While Robert Plant & Alison Krauss may have taken home the Big Trophy and M.I.A.’s bursting-beach-ball pregnancy (or Katy Perry’s tits) may have been the talk of the town at last night’s Grammy awards ceremony, but it was Radiohead’s performance of 15 Step that stole the thunder from Lil’ Wayne and Coldplay in a night full of attempted “unforgettable” performances.
To be honest, Radiohead did more than steal the show; they made U2 look like out of touch old men and all the “special guest collaborations” look like empty hype magnets by comparison- which a good many of them were (Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Bros? My head hurts). Don’t get me wrong, the Timberlake/T.I. song was badass, and the Kanye/Jay-Z/Lil’ Wayne/T.I./M.I.A. track Swagga Like Us was absolutely nuts- but there was a spastic, majestic energy to Radiohead’s 15 Step that eclipsed every other performance last night. Watching Thom Yorke’s shaggy, one-eyed electrocution dance as the USC Marching Band backed Johnny Greenwood was more than entertaining- it was inspiring. Theirs was the only performance that made me want to turn off my TV and make music afterward- and that’s perhaps the best compliment I can bestow on an artist.
On a side note, whoever Miley Cyrus’ handlers are made a baaad decision in pairing her up with Taylor Swift, the girl who just stepped off an eight-week run at the top of the Billboard 200, for a duet last night. The beautifully poised and graceful Swift made Miley look like the braying, horse-faced spoiled little brat that she is. The talent gap between the two was a painful distraction.