I didn’t know what dress I was going to wear until the last minute.
I brought options…none expensive, none extravagant, just cute simple dresses with a little rock ‘n’ roll flair. But after 2.5 days of this…I chose the one that was comfortable, because my day was starting at 11am and wouldn’t end until past midnight.
As soon as I got to the hotel lobby it hit me. I saw guys in tuxes, girls in gowns, limos all over the place. I decided to walk (yes, I walk in LA…no one else does) to the Staples Center to see what was going on until the Pre-Tel awards, where most of my genre’s awards would be handed out.
On my way I passed The Standard, where LMFAO, presenters at the Pre-Tel, were in the parking lot taking pictures with their lady friends. It kind of felt like everyone was going to prom or something.
I decided to go see if any rehearsals were going on. I just so happened to walk in when Bon Jovi was rehearsing, which was pretty surreal since the entrance security let me through practically had me walk onto the side of the stage. ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’…I feel like I’ve heard so many people karaoke that song over the years that it felt new with the real guy singing it.
So a friend of a friend is Green Day’s tour manager, and I had tried to meet up with him when GD rehearsed on Friday, but I was working on GRAMMY Live stuff and couldn’t. So I shot him a text to see if today worked. ‘Come down to the dressing rooms’. OK….this is a test of the pass. Just how All Access is my All Access pass? Well, paired with a smile and a text message with instructions, that thing got me everywhere. I finally figured out that I needed to take an elevator down and then descend deep into the depths of the Staples Center. Then I came to The Hallway. On my left, Pinks’ dressing room, on my right, Lil’ Wayne. Whoaaaaa……don’t make eye contact, look like you belong. Where is GD???……luckily it was less than halfway down the busy hallway where all the real magic happens. I stood there waiting to meet the TM, tapping on my phone but getting distracted by all of the commotion- Mary J. Blige walked down the hall completely surrounded by people. Once I start chatting with the TM, the door in front of us opened, and out walked Elton John in a burgundy track suit. Even the TM paused and goes, ‘well, there’s Elton John!’. It was weird. On my way out, I wanted one little pic for proof I had been down there, but there were security EVERYWHERE, so I slyly snapped a shot of one of the oodles of equipment lined up to go onstage: Lady Antebellum’s drums….zzzzzzz BORING!
It was about time for the Pre-Tel awards to start, but I wanted to sneak another peak at rehearsals, because by the people I saw shuffling around in the dressing rooms, it was someone I might wanna see. So in I go again, and there is Travis Barker, Drake, and Eminem…..and I’m pretty sure Lil’ Wayne had a stand in (the person had a hoodie on). I had thought maybe it would be Slash’s set, but this was actually awesome, too. I used to be really into Eminem, and this was like my own private little show as I sat in what would later be Jason Mraz’s seat bobbing my head to Eminem dancing around on stage in front of me….everyone else not paying attention.
I tore myself away to run across the street to the convention center. There had been security around the whole time, but it was starting to get tighter, and it took a while to get in. I passed through the reception area, where a few unidentifiable to me rocker looking types were grabbing drinks. I made my way into the ceremony, which was already underway.
The room was full of regular banquet chairs, and open seating allowed people to sit with the large groups of people they came with. I sat in the back since my genre wasn’t until the end. A group in front of me won Best Broadway album, and another won Best Hawaiian album….perhaps I was a good luck charm. But it was interesting to see the reactions firsthand.
I also learned that it’s kinda sad to sit around people who just lost.
Since this would be my moment to potential see some of ‘my’ artists, I decided to wander back into the reception area. Just as I walked out, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth was walking in, so I nodded at him. I grabbed a water and perched somewhere to watch. I didn’t see anyone, so I went back inside and took a seat when I got a message from MissMusicNerd, who had some seats open up near her in the third row center. So I went all the way up there and grabbed one.
There were a lot of winners not there to receive their awards in person, so I began to think no one really shows up. I was really surprised when Taylor Swift won her first GRAMMY (of many to come) for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and walked up on stage from a seat BEHIND US. Whoa. Same goes for India.Arie (who had one of the best speeches ever….she brought her mom on stage, who made her dress….and her purse…the night before!) and Maxwell.
There was something really awesome and unpretentious about this part of the awards. Perhaps it was the open seating, the larger groups of friends and family, and the lack of live TV constraints that made everyone seem more relaxed and real.
Tia Carrere was a host. Just like I can never think of Jeff Goldblum as anything but The Fly, she will always be Wayne’s World to me. Also, there’a a band in Austin called Tia Carrere.
There were some performances between the blocks of awards. Charlie Wilson was very entertaining, with scantily clad violinists behind him that transitioned into colorful suits for a dance number.
Beast also had an interesting performance- the were nominated for Best Short Form Video, so the played in front of a backdrop of the video.
Only two artists who won in my genres were present. Phoenix nabbed Best Alternative Album, and had a very excited group on the far right side. They came to the stage with an extra person in tow who seemed to be filming them with a Flip camera. In their heavy French accents, they graciously thanked everyone.
Best Metal Performance went to Judas Priest. I was shaking my head in disbelief when Scott Travis and Rob Halford come running up to the microphone. Then I got excited. MY PEOPLE! He talked about…well, see it for yourself:
And there’s this:
When he said “….heavy metal fans…this is for you”…I threw some horns high in the air, and yes, the people behind me snickered.
I ducked out as soon as the rock genre was over….and it seemed most of the rock guys were, too. People were grabbing Halford for photos, and I’m pretty sure one of the Lamb of God guys walked over and congratulated him.
I kept looking for Alice in Chains, but they were nowhere to be found.
And off to the real deal I went. To be continued…
I’ll have a post up soon with my reactions to the winners in the Rock and Alternative categories.