Grammy recap: Best and worst of “music’s biggest night”
Written by: Dave Leary
The 58th annual Grammy Awards took place Monday night in Los Angeles. While many awards are given out, most of them are handed out before the telecast. It’s all about the performances so here’s my look at the highlights and lowlights of the show.
Swift makes history: Taylor Swift became the first woman to win Album of the Year twice (she also won in 2010 for Fearless). While it may not have been the most deserving of the nominated albums, “1989” was a commercial juggernaut. Swift’s acceptance speech was both an inspiration to young women and a thinly veiled response to a certain hip-hop artist who shall not be named here. Taylor also performed “Out of the Woods” to open the show. It wasn’t one of the standouts of the night and she didn’t even get to sing the whole song. (Seriously, Grammys? It’s a 3 ½ hour show)
Best performances: Kendrick Lamar’s performance was bound to be controversial since no one else was making any kind of bold statement with their music. The artistry and energy here was undeniable, especially compared to what most rap and hip-hop has become. Lamar swept the rap categories but lost out on the overall awards, including Album of the Year. Alabama Shakes (who took home 4 trophies) gave a stellar performance of “Don’t Wanna Fight”. Chris Stapleton, Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt paid tribute to the late B.B. King.
Honoring more legends: . Lady Gaga did a medley of David Bowie’s greatest hits. (The medley seemed to be a theme of the evening). It wasn’t terrible but also should’ve been better. I think it would’ve been better to have someone whose music was closer to what Bowie’s was do it and to actually sing a full song or two). Jackson Browne joined the Eagles to perform “Take it Easy” which Browne wrote with the late Glenn Frey. This was actually a case where a medley would’ve worked better, in my opinion. The Hollywood Vampires (Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, Duff McKagan and Matt Soren) provided the hardest rocking moment of the show with “Ace of Spades” as a tribute to Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister.
Not bad just “meh”: The Lionel Richie medley featuring John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor and Tyrese Gibson was too long and very uneven. The technical problems for Adele’s performance put a damper on what should’ve been the highlight of the night.
Worst performance: I will never understand the appeal of Pitbull. And with all the great artists there, why have him close the show? A close second was Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt’s duet combining her song “Heartbeat” with his “Take Your Time”. Her vocals were strong as always but sounded off key for most of it. And the whole thing just seemed forced and awkward.
Overall, this was a pretty good show. (Even Justin Bieber made a good impression). It was nice to see the awards spread out a bit. One (not so) bold prediction for next year: Adele will win another armful of Grammys.