Menifee Plugged In: Grammy Awards Ends on a Low Note

By Neil Kristjansson

So the Grammys were on TV last night. I usually don’t watch these sorts of things. Knowing most of my personal favorites won’t ever make an appearance there, let alone get nominated for anything, is kind of a turn-off.

Fortunately, I found out that quite a few of my interests were going to show up. Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl (from Foo Fighters), and Lindsey Buckingham (from Fleetwood Mac) were going to close the show. How cool is that? Yeah, I mean, sure my favorite band is playing. But with Lindsey Buckingham? Live? That’s even better. But there’s a terrible twist to this that I’ll get to later.

For the most part, the Grammys were actually pretty enjoyable this year. Of course, most awards fell into their expected place, but a few stand-outs made their way onto the list of winners. Lorde, although a pretty big sensation now from her popular song “Royals”, actually surprised me when she won Song of the Year. Something about a 17-year-old New Zealander showing up all over U.S. radio and taking home an award like that is odd to me. But good for her, you know? That takes some effort.

Winning both Record of the Year for their track “Get Lucky” and Album of the Year for their album “Random Access Memories”, Daft Punk definitely came out on top. If you haven’t heard it, go check it out. I’d easily put it in my top 5 albums of 2013. But that victory is even more surprising to me than Lorde’s.

For the most part, the Grammys have been nothing more than a popularity contest without any judgment of the quality of the music. And now, for once, they did it right. Although it wasn’t my favorite, I definitely think Daft Punk deserved the win. Good for you, DP.

Oh yeah, how could I forget? Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their song “Same Love” with Mary Lambert and Madonna joining them as Queen Latifah wed 33 couples – some gay, some not. I’ll be honest, I actually got chills at that. Tears welled up in much of the crowd’s eyes as 66 people walked away from the show in one of the happiest moments of their lives. Pretty beautiful stuff, really.

Lastly, after a pretty stellar Grammys (what I’d have called them up until this point), it was time to close. Between Yoko Ono fumbling around her words to announce nominees and LL Cool J’s too-long-to-be-funny jokes, the show ended up running about 15 minutes late. Pushing the time slot of any show is going to be bad for viewers, regardless of what they’re watching. In this case, I (and several other people) waited three and a half hours through the pop culture sensations to get to the ‘supergroup’ performance at the end.

Boom, introduction and it’s on. Nine Inch Nails starts with their single “Copy of A”, with Lindsey Buckingham playing guitar instead of a synthesizer. The song builds up, explosion, bam, boom, screens part and Dave Grohl is on drums, Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age) plays a mini-solo and soon Nine Inch Nails finishes their song.

It’s shortened for the Grammys' sake, but it was still intense. The show quickly segues into Queens of the Stone Age’s single “My God is the Sun”. Everybody’s going crazy. The band is spectacular, the visuals are spectacular – everything is going great. Until, out of nowhere: A sponsorship ad for Delta Airlines right in the middle of the song. It just showed up.

The sound was louder than the band, the logo completely took over the screen for a good five to 10 seconds and it cut back to a long shot of the band playing. Then? Credits. The credits start rolling, and as the song is nearing its last note, the Grammys are over. They pull the plug and it goes straight to commercial.

“The biggest night for music”, and this is what happens? I get that a thousand cool things happened before hand, but on a night specified for showing respect to the music industry, they don’t even allow the band their full attention, let alone the last note of their song.

I was happy enough to catch the moment where two of my favorite bands joined the stage together, but it fell apart with that absolute disregard for them as both artists and people. That’s completely disrespectful, and shame on the Grammys. That’s disgusting.

Neil Kristjansson's "Menifee Plugged In" column appears each week. He writes about two things of interest to most of the younger generation -- music and electronic gaming. He welcomes your comments here or though email at


  1. Extremely well written, and you are so right on. These were big moments for these entertainers as well as their fans. I do hope you forward this article to the producers of such shows.