Ah yes, that time of year has crept upon us once again as artists and their teams all annually clamber into the Staples Center in LA; a room filled with talent, ego, over-practiced losing faces and painfully gorgeous ball gowns. Oh, and Pharrell’s hat.
In a world where Hannah Montana is shaking her skinny white ass on worldwide television, it is such a relief to see music didn’t die along with her dignity. The metal/rock genre still stands strong amongst all the booty-shaking. As Beyonce sings of drunken promiscuity and Katy Perry prances on stage in a witch-like ceremony performance (Black Sabbath she is not), there will always be a place for the ‘Tallica family. The majority of the night seemed to consist of overly gimmicky performances from overrated pop acts and Taylor Swift trying to attract attention with her awkward dancing on the front row. Oh, and Pharell’s hat.
Over the 30 years of being together, Metallica have gained quite a reputation for going against the grain and doing whatever the hell they want. Why? Well, because they can really. Their collaboration with Lou Reed, their refusal to play their most successful album The Black Album in its entirety (and in order) and their phenomenal ‘S&M’ live album with the San Francisco Symphony, to name a few, has proven to fans and critics worldwide that they’ve developed quite a knack for picking the most unobvious aspects of music and making it work. At the 56th Grammy Award Ceremony they did just that.
Eyebrows were raised and doubt began to cloud the minds of metal and classical music fans alike as Metallica announced they would be sharing the stage with the quirky Chinese pianist Lang Lang to perform Metallica’s ‘One’.
But Papa Hets and his ‘tallica brothers have never let us down before, and they definitely didn’t this time. As Hetfields gnarly voice powered over the celebrity-filled audience, Lang Lang provided a sensational performance as his fingers thrashed that piano with such power, it’s clear to see why he was chosen.
Black Sabbath took home ‘Best Rock/Metal Performance’ with their debut single ‘God Is Dead?’ from their 2013 album ‘13’. The competing nominees in that category consisted of Anthrax ‘T.N.T’, Dream Theatre ‘The Enemy Inside’, Killswitch Engage ‘In Due Time’, and Volbeat feat. King Diamond ‘Room 24’.
Sabbath’s latest album was also nominated for ‘Best Rock Album’ along with Queens Of The Stone Age ‘…Like Clockwork’, David Bowie ‘The Next Day’, Kings Of Leon ‘Mechanical Bull’ and Neil Young With Crazy Horse ‘Psychedelic Pill’. But the award was snatched up by Led Zeppelin’s ‘Celebration Day’.
Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl (of course) and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham all shared the stage for the grand finale. However, this impressive guitar-thrashing line up was rudely and abruptly cut short as the show had already overrun by 45 minutes. When asked about the reasoning for this unfair dismissal, president of Recording Academy Neil Portnow claimed ‘we save the end slot for something that is a bit of a jam, because you can have the energy go and then it’s just a matter on the clock.’ Yet Beyonce’s booty gained full media attention and several mentions by hosts throughout the show. Which ever-so-slightly defeats the entire purpose of the Grammys Awards, don’t ya think?
This cut-off received many complaints, particularly from Nine Inch Nails’s lead singer Trent Reznor. Never one to hold back, Reznor took to twitter to vent his frustration.
‘Music’s biggest night…to be disrespected. A heartfelt F*CK YOU guys.’
His rage couldn’t have been helped by the fact they lost ‘Best Alternative Band’ to Vampire Weekend.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first tigme that Reznor has lashed out the Grammys. December 2011 Reznor was quoted to have said ‘Why don’t the Grammys matter? Because it feels rigged and cheap – like a popularity contest that the insiders club have decided.’
Overall, the Grammy’s night was a success for the heavier genres, reeling in some impressive and thoroughly deserved awards. With high expectations for 2014 albums and the beginnings of a rumour of a new Sabbath album, who’s to say 2015 nominations won’t be even better. Who knows, maybe even Pharrell will treat himself to a new hat.