Just want to say Mumford & Sons hit it so far out of the park I was reminded that when you do it right, music warms your heart and eviscerates loneliness, it enshrouds you in a flannel blanket and gives you the power and inspiration to march forward. Their performance of “I’m On Fire” was the highlight of the evening. With the lights turned low and acoustic instrumentation, we were reminded in an era dominated by tech, it’s humanity that triumphs.
You should have heard Bruce Springsteen say why he was getting this honor.
It was a trade, a deal, a quid pro quo for being able to open last year’s Grammy telecast.
Ain’t that the music business. Where if you don’t scratch my back, yours is gonna lay fallow. It’s just like life, an endless series of trades. If you’re not willing to give to get, you’re never gonna make it. And that’s sad. But I guess it’s been that way since the caveman.
Jon Stewart was a fabulous host. His tales of driving his Gremlin while working at a bar in New Jersey were hilarious. Yes, the punch line was his ride insured…THAT HE’D NEVER GET LAID! And he slowly recited the lyrics of “Born To Run” and asked if they should truly be the anthem of New Jersey… After all, they depict a desperate state peopled by losers eager to emigrate. But back when we were all preoccupied with iron, where the goal was to get behind the wheel as opposed to navigate your phone with your finger, travel was the essence of young life. We were restless. Music was our soundtrack.
I’d like to tell you every performance was a winner.
But that would be untrue.
Too many acts were reading off the Teleprompter. Going through the motions.
But I have to single out Kenny Chesney’s performance of “One Step Up.” He could really play and sing. Those outside country consider him a sideshow hillbilly, but not only does Kenny have talent and skill, like Mumford he connects with his audience, he touches them on a human level, something too many of the Top Forty acts do not. Which might be why they don’t have careers. You get fame, everyone knows your name…for a minute, and then you’re a footnote. Whereas those plying the country boards do so forever. It’s because of the songs, the performances, they touch people.
And although his voice is different from its heyday, Elton can still tickle the ivories. To hear him improvise is to have your body tingle, become electric, because the notes satiate and you realize you’re in the presence of genius.
And yes, Bruce played a bunch at the end. Interestingly, the highlight was “Glory Days,” the finale, when everybody came onstage and participated.
And that’s what they were, glory days. When your goal was to create a long player that stood the test of time.
But he’s still a musician. He riffed about this. How they’re bad with money. They drink too much. They do drugs. They are the people our parents warned us about.
But that’s why we love them so much.