The 2016 Grammys: hits, disses, glitches, and Gaga.
The 58th Annual Grammy Awards last night was a technologically infused tribute concert with some standout performances, a couple of misses, an over-do sweep, a Broadway moment, and relatively few trophies despite the three hours plus running time.
75 of the 83 awards were given Monday night in an effort to “jazz up this one dreary exercise,” as the NY Times out it. That they did.
Timing is everything. Taking advantage that most Broadway theaters are dark on Monday night, “the Grammy audience got to see part of the musical first hand,” noted Vox.com. “As they were transported to the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York and were treated to the show’s opening number, ‘Alexander Hamilton.'”
Tickets for the show have been impossible to get. Last night’s performance means that won’t change anytime soon.
Taking Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song among his five wins, Kendrick Lamar was vindicated from losing to Best Rap Album to Macklemore in 2014. His performance included “Alright,” an anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement.
As summed up by The Daily Beast, “he won the ceremony with a soulful and politically-charged performance that started with him rapping “The Blacker the Berry” in chains, surrounded by band members who played from behind bars.”
Carrie Underwood sounded, frankly, under the weather. Not even sexy Sam Hunt could save her. With everyone focused on the cutting edge special effects, it’s possible that simple things were overlooked, like sound checks. Most tragically, this happened to Adele in one of the biggest disappointments of the night.
The piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that's what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune. Shit happens. X
— Adele (@Adele) February 16, 2016
That left an opening for Andra Day to be the diva of the day. And she was.
She nailed it. So did Vox, “Her soulful performance brought back memories of Amy Winehouse, but also felt instantly accessible, thanks to a little help from Ellie Goulding, who dropped in around the halfway mark to duet with Day on her massive hit, “Love Me Like You Do.” Day and Goulding’s performance was the first standout of the night, and it remained one of the best when the show was over.”
As CBS News reports, days before the ceremony, Lady Gaga got a large tattoo of Bowie’s face on the side of her body. Her tribute to David Bowie began years ago, “When I was 19 years old … I started to live my life like him. I began to consume art and fashion and art history and a combination of those things, performance technique …” Gaga said.
While some remarked, “The performance almost felt more like a performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show than it did a collection of hits by David Bowie,” Billboard reflected, “Lady Gaga was a perfect choice to salute David Bowie. Wearing a garish orange wig, she delivered a rapid-fire medley of his hits in a lavishly surreal production number that felt like the equivalent of a seven-minute acid trip.”
And finally, a Swift diss to Kanye …
As for Kanye’s lyrical claim from his new album where he takes credit for having made Taylor “that bitch” Swift famous, Taylor remarked. “There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”
And then, so did Twitter ….
Kanye after Taylor Swift's speech pic.twitter.com/xH1zDVzuQN
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 16, 2016
When Taylor Swift shaded Kanye pic.twitter.com/5iCmnyPOUW
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) February 16, 2016
Twitter waiting for Kanye like… pic.twitter.com/z4XshF6nBZ
— Taylor Soper (@Taylor_Soper) February 16, 2016