The 2010 Grammy Awards were a very interesting spectacle this year. At times it was entertaining, at times it was boring and predictable. The live performances overall were actually quite good and there were some great ones as well as some real duds. Since this is Live Musician Central, we’ll be reviewing the live performances more than the actual winners.
One of the best performances of the night for me was the Les Paul tribute by Jeff Beck and Imelda May. Their performance of the Les Paul/Mary Ford classic “How High The Moon” was simply excellent. Jeff’s guitar was one of the few lead guitars that was actually properly mixed for the evening. Another of my favorite performances was Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige singing Bridge Over Troubled Water. Andrea Bocelli’s voice was simply amazing.
I’m not a big fan of the Dave Matthews Band but their live performance was excellent and I really enjoyed the song. Likewise, I’m not a big Zac Brown fan but again his performance was excellent and he really wailed on the guitar at the end of their performance. It was a good pairing having Leon Russel up there with him.
Beyonce’ was the biggest winner of the night and let’s face it, the lady can sing. She is just a really excellent singer who is beautiful too. She has the whole package just working for her. Her performance was excellent but I did think that covering Alanis Morissette’s song You Oughta Know was beneath her.
Above average performances were give by Lady Gaga who did surprise me with her musicianship again while performing with Elton John. It’s too bad she’s adamant about keeping up the freakshow image but it’s selling so I guess I can’t blame her for doing it. Pink’s Cirque Du Soleil act was also a pleasant surprise. She was beautiful and the dripping wet acrobat act was fairly entertaining.
The cast of American Idiot performing with Green Day was interesting and yet a bit sad. What has happened to Punk Rock that it’s come to this? Punk Rock being sung as Broadway show tunes just doesn’t work for me. I want guitar, bass, drums and bad singing with my Punk Rock thank you very much! Sex Pistols we miss you sooo much.
The Black Eyed Peas gave a good performance but all of the backing tracks and pitch correction really took away from the live feel. You can tell they’re rappers at heart and not singers and the weak singing that did make its way through during their performance of “I Gotta Feeling” was proof enough of that. Still, they put on a very good show.
The rap number with Lil’ Wayne, Eminem, Drake and Travis Barker was ruined by the censors. It may have been good but who could tell with all the audio dropouts. Too bad the boys can’t clean up the cuss words for just one song. The Jamie Foxx number with T-Pain was again ruined by pitch correction software. You can’t really call that live performance although to T-Pain’s credit, that is his personal style and he admits it.
Bon Jovi’s performance was predictable and somewhat dull. It was notable the he didn’t even try to hit the high notes during the chorus of “Livin’ On A Prayer”. I guess age steals from all heavy metal vocalists. I do have to admit that keeping the Bon Jovi songs to one verse and chorus was perfect and that all his songs should probably be that long as a rule.
A shockingly bad performance was given by Taylor Swift. She was so out of tune while singing with Stevie Nicks that I was just waiting for Stevie to walk off the stage. At least Stevie had the class and professionalism to stick it out even though Stevie didn’t seem to know all the words to the Taylor Swift song “You Belong With Me”. I thought it was another perfectly lame Grammy moment when Taylor Swift, the most out-of-tune singer of the evening, won Album Of The Year.
Speaking of Taylor Swift, what’s up with her lame acceptance speeches? I mean saying things like “When we were in 2nd grade dreaming of winning a Grammy…”. I know when I was in 2nd grade I was dreaming of recess and watching cartoons after school. I certainly wasn’t aware there was anything called a Grammy Award. I know she’s young but c’mon, let’s show some professionalism.
I did like the fact that Kings Of Leon won Record Of The Year. That was one they actually got right. It was a little disappointing that the band came across as a bunch of drunk high school boys during their acceptance speech though.
The Michael Jackson tribute was a big letdown as well. The 3-D imagery was fun but the performance was underwhelming. I would have liked to have seen more film of Michael himself instead of hearing the cheap plugs to buy his DVD of This Is It. I will say it was touching to see Prince Michael pay tribute to his Father.
Overall, I think it was a better Grammy Awards Show in 2010 than that total beast they had in 2009. Still, I don’t think I’m going to watch the Grammy’s next year.