It’s official – Taylor Swift is the biggest award winner of the music trophy season. Her mantel will now hold the Grammy for Album of the Year, beating out Beyonc©, Lady Gaga, Dave Matthews Band and The Black Eyed Peas. As usual though, awards were not the focal point of the show. It was the performances that made the night at the Grammys. Some had a better time than others (though the big winner, performance-wise tonight was a miss for Taylor Swift). Also, a note to L’il Wayne, Eminem and Drake – if you are going to need a bleep out of your lyrics for more than three consecutive seconds, it might behoove you to consider a temporary re-write for those at home.
It has to be said that when recognizing a man who has been contributing to the music industry for the better part of four decades, the Grammys’ tribute to Michael Jackson was a bit of a let down. First, the vast majority of the audience at home were lacking in 3D glasses necessary to make out the performance – whether unaware that an extra purchase was necessary or not willing to part with the cash, non-glasses wearing viewers were treated to a performance of blurry red and blue images. To be honest, the 3D stunt seemed like a way to make an extra few bucks rather than paying tribute to Michael Jackson. It also seemed strange that “Earth Song” was picked as the tribute song rather than a medley of the King of Pop’s hits, especially with the wealth of musicians participating in the tribute. This is all without touching how painful it was to see his children put up on stage to accept Jackson’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Considering how hard he worked to keep them out of sight of cameras, the whole charade came off forced and insensitive.
Bon Jovi followed the tribute with another Grammy first – a viewer selected song. Fans and viewers alike have been voting before and during the show for what song Bon Jovi will perform on stage. The band opened with their newest single “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?” and then halfway through the performance, the winning song, “Living on a Prayer” was announced and Bon Jovi slipped into their biggest hit – though disappointingly for only a single verse and chorus.
The Grammys also memorialized Les Paul with a lackluster performance. Legendary Jeff Beck ruled the strings of Les Paul’s most generous gift to music – the hard bodies electric guitar. It was disheartening to see the vocal performance so clearly lip-synched though. If the guitar as well was mimicked, it was harder to pick up. One can only help they kept that legitimate.
The Dave Matthews Band and Maxwell also gave noteworthy performances. Even if she didn’t win any awards during the televised broadcast, Blast votes Lady Gaga as the most solid performances of the evening, kicking off the awards with Sir Elton John.
What was your favorite performance of the night? Least favorite?
If you missed any of tonight’s performances, they will be available for purchase on iTunes tomorrow. Or you can check out the photos below for some of tonight’s highlights.