To hear Elton John's voice is always a highlight, but not when it is opposite Lady Gaga. The opening performance of the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards was an interesting choice, but perhaps Elton should have thought twice.
Overall, the Rock & Roll wasn't completely forsaken by this year's award ceremony and it was incorporated in an interesting way, but some viewers will always be left wanting more of the wailing guitars and classic Rock spirit. A shared desire among many classic Rock lovers is that at least every other presenter should be accompanied by a music legend, and not necessarily just from the field of Rock. Yes Ringo Starr was among the presenters, along with others such as Alice Cooper and Santana, but the stage could have and should have been graced by many more founding fathers. Furthermore, the televised ceremony on CBS only features some of the many Grammy-granting categories, and most of the ones concerning Rock are left out. The following categories are some of the ones viewers did not see:
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance went to Bruce Springsteen for “Working On A Dream,” nominated alongside Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Prince and Neil Young.
Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals went to Kings Of Leon for “Use Somebody,” sharing the category with Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood, Coldplay, Green Day and U2.
Best Hard Rock Performance went to AC/DC for “War Machine,” nominated with Alice In Chains, Linkin Park, Metallica and Nickleback.
Best Metal Performance went to Judas Priest for “Dissident Aggressor,” with Lamb Of God, Megadeth, Ministry and Slayer in the same category.
Best Rock Song went to Kings Of Leon for “Use Somebody,” nominated alongside Pearl Jam, U2, Green Day and Bruce Springsteen.
The viewers did get to see Kings Of Leon win Record of the Year for “Use Somebody” and Green Day take home Best Rock Album for 21st Century Breakdown. Of special mention is the Zac Brown Band from our very own Georgia, winning for Best New Artist and later performing their unique country sound on stage, joined by legend Leon Russell on the piano.
The curiosities and “interesting incorporations of 90’s Rock” occurred during Beyonce’s performance, when she broke out into Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know”; and later on during Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It,” when guitarist Slash from Guns N’ Roses came on stage and played that unforgettable solo from the dramatic climax of “November Rain."
An undeniable highlight performance was the three-song medley Bon Jovi played, and being on stage at the Grammys with their instruments strapped on was a first for them. They began with their nominated single “We Weren’t Born To Follow,” continued with their award-winning “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and finished with the absolute classic “Livin’ On A Prayer,” which was voted by the fans online.
We can’t talk about this year’s Grammy Awards without mentioning the tribute to Michael Jackson. It was very touching and the song chosen for it – “The Earth Song” – was larger than life, but the performance by the selected artists didn’t seem to reach that magnitude. It was overwhelming and everyone stood as the Staples Center drowned in applause, but it could have been a much more powerful moment.
The man who we owe the invention of the electric guitar to – founding father Les Paul –passed away in 2009 and tribute was also rendered to him last night. Jeff Bridges (the star of Crazy Heart, a must-see film for all music lovers out there) presented Jeff Beck on the six strings, playing one of Les Paul’s classic tunes.
Another moving moment was the performance of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli as everyone remembered the tragedy in Haiti.
The final winner of the night, Ms. Taylor Swift for Album of the Year, wasn’t very “Rock & Roll,” but let us hope that 2010 will be a promising decade for music and let there be light, sound, drums, guitar and Rock...