I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but here at in a nutshell, we believe a night like the Grammys deserves a gathering. As one of those programs that leaves you marveling, toe tapping, sniffling, tweeting and vigorously mentally jotting down new sounds – this jam-packed event is bound to cause a little conversation and a little action. And so, in true Grammys style, four of the five nuts assembled to take part in our own living room awards show bash – a hilarious night that featured our male correspondent @Bakkesy and his
sidekick partner-in-crime @JamesMay021, as well as outrageous up-to-the-second witty commentary, hilarious cyber-bantering with our Toronto nut, snacks, bevvies and one thousand laughs. And in between all of that, some very interesting things in music happened.
As obviously just a little bit of a music nut, the Grammys are without a doubt my favourite night in television. My thoughts on the evening are best re-iterated through something country veteran Reba McEntire’s noted promptly upon presenting an early performance – how it really is the one evening on television when musicians of all ages, all backgrounds and all genres congregate to celebrate the most powerful thing in the world and, in my mind, the most uniting – music.
So, in order to re-celebrate music’s biggest night from the home front – let’s take a happy peak back at the some of the memorable events that made this monumental 54th Grammy Awards something of a spectacle. If you’re looking for the negative, I’m sure you’ll have no shortage of re-caps to find out any blunders – but in the mean time, here are some of the pleasant happenings:
TOP TEN MEMORABLE 2012 GRAMMY MOMENTS:
1) Jennifer Hudson’s Whitney Houston Tribute: Well, this performance was inevitably bound to cripple every single spectator watching – no matter how black anyone’s lump of coal heart is when it comes to the great vocalist who passed suddenly just one day before the broadcast. Hudson, undoubtedly one of the most talented performers of our generation, took the stage to solemnly perform Houston’s hit single from The Bodyguard’s greatest-selling soundtrack of all time, “I Will Always Love You,” and proved immediately she couldn’t have been a better choice to sing the weighty tribute. Before impeccably bellowing each note, maintaining her composure despite being brought to tears during rehearsals and raising the audience to their feet – Hudson’s initial uttering of the opening “If I should stay…” was already cause to have this blissful tribute go down in history as one of the most powerful ever.
2) Adele’s Straight–Up Sweep of Her Categories: Can we really be surprised? I made the mistake of trying to share the love in my Grammy pool picks, when I should have known better – she is unstoppable and completely deserving following her exemplary year in music. This shining vocalist and humble doll of a performer was the ideal inductee into the megastar Grammy-sweeping hall of fame, winning all six of her nominated categories (including Song and Record of the Year – a rare double-win), and sparkling as that undeniably gigantic voice who might ease the pain of having recently lost another one. Aside from her clean sweep and modest on-stage acceptance speeches, Adele brought the brought the house down during her performance of the reprimanding break-up favourite “Rolling in the Deep” – an effortless act that proved a little throat surgery can’t stop this magnificent new icon.
3) LL Cool J hosting: My appreciation for LL and his ever-present cap? Surprisingly heightened following his calm and collected role as host of this year’s show. As we all observed, he only really introduced artists and presenters briefly – but when he pointed out that “This night is about something universal and healing; this night is about music,” outdated newsboy caps around the world went off to him.
4) Bruno Mars Being Something of a Superstar: I have to say, this little jazzed-up boy wonder and his Doo Wops and Hooligans trendy troop really impressed me. The bullhorn toss, the fancy James Brown-reminiscent footwork, sharp outfits and a whole lot of love for the 60s were only a few of the items that wowed me during the new kid on the block’s pumped-up presentation. Obviously pulling moves and costume looks out of the tickle trunk left over from days as a toddler Elvis impersonator – Mars’ overall new-meets-old concept had us grooving in our seats.
5) Foo Fighters…the first time around: I love the boys of Foo, and pity the Foos who don’t. After decades of absolutely searing stages with thumping drum solos, electric riffs and Dave Grohl’s infinite growl, I love to see that they’re still able to rouse a crowd, young and old, the way they do. Anyone who’s seen them live can attest to their explosive rock execution, and despite the fact that I didn’t think they needed to be on stage four times throughout the show, I was very pleased to see them up there the first time – and a second with our favourite spin-savvy Canadian rodent, DeadMau5.
6) Old Timers For The Win: People are often astonished when some of the more elderly rockers can still bring the masses to their feet, race across stages and rip a guitar solo that someone twenty years their junior might struggle with. I never am. Although I realize that their physicality might be limiting as the years go on (unless you’re Mick Jagger and have chugged from the fountain of muscle elasticity and youth) – the old boys of rock ‘n roll, the founders and the contributors to the greatness of the genre will always have that ability deep-rooted in their soul. Talent like that doesn’t fade; Sir Paul McCartney doesn’t forget those feisty guitar licks from his days as a Beatle or Wing, Joe Walsh and Springsteen absolutely recall how to full-body jam and the Beach Boys don’t overlook how their voices still sound like songbirds when harmonically paired together. And I’m so very thankful for that – for these icons who still grace us with their presence on stage, and help us remember that musical ability and the passion to share it is timeless.
7) Bon Iver Is. The. Champion: Justin Vernon…where do I begin? His breakthrough band, Bon Iver, is one of my greatest musical loves – and until I got to finally see them this past summer, life was really just a tad incomplete. Not only winning Best Alt-Rock album, but beating a slew of trendy new stars like Nicki Minaj and J.Cole to win Best New Artist, Bon Iver humbly thanked a lengthy list of special people including “Katie” (folk goddess girlfriend Kathleen Edwards), the musical talent that couldn’t be there, as well as the voters who he commended for the “sweet hook-up.” Genius musician, hilarious man.
8) Rihanna’s Scorching Performance/Appearance: Men (and women) everywhere were without a doubt zeroed in on RiRi as the “only girl in the world” during both her solo and Coldplay collaboration performance on stage. Stunning attire that unbashfully showed off her banging bod and fashion fearlessness absolutely garnered a few fist pumps out of us ladies; the cherry on top being that her voice sounded top-notch and her feminine confidence was infectious.
9) The Civil Wars Break Onto The Big Stage and Nab Two Wins: Although this powerhouse duo from Nashville, Tennessee are still mildly under the radar – their undeniable country/folk talent and breathtaking debut album are, in my mind, more than enough cause to have them up on that stage (even if only for a brief snippet of their hit song) and winning awards. These two will absolutely stand the test of time, and if you haven’t had the chance to listen to them in full, please do – they’ll twang and two-step you into oblivion.
10) The Boss [pronounced baw-s or bow-s]: Defined as – master of or over; manage; direct; control. Sounds about right. Bruce Springsteen, the best for last, the clear holder of this title and opening act of the big show, was once quoted saying, “We’re here to re-dedicate you to the Power, the Passion, the Mystery and the Ministry of Rock ‘N Roll.” In the Church of LL, who promptly noted that Springsteen still writes his music “for the people,” I only have one response in agreement with Preacher Cool J – Amen.
What was your favourite performance of the night? Grammy Moment? Outfit? Blunder? Exorcist re-enactment? Let us know and comment below! (Rhyming? Maybe next year is my year in the rap category…)