Touted as “music’s biggest night”, the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards are something to jump up and down about when you get the news that you have a ticket.
What’s it like in person? Well: It rocks. Think music festival plus fashion show, minus the boozy hedonism, plus way cleaner bathrooms. Watching the GRAMMYs in person means you get to see moments the camera’s didn’t catch—backstage jitters, behind the scenes action and some very interesting audience members. Take a look at the 13 moments we saw:
1. The smell of pretzels filled the air. Nobody was excepting Wetzel’s to greet us at the GRAMMYs, but it made sense, seeing how the Staples Center is home of the L.A. Kings as well as the statue-slinging music ceremony. Hot dogs, nachos and sequins, oh my!
2. AC/DC totally rocked live. If you saw the illuminated devil horns during “Highway to Hell,” the stunt was planned carefully, led by the voice of executive producer Ken Ehrlich. I've never seen 3,500 people behave so well when asked to keep the horns to themselves during the rest of the show. I guess that's because...
3. ...they don't serve alcohol. What?! Yup. Host LL Cool J even told the crowd to "hide your flasks" as he was giving his pre-show pep-talk.
4. The audience was rowdy nonetheless. During some quiet moments, like Katy Perry’s emotional performance and Enrique Iglesias presenting for Song of the Year, the audience in the suites were on fire. They either had some grown-up beverages up there or had some major pre-party shenanigans—their roaring voices were kinda intrusive during some of the ballads. Respect the stage!
5. Ariana Grande is tiiiiny. In the close-ups she looked like a life-size Bratz doll, but on stage she was teensy as the fluorescent lights behind her. She nearly disappeared behind the smoke. Good thing she didn't need to be super seen, because she sure was heard. That voice is just so big.
6. Joy Villa’s dress. The television cameras definitely didn’t catch her Andre Soriano dress, but this recording artist sat close to me and was as sweet as can be. One guy whispered to me, “Is that made out of plastic?”
7. A very glamorous (and meatless) looking Lady Gaga holding Tony Bennett’s hand and guiding him off the circular stage and leading him through the audience after their performance. Très cute.
9. Taylor Swift getting cozier with Hozier before the Beck and Chris Martin performance. I wasn’t sitting close enough to take a guess at what they were chatting about, but there was a little squeeze and a kiss on the cheek before they parted ways.
10. Prince’s stage presence. The Purple One, dressed in orange, got a standing ovation for walking on stage while some artists got claps of encouragement at the most after performing. (Ahem, Miranda Lambert.)
11. Jessie J shook it out after her duet with Tom Jones. She might have been a little nervous, or maybe she was cold under that sheer dress, but the performance was definitely better live than the reviews it got online. And that getup! Way more gorgeous to see from 100 feet away, in person, than close up on television.
12. The harness being lowered before Madonna's performance. The moving parts might have given away the end of the performance (we all knew someone was gonna end up flying), but it was still phenomenal. With backflipping male dancers to carry Madonna, paired with the dark matador and bull theme, the performance was part “Material Girl," two parts "Like A Prayer," with a splash of “Vogue,” shaken not stirred.
13. The Queen Bey getting primped center stage before the lights came up. She had two women touching up her hair and makeup while someone adjusted her white, floor-length gown. It’s comforting to know it takes work to get so #flawless—and it totally paid off. Beyoncé slayed with her performance, earning big applause from John Legend, seated behind her while he got ready to perform.