6 days ago
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The Grammys this year weren’t perfect by a longshot. However, they were very interesting and surprising in terms of how both political and nonpolitical they were.
The show greeted us with “Hello” performed by Adele, who, despite last year’s audio issues, performed quite well. Though this performance was nearly perfect, she later performed a tribute to George Michael that was less-so. She started singing a slowed down version of “Fastlove” and stopped midway after muttering an expletive. She then apologized to the audience, claiming that she “can’t mess [it] up” for George Michael. Luckily, after restarting, she gave a great rendition of the song.
Beyoncé also performed “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles” that night. I am not the biggest Beyoncé fan, and as I was watching I didn’t understand what was going on but I still found it quite stunning and loved the message of empowerment that went with it.
Now, why did I bring up those two first? Well, they competed in multiple categories, including Song, Record and Album of the Year, all of which went Adele’s way. I personally think that this was a little unfair. It’s not that I like Beyoncé more than Adele or anything like that, but I think that, at least in terms of Album of the Year, Beyoncé should’ve won. “Lemonade” was a critically-acclaimed album, and it redefined her career. Even Adele herself said that she sees Beyoncé as one of her role models.
This show also had performers such as Bruno Mars, who performed one of his new songs along with an amazing Prince tribute of “Let’s Go Crazy” featuring an awesome guitar solo in which Mars seemed to be channeling Prince himself. Ed Sheeran gave one of my favorite performances, making himself a one-man band in a simple performance of “Shape of You.” Katy Perry also took the stage, singing “Chained to the Rhythm” which was about revolution and breaking free, featuring the Constitution projected on stage at the end. Hmm, I wonder what that could be referring to?
Many of the speeches and acts, including Perry’s, tiptoed around the topic of politics and instead aimed for the unity of all artists. A Tribe Called Quest, on the other hand, made it quite clear what their message was: resistance. Their performance featured Busta Rhymes referring to a certain somebody as “President Agent Orange” and people of all races and all cultures marching on to the stage. Finally at the end, Q-Tip repeatedly chanted “resist” as a message against Trump and his policies.
These were all great moments of this year’s Grammys, but my favorite moment was actually one of the more normal occurrences. Twenty One Pilots won a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Stressed Out” and proceeded to accept the award in their underwear. This action was based on a pact they made to each other before they even became big musicians. They were with a few other guys, watching the Grammys on TV when they promised to each other that if they won a Grammy, they’d accept it just as they were at the moment, pantsless. This is really inspiring to all the children who wish to one day be on the Grammy stage. The big take-away was to not give up on your dreams, because you might make it far if you follow them. It was very simple yet very memorable, heartwarming and empowering.
So yes, the Grammys contained many mind-blowing performances relating to the politics in our country. However, my favorite moments were the ones that were focused on the music, and that took my mind off the dumpster fire that is the current U.S. government.