GRAMMY Week: High on Life- The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards @ The Staples Center, 1/31/10

After leaving the Pre-Tel, I had about a 30 minute window before the climax of the weekend, the real deal live TV awards show, was to begin. Because I find eating highly overrated when I’m busy, I decided to spend it checking out The Red Carpet.

I walked past all of the onlookers trying to celeb spot, and all of the GRAMMY ticket holders trying to get to the red carpet circus, and walked right past security with that handy All Access pass. Oh, little pass, how I heart thee. Can’t I just have one of these for everything? It would make my life so much easier and my writing much more interesting.

I would liken The Red Carpet at The GRAMMYs to a water slide at a park: easy at the beginning, total chaos in the middle, and a relief to get out at the end. I first approached the exit, where I caught the interesting reactions of people as they emerged from the chaotic, piranha press-filled tunnel. I stood there for a bit, where I’m sure a slew of Glee Idols Dancing With The Jersey Shore types passed me, but since I don’t watch network TV, I was oblivious. Oh, I lied- I did see Andy Samberg because I’m an SNL fan. He was nominated alongside T-Pain for Best Rap/Sung (yeah- I thought it was a typo, too) for ‘I’m on a Boat‘. Hilarious. He’s nerd cute, I kinda wanted to reach out and pinch his cheek.

It was at this point I just happened to run into the marketing person who brought me on for this gig, which was highly fortuitous for she had my ticket to get in…no matter how much I hearted my lil’ pass, it does not get you a seat at the show.

I then decided to venture into media chaos ground zero, like a salmon swimming upstream. But not all the way in, just a little actually, so I wouldn’t see Snooki doing piss poor interviews with my people and be tempted to punt her.

You know, The Red Carpet isn’t really as glamorous as you’d expect. It really is just red carpet, with a tent around it. It gets dirty, there’s traffic, and the stress and ego energy in there is kind of ridiculous. However, I found it to be extremely interesting from my outsider perspective, observing the celebs, their entourages, and the press in their natural habitat.

The first thing I encountered was an offshoot of The Red Carpet called the 360 Glam Cam. It was interesting from a conceptual standpoint- the celeb gets on a platform and a camera spins around and gets a 360 view of the retarded expensive ensemble he or she is wearing. Speaking of, I bet I was the only female on the red carpet with a DIY manicure and Walgreen’s make-up. Maybe one day…

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The next 10 minutes or so are blurry. There was a commotion and I decided to just perch near this area out of people’s ways. I put my back against the tent wall and look up and saw three familiar faces. It was like in Wall-E, when EVE finds the plant life she’s set up to look for. It was Alice in Chains! Well, three of them at least. They were all kind of huddled together laughing about something (perhaps that Snooki failed to know who they are). William DuVall passed by me first, and looked over, as did Mike Inez, and then Sean Kinney. I was all set to say something….’I’m a big fan’…..’I’m sorry you didn’t win earlier’….’I’m excited for your tour where I will be seeing/stalking you over 3 dates’…..or the old standard, ‘I love you, I’ve always loved you, and I will always love you’….but the presence of wives/girlfriends, other entourage members, the fact that I was looking for Cantrell (my faaaavvvvooorriitttee), my lack of eating, and general surprise of actually seeing the very people that I’d been looking for caused me to freeze and smile. I’m really good at the freeze and smile. It’s all for the best.

I was tweeting about my encounter when I heard a familiar voice, and Ringo Starr walked by with a flock of girls. I was impressed but not as impressed as I should have been. I got a blurry pic. And then a huge commotion and here comes Beyonce- actually- Beyonce floats- surrounded by her people (no Jay-Z) and one huge bodyguard who gave me the evil eye because I reached in my bag for something. She got on the Glam Cam platform (where I snapped the pic below of headless Beyonce). I would later see her in 2 other dresses. As that happened, Kathy Griffin walked up and waited to get on the platform. Then I heard Taylor Swift was coming, so I decided to leave.

The second one is blurry Ringo:

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And headless Beyonce!

