It’s no secret that the Grammy Awards are as much about spectacle as they are about music. Thankfully, this year’s awards included some stellar musical moments sprinkled in amongst the bright lights, profanity filters and Taylor Swift’s dance moves. Below are my top 10 favorite musical moments of the 56th Grammys.
- Lang Lang Rocks Out | Lang Lang’s lightning-speed discordinent intro to Metallica’s “One” mesmerized.
- Lorde Stays True | Winning big for “Royals,” 17-year-old Lorde was the epitome of understated cool while performing her smash hit on the biggest stage of her career.
- Kacey Musgraves Shines | Musgraves’ performance of “Follow Your Arrow” was perfectly low-key, allowing her lyrics and twinkling boots to take center stage.
- Harper & Musselwhite ‘Get Up!’ | Unfortunately for me, much of the year’s music I’m most excited about doesn’t receive prime-time billing. Cross-generational greats Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite took home Best Blues Album for the superb ‘Get Up!’
- All of John Legend’s Performance | There’s a reason John Legend’s exquisitely romantic “All of Me” has been a sheet music best seller since the single’s release.
- The Colorful Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons | Talk about energy! I was riveted by the sheer volume of tambour that Imagine Dragons brought on stage.
- Wonder Robots | It was definitely a Daft Punk night. The French duo’s retro-recording booth with the legendary Stevie Wonder was inspired (as was Pharrell’s head wear).
- So Many Pianos! | While synthesizers, giant bass drums and pyrotechnics certainly added to the aforementioned spectacle, fantastic pianos definitely held their own. Much time was spent ogling the instruments of Lang, Legend, Hunter Hayes, Taylor Swift, Sir Paul McCartney, and, of course, my number 2 ladies below.
- Queens of the Night | Carole King and Sara Bareilles gave a performance to remember. To quote one our Musicnotes Facebook followers “Carole outshone almost every other gal; no frills, just straight-out talent and music. Sara showed her respect.”
- Music Education’s Standing Ovation | Kent Knappenberger, a music teacher and choir director from New York, won the inaugural Music Educator Award during this year’s show. The award is a admirable reminder of the significant impact our music educators have, extending far beyond the classroom. Nomination has begun for next year’s recipient here.
Having shared my top Grammy moments, I’d like to know what yours were. Which performances do you remember most? Was there a specific piano you’ve been coveting all week? Where do I find a hat like Pharrell’s? Share in the comments below!