At the 59th iteration of Music’s Biggest Night, Beyoncé performed a dreamy meditation on motherhood, Adele performed an emotional tribute to George archangel and MetalliGaga performed through technical errors and dangerous concepts. Here’s the best of an evening.
a) A Tribe Called Quest Tear Down Trump’s Wall
Yeah, we tend to did not imagine a state of affairs wherever Associate in Nursingyone might probably steal an awards show from Beyoncé – however we did not specifically predict a finish for the man Busta Rhymes calls “President Agent Orange” either. Hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest came in a massive manner last year with their 1st album in eighteen years, but solely a terribly little a part of their performance reveled in nostalgia: Their temporary ride into 1993’s “Award Tour” much sped past “New royalty, N.J., N.C., V.A.” and was instead re-routed to “Graaaaaaaaaaam-myyyyyyys!” Looking forward, they boosted still-rising Best New Artist campaigner Anderson Paak UN agency contend some ridiculous drums before unleashing the most powerful political and musical moment of the night.For a performance of “We the People,” ATCQ kicked down a literal wall and had dancers that looked like the S1Ws version of the patrol.
The stage filled with a various cluster of actual immigrants UN agency place an individual’s face on Trump’s govt order as Tribe, Paak, Busta and Consequence performed the vitriolic and absolutely discerning song with the chorus “All you Black of us, you must go/All you Mexicans, you must go/And all you poor of us, you must go/Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways in which.” Q-Tip shouted “Resist! Resist!” and Busta Rhymes yelled explicitly about the unsuccessful Muslim ban nearing “Scenario” volume – and there was still plenty of room to pay raised-fist tribute to the group’s fallen brother Phife Dawg. Truly a performance that showcased what hip-hop has been trying to tell the Grammys for decades. Powerful impact, boom from the cannon.
b) Beyoncé Demands a Seat at the Table
It was a mystery to everyone what Beyoncé would do after announcing her pregnancy. The star – who already appeared to be fairly far along in her term during her maternity photo shoot – is known for intense choreography in her live performances, and it seemed completely fair for her to not even take the Grammy stage at all. Still, she showed up and interwove her pregnancy into a gorgeous, gold-washed, 10-minute spectacle that only she could pull off. Dressed like a sun goddess complete with a halo, she performed in front of a holographic screen showing different versions of her current self as well as an image of three generations of Knowles women, including her mother Tina and daughter Blue Ivy. As she sang “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles,” the forgiving conclusion to the honest marital exploration of Lemonade, she offered a new layer of clarity and catharsis to her album’s story and proved that even when seated, she is lightyears beyond her peers.
c) Adele Gives George Michael Tribute One More Try
As the surprise performer of Sunday night’s tribute to her fellow British pop titan George Michael, Adele wanted everything to be right. So she did the unthinkable: She asked the ensemble backing her on a moody 2017 update of Michael’s 1996 single “Fastlove” to start over, saying, “I fucked up, I can’t do it again like last year. … I can’t mess this up for him.” Why did Adele choose to perform a slowed-down version of Michael’s sinewy, Patrice Rushen-nodding hit about cruising when Michael has a slew of torch songs in his robust catalog (not to mention the somber “Praying for Time,” which has lyrics that remain politically pertinent 27 years after its initial release)? It was a mystery at first – until Adele reached the climactic lyric “I miss my baby,” which she sang as tears threatened to breach her lengthy eyelashes.
d) Honoring Prince, the Time Lets America Hear About the Bird
In one of the best possible tributes to Prince imaginable, the blood-and-sweat version of his work, Prince-produced Minneapolis party rockers the Time, re-emerged for a high-octane performance of two songs he wrote or co-wrote under the Jamie Starr alias. Having seemingly buried the hatchet with “the Kid,” the band played in front of a mock-up of Purple Rain’s First Avenue nightclub, doing their two hits from Prince’s biggest moment on planet Earth — “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.” Coming towards the end of a night full of Adele’s weepy power ballads, Katy Perry’s arty modern dance, A Tribe Called Quest’s arresting politics and Beyoncé’s high concept imagery, this simple blast back to the pop-rock-funk-dance-music-sex-romance world of 1984 was easily the most cathartic moment for the audience, who danced along ecstatically. Even Jay Z!Bruno Mars, who clearly owes more than a small amount to the Time’s Morris Day, emerged immediately after with some loving Prince cosplay. His crew turned into the world’s most famous Purple Rain tribute band.
