So: Beyoncé. Once and forever, Beyoncé. Let’s raise a gold sippy cup to the queen of this and every night, Beyoncé. She owned the Grammys from the opening seconds of “Drunk in Love.” Everybody knew her big number was going to slay, and we were all correct, as she rode her surfboard with nothing but her voice and a chair and her wet hair and the most emotionally omnivorous will-to-awesome in the music game. When Jay Z finally showed up, it looked as if all he could do was marvel at Bey’s “nice planet, I’ll take it” soul power. Like the rest of us.
Oh, and then they had an award show. Bonus! But the Grammy bash this year was Bey’s night. When Jay went up later to make his acceptance speech for “Holy Grail,” he said, “I want to thank God — a little bit for this award, but mostly for the universe conspiring and putting that beautiful light of a young lady in my life.” He spoke for all of us, right? Right.
It’s bizarre how great the Grammy fest has gotten — after so many years when it was an annual chore to sit through, with more live-bloggers than actual viewers, it’s turned into the heavyweight champion of award shows. It wasn’t a gradual change, either. In the past few years — let’s call it the LL Cool J Era — the Grammy bash has blown up into a celebration of the hallucinatory chaos of pop, with less industry schmoozing and loads more music. Let’s hope the LL era never ends for the Grammys — nobody wants to go back to watching Alicia Keys duet with a Sinatra hologram. Because minute for minute, this might have been the kickiest Grammy show ever.