First of all, that opening speech given by LL Cool J... I know I've been an emotional mess lately, but was anyone else touched by the suggestion that its never too late to follow your dreams? Ugh. Call me crazy, I still have hope. Also, everyone must be as excited as I am about Justin Timberlake, right? If you're not, don't kid yourself. Forget the sexy, he's just bringing music back in general. I can't wait to YouTube some of these awesome performances. Be sure to tell me which performance you loved in the comments!
Taylor Swift "We're Never Ever Getting Back Together"
Oh T Swift, why the theatrics? You rose to fame with your catchy, sensitive country music. Here's a tip: You're better off with a guitar onstage than you are with crazy clowns and circus freaks dancing around you. Also, I think your song would resonate more if you weren't dating the entire young male population. Final Grade: C+
Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran "The A Team"
I'll be completely honest. I have no freaking idea who this kid is. But if he gets to play with the great Sir Elton John, he must be somebody. Speaking of which... love the shiny blazer and matching blue tinted glasses and shirt. Ahh... the sweet, simple sounds of a piano and guitar-- my favorite kinda music. Final Grade: B
Fun. "Carry On"
Yes, I still stand by the claim that I discovered Fun. way before anyone else. This song got me through a lot of dark days. I'm not sure why the audience wasn't more into it, the band was clearly good. I always appreciate a performance that doesn't let the sound drown out their voices. Plus points for performing while water was raining down on them. Final Grade: B+
Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley "Over You" and "Home"
Was there something wrong with the feedback? It felt like the singers couldn't hear themselves at all singing “Over You.” Such a shame, coz it’s a really a sweet song. Love Dierks Cutie though. What is it about male country singers in jeans, leather jackets, and a guitar? It’s like they’re yee-hawing for my heart. Final Grade: C+
Miguel and Wiz Khalifa "Adorn"
Holy crap. Those suits were tripping me out. Love the song choice, especially because it highlights Miguel's singing ability. I don't think I've ever heard him sing so well on an awards show. But then they cut the performance short to present Best Country Solo Performance? The hell? I feel cheated. I wanted more. Final Grade: B
Mumford & Sons "I Will Wait"
Every awards show needs a banjo. Love that everyone was playing an instrument during this performance. Respect. It's like the most awesome jam session ever. No extra fuss, just about the music. Final Grade: A
Justin Timberlake and Jay Z "Suit & Tie"
Love the Black and White effects. God, who doesn't miss seeing JT sing that falsetto and dance? Oh what!? Hova coming out from the audience. Like I didn't know he was gonna come out! Still, loved his entrance. I aint gonna lie, I was dancing in my living room to this whole performance. Gotta love all the suits and a string orchestra. The candid shots of the piano player jammin along didn't hurt either. Final Grade: A+
Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys "Daylight" and "Girl On Fire"
I am not a huge fan of either of these songs. But props to Alicia for killing it on the drums. Both songs actually collaborate pretty well and the breakdown at the end is the highlight of the performance. Also, love the all black everything wardrobe. And if B, Jigga, and Solange are boppin their heads, you know it was a good performance. Final Grade: B+
Rihanna and Mikki Ekko "Stay"
Holy crap. Brave choice for Rhi Rhi to sing a ballad but I gotta say... it was pretty damn amazing. I can't say I wasn't thinking about her tumultuous relationship with Chris Breezy during this song, but hell if I don't give credit where it’s due. This performance showed the girl has range most people probably never knew she had. Didn't hurt that she looked gorgeous up there too. Final Grade: A
The Black Keys “Lonely Boy”
Ahh, another band I swear I liked before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon. The homie on keyboard wearing a Native American suit just bumped this whole performance a letter grade. Loved the jazz band and electric guitar. Final Grade: B+
Kelly Clarkson "Tennessee Waltz” and “Natural Woman”
There's only one true American Idol and it’s my girl, Kelly. Her voice accompanied by piano and a guitar is absolutely beautiful. Tackling Patti Page and Carole King! God. I had tears in my eyes. Kids, this is what pure music is. Learn from your elders. Songs like these are good for the soul and come straight from the heart. Final Grade: A+
Bruno Mars & Sting "Locked Out Of Heaven"
FML, I had this song stuck in my head all day today and I wanted it gone! But okay, I'll admit, I kinda dig it. Just not when its played every frickin' hour on the radio. But who can deny it when Sting comes out and joins the party?! Love that he's the token white guy up there. Final Grade: B+
Bruno Mars, Sting, Rihanna, the Marleys "Could You Be Loved"
Most entertaining performance of the night! Ellen getting down in the audience says it all. Rihanna's sparkly, beige, bare-midriff outfit - sexy! If you didn't get up and start stomping, then you need a little more fun in your life. I just flashbacked to my youthful nights at Mai Tai bar. Finale Grade: A+
The Lumineers "Ho Hey"
I definitely love all the folksy love at this year's awards show. But, even if I love this catchy tune just as much as your average hipster, I really didn't need to see T Swift singing along to it. Just lost a letter grade for that alone. Final Grade: B-
Jack White “Love Interruption”
WTF was that?! As confused as I am about that performance, I couldn't help but watch. Now here's a guy who knows his craft well enough to try some crazy ish like that. And at the Grammys! Bonus points for smashing the guitar in true rock star fashion and quite possibly dropping the F bomb. Final Grade: A-
Hunter Hayes “Wanted”
Well, not much to say here. I like this song but the performance was meh. Pretty enough snippet, but the poor kid was cut short. Finale Grade: C
Carrie Underwood “Blown Away”
Okay, so there may be one other really good American Idol winner and that would be Carrie Underwood. I do appreciate the register in her voice. And homegirl sure can hold a note. But did we really need the special effects on her dress? It looked cool but it totally took away from Carrie’s pristine voice. Final Grade: B-
Zac Brown Band, Sir Elton John, Mavis Staples, Mumford & Sons, Brittany Howard “The Weight”
God, how awesome would it have been to see this live!!!?! If you didn’t feel the soul in this one, I feel sorry for you. I’m not gonna lie, I was hella grooving and adding my own riffs by the end. Mavin Staples growling and all! Final Grade: A++
Juanes “Your Song”
Um… I’m sorry, I love this song, but I have no idea why this creepy man started singing it. The guitar playing was nice though. Final Grade: D+
Frank Ocean “Forrest Gump”
Here’s the thing… I can appreciate Mr. Ocean’s music but it’s not particularly my favorite. Mainly because I would probably only listen to it if I’m really depressed or kinda trying to go to sleep! I love his sincerity and I thought the effects were cool, but it was just okay for me. Bonus points of the whistling at the end. Final Grade: B-
LL Cool J & Friends “Whaddup”
You can’t blame the guy for wanting a little musical attention. With a little help from Travis Barker, Tom Morello, and Chuck D, the finale is pretty rad. Definitely a good way to close the show. Love the nod to Beastie Boys No Sleep Till Brooklyn. Final Grade: A
So, while I go re-enact some of those moving performances in my room, tell me… What were your favorite performances?