A quick rundown of what made the 61st Grammy Awards special a worthwhile watch
I didn’t watch all of the Grammys last night. True Detective was on, after all. However, the parts of the broadcast I did catch warmly surprised and deftly defied my expectations. Here are five observations that stuck out in my mind the most.
1. Post Malone x RHCP
It’s no surprise to wake up this morning to read all the dumb shade being thrown around the music sites (Hi, Stereogum) at this performance. Following a brief set of his own material, including an acoustic reading of his song “Stay” that proves he’s a major cut above his ilk in the face-tat rap game, Post Malone didn’t just perform with RHCP, he became their fifth member for a night, singing backup and playing rhythm guitar on the Getaway highlight “Dark Necessities.” But it was Josh Klinghoffer–the one without the sexual harassment allegations in the band–who stole the show with a ripping solo that should quiet any questioning as to whether he could fill Frusciante’s shoes.
2. Travis a Rush Fan?
During his steel cage performance of material from Best Rap Album-nominated Astroworld, Travis Scott wore a shirt that looked wickedly familiar to me. I then realized it was the same shirt I bought when I saw Rush on the Counterparts tour 25 years ago. Where as a skeptic might think of the move as a wardrobe decision for Scott to rock it, I want to believe he’s a for-real fan of Rush so much that he’ll rep the band’s 90s Era on music’s biggest night because he feels that period of their catalog is massively underrated.
3. She Shreds
Old Neil Portnow really put his foot in his mouth with his “step up” comment at last year’s Grammys. Not only did women take exception to the gaffe, they also not so much stepped up but rather leapt out into the forefront of the broadcast last night. And the most stirring presence of the show was howondering prevalent the guitar was throughout the evening. And no, not by some white man-babies from Michigan but brilliant artists like Janelle Monae, H.E.R. (playing a clear body Fender Strat, btw), St. Vincent and Brandi Carlile. It was an amazing night for the most important instrument in rock ‘n’ roll music.
4. Dolly Rounds Up A 21st Century Trio
Go to 3:20 in the video above to catch Dolly revive the version of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” she made famous with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt on their legendary Trio project, this time alongside Maren Morris and Miley Cyrus. And while it got off to a shaky start, the ladies managed to make a smooth and graceful landing of a ballad that resonates more than ever as Mother Nature remains on the run in the 21st century.
5. Kacey Musgraves is a Gift from Heaven Sent by Harry Nilsson and John Denver
Nobody has ever deserved that Album of the Year Grammy in recent memory like Ms. Musgraves, whose third LP Golden Hour makes anyone worried about the future of genuine pop songwriting assurance the craft is in loving hands.