Grammy Awards bring grandeur and great music

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Rebecca Von Tersch

The 64th annual Grammy Awards had many greatly anticipated performances and awards. Performers including BTS and Olivia Rodrigo took to the stage and blew away the audience.

Awards. Costumes. Dancing. But most importantly… music. 

More commonly known as the Grammys, the Grammy Awards are often a hot topic during awards season. This is not only because of various controversies and celebrity boycotts, but also the many outstanding performances. Highlighting the night were many great artists, such as Silk Sonic, Jon Batiste, and Olivia Rodrigo, who all deserved their awards. This article will review a few performances from the 64th annual Grammy Awards. 

Olivia Rodrigo

I’ve heard mixed reviews about Rodrigo’s music. Good, bad, creative, too angsty… you get the idea. I don’t really have any strong opinions on her music, but her performance of “Drivers License?” I loved it. I liked how simple the outfit was, especially the addition of the combat boots, because who doesn’t love a good pair of boots? Rodrigo has a stunning voice, which made for an equally stunning performance. The simplicity of the stage also enhanced her presence; rather than having a lot of distracting flashiness, I thought the setting complemented the song’s themes and was simple without being too bland. Despite these positive aspects, however, the performance didn’t move me as much as I thought it would. I know the song is supposed to be emotional, but it felt bland at times. It could be that I can’t relate to it; it could be that I overestimated how emotional the song is. Regardless, it was a fantastic performance that I would love to watch again. I would rate it a 4/5 because while the lyrics seemed a bit unfeeling, the stage presence and costuming were stellar.

H.E.R.

Glittery pantsuits and guitars. What more could you ask for? H.E.R. absolutely killed it, and I’m not kidding when I say my jaw dropped when I saw her outfit. I love purple, I love glitter, and I especially love when they come with amazing music. H.E.R. doesn’t often appear on my radar, but when she does, I’m always glad to see her (no pun intended). In this year’s ceremony, she performed a medley of “Damage,” “We Made It,” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” which all sounded amazing. I was starting to get bored before her performance, but the ceremony had my full attention by the end of her medley. I liked the instrumentals in addition to the vocals of the songs, and I’ll definitely need to watch the performance again. This performance has a 4.5/5 in my book, if not for the music, then definitely for the glittery purple pantsuit. 

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish has range, both in vocal range and her songs. It was refreshing to hear “Happier Than Ever” at today’s ceremony since I’m used to associating songs like “bad guy” and “bury a friend” with her. Although she wasn’t wearing a fancy, extravagant outfit, her signature t-shirt and pants still made a statement. The stage was incredibly impactful, especially the built set. I found myself singing “I don’t relate to you” (like I do when I hear it on an Instagram reel) as she got to the top of the house. Or should I say the foundation? The upside-down room confused me at first but still looked super cool. I liked how the entire house was upside-down, not just the room; it enhanced the performance and brought out the meaning of the lyrics. It’s stage sets like these that make me wonder how they got rain inside of the building before I decide not to think too hard and just enjoy the performance. I would rate this as a 4.5/5 because even though I don’t often listen to Eilish’s music, this was an incredible performance that I would love to watch again. 

Lil Nas X

If I had to create a ranked list of every Grammys performance I have ever watched, Lil Nas X’s 2022 performance would be high on that list. The medley, the costumes, the giant bust of his head? All of it was amazing. I loved the colors; they made the whole thing pop. The marching band costumes especially complemented the trumpets of “Industry Baby,” bringing out the boldness of the song. His medley began with “Dead Right Now” before transitioning to “Montero,” ending in the finale of “Industry Baby.” The entire performance was extremely extravagant, as it should be: the songs deserved it. I had expected BTS to completely steal the show, and I’m happy to say that Lil Nas X’s performance rivaled them. I would rate this as a 5/5, it was terrific, and I have no complaints. 

Jon Batiste

Admittedly, when I watched “Soul,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I was blown away by the soundtrack when I watched it. The same can be said about Batiste’s performance this year. The music was spectacular, but the hairstyles, the outfits, and the set were all fabulous. I loved the creativity, and I fully believe that Batiste deserved to win Album of the Year. He went above and beyond for this performance, and I plan to watch it again, probably many times. In addition to the creativity with the set and the costuming, I loved the song. It was so peppy and vibrant, bringing a smile to my face very early in the first verse. Everyone looked happy to be there, which is truly a testament to how great “Freedom” is. I would give this a 5/5; it was stunning. 

