As much as I hate to admit it, I loved Sunday night's Grammy Awards. I loved the incubating and shoulder-enhanced Lady Gaga. I loved the folk rock combination of Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, and Bob Dylan. And, although it may seem slightly mean-spirited, I loved to see Justin Bieber go home empty-handed (The Biebs has everything, he doesn't need a Grammy).
If nothing else, the Grammy's were memorable. The outfits were outrageous (Nicki Minaj and Rihanna stick out), the performers were eclectic and well-paired, and my reaction to the winners ranged from pleasantly surprised (Esperanza Spalding winning Best New Artist) to simply puzzled (Arcade Fire's The Suburbs snagging Album of the Year? really!?)
But here at HeyLiveMusic, it's all about the performances, and I think the Grammy's nailed it this year. I found the tribute to Aretha Franklin fitting, especially the redeeming performance from Christina Aguilera, and Barbara Streisand's performance was vocally impressive. Lady Gaga was surprisingly tame, debuting her new single "Born This Way," and Muse provided a nice change of pace with "Uprising."
I thought Jaden Smith was the highlight of the Justin Bieber/Usher collaboration, and I found Gwyneth Paltrow to be an interesting foil to Cee Lo Green. Drake claimed the better performance from Rihanna, as her turn with Eminem and Dr. Dre proved unremarkable. The highlight of the evening for me was the zealous rendition of "The Cave" by Best New Artist nominees, Mumford & Sons, which opened a memorable set with The Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan.
So what was your favorite performance from the Grammy Awards? Do you think Arcade Fire deserved the nod for Album of the Year? Think Justin Bieber got snubbed in the Best New Artist category? Let us know in the forum.
(Kyle Katterheinrich is member of the HeyLiveMusic marketing team and a frequent contributor to the site)