|Photograph by: MARIO ANZUONI, REUTERS|
Many other people performed, with synchronized dancers and pyrotechnics — Rihanna, Nicky Minaj, Katy Perry, Chris Brown — but it was hard not to be drawn to the more direct performances by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band who opened the show, to the Foo Fighters who rocked out on two songs, to Paul McCartney debuting a new love song and singing some Beatles' classics. Jennifer Hudson's straightforward and touching rendition of Whitney Huston's biggest hit, I Will Always Love You also impressed. The most energetic production number of the evening belonged to Bruno Mars, whose energy and enthusiasm was infectious — and whose major special effect was his pompadour and shiny gold bowtie.
|Adele thrills the audience with Rolling in the Deep|
Not everyone will want to record their next album in their garage a la The Foo Fighters, but maybe this Grammy Awards will help some performers get back to what matters, the music. Dave Grohl has certainly issued a call-to-arms. Maybe Whitney Huston's too-early death (and Amy Winehouse's, whose photo led off the "people we lost this year" tribute) will help prevent some performer from letting drugs take over their voice, their talent, their life. Because it really should be about the music.