January 28, 2018

It's time for the most uninformed, ignorant-of-everything-around-it live blog of the 2018 Grammy's that you're gonna find on the interwebs tonight...so let's get right to it!

7:35pm: My wife and I were catching up on the latest episode of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace on our DVR, so we're a few minutes late to the party, but we're just in time to see Kendrick Lamar, U2 and Dave Chappelle kick things off for the 2018 Grammys. This is the second national performance for Kendrick in a couple weeks (He performed during the halftime of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game) and he continues to put on a flamethrower of a live show. I was a little thrown off, though, by the random insertions of Dave Chappelle. It felt a little...forced? And like they're not giving enough credit to the crowd to pick up on what Kendrick is doing. I say that as a big Chappelle fan.

7:40pm: So, after James Corden welcomes us in to the show, Lady Gaga serenades us with some tunes. She's about as good as it gets, when it comes to performing, because she can do both: Put on a show and sing her ass off. Always impressed with her.

7:45pm: The first award of the night is Best Rap Song, being given out by John Legend and Tony Bennett, and it goes to Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna. That little snippet was the first I've heard of the song itself, but if you thought anyone other than Kendrick was winning that category...I got nothing for you.

7:51pm: After a brief commercial break, we're back with James Corden congratulating Jay-Z on an award he won last night...I'm just amazed at the sudden sprouting of hair that Jay-Z is sporting. I'm so used to seeing him in a Yankees' baseball hat, I think I forgot he had hair.

7:53pm: Sam Smith is out now singing his new song "Pray"...and I'll give it to Sam: While I'm not really into his music, his voice is certainly unique. He does a great job.

7:56pm: Jack Antonoff recently broke up with his longtime girlfriend Lena Dunham, and the rumors swirling around the industry was that Antonoff was already seeing music superstar Lorde...doesn't help to nix those rumors when you're both sitting next to each other, guys. Anyway, Nick Jonas and Kelly Clarkson out now to award Best New Artist. Winner is Alessia Cara, which is probably deserved with her music was everywhere this summer. She says a lot about how there are a ton of great artists just starting and not to get down in their feelings about not winning anything, because they're good. 

8:00pm: Jim Gaffigan sighting! He's nominated for a Grammy for his comedy tonight, and if you've never seen his bit on Hot Pockets...well, what is wrong with you?

8:01pm: Gaffigan introduces Little Big Town, performing "Better Man"...not the Pearl Jam song, but one written by Taylor Swift, which is nominated for a Grammy tonight. As usual, Little Big Town does a great job. I'm not a country guy, but they always seem to perform well.

8:05pm: While we're in commercial break, it's probably good to let you know that a majority of the awards have been announced already. Here's the list of winners so far from Billboard (They are updating as the night goes on). Please note that all the rock categories have been awarded...so we probably won't be seeing the Foo Fighters picking up their award for "Run" winning best rock song. 

8:11pm: Gary Clark, Jr. and John Batiste welcome us back to play tribute to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino. If you haven't seen Gary Clark, Jr. play guitar yet, do yourself a favor and go see him. Dude can tear it UP on the axe. This performance probably won't give him a ton of space to show off, but you should defintely check him out. This performance also reminds of me of the lack of rock reverence shown by the MTV VMA's in August of last year, something I blogged about. Let's see how they acknowledge the deaths of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell. Should also be interesting to see what they do for Tom Petty...and if they have something for Dolores O'Riordan. 

Anywho, after their performance, Batiste and Clark, Jr. present the best Pop Solo Performance Grammy, which is won by Ed Sheeran for "Shape of You," but he couldn't make it to accept the award. That is probably right, for Ed to win, but I wouldn't have been upset to see Kesha come away with the win. "Praying" was a BANGER from this year.

8:20pm: I was half-paying attention to that Old Spice commercial, but I still thought it was super funny. Old Spice!!!

8:21pm: Victor Cruz sighting (Does a salsa dance) along with Sarah Silverman. They're here to introduce Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi and their worldwide mega-smash "Despacito"...which, you'd have to have been living under a rock, with like a million other rocks on top of that one to not have at least heard this song. 4.7 BILLION views on Youtube?!?! That's insane.

8:27pm: James Corden returns and sings the praises of Childish Gambino, LET'S GO!!! His album is awesome, and so different from what anybody was expecting from him. So much soul and funk. He's singing "Terrified" right now, but listen to his song "Redbone" if you haven't yet:

8:30pm: Back to that Jim Gaffigan appearance, along with Dave Chappelle from earlier, and Sarah Silverman...is there a concerted effort to include the comedians more this year than in the past? I hope so, because they're a lot more prepared to make jokes and a lot more comfortable with the mic in their hands than some of the celebrities or even other music artists they have present. Music artists are certainly used to having a mic, for sure, but they're used to singing, not necessarily presenting. 

