.
Best Pop Solo Performance
"Set Fire to the Rain" – Adele
Granted, Rihanna, Kelly, Perry, and Carly Rae Jepsen have names for themselves, but Adele is (in geek terms) over powered. She has the best voice in the Pop industry. There is no toss up, there is no "buts." Adele's voice is what the pop industry needs more than ever. I am so grateful that she is getting recognition she deserves.
Best R&B Performance
"Climax" – Usher
Agreed. Usher is in a class of his own, for awhile he was (single handedly) keeping R&B on top charts. He is a great show man. His dancing, his voice, his lyrical content are all very well composed during his sets.
Best Rap Album
Take Care – Drake
Solid album, maybe I am just over Drake? Maybe he got too big too fast? Maybe The Roots are just an amazing live band? Maybe Lupe Fiasco has amazing lyrics that have meaning and motivates me? Maybe I think Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album. Pt. 1 by Lupe Fiasco should have won. Maybe.
Best Comedy Album
Blow Your Pants Off – Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon is great, don't get me wrong, I love his ideas and it makes me excited that he has the ability to have such great production, but for best album. I would like to imagine "Rize Of The Fenix" by Tenacious D. Jack & Kyle are both amazing frontmen, GREAT musicians, that album will get you in tears of laughter while hurting your neck from the head banging.
Best Blues Album
Locked Down – Dr. John
What an amazing victory! He is one of my favorite song writers, of all time. So happy to see a true artist keep making great singles and albums since the early 1970s.
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Noo! As much as I respect Trent Reznor, Hans Zimmer did a remarkable job with The Dark Knight Rises. Great soundtrack. Check it out. Workout to it, shop to it, play video games to it, cook to it, walk around the store to it. It makes your life so much more exciting. Try it.
What did YOU think of the 2013 Grammys?