Silk Sonic

Unlike Disney and Trevor Noah, we do talk about Bruno here. That is, Bruno Mars… and Anderson .Paak! This duo was one I was excited to watch, and I was impressed. I loved the vibe of the music and the set — I nearly got up to dance along with the song. The outfits were pretty cool, they weren’t to my taste, but I think they were great. The drumset and guitar were cool additions, and they enhanced the 70s vibe that Silk Sonic has going on. Mars and .Paak left the door open for one of the greatest performances of the night, singing “777,” “Leave The Door Open,” and James Brown’s “Get On Up.” Overall, this performance was a 4/5; the set wasn’t as groundbreaking as others, but the song more than made up for it. 

J Balvin and Maria Becerra

Honestly, I don’t know much about Maria Becerra. What I do know is that I love her voice. I thought her performance of “Qué Más Pues?” with J Balvin was beautiful because of the vocals and the stage presence. The outfits were nice, I loved Becerra’s dress, and they were a classy touch to the song. However, I found them to be just a little bit underwhelming compared to other acts. I first heard “In da Getto” in an Instagram reel made by K-pop group ATEEZ, so it was nice to hear more of it. I thought the dancing on either side of Balvin was really cool, and the coordination blew my mind. Everything was so synchronized, both the dancers and the lighting. I loved how the lighting accented the performance; it set the mood for both songs and made me feel like I was at the venue. I would give this performance a 4.5/5. The background choreography, vocals, and instrumentation were stunning, but the outfits did not measure up the way I thought they would. 

Carrie Underwood

Encountering a ghost would give me chills, much like how “Ghost Story” made me shiver from its power. Carrie Underwood was a wonder to see at the ceremony, and the sheer amazement I felt throughout her performance is unrivaled. Her voice was so powerful, as was the wind machine behind her. I have a strong feeling that this song will be on the radio for a while after this, partly because it is so amazing and partly because the performance was stellar. Underwood delivered an excellent performance and stole the show in terms of outfits. The purple dress was beautiful and looked so elegant with the wind near it. The whole performance nearly brought me to tears, and I would rate it a 5/5. It was extremely powerful and deserved as many points as I could give to it. 

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

In all honesty, I didn’t particularly like this performance. I appreciate what Lady Gaga was trying to do, but the execution simply did not measure up. A solo duet may be doable, but this one did not do the songs, which were “Love For Sale” and “Do I Love You,” justice. However, I did like how she sang the pieces. Her voice is beautiful, as always, and I loved the instrumentation. Like her voice, her dress was fabulous, a soothing blue with that extra touch that made the whole thing as spectacular as her. I liked the songs, and I wish we could have seen Tony Bennett perform alongside her. His introduction to the song brought a smile to my face, and the performance still made me pretty happy. I would rank the performance a 3.5/5; it did sound incredible, but it was simply not the same with only one performer. 

BTS

And last, but most certainly not least: BTS. Their performance was quite smooth… like butter, as they say. Their heist-themed performance of “Butter” was terrific, and they truly lived up to their lyrical label of “criminal undercover.” Since member Jin recently had surgery, I wondered if he would perform with them: that question was answered quickly. I loved how they made him the “guy in the chair,” complete with complicated-looking equipment and a sort of oven mitt for his injured hand. I also loved Jungkook’s entrance to the stage; it was reminiscent of his past “Euphoria” performances and the classic breaking-and-entering scenes of heist films. I also liked how the rest of the members were introduced, and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to know what V said to Rodrigo. The dance break is always my favorite part of “Butter,” and this one was no exception. The lasers and the jacket moves were impeccable; the coordination for that choreography was extremely impressive. As always, their vocals were perfect, and the instrumentation is one of my favorites in their discography. I also liked the references to their past music videos, which I only noticed after the picture of Jimin was off-screen. I could say more about this performance, but we would be here for a very long time. To conclude, I would like to rate this performance as a 5/5. It was my favorite performance, which I will certainly watch again, but I only wish that they had received the Best Pop Duo award. 

Overall, this year’s Grammy Awards were pretty cool. I enjoyed watching all of the performances, although I liked some more than others. I hope that next year’s performances will be just as amazing, as every year sets a new standard. You can watch the 64th annual Grammy Awards on fuboTV and Paramount+ if you missed them