Not so long ago I would have sworn I would never do two things: watch the Super Bowl and watch The Grammys. Well, I caved. Though I am not a pigskin fan, I have children, sons-in-law, and grandchildren who are, and, like most of America, I like the ads and the half time show (always hoping for another fashion scandal?). This year did not disappoint: our team won, Darth Vader ruled the ads, and the show was fine. But all of this was minor compared to the surprises I found in The Grammys.
Thanks to the dvr, we were able to move through the music extravaganza quickly, letting most of the rappers drop and enduring only moments of the tackiest of the night, Rhianna. But the rest often rose to superior entertainment. The show kicked off with a diva-fest singing Aretha Franklin's greatest hits. All five were on target, but there was something a little funereal about this tribute. Of all the nominated artists, Lady Antebellum had the best night, both in awards and in performance. Their country-tinged, lovely harmonies, and their personal charm stole the show. And let's not forget the Muppets and Gwyneth Paltrow were able to tone down an X-rated song with a few substitutions and lots of fun.
Naturally or not, the unstoppable Lady Gaga arrived in an egg and delivered a smashingly choreographed number. But what really surprised us was the quality of the production numbers, even the ones we didn't like.
Who knew that a quiet tribute to Dolly Parton by the likes of Josh Groban and Nora Jones doing "Jolene" tenderly would be so touching?
And what a slam dunk highlight when Mick Jagger (no close-ups, please) hopped on the stage and boogied with the super electric Raphael Saadaq band.
To top it off, the true queen of mainstream American music, la Streisand, crooned her own Grammy winner "Evergreen," giving it all the chutzpah and multiple trills for one syllable..."Evah, ehhvahah green, greeahan." Barbara still has it and pointed out how empty and lyricless most of the rapper music was.