Music: Grammy Awards Recap

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS

By: Adam Pasternak

This gif of Rihanna perfectly sums up last night’s Grammy Awards:

It was a complete and utter disaster. While the show did have its moments, the endless list of mistakes overshadowed what had potential to be a really good night of music and entertainment. I mean, on paper the show looked like it could be one of the best in a while: James Corden as host, Beyonce and Adele, all the great tributes, Metallica and Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Anderson Paak and A Tribe Called Quest, etc., but the magic just wasn’t there. It was a decent awards show, at best. With all the criticism of the Grammy’s over the last couple of years, this years show couldn’t afford to miss a step – but it did. Here are my thoughts on what went down last night:

  1. James Corden as host: not the best choice, but I like his sense of humour and his ability to sing and perform with his guests. The latter could have been used more, seeing that this is the Grammy’s (that “Sweet Caroline” Carpool Karaoke was terrible). His intro was awful as well. It looked like he tried to be like Willy Wonka and do that trick-fall-thing, but it wasn’t funny in the slightest. If I were him, I would have made the intro an epic Carpool Karaoke. Make it him in a Range Rover on his way to work/to host the Grammy’s, but he needs help to get there so along the way he picks up various nominees and they sing songs and do what he does on the show. Then, maybe, they could drive right onto the stage and do some sort of little performance or skit live. I thought of that in 30 seconds, and it already sounds 100 times better then what was shown in last night’s intro.
  2. Prince, George Michael and Bee Gees tributes: they all had potential to be great; only one actually was. Bruno Mars was fantastic portraying Prince. It was like I was watching a reincarnation of the legend himself. Bruno looked just like him, moved just like him and sounded just like him. Thought: what if next year instead of having all the artists perform, the Grammy’s get Bruno to impersonate all of them like he did as Prince last night. He was great. The George Michael tribute could have been a lot better. Adele wasn’t bad, even with her little hiccup, but I thought they could have picked a different song and perhaps a different performer – maybe someone who is more poppy and in a more similar genre (Bruno could have been great here too). The Bee Gees tribute was fine. I’ve always had a soft spot for Demi Lovato (thanks Disney and Camp Rock), and she was good. But the combination of her, Tori Kelly, Little Big Town and Andra Day was just so random and it didn’t work. They all sounded good when they did their own little bits, but when they were together on stage – they looked and sounded odd. I didn’t realize that Little Big Town was four people, two girls two guys, who look like the two non-Jewish couples at a Bar Mitzvah. I mean, look at this picture of them all together on stage – it just doesn’t look like a match made in heaven:

    Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS
  3. Metallica and Lady Gaga: this had potential to be good, but too much went wrong to save it. The very first thing that went wrong happened way before the performance even started and that was the song choice. I don’t know who chose it and why, but why couldn’t they do “Enter Sandman”! I used to go nuts when the Leafs used to come out to that song when I was a kid. Or even “One”; I used to love playing that one on Guitar Hero. The second thing that went wrong was the most obvious – James Hetfield’s mic not working for the first half of the performance. I felt awful for the guy. He could have been pissed or tried to steal Lady Gaga’s mic away but he just kept his cool until the chorus where he went over and shared the mic with Lady Gaga. They were literally yelling in each others faces; it was sort of funny. The third thing that went wrong was that this ended up looking like a Lady Gaga performance, with a band in the background. This is goddamn Metallica people. They shouldn’t be playing second fiddle to anyone. It’s sad really, this could have been amazing. Lady Gaga is extremely talented and has showed over the course of her career that she can do all types of music. She also seems to get really into her roles and seemingly, never disappoints. She was great again, but the performance as a whole was far from it. This could have been done a lot better.
  4. Adele and Beyonce: two of the most successful and influential women in history, not even just in music but in general. Even these two superstars couldn’t save the show. Adele opened with a fine performance of “Hello and then had her aforementioned hiccup during her George Michael tribute. She’s great, but I don’t get what people see in paying to watch someone just stand there and sing. Personally, I like more of a show. Nonetheless, she sounded good and made Beyonce cry with her acceptance speech, which was nice I guess. Beyonce disappointed me the most. She looked straight out of “The Prince of Egypt” and spent majority of her performance doing weird dances over a pre-recording of her reciting what seemed to be a freaking novel. The whole thing was just weird.
  5. Anderson Paak with A Tribe Called Quest: this was by far the best performance and/or moment of the night. Busta Rhymes came out of nowhere and blasted Trump calling him “President Agent Orange”, Anderson Paak showed off his drumming skills and why he has the best voice in hip-hop right now and A Tribe Called Quest was on point. Just like they did on their SNL performance a couple months ago, they had a big mural of the late Phife Dawg in the background and on his verse in “We The People”, everyone on stage held up their mics to the mural. The performance as a whole was very emotional and a clear message was sent.
  6. Katy Perry: it seemed like after that Super Bowl performance a couple years ago, that Katy Perry had just dropped off the face of the earth. Here, she finally came out of the dark (literally), sporting a new blonde (Taylor Swift-like) look. I was very disappointed. She is clearly trying to change her style, both musically and physically, to stay relevant. In my opinion, I don’t think this is the right way to go for her. I also had the same reaction when Taylor Swift first performed “Shake it Off” for the first time. It was different then anything she had done in the past and I wasn’t a fan at first, but it grew on me. Maybe this new look Katy Perry will too.
  7. Chance the Rapper: Chance made history last night in so many ways. He will forever be remembered as a pioneer for independent artists and forced the Grammy’s to acknowledge their works. I had to laugh that Chance was considered a “new artist”. The guy’s made it all by himself and has been around for a while now, and all of sudden the Grammy’s decided 2017 would finally be the year they recognize him. Chance didn’t disappoint at his first Grammy Awards, taking home Best New Artist and Best Rap Album, and killed his very first Grammy performance. It’s safe to say when it’s all said and done, Chance will go down as a legend with many Grammy wins.

Honourable Mention – Cee-Lo Green a.k.a., Black Iron Man: Cee-Lo decided to dress like this last night. After being “snubbed” and not being nominated for anything, I guess he decided it would be funny and, also a big F-U to the Grammy’s, if he dressed like the trophy itself. While I don’t agree that was the best way to try and get revenge, it did result in probably the funniest moment of the night:

While the show was mostly a disaster, at least Rihanna was having a good time. What did you think of last night? Let me know!

Make sure to follow SportsNak on Facebook and Twitter, and follow Adam on Instagram: @sportsnak_adam


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