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February 2009
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2009 Grammy Award Show Review

  

Katy Perry - Where's she hiding that banana?

Katy Perry - Where's she hiding that banana?

   In recent years I had given up on watching the Grammy awards so I was determined to watch this years show. The one thing that I’ve always enjoyed about the Grammy awards is the live performances by the nominees. As a live musician myself I enjoy seeing who can pull it off and who can’t. I always find it interesting that the weakest performances of the night come from the current years pop sensation. This year the weak performance award has to go to Katy Perry. She’s sort of cute but she has to hate the fact that her big hit is about a faux lesbian encounter. She looked quite uninspired although I did laugh out loud when she came riding down to the stage in a gigantic banana! Ha ha! Phallic symbol alert for Katy. I’m sure it was intentional.

   Another performance that had me scratching my head and saying “What the hell?” was the pairing of the Jonas Brothers with music legend Stevie Wonder. I’m sure glad Stevie is blind because watching the Jonas Brothers pretend to be rock gods was stomach turning. I felt so sorry for the poor Les Paul Custom guitar that Jonas boy was beating on and pretending to be playing. It was sad really. Miley Cyrus was also quite irritating although Taylor Swift sounded quite good. There’s something about Miley’s voice that’s grating to me.

   There were some performances I really liked. First of all, who is that killer female guitar player that was ripping off those sweet solos behing Carrie Underwood? Carrie sucked but her guitarist was excellent. I wish they would have had the guitar more prominantly in the mix. That’s another gripe I had all night long is the poor mix on everything. There always seemed to be one or two really loud instruments and then a bunch of instruments that disappeared in the mix. Horns were very hard to hear all night long.

   I totally dug Radiohead’s performance with the USC marching band. They played their song “Step” from the In Rainbows album. Who knew how well that song could translate for marching band? Again though, the band was mixed very quiet and Johnny Greenwood’s guitar was very high up in the mix. Not a bad mix but I would have liked to hear more of the marching band since it was so unique.

   As always, it was really cool to see Paul McCartney there and he got a lot of respect from the artists there. His performance of “Saw Her Standing There” was good but I’m sure he would have liked to have been playing one of his new songs. It was fun watching Dave Grohl beat the hell out of the drums behind Paul McCartney. That must have been fun, I’m sure The Beatles would have been a totally different band with Dave on the drums instead of Ringo.

   Coldplay did well and I like their album Viva La Vida a lot. I just don’t particularly like that song. I think Viva La Vida is the weakest song on the entire album. I think “Lost” is a much better song and would have liked to have heard them give it a better treatment. I have another gripe about Coldplay’s performance of Viva La Vida. It looked to me like they were just playing along mostly with backing tracks. That’s really boring for us live musicians when we want to see people play for real. At least the singing was live. Of course they could have just been victims of a poor mix as well.

   Jennifer Hudson blew me away. That woman can really sing and it was awesome to listen to her. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss did well and I really enjoyed their live performance. I loved the guitar sound that T-Bone had with those Fender amps. I have to say that I feel like “Raising Sand” is a bit overrated but it was nice to see them beat Coldplay for Album Of The Year. I think it should have gone to Radiohead but how could the music industry award a band that completely circumvented the music industry to market and sell their album. I still say bravo Radiohead, stick it to the industry!

   M.I.A. scared the crap out of me, I thought she was gonna pop up there! She was pregnant and was due to deliver the day of the show. Now I don’t have a problem with a pregnant woman up there performing but that see through, sheer onesie she was wearing was questionable at best. I haven’t listened to Adele’s album but I did enjoy her live performance although I wasn’t blown away.  Lil’ Wayne was fun to watch and I think he definitely deserved Rap Album Of The Year.

   All in all it was a decent Grammy awards and it was made bearable by my DVR and it’s ability to skip the hours of commercials. I still would have liked to see AC/DC or The Eagles perform. Maybe next year.



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