“Another successful Grammy night!” is what we said as we clinked our glasses after the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. For most in the music industry, the Grammys mark the end of the “music year.” Awards night is sort of like our New Year’s Eve. I might rest or travel the immediate Monday after, but starting Tuesday morning its work on new songs for next year and starting on the process for the latest release for the upcoming Latin Grammys.
This year’s Grammy Awards were slightly different than before. For starters, there was a dress code to prevent sexy outfits! I’m not sure if CBS issued this dress code or the Recording Academy did, but it looked like many people thankfully ignored it anyway (Jennifer Lopez notwithstanding – that dress was HOT). Then, as I’m sure I’m not the only one that noticed, there was A LOT more country music than usual. All though Taylor Swift is technically no longer country, she counts as part of the roster that made up the “heartland” performances. I’m not saying the concert wasn’t as enjoyable as a whole, but there were a whole lot of banjos on stage – more than some of us are used to. Also, Mumford & Sons may be British, but they definitely have a whole Dukes of Hazzard thing going for them. Again, not saying the show wasn’t “Fun.,” because we got to see Sting play with Bruno Mars! Also, new Justin Timberlake is killer! And of course the “LL Cool J meets Public Enemy meets Rage Against the Machine” Beastie Boys tribute at the end absolutely made my night concert-wise! Considering the lineup, this was probably the heaviest Grammy night musically in a long time.
I was a bit bummed I didn’t get to meet Prince though. I wanted to see him up close in his cute little hobbit hoodie and cane. And I just missed meeting Elton John by a matter of minutes. The Talent Check-in and the Gifting Suite were right next to each other in tents at Staples Center. “Sir Elton” was walking up from the parking lot to the Talent Check-in area just as I started my media interviews in the Gifting Suite. I heard he was outside, but figured it would make for awkward TV if I said “Hold on, I’ll be right back!” on camera. Plus, the atmosphere in the Gifting Suite was quite great. Perhaps the most comfortable and fun setting of Grammy weekend (The Mastercard Lounge being a close second). A very pretty girl from a company called Seyie Design did the interior decoration, which had a lively yet relaxing SE Asian feel. There was also a talented and adorable 10 year old child prodigy DJ that was a lot of fun. All in all a great place to hang out.
The Mastercard Lounge was our oasis the 2nd year in a row. It’s a semi-private area with its own red carpet inside of Staple Center that runs in between the Pre-telecast and the Telecast. It is important to note that there are two parts to the Grammy Awards. There are the “real” awards called the Pre-telecast, and the televised awards simply called the Telecast: which is really just a show for pure entertainment purposes (and a much appreciated celebration after a long day). The Telecast is what everyone sees on TV. The Pre-telecast is a lot like a graduation ceremony: many, many, many, (many) awards are read off over the course of hours, usually beginning at 1:00 p.m. What is most fun about this part of the day is that everyone gets to mingle freely with each other. I have been fortunate enough to have met everyone from Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood to Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine (at the bar) and Slipknot (in the bathroom—an awkward story I should probably save for another time) during pretelecasts. Grammy day is a long day on your feet, so getting to take a break in the Mastercard Lounge after the red carpet is not only welcomed but much needed.
This year’s red carpet had so many security checkpoints, I almost expected to meet the President on the other end. From where we get dropped off to where we take the pictures to show off our outfits (the part everyone sees on TV and other media) we must have passed through at least 5 sets of guards. Red-carpet security employs everything from fake carpets to organized lies and fake directions from event staff to keep fans from getting a glimpse of the action. Personally, I think its taken way to seriously at the Grammys, not once did I see anyone trying to sneak in so it all may be a bit overkill to try enhance the feeling of being elite. I do have to say, though, that the red carpet moved more quickly than last year since they were only letting a very small number of people on it.
I’m also impressed that there was an announcement about the GRAMMYs wanting to honor music teachers. It’s great that Recording Academy took time to publicly mention a positive initiative (vs. needlessly complaining about piracy, which is the speech we usually get). In fact, first thing in the morning I saw an email from Neil Portnow, the Academy “head-honcho,” urging us to spread the word and nominate our own teachers. I don’t know if Mr. Reiser from high school and Dr. Anderson from college are still taking on students, but you definitely get my vote!
The 2013 Grammys managed to be a great night fashion-wise, music-wise, and more. I’m looking forward to finding out what we do at the next awards show!