Tough to pick just one favorite performance from last night’s Grammy’s–The Black Keys played with urgency (and who wouldn’t with Dr. John, in full gear, and New Orleans horn royalty playing along), Rihanna’s “Stay” was haunting, Kelly Clarkson sang the lights out and so did Miguel (never heard him before last night, but he’ll be ordered up for sure!). The Bob Marley tribute was fun (the Bruno Mars-Sting combo was pretty inspired and I’d pay good money to see Rihanna and the Marley boys do a show together), Justin Timberlake was solid (and JayZ did a solid turn with him), the Lumineers had everyone shouting along, Taylor Swift didn’t have her banjo this year but put together an amusing opener, Mumford brought their banjo and lit it no fire (figuratively speaking), and Frank Ocean was powerfully original, even if the song is poorly named.
And Alicia Keys and Carrie Underwood both killed it, and the Levon Helm tribute (Mavis!) could not have been better…ok, maybe it would have been better if Aretha were involved, but otherwise, no. And then, Jack White–the suit, the androgyny, the guitar toss at the end (which always reminds me of John Hiatt‘s classic)–all of it awesome.
Even still, I think they saved the best for last. Old School is still in session.
I’ll check back later in the day and see if I can find video links to the ones that don’t have them (or you can post them in the comments). It was a pretty great year for music on the radio.