Last night, rock ‘n’ roll ruled at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. The Committee put together a stellar line-up of Hall of Fame and future Hall of Fame rock artists that were certainly the highlight performances of the evening. Throughout the show, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of The Stone Age, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (The Beatles), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac), Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Imagine Dragons, and Gary Clarke, Jr. all graced the Grammy stage. Nine Inch Nails, Queens of The Stone Age, Paul McCartney, Imagine Dragons, and Gary Clark, Jr. were all nominated this year. In addition, Paul and Ringo accepted The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for The Beatles. Along with these performers, Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds To Mars introduced Metallica and Lang Lang, Black Sabbath introduced Ringo Starr, and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith (along with Smokey Robinson) presented the award for Record of The Year.
Gary Clarke, Jr. teamed up with country superstar Keith Urban for a soulful performance of Urban’s “Cop Car” that featured dazzling guitar work from both musicians. Urban himself is an amazing guitar player, and very much underrated. Country or not, the guy can shred. Gary is an incredible blues guitarist that first started making noise after his performance at Metallica’s Orion Music and More Festival in 2012 in Atlantic City, NJ. He will be touring with Kings of Leon on their Mechanical Bull Arena Tour this spring.
Heavy metal titans Metallica took us back to their S&M days circa 1999, adding a classical component to their thrash metal assault. The band joined forces with piano guru and Grammy Ambassador of China, Lang Lang, to perform a new and improved version of “One”, which the band performed the last time they played the Grammys – 23 years ago. Complete with pyro and a killer dual solo from Lang Lang and Kirk Hammett, it was certainly one of the better performances of the night. Metallica’s last album, 2008’s Death Magnetic, was nominated for five Grammys, winning two of them. The band are currently working om their next album, and they are set to tour Europe this summer, headlining several major festivals.
Perhaps the most unique and explosive performance came from Imagine Dragons and their collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar. Both artists performed at the Budweiser Made In America Festival this past summer. They produced an awesome mash-up of the band’s hit, “Radioactive” (which won Best Rock Performance earlier in the evening), and Lamar’s “M.A.D.D. City”. The performers were decked out in all white, and an explosion of purple paint at the end was the icing on the cake.
In a heartfelt tribute to the late Phil Everly, Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong teamed up with country songstress Miranda Lambert to perform The Everly Brothers classic, “When Will I Be Loved”. Billie Joe seemed to be in good health, and the pair delivered pitch-perfect harmonies. In the spring of 2012, Green Day released their triple-album, ¡UNO! ¡DOS! ¡TRÉ!, and embarked on a world tour to support it.
It really doesn’t get much better than this. Paul McCartney not only performed last night, but he debuted a new song, “Queenie Eyes”, and he was accompanied by his dear old friend, Ringo Starr. The surviving half of The Beatles gave a nostalgic performance, in the wake of receiving The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Earlier in the show, Ringo performed the solo tune “Photographs” in light of his new book of photos that’s out now. Starr was introduced by fellow English rock legends, Black Sabbath.
All superstars in this year’s grand finale were tied to the award show, and to each other as well. Dave Grohl played drums on Queens of The Stone Age’s multi-platinum smash hit, 2002’s Songs for The Deaf. He also contributed drums on their most recent effort, 2013’s …Like Clockwork. In 2005, Grohl contributed percussion to seven tracks on the Nine Inch Nails album, With Teeth. In 2013, QOTSA frontman Josh Homme returned the favor by performing on three tracks on Grohl’s Sound City Soundtrack. On QOTSA’s hit 2013 album, …Like Clockwork, NIИ’s Trent Reznor lends his vocal’s to the track, “Kalopsia”. Both NIИ and QOTSA performed at this past summer’s Budweiser Made In America Festival in Philadelphia, PA. The two juggernauts will be embarking on a massive co-headlining tour in March in Australia and New Zealand. Lindsey Buckingham appeared in Dave Grohl’s directorial debut, the documentary Sound City, and Buckingham’s Fleetwood Mac bandmate Stevie Nicks appears on the film’s soundtrack. The group got together and rocked out an amazing rendition of Nine Inch Nails’ first hit single off Hesitation Marks, “Copy of A”. It featured blistering guitar work from Buckingham, and a taste of NIИ’s groundbreaking stage show. Then, Queens of The Stone Age and Dave Grohl appeared from behind the huge moving screens, and things got epic. They finished grinding out “Copy of A”, and Reznor went to keyboards as Josh Homme took over vocals. With Grohl on drums, they group launched into QOTSA’s recent hit, “My God Is The Sun”.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Metallica have been touring relentlessly since 2008 off their Grammy Award-winning album Death Magnetic. While the band did not tour as extensively in 2012, with the help of several major festival appearances (including their very own Orion Music + More Festival), they hauled in $86 million. Their last studio effort saw the band return to form. Both heavy and thrashy, it’s a nice mix of …And Justice and Black Album. The disc debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and has since gone multi-platinum. It was nominated for 5 Grammy Awards, winning two of them (“Best Recording Package” and “Best Metal Performance” for “My Apocalypse”). Metallica have begun working on their next studio album. Producer Rick Ruben, who won the Grammy for “Producer of The Year – Non-Classical” for his work on Death Magnetic, will once again be leading Metallica’s charge. Metallica released another live DVD from their World Magnetic Tour, Quebec Magnetic, last fall. It was the band’s first release on their own newly founded North American label, Blackened Recordings. In September 2013, the band released their first-ever feature film, Metallica Through The Never, an explosive live concert film combined with an original story line that thrilled fans in IMAX theaters around the world.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles famous debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. To commemorate the landmark performance, John Mayer, Alicia Key, John Legend, will come together on January 27 to cover Beatles tunes for the special, The Night That Changed America – A Grammy Salute to The Beatles. Also, The Eurythmics are back and will be performing some Beatles songs for the special as well. Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart are reuniting for this one-time special occasion. The special will air on February 9, the anniversary of the original performance. The Beatles are undoubtedly one of the most iconic and influential music artists of all time. Throughout their career, they’ve garnered 7 Grammy Awards and an Oscar for Best Original Score. The Beatles are the number one selling act of all time, with over 2.3 billion records sold worldwide since their debut in 1962. Their discography boasts an impressive 6 diamond albums, and 24 multi-platinum albums. The band as a collective was included in Time Magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People of The 20th Century.
