Grammys 2013 winners and performances: Big night for Mumford & Sons, tributes to Levon Helm and Bob Marley at Grammy Awards

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 10, 2013 

Nobody arrived in an egg. Nobody performed extreme, death-defying tricks while singing. Nobody insulted another entertainer on the podium.

And the music world still survived.

That's one way to summarize the 2013 Grammys, which aired Sunday on CBS. Days before the Grammy Awards, the network suggested the show would be tame, issuing a "no breasts and buttocks" policy for apparel.

Make no mistake: Plenty of Sunday's stars tested the policy's limits. I'm talking to you, Jennifer Lopez. And Katy Perry. (See a photo gallery of "edgy" looks here.)

Wardrobe infractions aside, the ceremony seemed to emphasize that the music industry isn't about shock value. The night's big winners included groups like Mumford & Sons, fun. and The Black Keys -- acts that generally emphasize instrument mastery instead of funky apparel.

While the ceremony arguably felt sleepy at points -- it could've used some Florence and the Machine, in my opinion -- it was also refreshing to see memorable moments created simply out of music, rather excessive boundary-pushing. Chief among those memorable moments: tributes to Bob Marley and Levon Helm.

What do you think? Was the ceremony exciting enough for you? Read my full recap, and then share your thoughts in the comments section.

***

8 p.m. - The show kicks off with Taylor Swift performing "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." The performance has a circus atmosphere that somehow also reminds me of "Alice in Wonderland." There are people playing with fire and doing gymnastics. Some people are also dressed as rabbits. Note: I'm talking about what's happening on stage, not in the audience.

8:05 - Host LL Cool J opens up the show. "I'm standing here because music is, was and always will be my first love," he says.

8:10 - Ed Sheeran takes the stage with Elton John. They play Ed's hit, "The A Team." Hmm. Not necessarily the best fit for Elton John, but I'll stick with it in hopes that they'll eventually transition into "Bennie and the Jets." That never happens. Too bad.

8:18 - Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez present the first award. I'm curious: What do you think about Jennifer's dress? Short summary: She's rocking some serious leg action. In case you haven't heard, there was supposed to be a "no breasts and buttocks" wardrobe policy at the Grammys. "As you can see, I read the memo," J. Lo quips upon taking the stage.

8:20 - Best Pop Solo Performance goes to Adele for "Set Fire to the Rain" -- the live version, apparently.

8:22 - Time for some music from those crazy guys from fun. Not sure if I'd describe this performance of "Carry On" as "fun." Yes, I'm really stretching my humor skills tonight. There is rain on stage, which also seems a little out of place. And can we talk about the lead singer's pants? It's been two years since I last used the word "manpri." I wanted to keep it that way.

8:33 - Miranda Lambert performs "Over You" while joined by Dierks Bentley. Then, they transition into "Home." No, that's not a cover of a Phillip Phillips song.

8:39 - Quick tribute to Dick Clark. RIP.

8:40 - Miguel and Wiz Khalifa perform "Adorn." On an unrelated note, did you see Rihanna and Chris Brown together in the audience?

8:42 - Best Country Solo Performance goes to Carrie Underwood for "Blown Away." No noticeable reaction from Faith Hill. Don't get the joke? Watch this.

8:50 - Speaking of Faith Hill, she takes the stage with Tim McGraw to present the award for Song of the Year.

8:51 - Song of the Year goes to "We Are Young." Don't get the difference between Song of the Year and Record of the Year? Song of the Year is a songwriter's award. It only goes to the composers, "whereas the Record of the Year award goes to the performer and production team of the song," according to Wikipedia.

8:53 - Johnny Depp is in the house! He introduces a performance by Mumford & Sons.

8:54 - Mumford & Sons perform "I Will Wait." I love these guys. Stellar performance as usual.

9:02 - We're an hour into the show. How many awards have been handed out? Three.

9:03 - Ellen DeGeneres and Beyonce take the stage to introduce a performance. This might be a good time to discuss Beyonce's pantsuit. Ready, set, go.

9:05 - Justin Timberlake sings his new song, "Suit and Tie." The performance has a big band, retro feel and they use some cool technology to make it look old-school black and white on my TV. Jay-Z is nice enough to make a cameo and rap his part of the song. Eventually, color is restored to my TV and Justin transitions into another song. I think it's called "Little Pusher Lover." Or "Pusher Love." But not "Push It." (Post-show update: Apparently, it's officially called "Pusher Girl Love.")

