By Angela Blasi
So this year was my first time actually sitting down and watching “The biggest night in music”. I have to say I’ve heard a lot of hype about the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, along with shameless name dropping that made me want to tune in.
Kicking off the show was the amazingly talented Lady Gaga performing her hit “Poker Face”. I’m a huge Lady Gaga fan, I have no idea why, but I like her more and more every single time I see her. This evening only helped strengthen my obsession and respect for her as an artist. When the twin pianos, adorned with mannequin arms stretched towards the ceiling, rolled down stage to reveal both Lady Gaga AND Sir Elton John, done up in dirty futuristic fashion only the two of them could pull off flawlessly, the precedent for the evening had been set. More-so, being able to hear her live vocals as well as watching her play piano, I was truly able to gain more insight to her as a talented musician and song writer. It was a stellar performance in which the legends of the music industry passed the torch to its brightest and most talented. And I must note, Lady Gaga rarely took her eyes off Sir Elton John. I can’t blame her. To be that young with all her success and already sharing a stage with nothing less than a musical god, I wouldn’t tear my eyes away either.
I could highlight each performance, but with three hours worth of material to cover and my penchant for detail, we could be here awhile. So, I will talk about what stuck out most for me. First off, Green Day’s performance of “21 Guns” off their latest album 21st Century Breakdown with the upcoming Broadway musical ensemble providing harmonies and vocals. This brought the music of Green Day to a level I could have never thought possible. Now, please understand, I’ve been a devout fan of this trio for the last 16 years of my life. To wrap my mind around the fact that I’ve grown up listening to Green Day is phenomenal. Say whatever you want about the band or their music, they have become a solid punk rock legend in the world of music, in addition to winning another Grammy later in the night. They have never disappointed me with any live show and their performance this evening solidifies their place as truly talented artists that had the power and longevity to change the face of the music industry forever. Oh, and you can bet I’m going to buy a ticket to the Broadway show ASAP.
Taylor Swift is another name worth talking about. I’m not necessarily a country music fan or a Taylor Swift fan, but the girl is definitely a rising star. I think what I love most about her is just how genuine she is about all her recent fame. Maybe it’s because she’s just so young or the country background, but she maintains a graciousness and sense of reality often lacking in many young success stories. Her acceptance speech in which she says she’s accepting an impossible dream was brief, but eloquently stated. I’m not about to buy a ticket to her show or even her album, but I can’t deny that the girl is actually talented. Not to mention her performance along side Stevie Nicks was fantastic. Go Taylor Swift. I think she deserves her success and I hope she achieves great things in her career.
Now, when Beyoncé broke down “If I Were A Boy” and suddenly started singing Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”, I couldn’t help but be disappointed. Not by Beyoncé’s performance, but at the fact that Alanis herself didn’t pop out from behind a curtain somewhere to join in on the vocals. It wasn’t bad, but the 90’s kid in me really wanted to see that. Personally would have loved the hell out of it, but I think she did the song well and it flowed seamlessly in and out from her own music into Alanis’s smash hit.
I had to laugh at the brief moment when the Grammy director fell asleep and let Justin Bieber and Ke$ha take the stage together to remind the audience they could vote for the song Bon Jovi would be performing later in the evening. Standing, or rather staggering, a good three feet above Justin Bieber, Ke$ha stood in all her white trash “you’s nothin’ but a ho” glory. And Bieber, well, he managed to say “Beyoncé'” instead of “Bon Jovi”, stating that “Beyoncé is always on his mind…sorry Jay”. If I was Jay-Z, I would have smacked the kid upside his head just because he’s a tool (really no other reason). Up until that moment, I had the running thought of “wow, these are some seriously talented artists and it’s great to see some of the music industry’s most powerful voices and artists in one place”. As a musician, it’s inspiring to see. But then these two took the stage and I thought “wait…what the fuck are they doing at the Grammys…they sure as hell don’t belong here”. At least it wasn’t more than 60 seconds.
So it’s 10:30pm now and a lot has happened over the course of the evening. I feel as though I’ve gotten my fix with the things I wanted to see. The rest of the night is pretty damn good, from Bon Jovi to the Michael Jackson tribute. The Zac Brown Band was amazing and worth mentioning too. I loved their harmonies, vocals and the level of musicianship alongside another legendary country artist Leon Russell. This performance was nothing less than impressive and moving. You know what? That brings me to the main thing I’ve noticed over the course of the evening. All night it was a beautiful blend of old and new. The artists that have carved their place in music history forever seamlessly integrated with the very voices and faces they single-handedly inspired. I think the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards illustrated just how far music has come, where it’s going, and the fact that everything new grows out of something old. Without our musical forefathers to break ground for all that is subversive, non conformist, controversial, trendy, or done to pay homage to the true beauty of being passionate about the music, we wouldn’t have new artists to award and milestones to celebrate.
They just better not give Ke$ha a fucking Grammy next year.
Young talent man. I can’t believe Gaga and Swift got to perform with such stars at such young ages. I really hope the Broadway show doesn’t suck, either way, I’m still going to see it. Armstrong has been talking about a rock opera for American Idiot since 2003, so it’s not like he sold out or anything, he’s wanted to do this for years. I will have to disagree about Swifts performance, I didn’t like it and definitely think that she should not have won that Grammy. I thought the same thing, about wanting Alanis to walk out on stage and sing with Beyonce. And I LOVE that you brought up Ke$ha and Bieber. Tools indeed! For the longest time I was pronouncing her name Keesha but she pronounced it Kesh-a. She’s nobody, she doesn’t deserve a tricky name with a symbol in it. Who does she think she is, besides white trash. I love how you summarized the Grammys in your last paragraph, the new totally grows out of the old. Great review Angela!!!