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Grammy Ramblings – Moments Made and Missed

So, who was watching the Grammy’s last Sunday and what were the highlights for you? There were some great moments for sure… and some not-so great. Here are some random thoughts from my personal perspective.

Awesome musical moments? One was definitely the song Jolene, played and sung by Keith Urban, John Mayer and Norah Jones. Great guitar playing and a very cool tribute to Dolly Parton.

Another nice musical moment for me was Muse. Even though the band didn’t do anything but stand there and play, this is a great song, and the special effects and lighting made this huge and put it over- the-top! Well done.

The Aretha Franklin tribute? This would have been more moving if these women could have interacted with each other and ‘cheered each other on.’ They are all undoubtedly talented singers, but they all seemed too concerned about out-singing each other. Could have been a great moment with some camaraderie.

A grammy for ‘Most Bizarre Moment’ of the night goes to Cee Lo Green. You take a song called F**k You, hire Muppets, Gwyneth Paltrow and Elton John’s stylist, and voila, there it is. Not sure WHAT, but there it is! Left me scratching my head. This could have been cooler (since they changed the lyric to ‘forget you’), if they would have stuck with the vibe and characters in the video that told the story much better.

Award for ‘Best Authority on Stage’? Two words: Mick. Jagger.  Did you notice how he had the audience in the palm of his hand?  Even seasoned artists in the crowd were mesmerized! Mick was in total control of both the audience and the band. Awesome. Take notice front men everywhere!

‘Most Sentimental Moment’: Streisand. Even though her rendition of Evergreen wasn’t stellar, it was just cool for those of us that knew her in her heyday, to see her perform again. This song took me back to the film A Star is Born, which at the time was magical for me. Barbra deals with major stage fright so I know it was a big deal for her to get onstage. You could tell she was uncomfortable at first, then finally took the mic out and held onto the stand with her other hand for security. (Don’t do this singers –  please!)  She got a pass from me because of the great memory.

‘Best Use of Misdirection’: Arcade Fire. Never having seen or heard them before, the bizarre use of BMX bikes, the crazy strobe lights and too many bike camera shots totally took away from the song itself. I couldn’t tell you if the song was good or bad. I was too annoyed at the other stuff to notice!

Agree? Disagree? Go ahead and weigh in with your opinions on Gaga, Miranda, Lady A or Katy Perry. Who created memorable moments?

Amy Wolter

As a trained Live Music Producer for Tom Jackson Productions, Amy Wolter brings her years onstage as a lead singer & keyboardist - along with her experience as a producer, arranger, and songwriter - to singers and bands who won’t settle for ‘good enough’. She’s worked with artists at all levels, and genres ranging from Rock to Celtic, empowering them to have confidence and authority onstage, and put on memorable live shows, a few of whom have been on two of the largest US tours in recent history. Some of her clients include Grammy award winners The Band Perry & Lacrae, CMA and ACM –winning country acts, Gloriana & Thompson Square, 2016 The Voice contestant Mary Sarah, CCMA (Canada) winners High Valley, Jess Moskaluke & Chad Brownlee, and Winter Jam Tour veterans Sidewalk Prophets & Love and The Outcome.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. I recently became a lifetime member of NARAS have been a member for over 35 years. I serve as an Arranging Craft Committee member and have a long history with the Grammys. While watching the show at The Hard Rock Cafe at the official Nashville Grammy party, I was confused as to if I was watching a music event or Dancing With the Stars. It seems to me the show was more about dancing and staging than the music. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is supposed to be about “Recording Arts and Sciences.” Unfortunately, Hollywood thinks it reads The National Academy of Recording, Arts, and Sciences. These are music awards. We used to have major musical moments, not profane artist dressed up like chickens. Every year there are major technical difficulties. Where is the “recording arts and sciences” in the Grammy show. I hated the show, but had a good time with friends.

  2. Wow, your take almost perfectly mirrors mine, Amy! I agree, I’m not even a Rolling Stones fan but Mick had it in the bag. And I liked the guitarist who played with Mick and matched his energy, interacting with him in a collaborative (not competitive) way so that it wasn’t only Mick’s frenetic movement but a sense that the band was in it with him. Gave us something else to look at, too. Streisand hit some lovely notes–definitely not lip syncing. No one was, not even Rihanna. I disagree with one commenter about Gwyneth Paltrow–I thought her singing voice was very nice, but I was bothered by her shoes, because they threw her off balance a bit which made walking look too precarious. I always say if you’re going to be nervous, don’t wear stillettos as they make you wobble more!! My $0.02!

  3. Amy Wolter says:

    Nick, I’m sure some artists use vocal tracks for back-up, but since the Grammy’s is an audience of peers, that’s a risky thing. Since Streisand’s performance was a little shaky and not like the original, I doubt she was using tracks. I heard what you were talking at the end though. Could have been a track they bring in for ‘in case I run out of air at the end’, or heavy delay or maybe a string sound? I need to go back and watch it again. And Katie, I agree with you on Gaga. She IS all about the art and being outrageous. That’s going to be a tough thing to top, performance after performance. And she will probably continue to evolve like Madonna did, to always keep us guessing. Hopefully she will know from time to time, when to pull back, & do something simple and UN-outrageous, just to surprise us.

  4. Do the artists sing live or lip sync on these shows. The most obvious to me was Barbara Streisand – when at the end of the song she pulled the mic away and stopped moving her mouth – but the voice kept going. What is this all about?
    On the 60 MINUTES segment on Lady Gaga, she indicated Gag never lips syncs… but for the Grammy’s who is to know?

  5. … and you’re right Amy, they should have interacted more with one another. and for pete’s sake, florence was the only one really having fun and dancing to the songs… they all should have loostened up like that and had some fun.

  6. gaga is KUH-RAZY! but i get it… her life is an artpiece in itself. i love how she always keeps us guessing and whether i’m into her music or not, i’m always intent to watch and be entertained, so i guess she’s doing something right!

    i actually really liked ceelo green’s performance. weird and random? yes. but it was SO fun. i do agree that it had nothing to do with the song however. i may be biased too cuz i love that song. as a singer, i’m kind of against people that really don’t sing pretending to be world-class singers, but gweneth’s performance was great! she looked totally comfortable doing some pretty crazy things and stayed on key the whole time! go girl!

    as for the diva fest… i agree. over done! as a singer you should want to bring honor to aretha’s songs, not try to prove your better than her and better than who’s standing next to you (cough – christina – cough)…

  7. Bruce Meyer says:

    I have not been as excited for YEARS at seeing a performance as I was with watching BOB DYLAN sing with Mumford & Sons and the Avertt Brothers. I almost didn’t watch the show at all, but came in time to see the Contemporary Folk moment with the Sons and Brothers. I wasn’t expecting anything special, but when the did a group number, it was *almost* one of those “change your life forever” moments.

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