52nd Annual Music Industry Stroke Fest, aka The Grammys Tom February 1, 2010 Music, TV The night when the hottest names in music get together in a big room and stroke each others’ ego for 3 hours. I will say that I am glad that in the past few years or so The Grammys have moved away from the actual awards and been more of a concert showcase. Seeing musicians and celebrities give other musicians awards all night is boring as hell so at least they’ve realized that and made it a little more exciting… The show opened with Lady Gaga performing her slow version of Poker Face that seems to make at least a cameo in every one of her awards show performances. While I really don’t care for that version of the song, or even the original to be honest… and actually I don’t really care for Lady Gaga, but this performance wasn’t as over the top ridiculous as some of her past ones and Elton John performed with her for the 2nd half of the performance and it was actually really good. So not a bad opening to the show and while I may not like her, she is one of the top artists of the moment so good for her. After that performance Stephen Colbert came out and opened the show with a few jokes, some funnier than others, and then it went straight into a few awards. I’m going to be honest here, I watched the awards presentations, but I could have cared less. I was mainly in it to watch the performances and see if Kanye West made a fool out of himself, but since it appeared that Kanye may have not been invited, I was only watching for the performances. I did hear on the radio this morning that Beyonce won the most Grammys in a single night of any woman in history, 6 (only 1 during the actual broadcast). If we’re going by big winner during the actual show, Taylor Swift took home at least 2, Best Country Album and Album of the Year. I still don’t get what constitutes “country” these days when people like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are winning big country awards, they seem more pop to me. And while many people probably think that Beyonce should have won album of the year, Taylor Swift was the best selling female artist of the year and since the music industry is all about how many units you can move, it should be no surprise that she won. And with that, the rest of this article will be about the performances (after the jump). If you want to find a list of winners from last night I’m sure it won’t be too hard. After Lady Gaga and Elton John opened the show Green Day was up next. Apparently there is a broadway show based on Green Day’s American Idiot so the cast of the show performed “21 Guns” along side Green Day and it was actually pretty good. It helps that Green Day is still one of the greatest rock bands of my generation and while I don’t think anything will ever top the “Dookie” album, their new stuff is still really good. Next up was Pink singing ‘Glitter in the Air’ and while I don’t really care for the song, I did think the circus-like performance was pretty good, actually more impressive. She was suspended above the audience in a white sheet doing all sorts of acrobatic moves, and did I mention she was almost naked. Well she wasn’t actually almost naked, it was a skin colored body suit, but it gave her the appearance of being naked so it’s close enough. Overall a decent performance, but towards the end I was getting a little bored with the song itself. The Black Eyed Peas took the stage next and were actually pretty good. I do find it funny that the group consists of Fergie, Will.I.Am. and “those 2 other guys”. They never seem to have featured parts in their big singles and last night was no different as they were just there to provide backup support for Fergie and Will.I.Am. They sung 2 songs, “Imma Be” and “I Gotta Feeling”, the first of which featured Fergie actually rapping better than Will.I.Am as well as background dancers that looked like they were wearing giant vaginas on their heads. It was your typical high energy Black Eyed Peas performance. Lady Antebellum was up next and while I had heard of them before I really didn’t know much about them and after seeing the performance it’s not really my type of music so we’ll just move on without saying anything good or bad. But speaking of bad, Jamie Foxx was up next with his “Blame It” song. Someone clearly lied to Jamie Foxx when they told him that auto tune makes any song good. The performance started off with 3 people singing opera, the 3rd person was of course Jamie Foxx who then started singing his song dressed as a black Captain Crunch. Then the person who single handedly ruined hip-hop by introducing auto tune, T-Pain, revealed himself from behind the white powdered wig of the conductor and finished out the song with, who I believe was, Doug E. Fresh beat boxing, Slash from Guns N Roses (playing November Rain) and some random large woman dancing on stage.. It was a random performance that I could have done without. In fact I could do without Jamie Foxx trying to sing at all, stick to the movies. Next up was The Zac Brown Band which, like Lady Antebellum, I’m not really into so I won’t comment on them overall, but I did think the song was pretty good and those guys can sing. Which leads us into Taylor Swift featuring Stevie Nicks who did a medley of one of Taylor’s songs and one of Stevie’s songs. While I don’t mind Taylor Swift she definitely had a hard time keeping up with Stevie Nicks while they were singing Stevie’s song. Taylor’s quiet, innocent voice is just no match and the whole performance was pretty underwhelming, especially for the artist who would go on to win album of the year. Speaking of which, it appears that I completely forgot to mention Beyonce’s performance in my notes. It was alright, she sung “If I Were A Boy” and “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrisette, the latter was kind of cool, but I don’t really care for the “boy” song and think she could have chosen something better. She looked really good though so at least I wasn’t bored during the whole thing. And then came the moment lots of people were waiting for, the 3D tribute performance to Michael Jackson. Celine Dion, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson and Jennifer Hudson performed in 3D!!! Actually it seemed like only part of it was actually in 3D and they kept jumping back and forth between what was and wasn’t. I thought it was a poor choice to try to jump on the 3D bandwagon and make this performance blurry for those of us without glasses. Twitter was ablaze with people complaining that they didn’t know the performance would be in 3D, but I’m not sure where they’ve been the last month because pretty much every advertisement I saw for the Grammys made mention of the fact that the Michael Jackson tribute would be in 3D… I also found it funny that almost everyone in the audience was wearing 3D glasses as well. I guess the screens behind the performers may have been in 3D, but I still would have pulled a Jay-Z and not worn them. Up next was the first ever Grammy performance from Mr. Bovine Joni or Bon Jovi for those of you that are not fans of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. They sang 3 songs, the last of which was chosen by the fans via texts and the internet and it was, of course, Living on a Prayer. Decent performance, but nothing spectacular in my mind. Next, Wyclef came out and talked a little about Haiti and then Dave Matthews came out and performed while jumping around stage like his pants were on fire… I can’t stand The Dave Matthews Band and their music, however I don’t think that Dave himself is a terrible actor in the few small roles I’ve seen him in, so I’m just putting this out there, give up singing and concentrate on acting. The last performers of the night were introduced by Quentin Tarantino, who sounded like he was chewing on his cheek while trying to sound like a thug… or something. He looked a little bloated and the black shirt with white polka dots (and not to mention popped collar) was making me dizzy. Don’t get me wrong I love Tarantino’s movies and I think the man is a genius, but he seemed out of place last night and just plain weird. But anyways, he was up there to introduce Drake, Lil Wayne and Eminem featuring Travis Barker on the drums doing a mix of Lil Wayne/Eminem’s new song “Drop the World” and all 3 of their song “Forever”. Kanye West also sings on “Forever”, but like I said before, it appears that he wasn’t invited and therefore did not perform his verse. Now this could have been the greatest performance of the night, it had everything… except 90% of the fucking audio! CBS decided that it was going to completely censor about 90% of the song, making the performance as a whole utterly worthless. I understand networks taking the steps to mute the mics if someone is going to swear, but to cut out the audio completely for about 5 full seconds before and after anyone is about to swear is ridiculous. I know the lyrics to the songs and they dropped audio in places where they didn’t even have to, and then kept it off way longer than they needed to. This could have been an amazing performance, and I’m sure it was if you were live at the Staples Center, but for those of us watching from our living rooms it just made us think that our cable was broken. Thanks a lot CBS. But as for the performance itself, all 3 of the performers killed it and Eminem should take note that this is the Eminem that we like to see. The rapid fire rhymes and his normal voice are what the fans love about the guy, none of this poppy, weird voiced crap that he’s been on lately. So there you have it, my take on the performances from the Grammys last night. I probably wouldn’t have even watched them live, but the Pro Bowl was probably the most boring football game I’ve ever seen in my life and since there was nothing else on I was kind of stuck with it. So what did you think of the show as a whole? I’m curious to hear if people really think Taylor Swift deserved to win album of the year or if maybe Kanye was right and Beyonce should have taken top honors….