Mars dressed in the frilly purple suit, played the curvy guitar and even learned the solo from “Let’s Go Crazy.” But unlike in Purple Rain, the Time definitely stole this show.
e) Bruno Mars Humps Around
Bruno Mars is made for primetime award shows like envelopes and Taylor Swift reaction shots. For yet another of his reliably incredible performances, this one-man New Edition miniseries and his razor-sharp band blew through “That’s What I Like” with the effortless electricity that’s become familiar but never boring. Dressed like the Force M.D.s with bright white sneakers, Bruno and his crew of retromaniacs were crammed on a tiny glowing triangle. Instead of exploding across the stage, the limitations made them dance by contorting their bodies like funky worms. They broke the fourth wall (er, third wall?) of the triangle stage and landed in front of the audience to sing a more stripped-down coda and thrusted the air like classic Bobby Brown. Before launching into some silky harmonies, Bruno Mars asked, “Can I break it down,” like both a question and a demand. Jennifer Lopez, transfixed, was nodding an affirmative.
f) Adele Says a Powerful “Hello”
Adele opened the Grammy ceremony that she would ultimately dominate, singing an explosive “Hello” before accepting the first of five awards, rounding out her total wins to 15. Met with cheers, the British hit maker glimmered like a stained glass window in Givenchy, her voice careening lithely across the Staples Center without a hitch. This was a mighty bounce back from last year’s performance of “All I Ask,” which was plagued by an audio issue. Adele would later win the Grammy for Album of the Year, reluctantly accepting the award while wearing a lemon-shaped brooch – a show of respect to her formidable competitor, Beyoncé.
g) Katy Perry Breaks Free of Suburbia
Katy Perry’s new single “Chained to the Rhythm” is a blockbuster – writing credits from Max Martin and Sia, a cameo appearance from Marley royalty. Having released the jittery, reggae-tinged track via a network of stereo-equipped disco balls last week, she gave the song its TV debut Sunday night, mirroring the unease expressed in its lyrics (“Living our lives through a lens/Trapped in our white picket fence/Like ornaments/So comfortable, we live in a bubble”), performing it amidst a suburban tableau that she was initially trapped by. She wobbled around while sporting a white casual-Friday look that included an Elizabeth Warren-honoring PERSIST armband. The fence that had been trapping Perry eventually broke up into a dance troupe, giving Perry’s uneasy comeback single a happy-on-the-surface ending that belied some “wake up, sheeple” lyrics.
h) Chance the Rapper Counts His Blessings
At the tail end of a wildly roaring night – winning not solely his 1st 3 Grammys, but the 1st Grammys ever for a streaming-only album – the 23-year-old Chicagoan capped his finish with Associate in Nursing explosive, spiritual performance, featuring Grammy-winning gospel singers church building Franklin and Tamela Mann, plus Francis and the Lights and a joyous church choir. “It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap,” Chance warbled before delivering a rousing sermon to his fans. Earlier in the evening, he shouted out his town, Atlanta legend DJ Drama and Soundcloud for his successes – but at the finish of the day, rap music’s Rookie of the Year claimed no bigger patron than God. “I claim the victory in the name of the Lord,” he yelled.
i) The Weeknd and Daft Punk square measure abundant Too Cool for These Grammys
In case the introduction by Paris “We could extremely use this type of pleasure at a pipeline protest, guys” Jackson wasn’t cool enough, the Weeknd and Daft Punk brought a totally different reasonably chill to their mashed-up performance of “Starboy” and “I Feel It returning.” Poised atop a ginormous ice cliff, the enigmatic French duo surfaced for their 1st performance since their 2014 Grammys, tepidly bobbing their signature helmets. The Weeknd, however, mustered up some jazz hands and served a flawless vocal performance on the rocks.
j) Alicia Keys and Maren Morris Triumph in Volcanic Duet
Decorated Grammy veteran Alicia Keys and young gun Maren Morris square measure 2 of the earthiest divas you might ever hope to satisfy. Having already undertaken a genre-spanning collaboration in a 2016 episode of CMT Crossroads, the singer-songwriters reunited –
and effortlessly rocked – a live rendition of “Once,” off Morris’ Grammy-nominated debut, Hero. Decked in killer jumpsuits, pipes ablaze and chemistry off the charts, Keys and Morris exemplified the golden standard of duets.