Music Award Show Ramblings: The Live Performance

The recent Grammys reminded me of a couple of things. I love all the music awards shows once they realized several years ago that viewers didn’t really care about watching to see who won the awards. All viewers wanted were to hear music and see the bands/singers perform.

So. I love these awards shows because they are kind of a ‘litmus test’ for me. I love music and the crafting of music. And I certainly do not begrudge a band a well produced song and album. But the awards shows tear apart the studio tricks and expertise and showcase the singer’s talent (or lack thereof). I loved MTV’s Unplugged (although I admit I didn’t really care that a hard rock band would play their songs acoustically) and VH1 Storytellers. The live stage strips it down to ‘what talent do you have.’

This year it was Taylor Swift who showcased her non-performance talent. “Screechy” I believe was the term USA Today used (and that may have been a little kind). Hey. I believe she is unbelievably talented but she ain’t no Whitney Houston live (Whitney, despite any personal issues you may have with her, has a set of pipes on her).

It also brings me to another country singer who is just horrible as a live performer – Tim McGraw. His albums are awesome. His live performances are awful. His voice is thin and he doesn’t have that lung power that the great singers seem to have (so it doesn’t sound like they are huffing and puffing thru the performance).

Hey. I don’t want this to sound like a country bashing post because I like country music, and singers like Phil Vassar, Miranda Lambert and Tim’s wife, Faith Hill, are amazing live and outside a studio and its performance tricks. In fact, Faith is so overlooked it is a shame because that girl has a voice and stage presence that is world class.

Sucky live performers?

Taylor Swift.

Tim McGraw. (which sucked because I wanted him to be good)

The Killers.

Gwen Stefani. Oh boy. Worse than sucky.

The bad rappers. Make poetry readings seem appealing.

I guess I can’t figure out why a performer would perform if they knew they would suck. Ok. Other than that I don’t care. Because it gives me the opportunity to check out if they suck or don’t. So. You got some of my “wow, they suck live” I may as well share a couple of my “wow, they were a lot better than I thought they would be.”

Faith Hill. Big big voice. Big performer.

Alanis Morisette. Awesome.

Dixie Chicks. Awesome. Maybe even better live than on records.

Seal. Awesome. Surprisingly awesome.

Green Day. Awesome.

Vanessa Carlton. Awesome.

LL Cool J. More than awesome.

The good rappers. Awesome.

That’s it. The recent Grammys just made me think about it. By the way … this isn’t my list of greatest live performances I have ever seen (that is a different post). This is just a Music Award show rambling.

There you go.

Written by Bruce