Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band kicked off the 54th Grammy Awards by giving us an invigorating performance of We Take Care Of Our Own, backed by a big string section. You could tell by the way the Boss moved that he's just itching to get back on the road. The band sounded tight as usual, and it's gonna work excellent as a concert opener. Still the stage looked 'empty' without the presence of the Big Man; though during the In Memoriam spot, he was the second last to appear, right before the recently departed Whitney Houston.
The other performances of the night -- I was looking forward to The Beach Boys reunion, though I didn't really know what to make of Good Vibrations. I felt it was kinda borderline. For a second there, Mike Love looked as weird as Lady Gaga. They should've gotten Glen Campbell to join them on the guitar for that. Speaking of him, Campbell, soon to retire from music due to Alzheimer's, did put on one of the best performances, singing a stirring Rhinestone Cowboy, his signature tune, with country up-and-comers, Blake Shelton and The Band Perry, who also did Southern Nights and Gentle On My Mind respectively.
Meanwhile, the Civil Wars only played for like a minute and a half, but they're finally getting worldwide recognition. Congrats to them winning for Best Folk Album and Best Country Performance. And also to Foo Fighters for taking home all their 'rock category' accolades. They rocked the house on Walk, but seeing them play during the dance music segment (with some weirdo in a fucking Mickey Mouse helmet) was just dreadful. Sucks that Bon Iver didn't perform though; Justin Vernon kept his integrity by refusing to do the collaboration thing. It's nice to see him walk away with Best New Artist, though his band isn't exactly new (seriously how do the Grammys work?), and his acceptance speech was sarcastically classy.
The ceremony ended with Paul McCartney and his band doing the Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End medley, showing the young uns how it's done. And to make things even better, Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl and Springsteen came out and traded guitar licks with one another after the drum solo. Unfortunately, Bruce's guitar playing was less than stellar (partly thanks to the sound mix), but still it was a joy seeing all of them together onstage. Undoubtedly the most memorable Grammy closer in recent years.
CLICK HERE for RS interview with Little Steven.
UPDATE: Apparently there was supposed to be a tribute to Clarence Clemons (link) by fellow saxman Maceo Parker, but it had to be cut to make room for the tribute to Whitney Houston. What a shame, cause there were a couple of performances that deserved to be dropped in favor of the Big Man (Chris Brown, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Coldplay, Nicki 'whatever her name is'........ all fucking terrible).