8:35pm: Also, let's address the elephant in the room: The Grammys does not present the best Rock song, Rock Album or Best Alternative Music Album on the telecast...which is a damn shame. So many great rock bands deserve that recognition, and they just won't get it. The Foo Fighters won for Best Rock Song, The War on Drugs won Best Rock Album, and The National won Best Alternative Music Album. You know the Foos, but chances are you don't know the War on Drugs (Like a more focused jam band, straight outta Philly) and the National (Very brooding, complex alternative rock music), but you should definitely get to know them.

8:39pm: James Corden comes back to introduce Dave Chappelle, who's back out to award Best Rap Album, which is won by Kendrick Lamar, which is relatively surprising. I thought Jay-Z might have got that one, but let's not forget: The Grammys LOVE Kendrick Lamar. He hits us with a "Jay for President" and heads to the back.

8:42pm: James Corden back once again, this time to introduce us to P!NK...standing in front of a mic?! No weird suits?? No acrobatics??? What is going on?!?! She, of course, KILLS IT. It's amazing, she's got a crazy voice and her performance is always killer, even when she's taking her time...but like, if you only knew P!NK through her songs, you'd think her marriage was the worst relationship ever. Also, this is a very true tweet:

8:49pm: After another commercial break, we get a taped piece with James Corden doing his Carpool Karaoke schtick, but this time with Sting and Shaggy on a Subway Car...pool Karaoke...and they're summarily shut down in true New York fashion. Subway riders keep telling them to shut it down. It's pretty funny. They get harassed by a construction worker and an old lady, and James Corden gets a bloody nose for his troubles...and Shaggy gets the zinger at the end.

8:52pm: Katie Holmes comes out and they're playing Bruce Springsteen's "New York City Serenade" and I am LIVING right now! 

Anyway, she's out to introduce the ageless Bruno Mars and Cardi B singing "Finesse"...and my wife just asked if we're back in the 90's. Loud, primary colors, 90's-era beats banging and Cardi B seriously channeling her inner-Left Eye. I thought we were gonna break into the All That theme song, for a second.

8:56pm: Trevor Noah is out now to present the award for Best Comedy Album...which is on TV for the first time that I can remember. I gotta think Dave Chappelle is the odds-on favorite for this one...and, naturally, he won. I wonder what spurred them on to present this category on TV...and why they can't present the Rock Categories on TV??

8:59pm: James Corden comes back out offering consolation puppies to the comedians that didn't win and it's the BEST MOMENT SO FAR TONIGHT. He then introduces Sting, to "celebrate being back in New York City." Hey, Sting! We know him!!! Sting does his song "Englishman in New York" and is joined on stage by Shaggy...I never put together that Sting's music is right up Shaggy's alley until right now. The performance was kinda "meh" up until Shaggy came out, then things picked up. Honestly, every Sting song (excluding his Police stuff) sounds the same, except for "Desert Rose"...Shaggy helps pick up the pace and saves the performance, in my mind.

9:04pm: Wait, there's a Tomb Raider movie coming out? Are we just ignoring the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie from 2001? Is U2 going to be involved in the promo for this one, too?

9:12pm: James Corden is back to make a joke about people using cell phones at concerts, before introducing DJ Khaled and Rihanna doing their "Wild Thoughts" song, that pretty much takes Santana's "Maria" song and takes all the vocals out of it, replacing it with rap. I'm assuming they got permission to do this. Everytime I hear this song, I'm disappointed that it's not actually "Maria" playing.

9:16pm: My Twitter timeline is full of Rihanna love right now. She's curvy, sexy and being her usual self. She can honestly do no wrong.

9:21pm: Hailee Steinfeld and Donnie Wahlberg are out to present for Best Country Album, won by Chris Stapleton. I'm not familiar with country, but this song sounds like some classic country/blues rock, and I'm happy for Chris. I'm not a fan of the new age country where it's a bit more "popular" sounding, for lack of a better term. 

9:24pm: Maren Morris, Eric Church and the Brothers Osborne are out to pay tribute to those music fans we lost in terror attacks at concerts this year...and someone's backstage mic is HOT...but, luckily, no one curses or says anything inappropriate. They play "Tears In Heaven" by Eric Clapton, which is pretty much as sad as it gets. It's hard to do these kinds of songs well, because they're so emotional...I think they're doing an okay job with it. I keep waiting for Eric Church to say "Sprang-steen," because that's the only song I know by him.

9:34pm: Janelle Monae welcomes us back and gives a few strong words and stands in solidarity with her sisters and fellow female workers in the music industry, bringing up the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements. She does that while introducing us to Kesha singing "Praying" alongside Cyndi Lauper, Camilla Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michaels and a whole choir behind them. Things are about to get SUPER emotional. This song is one of the most powerful songs that has been released in the last few years. Kesha tears the HOUSE down and burns it to the ground with the performance. 

9:42pm: They don't go to commercial, so James Corden has the unenviable task of coming on after that performance, and Camilla Cabello stays on stage and talks about her Cuban heritage, and the hard-working Dreamers, before introducing U2 performing on the Hudson River in front of the Statue of Liberty. 

