Sunday, November 24, 2013

American Music Awards - Live Performance Reviews

Katy Perry - Unconditonally: Katy Perry blasted Lady Gaga 3 years ago for using blasphemy as entertainment, yet she does a similar thing by using a culture that isn't her own for her own entertainment. Not as offensive, but it does stick out a bit. She's calling back some of the asian elements she used during her One Of The Boys era, and sadly she brought back some of those vocals. Not nearly as polished as past Prism performances. Though her great stage and stage presence helped save an otherwise forgettable performance. B-

One Direction - Story of My Life: A mature song, mature performance. Solid, but not perfect. Harry was getting throaty/shouty in the bridge, Zayn had some register transition issues, and Niall missed a note or two during his solos, but it was still a vast improvement over their TCA performance. They kept it simple, and it paid off. B

Ariana Grande - The Way / Tattooed Heart: The inclusion of The Way intro made sense, but why Tattooed Heart? Is it the next single? Why not Right There? Of course the vocal performance was everything we have come to expect from Ariana, stratospheric belts, sweet head voice, but a noticeable lack of whistles. It seemed to be a very short performance, and it doesn't seem as if this could send her to the Top 10 again, but there's nothing that negative to say about it. And nothing great to say either. B

Imagine Dragons - Demons / Radioactive: I think it's safe to say that this performance will keep Radioactive in the Top 50 long enough to break Jason Mraz's record for most weeks on the Hot 100. This song will never die. And somehow, that's okay, it's such a massive and sweeping record you can't help but fall in love with it. Demons was nice, but Imagine Dragons always nails Radioactive, and this time was no different. A-

Pitbull Feat. Kesha - Timber: Kesha usually makes good music and Pitbull usually makes mediocre music. They met in the middle to make okay music. The performance relied heavily on a backing track (I could hear Kesha's live voice on 1 note) and dozens of sexualized women. AKA, a stereotypical pop performance. But for some reason, I couldn't help but enjoy it. Hmph. B

Justin Timberlake and the Tennesse Kids - Drink You Away: Why? Who is the band, why are you singing country, what is this for, why JT, why? You sounded tired, and this performance made me tired. C

Florida Georgia Line Feat. Nelly - Cruise: The song is irritating and no performance and no rapper especially can change that. Why promote this song (a song that's been charting for about a year) instead of your less irritating (less of a hot mess) Stay? And why, sweet merciful baby Jesus why, would you turn this into a rap performance? D+

Rihanna - Diamonds: Though a performance of What Now or even Umbrella or We Found Love would've been a smarter choice, Rihanna pulled together an incredible orchestration for her latest Billboard No.1. The walking towards the end was a bit… strange, but her vocal performance was pretty darn great. She truly is the closest thing to a living legend we have seen in the past decade. A

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - Can't Hold Us: It feels like I've had this complaint all night, everyone seems to be performing the wrong songs. Macklemore, Thrift Shop went No.1. Can't Hold Us went No.1. Same Love stalled at No.11. Wouldn't it make sense to perform the fourth single, White Walls, to guarantee it's success? Oh well, still a pretty great performance, from a great performer and artist. Euphoric and effortless. A-

Jennifer Lopez - Celia Cruz Tribute: Spanish flavor met Broadway in an incredible, classy, and energetic performance. Jennifer isn't known for being a vocal powerhouse, but she still delivered a passionate vocal performance anyways. Flawless. A+

A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera - Say Something: I've had a lot of mixed feelings about this song. Composition wise, it's gorgeous. However, I'm not a fan of the male's voice combined with the fact that Christina seems to be over emoting throughout. For this performance, Christina had moments where the body language didn't drive me up the walls, but then she managed to push me up through the ceiling with the head tossing at other points. So much potential, but it's just never reached. B

Kenderick Lamar - Swimming Pools (Drank) / Poetic Justice : I saw him perform live a few months ago, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Smooth, jazzy, simple, but seemingly too short. Forgettable. B-

Lady Gaga Feat. R. Kelly - Do What U Want: Gaga's had a great week or an awful one depending on what side of the ARTPOP fence you are. But her performance was pretty great. I hope she was trying to be funny, because her performance was hysterical. The Marilyn Monroe / JFK themed plot was hilariously over the top, but the performance itself was flawless in its own right. Great vocals from both parties, a tad over sexual, and of course, she proved how self aware she is by showing off some negative headlines on the big screen. All and all, there's no way you couldn't enjoy this performance. A+

Luke Bryan - That's My Kind of Night: Formula for making a Luke Bryan song: 1) Talk about a girl in sexualizing manner. 2) Talk about your truck. 3) Talk about beer. For the performance, you just sing it. Luke, what I'm saying is that this gets real old, real quick, and I'm not buying it. D

TLC and Lil Mama: This wasn't cute girls. This was the most out of sync performance since… This…


Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball: I'm not sure what to make of this performance. There was a lot of cats? It felt like she was parodying herself with a giant animated cat crying during the bridge. Her actual crying during the bridge actually caused her to be late for the final chorus. I'm baffled, but I still wish she would've done this at the VMA's instead. That would've saved so much time and energy. C+

What was your favorite performance of the night? You know what I thought, so what about you? Comment below and let me know what you think!