I totally forgot that the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards was on tonight, so I missed the “live” broadcast and caught up with the replay, but only half the show. The only reason to watch the show, if you have to have to watch it all, is for the performances; who really cares about who wins? It always seems like a setup – especially with Britney Spears winning Best Pop Video, Best Female Video and Video of the Year. So screw all that and on to the performances.
I missed Jonas Brothers and Katy Perry, and I really don’t feel like watching the clips, not interested, so on to Pink… I kinda dig Pink. She’s pop. She’s rock. She’s pierced and tattooed. She sounds like Pat Benetar. What’s not to like? How about that she had to perform on some lame “movie set” surrounded by an audience that looked like paid extras? C’mon MTV, couldn’t find any real fans to put in the audience? But, Pink sang her ass off and put on a rock show. She also put on a little extra show with her shirt coming open many times revealing her tape-covered nipples. Some good planning on someone’s part.
T.I. also “performed” the song “Whatever You Like” on the “movie set.” I put performed in quotes because all he really did was walk around, lip synching, leading a girl around. The song, also very lame. He lists all the expensive things he’s gonna give his girl to make her his. Boring.
Christina Aguilera is a super-talented singer, with a voice from hell! So, I was extremely shocked that she wouldn’t perform her song live. She came out kinda dressed like Catwoman and writhed around stage with a bunch of guys in suits with briefcases. I’m not sure what any of it meant, but it was a typical performance by a pop singer; lots of running around, lots of dancers on stage following her around and lifting her up. Boring!
Paramore performed a set that was almost kick-ass, live from the Viper Room. The band was full of energy and doing the typical pop-punk jumping around thing, while lead singer Haley Williams whipped out moves from the Britney Spears and Michael Jackson playbook. So not the band that spent the last 4 years coming up on the Warped Tour. This was a band that looked like they were made by the same people that created Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana. Also, Haley’s voice sounded disturbingly like Rush’s Geddy Lee – not good. For the most part the crowd seemed genuine, but the out of nowhere a bunch of screaming maniacs came running in to surround the band. Another setup by the folks at MTV. More paid extras? I really think so. This band is HUGE right now, so I don’t really see the need. Sell out.
I missed LL Cool J, Lil Wayne and the Ting-Tings – and really don’t care to hear what these SXSW hype machines sound like.
Kid Rock came out to a luke warm reception, announcing that there would be no dancing and no lip synching. He put on a commendable performance, and I never knew he could really sing! The band was tight and on the money, but the cameras were hardly on them, so you would really never know they were there. It was too bad that the cameras weren’t on the band more often, we got to see that the audience really wasn’t into Kid. They were all on their feet for the pop and rap acts, all jumping around, but for Kid they were all seated. The camera did catch a glimpse of a couple people dancing to Kid, but I think that was maybe 5 people, tops. At the end of his song he received polite applause on the order of golf claps. Kid Rock died in front of that audience. Where were all the paid extras when he needed them?
The show was closed out by a performance by everyone favorite asshole, Kanye West, debuting a brand new song called, “Love Lockdown.” I can only describe the song as nothing more or less than lame. It was a 4 minute loop with maybe 4 lines of lyrics repeated over and over for 4 minutes. Maybe the drum line in the back was a little interesting, but only because they were shrouded in darkness, wearing headlights. That looked kinda cool, maybe. But I’m still not convinced.
I missed Rhianna’s performance of “Disturbia,” so I went over to MTV.com to watch it. Normally I wouldn’t have bothered, but Rhianna has been showing an interesting dark side, and this was reflected in her performance. Her stage show was a homage to the post-apocalyptic music videos of the 80s that were like Road Warrior – think videos by Krokus, Ratt, KISS, even Cher. I loved videos like that when I was growing up, especially with all the cyber-freak girls, so I kinda liked this one. I hadn’t heard “Disturbia” before and thought it was quite good, especially with the hard rock band backing her. No doubt the girl can sing, and unlike most of the other performers, I am convinced she even sang live. Her voice had that edgy, out-of-breath quality that goes along with jumping around that others didn’t have.
I really would have watched all the performances, but there is no “more,” or “next”button on the live performance clips page to view the 17 clips, only the 8 on the first page. So to recap, I saw a lot of singers dancing but not singing, Pink’s nipple, Geddy Lee, Thunderdome, Kid rock’s death, and Kanye punking us again. I so look forward to next year’s show.