The 56th Annual GRAMMYs – You Didn’t See the Best Part

 

Please feel free to quote me on this: “I was at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards, I saw the tops of people’s heads, and I am forever changed.”

I realized this weekend that I had forgotten how much I love music.  Over a decade ago, my life had a constant soundtrack… but since I had babies, the ABCs, Barney theme song, and if I’m really lucky The Fresh Beat Band is what plays in my head most of the time. I had forgotten that music can steer my mood.  I had forgotten that music can be a tool for mourning, can pay homage, celebrate, and unify.

How the hell had I forgotten how essential music can be in honoring our humanity?

I don’t know – but I’d like to thank the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards for slapping me in the eyes and ears with the reminder.

The mash ups they did this year with old and new artists were truly phenomenal to witness.  Daft Punk, Pharrell, and Stevie Wonder had us all dancing with abandon.  Carole King singing with Sara Bareilles was simply gorgeous.  Yes, being under the same roof with artists like Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pink, and Taylor Swift was quite exhilarating.

Truth be told though, I didn’t see much of what was going on onstage.  What I did see of Taylor Swift and Pink were the tops and backs of their heads as they danced and enjoyed almost every artist that performed.  I saw the tops of a lot of famous heads GRAMMY night… and the tops of not so famous ones.

You see, as BlogHer was a guest of the Recording Academy, the LA Tourism and Convention Board had us up in a beautiful suite to watch the show.  We were separated from the plebeians, wined and dined, and well – watched a show made up of very talented, famous, and brightly lit specs.  I have no idea what the show actually looked like, people.  But I do know what it sounded like, what it felt like, and what it looks like when thousands of people cheer, sing, or dance all at once.

It was not what I expected… and pretty awesome.

The absolute best part of the GRAMMYs, and probably one of the most powerful things I’ve seen in a long time was Macklemore,Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert performing the song Same Love.  This is what it looked like to those of you who saw the show on TV:
 

 

Actually quite joyous and moving.

Here is what my view was at that moment:

Grammys 2014, Same Love

Those brightly lit horizontal lines are the 33 couples getting married.

 

You at home got to see the faces of the performers… and some of the beaming faces of the couples declaring their love.  You got to see Madonna, and a very ecstatic Queen Latifah… but here’s what you didn’t see:

You didn’t see that when those couples walked down the aisles, around ten thousand of us rose to our feet in unison.  You didn’t feel the rumble under your feet as an insane amount of people roared their blessings onto those 33 couples in front of them – those 33 straight, gay, trans, and bi-racial couples that declared their love for each other.  You didn’t see the tear roll down my cheek, and the man one row in front of me wipe his away as we locked eyes and smiled.  You didn’t see the hundreds of people directly below me that clutched their hearts or hugged the person next to them.  You didn’t see thousands moved to tears and joyous yawping within a span of two minutes.

I did.

From my vantage point, I saw the entire venue rise and cheer and clap as one… an effort en masse to use love as a verb.

Perhaps you had the better close up view…

but I had the better feel.

Over the past day or two we’ve all heard or read the support and the backlash surrounding the song and wedding.  I’ve heard the cries about “agendas” and “it should be music not politics”.  Isn’t music so often about love?  That marriage ceremony was the song Same Love come to life. I’ve read the comments of disgust, and pearl clutching…

and I can’t help but smile…

because what I saw on GRAMMY night was more powerful than a lot of us can imagine.

I didn’t see a lot of star’s faces…

But I saw the power of music.

I saw the power of ten thousand people joined together in celebrating something they feel is right and good and necessary.

I saw acceptance.

I saw fierce hope.

I saw change…

and it was the best view in the world.

 

jenni chiu sig

 

 

 



18 responses to “The 56th Annual GRAMMYs – You Didn’t See the Best Part”

  1. I have been telling everyone this. That while the world cut to commercial, the rest of us stayed on our feet, cheering, clapping (and crying) until every last one of those 33 couples exited the arena. You, me, Pink, Taylor, Macca…we all had a lot in common in that moment. And it was the absolute highlight of the night.

    PS: Anyone who says music isn’t political isn’t paying attention. It has ever been. So, if you found it political? Good. It’s doing its job. I just found it beautiful.

  2. Kailynn says:

    This was such a nice perspective of the Grammys to read, and so beautiful to feel– your emotions and feelings are contagious. Thank you.

  3. Erin Rose Groh says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Hands down best moment of the night! I watched the awards on tv when we got back to the hotel, and it paled in comparison. The energy in that arena was palpable and powerful!

  4. Ellie says:

    Sounded like that was one of the best experience you have ever encountered. Good for you, and it was so wonderful that you were there.

  5. Roberto says:

    I really don’t the Grammys. Why? Music is to be heard for for everyone to enjoy. Not to compete with each other. For what! A peace of trinkets. Not for me. sorry. Robert.

  6. Kirsten Shaw says:

    We live in Indiana, where homophobia is toxic, but shrinking. My moms are cute, gray-haired senior citizens whom, as lesbians, have never once in their 23 years together, threatened anyone’s heterosexual marriage. To be able to have them get married at the Grammys, with that surreal experience drowning them with cheers of celebration? Life changing for so many reasons. Thank you sharing your vision of the evening. It made me even more excited that my moms got to participate.

    • Jenni Chiu says:

      Oh wow – I hope they felt all the tremendous love being showered on them! I was honored to have witnessed it. Give them my heartfelt congratulations. xoxo

  7. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for writing this. Being from the Bible belt I’ve seen a lot of nasty in my Facebook news feed since the show. It is so nice to hear the other side and understand the love. Love people. That’s what it’s all about.

  8. What great moment!
    PS. I can’t imagine anyone not believing music is political. Have they ever listened to the lyrics of any decent songs?

  9. So damn beautiful. xo

  10. Arnebya says:

    This made me experience it all over again. And you made me FEEL.

  11. Connie says:

    The sheer joy in the place was palpable. And it was great to experience it as a whole, and not with a commercial break. I cried like a baby. Peace.

  12. Yes, I was there and saw it too. And it was beautiful.

  13. Janice says:

    Thank you so much for this article. As one of the couples, I absolutley loved your viewpoint!!!

  14. Ali says:

    I was one of the couples that got married that night. This made me tear up. You brought back some very real emotions from that evening, and I’m so happy and grateful we got to share it with you. Thanks for posting. <3

  15. Eve says:

    I just hope whoeevr writes these keeps writing more!

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