Let's start with the awards. No surprise, Adele and Foo Fighters took home almost everything, but deservedly so. I predicted 20 of the main categories and I ended up getting 14 out of 20 correct. The song that screwed me up the most was "All of the Lights," which isn't all that good but one a bunch of hip-hop awards anyway.
I was happy to see Foo Fighters win so many awards. They definitely had one of the best rock albums of 2011. Bon Iver also took home two trophies and I liked hearing Justin Vernon both be grateful and make a comment on how many worthy artists would never even be nominated.
Unfortunately, Omaha recording legend Tom Ware didn't win. He was nominated for his work on Lady Gaga's album, "Born This Way." Adele couldn't be stopped last night and she took the trophy for album of the year ahead of Gaga (and Ware, who was among 17 people included in the nomination for "Born This Way").
As for the performances, let's break down the best and worst.
Paul McCartney's performance of his song "My Valentine" was a total yawn-fest, but his telecast-ending performance of the medley from "Abbey Road" was incredible. Best of the night, in my opinion, although if you were watching in Omaha, you saw KMTV unceremoniously interrupt it with the evening news. I haven't gotten comment from the station as to what happened, but I'll post as soon as I do.
I was most skeptical of pairing the reunited Beach Boys with Foster The People and Maroon 5 because I thought they'd do a weird mashup of "Pumped Up Kicks," "Moves Like Jagger" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice," which would have been a total travesty. But it was actually a medley of all Beach Boys songs performed by each group. It ended up being a great tribute and the Beach Boys looked pretty good even though Brian Wilson looked a little overwhelmed.
I was also really skeptical of the "dance music" segment that was going to include David Guetta, deadmau5, Foo Fighters, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown. It ended up being like a live version of an electro mashup and it was pretty cool if not awkward at moments. I think most viewers probably wouldn't get it, but it was certainly a step in the right direction.
Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney Houston was appropriate and moving.
I also liked that Foo Fighters got a big slot to play "Walk," but why were they stuck in the outside tent? It appeared that the edgy stuff wasn't allowed inside the actual ceremony, so they had to stick it outside. Weird. (Also, did anyone else think that it was weird to hear a guy who's voiced two animated panda films, Jack Black, talk about having indie cred?)
Nicki Minaj, what were you thinking? Ugh. Whomever told her this performance would be a good idea should be fired. Instead of doing something people knew, she went with newer track "Roman Holiday" and a Lady Gaga-imitating performance that will/did offend just about any Christian watching it.
Chris Brown needs to learn how to sing and dance at the same time or how to lip sync better. Either way, it was completely obvious that he was lip syncing the entire performances, which looked like a life-size version of the video game Q-Bert.