The Grammy’s is an event that my interest has wavered in during my lifetime. I consider myself a fairly studied music critic hobbyist open to ranging musical styles and tastes, but I’ve never felt that staying up-to-date on the albums and artists jockeying for the year’s golden gramophone was a redeeming endeavor.
I put aside my issues with the award itself and tuned in for the entirety of last night’s TV broadcast. The ceremony offered several surprises; most notably for me, Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper receiving resounding acclaim though having never released an album: a true 21st century phenomenon, and one that surely left a nominee in his class for best album festering. Bruno Mars also clearly solidified himself as a network television dream figure. The way he effortlessly moves through the choreography with his catchy new track to shredding the guitar like the late Minneapolis legend cannot be matched by any living musical talent. Bruno’s set had outdone Morris Day and the Time’s act before his strum of his iconic pearly white guitar. We will most assuredly be seeing him at every major event as long as he wishes to dazzle the TV audience with that captivating smile.
Now to the most interesting part of the evening’s show: Queen Bey. I admit, at the writing of this piece, I’m still sorting through her performance in my own mind. It was surely one of the more engaging pieces that I’ve seen in quite some time. The feeling was reminiscent of Madonna’s music videos from 80’s and 90’s, but there was something different in the first moments of the act that struck me. It was the feeling that I was watching the creation of a feminist idol in a more deliberate manner than I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. It was as if the person choreographing that set had begun with the imagery immediately after finishing Tom Robbins’ Skinny Legs and All.
I don’t plan on broaching this topic in this article alone, so please stay tuned as I dive into the performance in the coming days, and, most interestingly I believe, whether the set of Bey’s own design and the intentions behind it. (To be continued.)