The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards: Pre-Telecast, Telecast, and Afterparty @ LA Convention Center & Staples Center, 2/12/12
Every day should start with someone knocking on your door to do hair and makeup.
I’d never really had this kind of treatment done for any event…but within my mantra to live every day like it’s the last, I decided to go all out this year. So I had the perfect dress, the perfect shoes, the perfect made up face and the perfect ‘do. Some girls live for their wedding days…for me, it’s the big show.
My friend, hip hop artist Ivan Ives, took photos of my dress earlier in the week…and put together this video…which makes me look WAY COOLER than I actually am!
I squeezed in an interview before heading off to the Pre-Tel, where most of the awards are given. It was a much shorter show this year due to the category scale down and some winners not being there to accept. As we sat third row, just right of center, I looked to my right: Tony Bennett is sitting the next row over. Behind me: Dave Grohl, chewing gum. WHY AM I SITTING IN FRONT OF THEM?!
This is the beauty of the Pre-Tel…it’s like a high school awards ceremony where your classmates are all the best musicians and producers on the planet. And me and the other genre bloggers are the nerdy staff for the high school paper, coming early and sitting at the front trying to feel like a part of it all.
The Rock categories appropriately come at the end of the Pre-Tel…but I found a few rock-related elements early on. Skrillex won several GRAMMYs right away- while he was winning for dubstep music, his background is actually in metal. Joyce DiDonato, an opera singer, showed us how the voice is an instrument…which oddly enough, made me think of the flip side to this, the low, guttural death metal vocals that are a part of a lot of the music I listen to.
The first Foo Fighters win was for Best Long Form Music Video…and they continued to clean up with wins in Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album. They had so many wins in a row that they ran out of things to say at the podium. While I think Foo Fighters are a great rock band- especially for being as mainstream as they are- I was really rooting for Mastodon to win that Hard Rock/Metal category. Now that Hard Rock and Metal are combined again, it might shut out the harder metal bands that had been taking home wins in the recent past.
Off to the telecast, I sat behind the stage in the media room watching performers and set pieces go on and off the stage. While I’ve never really understood the allure of Bruce Springsteen…I was happy that the show started off with a rock performance- and it was particularly cool to see Sir Paul McCartney rocking out in the audience to it. Fun HRC fact: once upon a time I was set to work on an online project with Little Steven and signed a contract next to his name…but it didn’t pan out.
The Foo Fighters performed in a tent outside, and as I sat there wishing I were in that tent, I noticed that Dave Grohl was wearing a SLAYER shirt. Now, after posting about this, the metal community were divided- half thought it was really cool like I did, the other half seemed oddly put off. I think it’s great that Grohl gave a nod to Slayer on such a large platform as the telecast, especially after winning in the metal category as Slayer has done before.
The newly reunited Beach Boys sang “Good Vibrations” together. People are often surprised when I tell them that Pet Sounds is one of my all time favorite albums, but that’s where psychedelic sounds started to emerge.
I may listen to black metal, but your soul is truly dead if you weren’t at least somewhat touched by Adele’s performance of “Rolling in the Deep”. The stripped down performance that highlighted the core of the song, coupled with the emotion in her eyes and the slight sassiness in parts of it was something I really connected with.
I didn’t think it was possible, but the In Memoriam portion of the show was even more morose this year, considering the death of Whitney Houston the day before. Yes- Jani Lane was missing as many rockers pointed out. The segment ended with Jennifer Hudson performing “I Will Always Love You”, something that had come together in less than 24 hours.
Spirits were lifted with a montage of performances out in the good times tent- it started with Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and David Guetta and went into the Foo Fighters and Deadmau5. Rap, rock, and electronica all converging under one tent…I may not be a fan of certain parts of those acts, but collectively it made me want to be out there!!
I’m not really sure what to say about that Nicki Minaj performance…except that it made me think of seeing Ghost the week before….and that’s alright by me.
At the afterparty, which was mardi gras themed, we celebrated surviving music’s biggest night while Kenny Loggins and OneRepublic played the stage. My phone was tired from incessant tweeting, my feet hurt from nights of heeled torture, my body was lamenting the lack of sleep and food it had been given…but ultimately, I was extremely happy with my GRAMMY week experience this year. And the following day, we’d find out that the social media team had broken all sorts of records!
Til next year…