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U2 rocks, while Kid
Rock, uh, doesn’t. And then there’s Lil Wayne, Coldplay, Kanye, Sugarland, Sir
Paul, Katy Perry….
By Scott Crawford
U2 start the night off with Bono and mates playing with a
jumbotron flashing each line of lyrics to “Get On Your Boots’ as they’re sung—kind of like a hi-tech
version of “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Kind of.
Whitney Houston is the first presenter of the evening for
best R&B Album. Hoping Al Green wins here. Is it me or is she
over-enunciating like you do when you’re drunk and don’t want anyone else to
know. Jennifer Hudson wins it.
Um, the Rock is the next presenter. Man those chompers of
his are white. He makes creepy Katie Perry kissing jokes, Crickets are heard
chirping somewhere in the aisles.
Al Green with Justin Timberlake doing “Let’s Stay
Together.” Timberlake looks star-struck. He should be.
Chris Martin from Coldplay starts tinkling the first notes
to “Lost” at a piano….Jay-Z appears! My god the sound is bad. Who the hell is
mixing this broadcast? Jay-Z leaves and martin joins his bandmates for a
rousing version of “Viva la Vida.”
Carrie Underwood is rocking out-fuck! Who’s that
guitar player? She can rock it. Clearly, I need guitar lessons. I’m humbled.
Lee Ann Rimes and Sheryl Crow present the Grammy for
best country performance. Sugarland win and proceed to thank everybody in the
industry including um, Paul McCartney.
The use of Cat Power’s “Space Oddity” cover for
commercial is a highlight so far.
Duffy and AL Green announce the winner of the Song of
the Year category (surprise!) Coldplay “Viva La Vida” …
Kid Rock-wait, is he getting socially conscious on
us? Where’s the wifebeater and the beer? Kid Rock goes heartland rock
with “Amen.” Then breaks into Skynyrd’s “Sweet
Home Alabama” and
references Billy Powell. Have to admit it, the band kinda rocks—even if the
Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus together for the first
time! Miley needs to dial down the dramatic gestures. Swift is playing it
perfectly. Great poise.
Best Pop Collaboration: Plant and Krauss as winners
are no surprise here. Krauss looks smashing. Plant looks like
Plant—meaning he looks great (80s perm and all). Krauss remains silent while
Plant accepts the award. It feels like they might sweep tonight.
Jennifer Hudson performance. What a voice. What a
Stevie Wonder with a talkbox kicks off the Jonas
Brothers set and plays throughout. Certainly not lacking in energy (or
screaming fans) the Brothers finish up with a painfully vanilla version of
Blink 182 take the opportunity to announce that
“they’re back” as they read “Best Rock Album” nominees. Coldplay
win (again). What’s up with the Sgt. Peppers garb? And Chris Martin says “he’s
hoping to not tear up”. Thankfully, he doesn’t.
Nominee Katy Perry stumbles through her nauseating “I
Kissed a Girl” hit. While she must’ve sung this number a million times, Perry
looks more like an awkward teenager singing along and making her own YouTube
video. Hey, I’m no choreographer, but are your backup dancers supposed to show
you up? Looking like part (way) off-the-strip Vegas show and Britney at the
2008 MTV Awards, Perry might wanna go back to bible class. Mercy.
Kanye rocks it (with a Rockefeller-style trim) and
introduces the Best New Artist and Adele wins it. She thanks fellow nominees
Duffy and the Jonas Brothers (while rolling her eyes). Crowd laughs. So do I.
Morgan Freeman introduces “his friend” Kenny Chesney
who proceeds to play. Yes, he’s wearing The Hat.
Record of the Year introduced by Natalie Cole by Sean
Combs and Herbie Hancock. Plant and Krauss win again. Hey there’s T-Bone. Will
Krauss speak? Nope, Plant hands the mike to Burnett whose response is short and
sweet. Can you say awkward? I just did. Man, I wanted MIA to win this one.
Queen Latifah presents the “Lifetime Achievement
Award to Dean Martin. She introduces the “Rap Pack” while a VERY pregnant MIA
(in a Minnie-Mouse getup) starts off the montage “Swagger” followed By
Kanye, Jay Z, TI, and Lil’ Wayne. It’s a minor miracle MIA’s water didn’t
break—her hips were on fire.
Actress Kate Beckinsale introduces Sir Paul
McCartney. He proceeds to blow through “I Saw Her Standing There” with his Hofner
bass (and Dave Grohl behind the drumkit) in hand. Not bad. Not exactly inspired
Jack Black and his father-in-law Charlie Haden walk
out together to present the best Male Pop vocal. Award goes to John Mayer .
Sugarland and Adele are next up on the roster. Singer
belongs on American Idol. That’s not
necessarily a dis (though it my book it is). Adele and Sugarland share the
stage and tradeoff vocal histrionics. Snore.
Gwyneth Paltrow introduces the one and only
Radiohead. The curtains come up to reveal the band and a monstrous
orchestra—including at least a half a dozen drummers. Yorke cavorts around the
stage in what could arguably be the most avant number the Grammys
have ever televised.
Baritone throated-phenom Josh Groban introduces
Neil Diamond who waltzes through “Sweet Caroline” to a fairly responsive
The tributes: I love this part. Always gets the lump
in the throat all excited. Hey, I didn’t know Larry “The Father of
Christian Rock” Norman
Sorry, I know John Mayer now spends more time trying
to prove what a shredder he is than trying to shack up with paparazzi-obsessed
starlets, but his continual need to share the stage with established blues
players like BB King (and Keith Urban?!) just plain grates.
Lil Wayne pays tribute to Hurricane Katrina victims
with Robin Thicke. Nice Alan Toussaint and Terence Blanchard appearance at the
end. Thicke should’ve stayed home…
Lil Wayne wins best Hip Hop Award for “Tha Carter
The lovely Zooey Deschanel comes and introduces Plant
and Krauss. Plant still has the moves. They win for Album of the Year.