Kendrick Lamar teamed up with Imagine Dragons for an outstanding performance of Radioactive that had the audience on its feet.
On the other hand, anticipated performances like Metallica with classic pianist Lang Lang disappointed. What happened to this heavy metal group that blew us all away back in the early 90s with their And Justice for All tour? They looked old, which can be expected considering it has been more than twenty years since their heyday. But worse, they sounded old. It was like the neighborhood dads got together one night to jam out like the good ole days (and embarrassed the kids...and the wives). Vocals were weak and the best comment came from friend and fellow writer, Chris Gonzales, who said "I think Ron Jeremy might want his haircut back" -- referring to drummer Lars Ulrich.
Despite that, Daft Punk's collaboration with Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder rocked the house while Macklemore's homage to love and equality for all with Queen Latifah and Madonna united over thirty couples, hetero and same-sex, in matrimony, live, before the world. Even Keith Urban cried.
One thing seems striking about these awards; the mass commercialism of music. It felt like, indeed, it often was, the same songs/artists up for every award. Surely there is more out there? More artists and more musical variety? Most bands and individual singers don't get a chance to be heard on the world stage. If they don't look a certain way or have a cookie-cutter sound then labels don't bother. The same can be said for movies these days -- studios go for what they think is the easy money bet instead of taking a chance on something original, edgy, and amazing. But that's a discussion for another day.
It would be great to see the Grammys embrace (and include in the show) Indie music next year. There's room for both the known and the unknown in everyone's music collection.
Until then, we'll be talking about the 2014 performances we enjoyed, and looking forward to the music yet to be discovered.