Nine Inch Nails are undoubtedly one of the greatest artists of all time. Pioneers of the industrial genre, they incorporated elements of rock, metal, electronica, and alternative rock to forge a style all their own. They shook the music world to it’s core in 1989 with their debut album, Pretty Hate Machine. The record was truly groundbreaking, and has since gone on to be certified multi-platinum. In 1994, NIИ set the bar once again with their sophomore effort, The Downward Spiral, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200. The disc went on to sell over 5 million copies, and be certified quadruple-platinum. It spawned NIИ’s finest moment, the single Closer. The band’s third album was a monster double disc outing titled The Fragile, released in 1999. The album saw NIИ expanding their trademark sound, and once again the band debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. From 2005-2008, the band released four more studio LP’s. Throughout their entire career, Nine Inch Nails were famous for their EPs, single releases, and remix albums. They have released approximately two-dozen since their inception. Every NIИ record is categorized with the word “Halo” followed by a number. This past summer, the band headlined the Budweiser Made In America Festival in Philadelphia, PA.
In the last year, frontman Dave Grohl directed Soundgarden’s video for “By Crooked Steps”, recorded drums on the new Queens of The Stone Age album, …Like Clockwork (heavily praised as one of the best albums of 2013), produced Ghost B.C.’s latest EP, If You Have Ghost, directed his first documentary, Sound City, and collaborated with Zac Brown Band on their country rock EP, The Grohl Sessions, Vol. 1. Foo Fighters last album, 2011’s Wasting Light, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and was produced by Butch Vig, who produced the legendary Nirvana album, Nevermind. Keeping with the desire to create a rawer and heavier album, Grohl decided to record it in his garage in Encino, CA. The disc went on to earn the band five Grammy Award nominations, including Album of The Year. The album won the award for Best Rock Album, and the song “White Limo” won Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, and “Walk” won both Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. Foo Fighters walked away with a fifth Grammy that night – the award for Best Long Form Music Video for Back and Forth, a documentary about the recording of the album. To support the record, the band hit the road on the Wasting Light World Tour from December 2010-September 2012. Foo Fighters recently played a special show on December 13, 2013 in Mexico City, Mexico. This concert marked the band first trip to the country. The band’s new disc is tentatively due out in late 2014, and it most definitely made our list of the Most Anticipated Rock Albums of 2014. On February 1, Foo Fighters will headline the Bud Light Hotel Super Bowl Party in New York City, the night before Super Bowl XLVIII. The band is set to headline Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE, on June 19-22.
Queens of The Stone Age tapped Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl to play drums on their sixth studio LP. The album is the long-awaited follow-up to 2007′s Era Vulgaris, on which Grohl did not play. The album still debuted at #14 on the Billboard Top 200, selling over 52,000 copies in it’s first week of sales. Along with 2000′s Rated R, the band’s 2002 masterpiece Songs For The Deaf is one of the best albums of the decade, and the last time Grohl played with Queens of The Stone Age. The disc hit #17 on the Billboard Top 200, and went on to sell over 1 million copies. Throughout their career, Queens of the Stone Age have been nominated for the Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy Award four times. Queens of The Stone Age are touring in support the new album, …Like Clockwork, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 back on June 4. Queens of The Stone Age served as a feature act at the Budweiser Made In America Festival 2013, and will be embarking on a co-headlining tour of Australia with Nine Inch Nails just before they perform at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in April.
Imagine Dragons released their debut album, Night Visions, in September 2012. The disc debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, as well as peaking at #1 on Billboard Alternative Albums and Billboard Rock Albums. It sold over 83,000 copies in it’s first week of sales and in just a year, it’s been certified platinum. To support the record, the band set out on a fall tour in 2012 with Awolnation and in 2013, they embarked on the 145-date Night Visions World Tour. Included in the run were stops at Isle of Wright Festival, Rock am Ring and Budweiser Made In America Festival on Labor Day Weekend in Philadelphia, PA alongside Nine Inch Nails, Queens of The Stone Age, Phoenix, The Gaslight Anthem, Fitz & The Tantrums, and more. Imagine Dragons have been nominated twice for Best Rock Video at the MTV Video Music Awards (2012 and 2013). The band has been nominated for 4 People’s Choice Awards, set to take place on January 8, 2014. Imagine Dragons won the award for Favorite Alternative Music Artist at the 2013 American Music Awards. They were also nominated for Favorite Band/Duo/Group and New Artist of The Year. – by Matt Bishop (Photos of Metallica/LangLang, Imagine Dragons/Kendrick Lamar, Dave Grohl, Queens of The Stone Age Courtesy of Kevin Winter/WireImage – Photo of Nine Inch Nails Courtesy of Kevin Mazur/WireImage)