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43rd Annual Grammy Awards
43rd Annual Grammy Awards


 So lucky me got to hang out with many bands before the show. Met many great people like B.B. King and too many others to mention here. The Blue Man group was in their usual form too! They actually do talk by the way, just not when they are "in costume".


The Stage

Upon entering the Staples Center where the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards was held you could see a quite intricate and impressive stage. While the awards themselves were presented at center stage, behind the movable right and left semicircle lit sections is where various bands performed. It was amazing to see how quickly they were able to remove one band's impressive setup and replace it with the next performer's stage. My hat goes off to the many behind the scenes folks who make it all possible. If you have ever had the luxury, though it really is a hard thankless job, to setup a stage you know how difficult it can be to accomplish within a few hours, let alone a few minutes as they did during the Grammy Awards. Remarkable!


The Crowd

With the Staples Center doors closed and the crowd all seated it was show time! They opened the show with Madonna performing her popular song "Music". A mirror-clad limo seemed to drive onto the stage as soon Madonna stepped out of it to perform. There were large jumbo screens, as you see at sporting events, to the far right and left of the stage where you could see the live television broadcast. The television production looked very good, yet you folks on there in TV Land seemed to miss about 80% of the live performances. What i mean by this is that there was so much else going on onstage that, of course, there was no way the TV broadcast could capture every part of it. Small plastic confetti fell over the audience during Madonna's piece to help glorify the largeness of the show ahead. Indeed, it truly was a spectacular that every music lover should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Hosted by John Stewart with his unique commentary and sarcastic comedian style, i felt he did a very good job hosting the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards. In fact during his opening monologue he was joking about the controversy with Eminem and said "he was really gay" to help lighten the atmosphere. Of course the usual award presentations came and went by fast and furiously. It was great to see many well-deserving musical artists win awards during the show. This is not to say i agreed with all the award winning decisions. In fact i still it here wondering how the less than acceptable new Steely Dan album won an award for engineering earlier in the day during the non-televised part of the awards. While Steely Dan is a great group, their recent release Two Against Nature leaves much to be desired in my humble opinion.


Macy Gray

The first award for Best Female Pop Vocal went to Macy Gray for her song "I Try". Seen above is a photo taken during her performance later in the evening. So what happens during the commercials you ask. Well, this is what amazed me frankly. First you must realize who really gets to sit within the best seats of the house. Sure there are musicians, though it mainly consists of agents and music lawyers who take up the majority of seats in the front sections where i sat. While there was not an editor or owner of any specialty audio magazine to be found, besides myself, there was a staggering amount of lawyers in the front sections. During commercials you would hope such professionals would be on their best behavior. Perish the thought.

Instead when a commercial break happened you would see many of them getting up out of their seats to schmooze with others while their wives seemed to also get up and call one of her friends on their cellular phone. Ok, so the show is technically on a commercial break, though my mind boggled at how many people would get out of their seats and use their cellular phones. Being an avid listener, it seems none of the calls were important. It was more like "Hi Bonnie. Yes, William and I are at the awards right now. So how is Jerry doing?...". Now imagine a few hundred people in the very front rows standing up and walking around and then over the speaker system you hear "30 seconds left of commercial break". Now a normal person would expect others to start reseating themselves. Nope! In fact it seems that 10 seconds until the commercial break end (as announced though the speakers) they were still walking and talking on their cellular phones or schmoozing with others. It was only within the very last three or so seconds that everyone would magically sit down just in time for the show to go live again.


The next performers were 'N Sync with a unique television black and white with selected colorizations. Hey, down in front! The commercial ended 20 seconds ago! Anyway, it really was amazing to hear live performances of many different genres of music within one three hour show. oh course some live performances were better than others. Destiny's Child comes to mind as the weakest of performances during the event. While it looks barely acceptable to me via the videotape of the show, the live performance looked awkward and too unnatural. Say my name? Ok, Destiny's Child... They enter into my personal Hall of Shame. Sorry girls, though there is always a great career for them in the fast food industry should they retire and are in need of employment. Sir, would you like fries or a hot apple pie with that?


Photo by: Dave Hogan / ImageDirect

Of course sometimes the music gets overshadowed by what the award presenters wear, or not wear as the case may be. The big buzz after the show was what Toni Braxton came on to the stage wearing... or not wearing. She helped present the award for the Best Rap Album. And the winner is...


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