9:44pm: U2 is here, and they're performing "Get Out Of Your Own Way," from their new album "Songs of Experience". I was hoping for "Gloria," or "Seconds," or maybe even "Pride (In The Name Of Love)"...but, this song is actually pretty good. I'm cool with this. But, let's not pretend this wouldn't have been way better:

9:55pm: Sting returns to the Grammys stage, this time to give us the nominees for Song Of The Year. Winner is Bruno Mars with "That's What I Like"...which I consider a big upset, to knock off "Despacito." That's a huge win for Bruno. I feel like that's an upset.

9:58pm: James Corden back out to make a joke about the award for Best Spoken Word album, with former presidential candidates and presidents as winners, then cuts to celebrities reading "Fire and Fury," the book that our current president is, uh, less than enthused about. The best is DJ Khaled with the airhorns...and even Hillary Clinton makes an appearance reading the book. That'll go over well!

10:00pm: James Corden brings out Anna Kendrick to introduce Elton John, performing with Miley Cyrus, while also plugging the CBS special about Elton John later this spring. Sir Elton busts out "Tiny Dancer" as the curtain rises. Miley makes her way out, singing the second verse, wearing a floor-length gown, which is a far cry from her various, uh, questionable outfits that made appearances in the past to awards shows. 

10:07pm: Zedd and Maren Morris get the Target music video treatment this year, with their song "The Middle"...which is literally the same exact song that Zedd released last year with Alessia Cara. Dude has the market cornered when it comes to songs that have ticking clocks, that's for sure.

10:10pm: James Corden returns and introduces his mom and dad to the crowd...who apparently came late cause they went to see Hamilton. He transitions that into the Grammys tribute to Broadway, with Ben Platt singing "Somewhere." 

10:16pm: Patty Lupone out now to sing "Don't Cry For Me Argentina"...which marks the second time I'm hearing this song this weekend...my wife sang it into a karaoke machine at our friend's house last night. I know, I know...she's a wild one.

10:28pm: Eve is back! Where the hell has she been?? She's on to introduce Sza, who, I'll be honest, I am completely unfamiliar with. She's got that quirky sound I'm into, though, so this might work. She performs her song "Broken Clocks", and puts on a great vocal performance. I'm just really mad this awards show has been going on for 3 hours...and it feels like we're not even close to being done.

10:33pm: Alicia Keys comes out on the Grammys' stage, here to present Record of the Year. I want Childish Gambino to win...but, somehow, Bruno Mars won again?? I thought for SURE Despacito had that one locked up. Bruno with another big win...and he says to keep playing his song, there's been "too many ballads tonight." I'm pretty sure Bruno is having the time of his life.

10:42pm: Cold open out of commercial with James Corden, feigning an introduction to Barack Obama, before apologizing for mixing it up and bringing out the current president of the Music and Recording Academy, Neil Portnow, who talks about the history of the Grammy Awards, and the charitable causes that the Academy promotes, along with the initiatives that the Academy has undertaken to promote the power of music and the music community. 

10:47pm: Neil introduces Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harris performing "Wildfolwers" by the late, great Tom Petty. It's time to honor those in music that we've lost this past year. That leads into their video/picture montage. 

10:52pm: Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid are on now, performing Logic's "1-800-273-8255" song, named after the National Suicide Prevention phone number. It's a powerful song, and it's an important message. Should also be noted that the last picture they showed was Chester Bennington before bringing Logic out. This performance is really, really good.

10:59pm: CBS avoids what's happened in years past, where the Delta sponsorship gets cut off by the Album of the Year presentation/performance, does it before they come back...and then accidentally cut to a camera in front of the stage for three seconds before switching back. Good job, good effort.

11:00pm: Bono and The Edge have made it back to dry land, and are here to present Album of the Year. Bruno wins AGAIN. Unreal. I was hoping for Childish Gambino, wouldn't have been surprised if it was Kendrick Lamar that won, but Bruno pulls it out again. This is crazy. Bruno has to be drunk, right? He is FEELING IT tonight. I also love Bruno's confidence and swagger. He just wants to put on a show, every time. So, good for him.

11:05pm: James Corden says goodbye...and that's that! Our long national nightmare, after 3.5 hours, is over!

My final feelings are that:

1) Man, that was a LONG awards show. I guess they got a lot done, but it felt bloated with a ton of commercials and performances. 

2) That being said, I would bring back the rock awards. It's such a disappointing moment when the only time we see rock bands are with collaborations with other artists, or the older, established acts (Like a U2, or an Elton John). The Foo Fighters deserve that chance to play and chance to shine, as do some of the other nominated bands. 

3) James Corden is just okay as a host. I'm not sure his humor is particularly smart or biting, but it works, I guess. 

4) I'm very surprised at Bruno Mars winning as much as he did tonight. I've heard so many mixed opinions on 24K Magic, but, I guess the critics liked it much more. Thought for sure Kendrick Lamar had Album of the Year locked up, and it looked like he was going to roll through the evening when he won a few awards early in the evening, but he lost his steam as the night went on. 

That's all I got! If you've been following along tonight...God bless. I'll see you tomorrow at 3pm! 


-- Ferg