The 58th annual Grammys® suffered from major and minor glitches Monday night, including that awful Adele performance.
Fans tried to blame everyone and everything but Adele for over-singing “All I Ask,” an underwhelming tune she co-wrote with Bruno Mars. It was the sound. The mic fell onto the piano strings. The mic shouldn’t have even been there. She couldn’t hear herself because of the acoustic problems. Taylor Swift… Justin Bieber did it.
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences President Neil R. Portnow tried to manage the complaints backstage during a press conference of sorts. He affirmed that the problem stemmed from a mic dropping into the piano strings. “We have the most complicated technical show on television when it comes to music, bar none. Inside the piano are microphones, and a mike dropped into the strings. It happens to all sorts of people, but it rarely happens on our show,” he said, as reported by August Brown for the L.A. Times. “When we switched over to the backup system, it had to drop out for a few seconds. When performing in intimate performances, it can be unnerving. We certainly don’t like it when those things happen, but they happen.”
Adele joked about the live performance afterwards, tweeting that, “The piano mics fell onto the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune. Sh*t happens…” and she’s treating herself to an In-N-Out burger because of it.
That doesn’t explain the ambient monotone of Adele’s music and vocals in general, however.
Lady Gaga’s musical tribute to the late David Bowie missed the mark as well. Oh, Gaga can sing, no doubt about it. She slayed Julie Andrew’s part in a “Sound Of Music” tribute last year at the Oscars and “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl last week.
But taking on such an iconic, complex role as Bowie, complete with the costumes and the attempt at dancing, seemed ill-suited for the shock-pop-turned-retro-jazz artist. Maybe she can pull off her own brand of soft porn pop or classic jazz standards crooner — with the right set of image-crafting and sidemen — but Bowie’s discography’s a little too out there even for her.
The dancing seemed out of step too, as if a geriatric hippie hopped onto Bowie’s stage during a break and tried to vibe with the band. The heavy-handed music, dancing, vocals, and costumes wore her, and not the other way around. (You should’ve seen her quietly sobbing during make-up while listening to Bowie’s music. It was on Instagram. Oh boy.)
Nobody can do Bowie but Bowie unfortunately. Besides, it was way too soon — even with the blessing and presence of guitarist Nile Rodgers of Chic and a former collaborator with Bowie.
In Mashable, Josh Dickey wrote that Lady Gaga’s choppy, seven-minute tribute medley “was, frankly, the kind of schmaltz that Bowie probably would’ve dismissed as artless rubbish. And it didn’t have to be this way.”
Dickey continued, not entirely panning the choice. “… she is, in many ways, this generation’s own version of the sexually fluid multiplatform star, pushing fashion as hard as she pushes pop. And she has proven enough times that she’s got the pipes for Bowie’s choral-esque warble, in particular with her spine-tingling performance of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at the Super Bowl.
“What would’ve been great: A Bowie song that embodied Bowie in all his cinematic splendor, like ‘Starman’ or the entirety of ‘Space Oddity.’ Or any whole Bowie song, really, would’ve worked better than the picture-less jigsaw puzzle they assembled on the Grammys stage Monday night.”
But that’s the Grammys for you.