Last night, the 54th Annual Grammy Awards were held. There were performances by big names including the night's big winner, Adele, who took home six trophies. In what we hope will be an annual trend, Bon Iver won Best New Artist and, like Esperanza Spalding last year, nobody knows who the hell they are. It was an interesting night, so without further ado, the highlights from last night's awards.
1. Opens with a prayer for Whitney Houston, accompanied by a speech about “the power of music” and the first of many gratuitous Adele shout-outs.
2. Chris Brown dancing and lip-synching on top of what can best be described as a replica of the Aggro Crag from Nickelodeon GUTS.
3. Rihanna doing her best Courtney Love impression, dressed in a long denim vest and tights, and black lipstick and looking strung out on..something. The monotonous “We Found Love” doesn’t lend well to the stage, although a bevy of torch-holding back-up dancers help to inject a little energy into what is essentially a frat-pop song.
4. Coldplay performing against a black-lit wall of graffiti no doubt rooted in politicisms (or, more likely, that part of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass Video”).
5. Adele performing a spot-on rendition of Rolling in the Deep, which sounds especially impressive considering she just had vocal surgery. Not suprisingly, she gets a standing ovation.
6. Pre-telecast, Tony Bennett picks up a Grammy for the record he cut with Amy Winehouse. Amy’s parents join Tony onstage, and for once, the most commercial music program on television gets some heart.
7. The Beach Boys sharing the stage with—wait for it—Foster the People and Maroon 5.
8. Bon Iver wins the Best New Artist Grammy, hipsters everywhere prepare to donate their copies of For Emma, Forever Ago to Goodwill. Justin Vernon says he’s uncomfortable, and the rest of us can tell: He responds to the news with as much confused enthusiasm as you would expect from a six year old hearing the truth about the Tooth Fairy from his friends for the first time.
9. The Nokia theatre turns into a rave, complete with David Guetta, Lil Wayne (donning a pair of slippers that looks like it was pulled directly from the corpse of a muppet) and Chris Brown. But wait! The Foo Fighters come back for a performance of their hit song “Walk,” and just when you think you’re watching a standard rock performance, deadmau5 appears to do... DJ stuff? Too bad Daft Punk didn’t show up.
10. Nicki Minaj delivers easily the most entertaining performance of the night: an Excorcism-inspired opening video, a lavish stage setup designed to look like a Gothic Cathedral, and an insanity-tinged role play of Minaj’s character, Roman Zolanski. There’s even an excorcism halfway through, in which Minaj appears to float 10 feet above the stage. The only shame is the ending: The whole thing just kind of ends, with no thank-yous, bows or anything. Still, the best performance of the night.
11. Adele wins Album of the Year, Record of the year, AND Song of the Year, as pretty much every music blog in the country predicted. Not bad for a set of songs inspired by a complete d-bag.
Bonus: Taylor Swift's performance that looked like a set from the Les Miz movie she isn't in and Deadmau5 wore that stupid mouse hat and a t-shirt with Skrillex's personal cell phone number.