The 57th Grammy Awards retrospective

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An evening of glitz and glamour with pop culture’s finest

By Alex Stanton, Staff Writer

The Grammys: one of the few nights of the year where musicians and other famous folk flock to one place for mass mutual pats on the back. There’s plenty to say about February 8, the night of this year’s celebration of popular music (as is the case with most of these events). There were a few surprises, most notably veteran alt-rocker Beck winning album of the year for his country-folk critical darling Morning Phase. On the other hand, some things don’t change at all; LL Cool J hosted for the fourth time in a row, the celebrities and the performances were extravagant, and Kanye West once again found himself questioning the integrity of the music industry due to Beyoncé not dominating every category.

The performances featured artists that cover just about every genre and era of music imaginable. Newer artists such as Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Katy Perry shared the massive stage with music industry veterans like Beck, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Tony Bennett, and AC/DC. Ed Sheeran joined ELO member Jeff Lynne for a performance of the latter’s hit “Mr. Blue Sky”in a super duo performance reminiscent of last year’s Imagine Dragons/Kendrick Lamar one-off live collaboration. In tribute to female victims of domestic violence, Katy Perry took the stage to sing “By the Grace of God”following a pre-recorded message from President Obama concerning violence against women.

The party guests looked as sharp as you would generally expect them to in the public eye. Beyoncé showed up looking as fresh as she always does, sporting a Proenza Schouler long-sleeved dress, an otherwise modest dress balanced out by a neckline bigger than the Grand Canyon. Other eye magnets included Taylor Swift in a mermaid-esque turquoise Saab dress and Anna Kendrick in what she called her “slutty pantsuit.” Smith, John Legend and—of course—Bennett cleaned up real good, representing the men in the fashion category. Obviously, some icons were notable for all the wrong reasons: Madonna’s outfit was just an absolute catastrophe, showing off much more of her aging rump than called for. Pharrell, who’s generally a pretty cool guy, looked like he went to the wrong dressing room and mistakenly grabbed Angus Young’s schoolboy stage clothes.

Beck, in an unexpected turn of events, secured rock album of the year and—even more shockingly—overall album of the year. Kanye jokingly half-repeated his snubbing of Taylor Swift back in ‘09 as Beck took the stage (of course, he later criticized the artist and the Grammy Awards themselves). Beyoncé, Smith, and Pharrell were all nominated six times, the most of that particular show, with Smith sweeping up in a handful of categories and making a meteoric impact on the popular music world at 22 years old.

The 57th Grammy Awards had something for everyone. Though not all the performances were great, those that were, were fabulous, and give me hope for the rest of the awards season.