9:12 - Best Urban Contemporary Album goes to Frank Ocean for "Channel Orange." Why were there only three nominees in this category?

9:20 - Best Rock Performance goes to "Lonely Boy" by The Black Keys.

9:22 - Time for an Alicia Keys/Maroon 5 collaboration. They perform "Daylight" and "Girl on Fire." I don't hate it as much as I thought I would. That's a compliment.

9:27 - Best Pop Vocal Album goes to Kelly Clarkson for "Stronger." Awesome. I'm very happy about this one. I love her whirlwind, somewhat-incoherent acceptance speech. I'm not a big fan of her outfit, though.

9:30 - Rihanna performs "Stay" while joined by Mikky Ekko. Awesome performance...definitely one of my favorites of the night so far.

9:41 - Best Rap/Sung Collaboration goes to "No Church in the Wild" by Jay-Z and Kanye West, featuring Frank Ocean and The-Dream. While accepting the award, Jay-Z jokingly thanked "the swap meet" for The-Dream's hat. Fun fact: That joke "was the highest tweets-per-minute moment of Sunday night's ceremony for east coast viewers from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. ET," according to Mashable.

9:49 - The Black Keys perform "Lonely Boy" while joined by Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Another very solid performance.

9:53 - Kelly Clarkson honors two lifetime achievement honorees: Carole King and Patti Page. She sings "Tennessee Waltz" and then transitions into "Natural Woman." As a longtime "Idol" blogger, I get a little emotional whenever Kelly sings "Natural Woman." Remember this?

9:57 - Best Country Album goes to Zac Brown Band for "Uncaged."

10:05 - Quick recap: We're two hours into the show. We've handed out eight awards.

10:06 - Time for the highly anticipated Bob Marley tribute! Too bad I forgot my hacky sack. Bruno Mars kicks things off with "Locked Out of Heaven." Hmm. I didn't know this was a Bob Marley song. Haha. Sting takes the stage and...continues singing "Locked Out of Heaven." Then, they transition into "Walking on the Moon" by The Police. Four minutes into the performance, we get the first mention of Bob Marley. Rihanna and Ziggy Marley take the stage for "Could You Be Loved." AWESOME. Finally, I'm rewarded for enduring a Maroon 5 performance earlier tonight. I enjoyed the tribute, but I wanted more Marley. Anyone agree?

10:18 - The Lumineers take the stage and perform -- you guessed it -- "Ho Hey." Surprisingly, I'm still not tired of this song.

10:21 - Now, here's Jack White, singing "Love Interruption" and then "Freedom at 21," which is pretty entertaining. Note: Perhaps we've entered the hipster portion of the ceremony.

10:26 - Best New Artist goes to fun.

10:34 - Here's Hunter Hayes, sitting at a piano and performing a shortened version of "Wanted." Don't worry, he's just introducing Carrie Underwood.

10:36 - Carrie Underwood sings "Blown Away," and the transitions into "Two Black Cadillacs." During the second song, we get a hypnotic light show on her dress.

10:39 - Prince is in the house to present an award! And he's wearing a hoodie! By the way, Prince is 54, according to Wikipedia.

10:40 - Record of the Year goes to "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye and Kimbra.

10:50 - After a quick tribute to Dave Brubeck, we get a speech about the Grammy Foundation. Bathroom break, anyone?

10:51 - Justin Timberlake is back on stage to talk about the Grammy Foundation. Then, we get the "in memoriam" segment.

10:57 - Time for a tribute to Levon Helm and the Sandy Hook victims. The song: "The Weight." The performers: Elton John, Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown Band, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, T-Bone Burnett and Mavis Staples. Another great performance.

11:09 - Juanes performs Elton John's "Your Song" -- in English AND Spanish. Random, but cool.

11:11 - Ready for a random transition? Now, Frank Ocean is singing "Forrest Gump."

11:15 - Album of the Year goes to "Babel" by Mumford & Sons. Yes! I wanted that to happen. My night is complete!

11:24 - Time for the big finale! LL Cool J takes the stage with Chuck D, Travis Barker and apparently a few other people, too. In a slightly random move, they cover Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordome," followed by a cover of "No Sleep till Brooklyn" by Beastie Boys. Hmm. Not sure if the finale was the highlight of the show. We don't even get an official sendoff. The show just sort of fades into the closing credits.

11:30 - We're done! What did you think?

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