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The Grammys came and went. All of the red carpet glitz and glamor is over now, and what is the result? Artists going home with some golden trophies and other artists just going home. I didn't watch all of the awards show last night (travel got in the way for a good part of it) but I did watch a lot of it. I caught several of the live performances, and of those, some I liked much more than others. Here's what hit or missed for me personally.
HIT – Jennifer Hudson's rendition of “I Will Always Love You”
Wow. Just wow. I didn't fully grasp the weight of that performance until a couple of minutes after it ended. Whitney Houston was an icon, and her passing on Saturday left a huge void in the world of music for so many, including Hudson. To perform that classic song just one day removed from it all, on that stage, with just a piano in the background, and hold your own? What an impressive and emotional performance. You moved up in my book after that, Hudson. Take a listen below:
MISS – What followed that emotional performance: Chris Brown, David Guetta, Lil Wayne, Foo Fighters, and Deadmau5.
What's the next logical thing to do after paying tribute to fallen musicians and that soul-stirring performance by Jennifer Hudson? An orgy of electronic music! It didn't seem appropriate to me. Chris Brown and Lil Wayne shouldn't be following a Whitney Houston song, but maybe just me. Then, combine that with the rave-like atmosphere of glow sticks and twenty-somethings in the crowd and all that house music, and I had to throw it on mute. Not even the Foo Fighters could save that segment. And yes, I'm a grandpa disguised as a 22-year-old.
MISS – Chris Brown's parkour peformance.
As if one Chris Brown performance wasn't bad enough, earlier in the proceedings we had to watch Brown lip-synch while jumping back-and-forth on a pyramid of cubes. The set resembled the final few minutes of the popular children's athletics show GUTS where they had to climb the Aggro Crag. If that's what he was going for, good job? And for that matter, why was Chris Brown performing so much in the first place with all of his public personal life issues?
HIT – The Boss.
Bruce Springsteen is a legend. The guys just keeps doing it, no matter how old he gets. His opening number just solidified my thought that he should perform every Super Bowl halftime show until he just doesn't feel like doing it anymore.
HIT – Adele is back.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous when Adele sang her first few notes of “Rolling in the Deep” because I didn't want something to go horribly wrong with her voice halfway through. But she powered through every note and gave a resounding performance. Welcome back, Adele. Now take better care of those pipes why don't you.
HIT/MISS – Victor Cruz's salsa dance.
I was so shocked to Victor Cruz not only in attendance at the Grammys, but sitting right behind who else but Adele. It was even more surprising to see him presenting a Grammy along with teammate Mario Manningham and actress Pauley Perrette. After sidestepping the topic, the inevitable came: Cruz salsa danced. It was wonderful, like it always is. But then Mario Manningham came in with the stiffest delivery on his only line, “OK OK, save it for the field.” Perrette's blase introduction also missed for me. But you never miss, Victor Cruz.
HIT – The Foo Fighters
Dave Grohl and company continue to rock, and they put on a couple rousing performances last night. First, they played “Walk” and then unfortunately had to take part in that weird mash-up with Deadmau5. But with those performances (and all of their wins on top) it was a good night for Foo.
HIT – Bon Iver's acceptance speech for Best New Artist.
Although the win was for Bon Iver's second album (the first was released FOUR years ago!), Justin Vernon took the stage with mixed emotions about the award. He had recently declined to perform during the show and has said some inflammatory things about the Grammys in the past. So he acknowledged those facts and thanked all of the bands that were not and will never be nominated, a bit of a shot at the Grammys not recognizing more independent artists. You could sense his discomfort, and that made it all the more genuine to me. Also he said “Sweet hookups” which I am going to say all the time now. It also inspired some ridiculously silly/offensive outrage on Twitter.
HIT – Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt Salute Etta James
Before Whitney's tribute, the late Etta James got her due thanks to a spectacular duet of “Sunday Kind of Love” by Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt. Both ladies added soul to the performance, and it was just a beautifully done number. Simple and stunning. Both ladies did James justice.
HIT – The Band Perry, Blake Shelton, and Glen Campbell
I had never heard The Band Perry before their Grammy performance, but I liked what I heard. They sounded pretty great, and then Blake Shelton came in and kicked ass with his beautifully deep voice. Then Glen Campbell himself came out and looked/sounded great. A very nice moment that didn't overstay its welcome one bit.
HIT – Bruno Mars starts off hot.
I'm not the biggest Bruno Mars fan, but last night's number might just turn me around a little bit. The crooner showed some incredible stage presence, danced his butt off, hit all of his notes, and even told the crowd to get off their “rich asses” and dance. With a full band behind him jamming, it was a great way to start the show.
MISS – Nicki Minaj?
I wasn't watching during her performance, but based on the reaction coming from various social media outlets, Minaj turned in a pretty terrible performance. I'm glad I missed it.