I have to admit that the Grammy telecast for the last couple of years has been pretty good, in spite of some occasional over the top production numbers. I spent a lot of time yesterday on the phone with industry friends deconstructing the show, and came up with a list of who benefited the most from the show–and who didn’t.
Mumford & Sons–they clearly brought the house down. Perhaps the second best performance of the night.
Mick Jagger–the only real pro who showed up. And at his age? Go figure. The evening’s show-stopper.
Bruno Mars–surprising throwback performance. Especially liked his drumming. Let’s just hope he can overcome tweener music and become the real deal.
Esperanza Spalding–will someone please explain to me how a performer who’s had three albums out since 2005 is suddenly New Artist of the Year? But at least everybody knows who she is now.
The Avett Brothers–not as good as Mumford & Sons, but certainly better than Dylan.
Arcade Fire–Can anybody hum one of their songs for me? But at least they’re vibrant.
Lady Madonna, er Gaga–Her big win was the 60 Minutes piece airing right before the telecast. She’s definitely clever and talented even if her new single is an Express Yourself rehash… sort of a mix of Cher, Liberace and Madonna, but can she keep reinventing herself like Madge can?
Seth Rogen–How can you not love this guy?
Aretha Tribute–Definitely not a tribute fit for a Queen. The intro by LLCool J was lame, it should have been a cold opening. Jennifer Hudson outclassed Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, Florence Welch and Christina Aguilera, but the whole thing seemed a little pointless, and Aretha via satellite kissing Clive Davis’ ass was less than exciting. Xtina’s little trip while exiting the stage was a perfect metaphor for her career as of late–Burlesque, Super Bowl, and histrionics.
Jaden Smith–Can’t the Scientologists keep this kid, actually his parents, under control? Enough already.
Barbra Striesand–Not her best showing. She looked old, pasty and fat in a dress that looked like it was made from some old drapery in Buckingham Palace. She’s maybe the greatest female vocalist ever, but her performance seemed just a little off.
Bob Dylan–Even if you could understand what he was singing, it was still horrible. Brought down what started off as a great segment. He’s a historic figure, but do we really need to suffer through this?
Neil Portnow–A very sweet man, but he should keep the speech down to 30 seconds.
Kris Kristofferson–was he hooking up with the KCBS reporter outside the venue?
Katy Perry–overexposed and has sung terribly in a number of recent high profile television appearances. And her new song was a bust. Seems like a nice girl though.
Lady Antebellum–Every time I hear this group I feel like the Manchurian Candidate–I want to grab a gun and start shooting. Should change their name to Lady Antepablum.
Train–even though Pat Monahan is a terrific singer, anybody who references Mister Mister in a song should be following their career path. But at least he gave props to Howard Stern.
Every actor on some crappy CBS series that was crowbarred into the show.