This Grammys was the first to embrace electronic music. Skrillex was nominated for five Grammys, which is more than Lady Gaga and Katy Perry combined. Diplo, Deadmau5, Avicii, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, and A-Trak were also nominated. Electronic music’s biggest nomination was Skrillex for Best New Artist. This was the first time an electronic artist has been nominated for that award. Unfortunately for Skrillex, that award went to Bon Iver, but Skrillex went on to pick up three of the five: Best Dance/Electronic Album (Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites), Best Dance Recording (“Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”) and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical (“Cinema”). Unfortunately, these three awards were not part of the Grammys broadcast. Check out the recap of the awards as well as our exclusive coverage from inside the performance tent after the jump!
In all honesty, most Grammys are similar and are not exactly our style, covering Skrillex’s awards is not the only change we would have made in their broadcast. In fact, we offer Diplo’s twitter commentary as a satisfying alternative to the hours of red carpet coverage that were happening while Skrillex was receiving his awards. Thankfully, Deadmau5 made an effort to liven up the experience and gave people something funny to talk about on the red carpet. He wore a T-shirt that exposed Skrillex’s cell phone number, saying “(626)-319-1030 u mad bro?” Deadmau5 had warned Skrillex on twitter that morning to expect “the ultimate mau5 trolling experience.” Well-played sir. Zimmerman, a longtime friend and supporter of Skrillex, also showed support for the young producer’s three wins, despite having been nominated in all three of those categories themselves. He tweeted “and Skrillex cleans out the mau5. I wouldn’t let anyone else do it…”
Despite missing out on the awards, Deadmau5 was chosen as the premiere electronic artist to play at the Grammys. David Guetta was the other dance music performer chosen, but he performed a duo with famed women’s rights advocate Chris Brown. Interestingly, Deadmau5, David Guetta & Chris Brown, and the Foo Fighters were the only artists who performed outside of the Staples Center. The Grammys had a tent built outside similar to a small festival stage tent presumably to allow for more time to set up stages. Several of the over thirty artist performing Sunday night only played for one minute, and that can be very difficult for the crews who handle logistics.
The 200 winners of the Deadmau5 fan competition we announced last Wednesday were amongst the crowd inside the tent. The three fans in the picture above were winners of the contest. The tent was only used once in the first half of the broadcast for a song by the Foo Fighers. Towards the end of the night, we began to witness sound, lighting, and special effect tests on two different stages, which were on opposite sides of the large tent. Dave Grohl came back out to the entertain the crowd during sound checks by playing Van Halen’s “Panama” and other tracks until management yelled at him to stop during the “ten seconds to live” countdown.
After David Guetta and Chris Brown ‘performed’ a lip-synced track together, the attention was then focused to the opposite stage, where two cube-shaped enclosures draped with curtains hid the next set of performers within. As the left curtains dropped, the Foo Fighters were exposed and began to perform for the second time of the evening. A few seconds later, our attention was drawn to the cube beside it, where we would soon see Deadmau5′s signature cube and mau5head.
As Foo Fighters continued to play “Rope,” Joel added a few effects and drums to enhance the song and create a live edit of the tune. Deadmau5 then went on to perform “Raise Your Weapon,” which was interesting to hear after the dubstep drop came in, especially on network television. We only wish they’d been able to play the entire song. This performance was also special because it was the premiere of the new mau5 2.0 LED head. The head includes an improved LED resolution and floppier ears. This was Joel’s last scheduled stop in the US, and he only has two more shows scheduled before June. He’s heading home to Toronto where he has announced he will be returning to the studio.
This side-by-side performance will surely draw criticism from the dance music world, even from the likes of producer Porter Robinson. Why? Simple. Dave Grohl has made it clear in the past that he is not a supporter of the idea of DJing and pre-recorded music. He told reporters “It’s not about what goes on in a computer” just hours before playing with Deadmau5. This interview was cut short, and the Grammy producers followed him with a clip of LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.”
At the end of the day, performances at the Grammys might not be too impressive, mainly because live television means that everything is pre-arranged. Nevertheless, it was exciting to see dance music being absorbed a little more by the masses, a true sign that there’s really no stopping it right now. Plus isn’t it interesting that your parents know who Skrillex and Deadmau5 are now?
On a side note, Skrillex’s Mothership released a new exclusive track called “My Goodbye,” available to download on the mothership website. Definitely a different side of Sonny. Not for everyone.