Can I brag just one more time? In December, I listed The Suburbs by Arcade Fire as my favorite album of 2010 and I have told everyone I know how great this album is since it was released last summer. Sunday night, the American recording industry agreed. Congratulations to Arcade Fire for winning Album of Year — it is a very deserved award. Oh Canada — you must be so proud.
The Grammy awards show was very entertaining Sunday night. I enjoyed nearly every performance, no matter the musical genre. In fact, it seemed more like a concert with an awards show thrown in than the reverse. Oh, by the way, while everybody’s here, let’s give out an award or two. : )
The event began with a star-studded vocal performance honoring Aretha Franklin featuring Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine. All five were on top of their game and belted out a fantastic medley of hits by the Queen of Soul.
Lady Gaga gave an excellent performance both in terms of her new single and terrific dance steps. I was impressed by the fact that she was doing all the complex steps in high-heels while the other dancers were doing them barefoot. Still trying to figure out if she was lip-syncing the lyrics, considering all the complex dance moves that were taking place.
Muse put on what I thought was the best performance of the night with a spectacular version of “Uprising.” Really wicked 12 sting guitar and spellbinding special effects were employed during this song using images that were dropping down from the ceiling to connect in place. It resembled a huge game of Tetris. I have no idea how they did that, but it was really cool to watch on HD television.
Mumford & Sons sang an energetic and inspired version of “The Cave.” I enjoyed the vocal harmonies of Lady Antebellum too. I even thought Justin Bieber’s performance with Usher was well done. Psst — don’t tell anyone I said that.
To me, the performance that came across as outdated was the one by Eminem and Dr. Dre. There are only so many ways you can come across as mean, tough, and nasty — been there, seen that. How about moving on and expanding our range, guys. The younger hip-hop performers like Bruno Mars did a much better job without the anger and profanity-laced lyrics.
Katy Perry gave a nice and relatively subdued performance, as did Miranda Lambert. An impromptu tribute to Dolly Parton by John Mayer, Nora Jones, and Keith Urban was fun and very well done.
In the end, it was Arcade Fire who lit up the award show by taking the big prize, by winning Album of the Year honors. They even sang an extra song (“Ready to Start”) after their acceptance speech to conclude the show as a way of saying thank you. Nice touch, gang.
All in all, Sunday night was one the best Grammy Award shows I have seen. I won’t note how many that is, but it’s enough to even scare me. : )
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