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I knew the blogger seats would be far away, and that’s totally fine….especially for live tweeting a show I think it’s ideal. But readers here know me….I would sit on the stage if I could….and I had become spoiled during rehearsals. We were above the lights and on the side so that you could see behind the curtains for set up. We really got a bird’s eye view of things, and it turned out well for seeing some things others wouldn’t catch. However, there were two small enclosed pits filled with kids in front of the stage…I caught myself wondering if my lil’ pass could have gotten me in there. Now THAT would have been a good review. “Lady Gaga walked past me and I could see up her….”

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It’s interesting to be at something that has commercial breaks, to hear the countdown for going ‘live’. Whenever there was a commercial break, the screens showed a past GRAMMY performance, usually relating to an upcoming presenter or performer. One time the countdown voice asked for a moment of silence because a stage hand had passed away the night before.

For all but Beyonce’s performance, a split stage was utilized for quick changeover of sets. This meant that while I could see Green Day stretch, Travis Barker warm up his arms, and Butch Walker, who played banjo in Taylor Swift’s set, jump up and down, I couldn’t see anything of the sets on the far side of the stage. So Lady Gaga and the Michael Jackson tribute are still a bit of a mystery.

We also witnessed what could have been a very catastrophic collision of two bars of lights that were being moved around above Lady Antebellum’s setup.

Since you could see better than I could on the telecast, here are my highlights and some things you may have missed:

-Green Day received an award before the show went live…and I couldn’t hear what it was…..

-Nearly 10 minutes before the show went live, a woman who resembled Lady Gaga came out and layed on the stage in front of one of the pits of kids. I thought this was actually Gaga, but it was one of the dancers, I think. 10 minutes is a long time to lay there.

-Colbert’s iPad instigated as many groans as laughs

-J-Lo introducing Green Day’s set was beyond weird

-Beyonce performs Alanis’ ‘You Oughta Know’…but let’s the audience say the F word

-Pink dripping water all over the celebs and their expensive clothes…..I couldn’t believe it…..this was my highlight

-Seeing the Black Eyed Peas live was just as bad as I would expect. I felt like I was watching a kid’s group

-During Lady Antebellum’s set, Lady Gaga was led to her seat, blinding everyone in the entire arena with her silver sparkly Lisa Frank unicorn outfit. I’m not sure how she sat in it, and I felt sorry for her neighbors.

-Robert Downey, Jr. may have gotten the biggest applause of the evening

-Celebs on the floor start coming up to Gaga to have their pics taken, like Mickey Mouse at Disneyland

-Michael Jackson’s kids’ speeches were heartbreaking…”Daddy was gonna be here this year”

-I couldn’t hear Slash at all, which made me sad

-I must not have been able to hear Taylor Swift, either, because I couldn’t tell she was out of tune here or at the rehearsal.

-Quentin Tarantino filled the entire stadium with his intro to the Barker/Drake/Eminem/Lil’ Wayne set

We had to check our cameras upon entry, and in anticipation of the clusterf*ck to pick them up we left without hearing Swift’s Album of the Year speech. It actually was really organized, but then we were shuttled into a huge traffic jam of people going to the official GRAMMY afterparty. It took a while to get in, so I eavesdropped on conversations like a woman saying she just sent Swift’s dad a congratulations text, and he responded saying that she had to be on a plane in two hours to go to Australia. Even if I didn’t recognize these people around me, they were all obviously well connected.

Red Carpet aftermath:

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The party was in the convention center next door; in fact, it was in the very room that the Pre-Tel had been in hours before, but it had been magically transformed into a freaky carnival. It was completely packed with people. Ne-Yo and Jamie Foxx performed first, followed by Sam Moore, inspiration for the Blues Brothers. I stood in line for food behind the guy who wrote some famous rap song. I saw Tia Carrere dancing to BEP, and Nathan Fillion walked by me. I ended my evening actually having a little to drink and eating something, and then dancing a bit to Mr. Moore before calling it a night.

HRC & Carnival dude

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A Waste Management branded area of the party….???

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I walked back to my hotel (NO ONE walks in downtown LA at night..) reflecting on the weekend. About half way back it hit me…HOLY SHIT I JUST WENT TO THE GRAMMYS! And it wasn’t as someone’s date, it was on my own accord. More on that soon.

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