Let me just be real guys. Award shows need normalcy and audiences, period. I know we are living in a 'head cocked to the side with a frown kind of time', and because of it nothing carries the exciting energy it needs to, especially in music and entertainment.
Last year I attended the American Music Awards, an experience I will never forget, and by miracle if I am to testify! As always my driving force is the beautiful Billie Eilish of which I am always rushing off across town to see whenever the timing is right.
This year, I sat in my living room and watched the AMAs alone while reminiscing on last year's fantasy come true. While most of it felt like a dress rehearsal, artists like Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Katy Perry, and Billie Eilish really brought the show to life, even if just to a TV audience.
Let's talk about Justin. Justin, Justin, Justin. I was not sure what to expect from a Covid award show, but let me just say that there are entertainers who absolutely need an audience to make for a great performance and then there is Justin. As I sat there watching him open the show, with every moment, every movement, every note sang, my eyes became more and more wide. Truth be told, I felt the Spirit of God! I don't care whether fake or authentic as some people would assume. Perhaps I am simply a positive person seeing the glass half full, but man oh man, Justin sang his ass off with so much heartfelt emotion and contemplation. This is the head space he is in right now. As you listen to his latest releases you get a sense that he's been thinking a lot about when he entered into the music industry. He is writing and singing about the issues of loneliness and of growing as a person and I am loving every minutes of it. It's honest, healthy, and nourishing to my mind and my thoughts. Makes me feel I am not alone in my own contemplation of my life. He and Shawn Mendes together, literally, are a dream, their voices fully complimenting each other. By the end of the opening performance I was overjoyed, shaking my head, holding my heart, which was filled with so much satisfaction. I was already full and could have went to sleep after that, but my motive for being there was to wait for Billie's performance.
Here's what I love about Billie. While there was no audience to interact with, which I know she loves, she, Finneas, and Andrew, the drummer, gave the most fun and easy going performance of the night that did NOT feel like a rehearsal run through. I have been to her concerts and have seen how professional and hardworking the family and crew is as a whole, so whenever I watch Billie perform, even through a TV, I know she is giving 210% 95% of the time. Kksksks. Sorry, I just had to. So corny, I know.
Ultimately, she wants to be proud of every performance she gives and it shows. Very cute staging, camera angles and frames. Loved the closeups and falling off the steps...well, pure gold. The acrobatic stunts always remind me of how athletic she as I forget at times. What a beauty and a talent all the way around. Waiting for the day when Billie sings and does Ariel Fabric dancing. Yes, I know Pink has done it, but I want to see Billie do it.
Shawn Mendes. His voice. His musicianship. His dedication to music. He was not lame and that's all.
Meg the Stallion was lame and so was The Weekend, who actually needs a long vacation and hopefully there is a rehab located there. I mean, I sat watching in confusion, thinking about how relative these performances were to the climate of the times? I had a "read the room chile" moment and literally I hate when people say that. But it's true. It showed the difference between those who are fully engaged in themselves and those who have a little more awareness of what is going on in the world and how, as artist with large platforms, they could play a small role in helping to ease the minds of many. Artists tend to fall into that responsibility when they have so many fans who look up to them.
Overall, Justin, Shawn Mendes, Katy Perry, Billie Eilish, and Taraji P. Hensen made the Quarantine American Music Awards what it was for 2020. I am so happy I had the opportunity to attend the award show during a time before all of this craziness. Okay, literally it is 2:55am. I am tired and will check typos later.
Renaissance M. Austin