January is and has always been a blur because of the Grammy Awards for me. Once again this year I had the privilege of working on the show and taking advantages of the perks that come with an all access pass. Starting out on Friday and witnessing the unannounced (even though everyone knew it was going to happen) performance rehearsal by Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr was a great way to kick off Grammy Weekend. The song “Queenie Eye” is an outstanding track from Sir Paul’s newest release and having Ringo drum on it live was a treat even though it was no Bealtes’ classic.
Grammy Sunday is always a hectic and exciting day, but come 5pm PT all eyes are on the main stage inside Staples Center to see what kind of grand production they have come up with this year. Beyonce and Jay Z opened the night. I wasn’t able to make it out into the seats for their show, but the rumble of the PA system and the energy of the crowd seemed as though the opening of the show was epic.
Every year the Grammys do their best to inter twine different genres of music and have people no one would ever expect to see on stage together collaborate. I made my way inside to see legendary Jazz rockers Chicago partner with ‘Blurred Lines’ crooner Robin Thicke. With takes on the “lines” and Chicago hit ‘Saturday In The Park’ the performance was one of my favorite weird mashups of the night. Despite ‘Blurred Lines’ having been shoved down our throats all last year the crowd was up on their feet dancing.
Later on in the evening Pink flew through the sky on something straight out of Cirque Du Solei and met up with Nate from the band FUN. Auto tuned as it was Pink always seems to think outside the box and her performances are always engaging and daring. I’m not the biggest fan of her music, but that particular performance was pretty incredible.
One of the most anticipated highlights of the show was the daft punk performance featuring Stevie Wonder. For those who haven’t seen it yet think 70′s disco bunker/ recording studio centered with an epic DJ booth where the robots “performed”. It was obvious the members of daft punk were just there for show, but with legendary musicians Nile Rogers, Stevie and the not so legendary Pharrell Williams supporting the had the building going crazy.
Metal gods Metallica were up shortly after. Playing their hit song ‘One’ with classic piano virtuoso Lang Lang and more fire than hell they managed to stand out in a night of cheeky pop hits. Their performance was by far the grandest of the night and the laser/ special effects were exactly what I come to expect from a Grammy show. It was over the top and huge. I wondered why they chose to play ‘One’ because it was an old song, but with the addition of the piano weaving in and out of the screaming guitar solos it took on a new life. I’m not a metal fan at all and I thought this was one of the most impressive performances of the night.
All in all it was a great and diverse show. It really did have something for everyone. Classic rock legends and 17 year old song of the year writers shared the stage. Hip hop meets rock, meets country, meets folk, meets disco and god knows how many other genres. I was just glad I was there to take it all in and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.
Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC