Roger Daltrey once said, "Gimme a bum note and a bead of sweat!" There may have been lots of sweat in Miami, and a few bum notes, but there was little that was authentic or interesting about this year's MTV VMA's.
The show got off to a mediocre start with the otherwise exciting Usher lipsynching in a rainstorm. It's bad enough that he's lipsynching, but anyone with a brain knows that you would be thoroughly electrocuted attempting to sing with a live mic in a shower. They let Usher perform 3 songs to start the show and I don't think we heard him perform a note of it live. There was so much non-singing that when people with live mics showed up the mix was so bad that even Chaka Khan sounded awful (the producers should publicly apologize to her). Poor Yellowcard and Hoobastank were affected by bad sound, too.
The crowd was only into it enough to boo John Kerry's daughters and Carson Daly for encouraging "young people" to vote. The whole night felt uninspired. Especially, with the pretend-manic paid audience up front. The best moment of the night came when presenter Dave Chappelle asked them point blank: Is there anything y'all don't like?
Even the normally innovative closers Outkast seemed bored and ready to get the heck out of dodge. It won't be like that when we perform at the VMA's folks. Oh sure, we'll go. We know you want to see us live on TV as much as possible.
These awards are supposed to recognize the videos, but they do little to honor the filmmakers themselves. And this year MTV skipped the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, given to Duran Duran in '03. Makes you wonder what the point is.
Highlights?: Chappelle; the Beastie Boys showing up with Sasquatch; Bruce Willis and P. Diddy dancing in the aisles during Terror Squads' number; Al Sharpton and Jon Stewart lamenting the lack of black artists in the viewers' choice award category; and Jet, actually performing rock and roll.
Lowlights?: Lipsynching, lipsynching, lipsynching. "Gimme a bum note and a bead of sweat!"
I'm sure most of you who were interested watched the show. Those who didn't, you can catch it in perpetual rerun this week. Those who don't care, we'll remind you when it's our turn in '05.
Love, Power, Peace!