It may be December, but you wouldn’t guess that from the crowd at the Grammy Nominations Concert Dec. 6 at the Nokia Theatre, who didn’t let the chill keep them from wearing short dresses and braving downtown L.A. traffic at its worst.
Advertised as the “countdown to music’s biggest night,” the evening was hosted by Grammys host LL Cool J and televised live on CBS on the East Coast at 10 p.m.
After panicked security guards got everyone out of the aisles for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ opening performance (cries of “Sit down, sit down! Come on, let’s go!” could be heard far from the aisles), the musicians strolled past the audience, who had their iPhones at the ready to snap photos to post to Facebook. They performed the hit “Thrift Shop” on the stage.
The audience was clearly still rooting for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ after the performance as LL Cool J announced the nominees for Song of the Year: The nomination of their “Same Love” drew shrieks and screams from the audience.
It was then on to Taylor Swift who, much to the audience’s disappointment, was performing “Trouble” from Australia via satellite. The live crowd found it a fitting time for a bathroom break.
The tone changed when it was Keith Urban and Miguel’s turn to perform, who played their own version of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The audience went from standing and screaming to sitting and bobbing their heads to the beat.
The somber tone continued as LL Cool J paid tribute to the recently passed Nelson Mandela. As LL Cool J recited a Mandela saying, “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear,” one audience member agreed with a passionate “That’s right!”
The roars of excitement came back for a performance of “Roar” by Katy Perry (from Toronto), prompting cheers of “I love you Katy!” from young girls to grown men alike.
The “royally talented” Lorde was the next to take the stage, and the young singer drew everyone in with her performance of the infectious “Royals,” while the bass reverberated in the seats.
While the nominees for Record of the Year were announced, many noted that one of the very nominees was on the stage. With his back to the audience, the star waited for minutes before his name was announced. When the words “Robin Thicke” rang through the room, the audience immediately rose to their feet to dance to a performance of his summer hit, “Blurred Lines,” along with T.I. and Earth Wind and Fire. Always the lady’s man, Thicke didn’t pass up the opportunity to do some flirting with those in the front row.
Those attending the concert were treated to an exclusive untelevised performance from Thicke. Many rushed to the front of the stage – and were eventually ushered back to their seats by security guards – as Thicke performed a five-song set including a cover of “Let’s Stay Together.”
The Grammys will be held Jan. 26 at the Staples Center in LA.