Just like the world’s most powerful music couple, the Grammys appear to be “Drunk in Love.’ The 56th annual Grammy music awards turned into a love fest like no other. It was unconditional love for the industry sure as all award ceremonies are but this event threw their arms around the world and gave everyone a huge hug. It didn’t matter straight or gay, black, white or Pink. The Grammys love you. Even if you are a robot. Check that. Especially if you are a robot.
TV’s best awards show set another high bar with the most talked about wedding of the year, a dazzling rock-obatics display and two of the most anticipated reunions of all time. It amounted to a love fest so genuine in its appreciation of music that it brought the only remaining members of The Beatles and The Lost Highwaymen together for if not dynamic performances at least enduring ones.
Sure there was plenty to poke fun at including Madonna’s Colonel Sanders’ impression and Taylor Swift’s lets just say unique dance moves, the evening overall presented music as a singular language in all its incarnations. The night is an endless arcade of did you see that moments followed by ‘do people really like that noise’ rattlings. You do have to love an awards show where they give more awards away off camera than on.
The evening started with the musical power couple of all time. Beyoncé and her renaissance husband Jay Z opened the night with a mash up of her “Drunk in Love” from her self-titled album. (An album by the way that will more than likely sweep next year’s awards since it was released too late for consideration and well it’s Beyoncé). The song set the thematic tone for the night as love was truly in the air and that became obvious with the evening’s first award. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (the duo that recently performed in Vail) took home the Best New Artist “sippy cup” mostly for their “Same Love”- a song about well all love being the same. The award set the tone for what was about to come.
There was the black finger nailed Lorde all of 17 years old projecting humility as she walked away with two trophies for her in your face slam on pretentiousness “Royals.” Then the love those electric boots trailer trash love of rising country star Kacey Musgraves as well as the ‘you’re beautiful no you’re beautiful ‘dueling pianos of the legend Carole King and star on the rise Sara Bareille s.
By far the most prominent pairings of the night were the reunions. It was love lost love found for Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as performer after performer mentioned their presence in the room with deep appreciation, admiration and dare I say love? It was nice to have McCartney not rest on his laurels and perform a tight version of the stand out “Queenie Eyes” from his latest album and then there was Ringo struggling through “Photograph” -a song about well love even if unrequited. Then the remaining members of the super group Lost Highwaymen originally featuring Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson plus the late Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash performed a medley for the ages with Blake Shelton and Merle Haggard (the original Okie from Muskogee) aptly filling in. Their man love for each other was most evident as they traded barbs and guitar riffs. Even down to Nelson’s smug laugh when Haggard sang he don’t smoke marijuana.
But with all this human admiration and mutual love the night’s big awards went to a pair of robots so they want us to believe. There was robot love in the air as the musical duo Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo better known as Daft Punk danced away with the night’s two big awards for their album “Random Access Memories” capping a huge evening for one of the record’s main collaborators Pharrel Williams. And of course you just had to love his hat.