Scoff-worthy GRAMMY performance

Volted Review: 2013 Grammy Awards

This year I gave three hours to this award show to see what the current music industry thinks is good. Just to compare…I know my music tastes are quite different. I was not on the edge of my seat, waiting for a specific artist to perform, nor do I actively listen to anyone who got screen time (except for Juanes). What kept me from losing too much interest during the show? Sharing my commentary.

The performances at the GRAMMY Awards were not as spectacular as people made it out to be. Maybe I’m just not one for gimmicks. I like to see a good band with great energy and stage presence. That is what I think makes the experience memorable. Not a stage full of fancified dancers, not rain, not a silly dress that lights up with pretty colors. Those are distractions. It’s cool if a band wants to add pizzazz to a show, but I am not for it if the extras distract from the performance or act as a crutch.

Now that my rant on the overall performances is out of the way, I can get down to what really made me itch, i.e. the fun part.

First of all, I am not a Taylor Swift fan. When I saw her on the stage opening the show, I was ready to break apart the performance. But it didn’t take much work…she did that on her own.

Swift’s voice was not too pretty. I heard pre-recorded vocals in the mix, and they were louder than the live singing. It was an aid that I should probably be grateful for.

But this illustrates why I remain confused. If this awards show recognizes talent, why then am I here in my living room watching Swift stumble through a song that plays and replays on the radio and television. I cringe every time she is off pitch. And I get an annoying, dumb teenager vibe from her, which doesn’t help at all. She may not be like that in real life, but to pretend to be someone you’re not…I just do not like it when people are not genuine.

“I hate her walk,” my friend said. “It’s so annoying.” While I won’t go so far as to criticize minor details without having a point to get across, I can say that the silly remark made me laugh. Not everyone likes Swift. That’s a comforting fact, because then I know I’m not alone.

To continue with the comment on the pre-recorded vocals, I would say that her dancing does not justify her reliance on the pre-recording. Swift’s dance moves were not complicated at all. She was mainly walking about the stage, and I vaguely recall some arm flailing.

The entire performance was not scoff-worthy. The dancers, dressed in circus garb, surrounded Swift and added interest. They were in constant motion. I do not play down their talent.

So why was Swift chosen to perform? Because she is popular. She is a formula that the industry knows works (brings in money) and one that fans are familiar with. It is too bad that popularity trumps skills, but that’s the reality. The entertainment industry is fickle and this performance is just another reminder. Taylor Swift fans would turn on the television and get the ratings up, exactly what the business side wants.

Just like her performance, I will leave you with a bad ending. Well, that’s not fair. Not even to make a point. You don’t deserve that, but she does.

–Smez

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