Six Takeaways From The 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Last night, the 62nd GRAMMY Awards went down at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. And while many of the performances and artists weren’t necessarily your average rock or metal fan’s cup of tea, there were definitely a couple of moments that stuck with us.
Here’s what the night held…
Kobe Bryant Was On Everyone's Minds
The death of basketball star Kobe Bryant cast a pall over the GRAMMYs, especially with them going down at the Staples Center, AKA the House That Kobe Built. But it seemed that the emotion felt at the athlete’s demise added a certain level of gravity and warmth to the ceremony. The central theme of the night was using the power of music to celebrate life, an idea that feels necessary in these troublesome times.
Tool's Fear Inoculum Is Unstoppable
With a GRAMMY win for 7empest, Tool officially cemented their long-anticipated 2019 album Fear Inoculum as the true landmark album of the year. While it was interesting that Tool lost in their nomination for Best Rock Album but won Best Metal Performance – it’s obvious that the Academy still sees them as something heavier and more dangerous than typical rock. It’s also worth noting that this is the band’s third GRAMMY in total, so only winning one ain’t a bad way to be. Hats off to Danny Carey, who looked especially dapper.
Ozzy Is Still Going On Tour "If He's Well Enough"
On the red carpet, Ozzy Osbourne appeared with his daughter Kelly (Sharon was interviewing other celebrities further along), walking with the assistance of a cane. In his first video interview since announcing his Parkinson’s diagnosis, The Prince Of Darkness was asked if he still intended to tour – a question that’s been on the minds of fans planning to attend Ozzy’s rescheduled tour dates. “Well, if I’m well enough. I’ve been working towards it having physical therapy everyday. I’m doing the best I can.”
Kelly was quick to note, “Just coming out and telling his truth has been a huge weight off of his shoulders, and even physical therapists have said how far [he’s] come in this last week has been insane.”
We Apparently Need To Be Listening To More Gary Clark, Jr.
Texan blues-rock guitarist Gary Clark Jr. took home GRAMMYs for both Best Rock Song – narrowly beating out Tool, who were nominated for Far Inoculum – and Best Rock Performance. While your average punk and metal fan might not know Gary’s work very well, his unique style – combining rusty, heavy southern guitar licks with heavy doses of soul and hip-hop – make him perfectly poised to become a distinct voice within the southern rock scene.
The Performances Were Insane
The staging for this year’s performances were out of control. From Lizzo’s Wagnerian mountainside to Aerosmith and Run DMC’s giant multi-levelled stage to Lil Nas X’s giant slime-green cowboy skull, the set was a treat for the eyes. Instead of going nuts on pyro, the organisers used screens to their advantage, creating an eye-catching spectacle. It feels like a throwback to the risky, bizarre awards show set-ups of the mid- to late-’90s, when artists like blink-182 and Marilyn Manson performed on massive, hyperbolic stages full of character.
Tyler, The Creator Is Pretty Fucking Metal
Of the performers at this year’s awards, Tyler, The Creator definitely went the weirdest and the darkest. The rapper opened his show with a series of hoarse, rhythmic barks before rising on what looked like a gravestone in the middle of burning suburbia. Between dancing like he’s trying to stand up in the back of a moving truck and headbanging along with a collection of weird, languid clones of himself, Tyler made it very clear that he’s not here to be traditional, or to give awards show fans what they want – which is what makes him so hardcore, even in a pink bellhop outfit.
Surging debut Undertow had established the Los Angeles outsiders as the strangest rock rebels of the ’90s. Little did we know it was just the jumping-off point. With Ænima, Tool cut the strings altogether for a thrilling trip down the rabbit-hole…
Mike Shinoda got his hands on Linkin Park’s new Hybrid Theory 20th Anniversary Edition Super Deluxe Box Set early… lucky guy.