By Jaden Lam
On Sunday night, April 3, 2022, the 64th Grammys Awards was hosted by Trevor Noah in Las Vegas, Nevada. For decades it has most commonly been held in Los Angeles, California. However, this year due to the rise in COVID-19 cases after the winter holidays, they pushed out the date of the show from January 31 to April 3 and moved the venue to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. This was the first year they have ever hosted the Grammys in Vegas. They’ve only ever changed venues to Chicago, New York City, or Nashville. In my opinion, this was the best Grammys I have ever watched and the most memorable one at that. There wasn’t one performance that I disliked, even if I wasn’t as big of a fan of the genre or artist. I am here to highlight my favorite parts of the night.
The night kicked off with a killer performance by Silk Sonic with their song “777” and a casino concept which was extremely fitting because obviously the show was in Las Vegas. J. Balvin lit up the night with a super cool glow in the dark style performance with backup dancers in total synchronization. Olivia Rodrigo performed her breakout song “drivers license.” Her performance especially stood out to me because the set was just so beautiful and atmospheric. It really fit the concept of her music video, with a car driving through an empty neighborhood at night. I also found it really cool how at the beginning of her performance, she searched through the stations in her car and the radio played through a bunch of her songs until it reached drivers license.
My favorite performance of the night that really knocked me off my feet was BTS’ brand new stage for their hit track “Butter.” I might be a little biased because I am a huge fan of them, but even Billboard news agrees with me. THEY STOLE THE WHOLE SHOW. Their performance had a whole 007 concept to fit with their lyrics “Smooth like butter, like a criminal undercover.” They cosplayed criminals in an art heist. First, really cool jazz music started playing and then Jungkook was literally lowered down from the ceiling Euphoria style (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, basically in 2019 during their Love Yourself Tour, Jungkook flew around the stadium attached to a pole and a harness while singing his song Euphoria! It is ICONIC. You should search it up!). Then we got the Olivia Rodrigo and V exchange, where V then proceeds to throw his card to Jungkook. Jungkook so smoothly catched it (And no, it was not a camera trick. He actually caught the throw! The boys confirmed it in a livestream after the show.), then inserted it into the soundboard and the song started playing. The performance as a whole just left me in complete awe and I had to watch it at least 10 times to catch all the small details. It was a refreshing performance of Butter because it was the first time they had ever worn all black and did a 007 concept with the song. It really redefined what BTS was capable of and re-established why they are so deserving of their popularity. Their performances never disappoint, especially their Grammys performances. They always step up their performances with every comeback, no matter how long they have already been in the music industry. You could tell just how much effort they put into this Butter performance. Even the set was incredible. It is by far one of the best BTS performances ever. We haven’t even started talking about the dance break. The choreography for the dance break was PHENOMENAL. Like, who came up with the idea for BTS to do flips over laser beams replicating a full on robbery heist. It was so smooth, I didn’t see a single mistake. And can you tell me how they so effortlessly tied their jackets together that quickly??? It was also so cool when they started playing air guitars with their jackets. It baffled me how they were able to position themselves so perfectly in a swift move while also synchronizing the air guitars. Let’s also not forget that they did this dance break when their age range is from 24 to 29 years old… Find me another artist dominating the music industry right now that does choreography like this. Right, they don’t exist. There is only one BTS. Seriously, no one is doing it like them.
I also found it sweet how they included Jin into the performance despite his injury and gave him the role as a computer hacker, so he wouldn’t feel left out on such an iconic performance. I noticed that they shamelessly put their old K-pop music from as early as 2015 into the background of the stage. For example, I saw lyrics from their song “FIRE” on the screen and photos in the pictures frames from their “The Most Beautiful Moment In Life” albums. I found it really cool that even though they reached so much success with their English singles, they are still giving shoutouts to the music that was able to give them the platform to make songs like Butter.
Regarding the awards of the night, Silk Sonic took home both the awards, Song of the Year and Record of the Year for Leave the Door Open. Olivia Rodrigo received the Best New Artist award, becoming the third youngest artist to win this award. Sza and Doja Cat won Best Duo/Group Performance for Kiss Me More and jazz and r&b singer Jon Batiste took home Album of the Year with “We Are.” In my opinion, the best speech of the night completely went to him. His words were so touching when he said, “there is no such thing as a best musician, singer, dancer, actor. The creative arts are subjective.” What he said could not be more true. Music is made to help heal others in times of need and each song that is put out by a variety of artists has a different message that will reach someone’s heart in different ways and at different times of people’s lives.
I was also extremely wowed by Billie Eilish’s performance. She rocked the stage with FINNEAS singing her lead single Happier Than Ever. Although the song wasn’t necessarily my style of music, she gave us a memorable performance in her unique Billie way. Her performance started off with Billie singing alone inside with the whole house being upside down and water flooding the floors (well technically ceiling…). Then, she traveled up to the roof of the house where she met up with FINNEAS, and they started jamming out together with drums and electric guitars in the pouring rain. The whole vibe of the performance was so cool and unreal. I really enjoyed it and it was by far one of the best performances of the night.
Wearing all blue and sitting beside a grand piano, THE John Legend, himself, beautifully paid a tribute to the war happening in Ukraine honoring all the unfortunate lost Ukrainian lives through his heart wrenching and emotional performance.
Lady Gaga paid a tribute to her good friend Tony Benett in a very heartfelt performance.
Justin Bieber did a rendition of his song Peaches, but this time it was a lot more stripped back. He sat by a piano with a very dramatic orange lighting and sang the song acapella before transitioning into the chorus. Daniel Caesar and Giveon also join him on the stage. It was an iconic performance.
I was also very impressed by H.E.R. when she started playing both the drums and the electric guitar during her performance! It was so cool. I have never heard her music before, but her performance piqued my interest in checking her music out.
Overall, the Grammys this year was THE award show to watch. There was not one boring moment of it. All the performances were superb. This year, at 2022’s Grammys, they barely even announced any awards. The majority of the award show was performances. At the beginning of the show, Trevor Noah even joked that it was going to be a concert more than anything, and his words held the truth. It was a night of celebrating amazing artists for their talent. Through this, instead of awards, they heavily focused more on performances because that’s what music is all about. At the end of the day, music is a gift and music is about the invigorating feeling artists give their listeners and fans through their craft. So, I loved the direction the Grammys went with this year.