Thursday, April 7, 2016

~ New Music Monday ~ On Thursday ~ ACM Recap 2016 ~

I have had a lot to say on my social media pages concerning the 2016 ACM's. So, for those of you that follow those I apologize if anything is repetitious. While most of my social media dialog has been about the things I didn't care for I want to start this post out with what I did. Out of 23 performances I believe that my top three will be no surprise to you. First, I feel that Queen Ran brought her break up A game to this years ACMs'. Her fashion, hair and make up were on point and the media wanted to focus on this being her first red carpet appearance with new bf Anderson East, but I can't stop replaying her performance with Keith Urban and Billy Gibbons from ZZTop. I mean, when Keith and Gibbons are the lead guitarists in your band how exactly can you not have a phenomenal performance ?!!! I apologize in advance, but I cannot for the life of me find a better quality video. My hope is that eventually the ACMs will post some of the performances themselves. Until then, this will have to do. Miranda threw down in this performance. I don't know who was on BGV (back ground vocals), but they were perfectly on point with Miranda's performance that night. I feel that those bgvs' along with what Miranda was giving us made the performance. I also think that being able to have Keith Urban and Billy Gibbons on either side of you, must give you a confidence that is hard to contain. I vote this as my #1 performance of the night. As expected Queen Ran rocked and owned that stage. She also won Best Female making it a pretty winning evening for Ms. Lambert.

Miranda Lambert ft. Keith Urban & Billy Gibbons
"Tush" fr 2016 ACMs

Chris Stapleton "Nobody to Blame"
fr "Traveller"
My second place goes to Chris Stapleton. Again, I can't find a good video of his performance, but I thought the audio of another song might due until I can. Stapleton walked away from the ACM's with Best New Male, Best Male, Best Album, Song of the Year, two of these he also received producer credit so, in total he left with SIX trophy's. He is only the third person in  the 51 year ACM history to do this. Garth Brooks and Faith Hill being the others. I think that is quality company to be in. Chris and his wife Morgan had the honor of closing the show with their performance and it was a splendid way to close. Especially when I consider some of the in between. After all the acclaim that Chris and Traveller have received this year I fear the sophomore slump. Not because I expect Chris to put out anything but quality tunes, but because the industry can be fickle like that. In my dream world this would only be the beginning for the Stapletons and that we will have their amazing tunes for many, many, many years to come. I mean, Miranda just got her SEVENTH Best Female trophy from the ACMs' so it is possible to stay on top and by pass those industry politics/drama/favoritism. 

My third place performance goes to Little Big Town with Trombone Shorty on brass for "Stay All Night" off of "Pain Killer". Some on social media gave hate to this performance because another band in a past performance used him at an award show before. In this instance I do not see a problem with Shorty occasionally showing up to aid in a bands already established awesomeness. His is a pure instrumentalist and brass isn't a normal addition to country tunes, but in this performance it worked and it added to their performance. I thought that Jimmys' vocals for this performance were so perfect it is almost as if they'd been recorded and replayed, but they weren't. Little Big Town received Group of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year with Miranda Lambert for "Smokin' and Drinkin' which was handed out pre-show and is one of my FAVORITE songs off of "Platinum", Lamberts most recent album. It is a song that instantly takes me back to high school and post college memories. It's amazing.

Miranda Lambert w Little Big Town
"Smokin' and Drinkin'" fr "Platinum"
You can check my pre-show predictions by checking out the #NewMusicMonday post from two weeks ago HERE . Out of 14 categories, 8 handed out at the actual show, 6 handed out pre-show, 5 of my forecasts were accurate. So, basically, when I say it's gonna rain, go get a umbrella.

Now, onto the things that made me a bit ranty and ravey. The following paragraphs are apart of my social media ranting post ACM. I do not "WANT" to be a hater. I do not "WANT" to be the award show Debbie Downer, but I cannot keep certain things to myself. Especially things that I feel are simply politics, manipulations or flat out bad judgment. This years ACMs came in rather low on the TV ratings scale. Now, keep in mind that The Walking Dead's season finale as well as the iheartradio awards both aired simultaneously with this years ACMs. So, that alone was solid enough to keep the "normal" viewers flipping between channels or not watching at all. The iheartradio awards aired once at 8pm live and again at 11pm pre-recorded. So, there was a opportunity for the viewers of that program to watch both the ACM and iheart awards. But I truly think that the attempts to draw a younger or more hip demographic backfired and only annoyed its true viewers. I believe those things for sure had a large part to play in the ratings, but I also believe that 1. Handing out highly anticipated awards such as Best New Female, Male, Group/Duo, Best Overall Duo, etc. pre-show to make room for more performances was what I suppose a solid idea on the table, didn't work in real life. Fans want to see the artist they have been supporting win their much deserved awards. The fans want to see their reaction in real time and hear their thank you speech. To the fans, the actual awards are just as important as the performances. It takes a equal amount of both to make the show in my opinion.

Kelsea Ballerini ft Nick Jonas
"Love Me Like You Mean It"
"Peter Pan" fr "The First Time

Brad Paisley performed at the ‪#‎i‬Radio awards and Nick Jonas performed at the ‪#‎ACMs‬. I feel like perhaps their invites got mixed up in the mail or something. While I am all about country artists representing in all genre awards/concerts/festivals, I feel it does not work the other way around. Just because Justin Timberlake nailed it at the ‪#‎CMAs‬ with Stapleton doesn't mean that is the new "it" formula. Jonas' presence simply as another member of the band did not help ratings as I am confident was the purpose of his invitation. Jonas also had technical difficulties in his solo. The later in the show performers didn't seem to have the same problems sound wise. Now, to give a benefit of the doubt the entire first half of the ACMs did seem to have sound problems. Most of the beginning performances sounded either extremely flat or extremely sharp. This can be chalked up to nerves, because I mean, you are performing in a room full of your peers, competition, and idols. It would be so very nerve racking all by itself. Then you have the added knowledge that so many million will be watching live at home and later in rerun/ondemand/DVR. It's enough to make a person pull out their in ears (technology used by artists performing live to better and more properly hear the band as well as themselves) and run panicked from the stage. But still, Dear ACMs - Lets make note. Your audience. Your true audience, not your gimmick flip between commercials audience, would have rather seen Paisley in that performance with Ballerini than Jonas. I'm just annoyed by what feels like obvious poor choices and attempts to draw a demographic that has no real interest in country music and won't be tricked into it by Nick Jonas accompanying a performance one night out of 365. Maybe I'm just speaking for me, but anyway, that's my thoughts. Just a little something to put in the notes.

I hope that what was learned is that the audience cares about the awards just as much as the performances and getting to see their fave artist win and accept is a big deal to the audience.  And to no ones surprise, I must ask, where the H was Kip Moore??!!! Dude is selling out shows consistently here and abroad, has a solid audience outside the MGM at the same time the show is airing, that are there for him specifically at #PartyForACause and still he has no real stage time at the show????!!!! I am baffled. Can adding him be put in the notes for next year??!!! Cause I am confident that shortly you will be kicking yourself for not having invited him sooner. Just a #DieHards and all around music lovers opinion. I also wonder where The Cadillac Three, Brantley Gilbert, Brandy Clark, Jennifer Nettles, Justin Moore, RaeLynn, Brothers Osbourn, Clare Dunn, etc. were at ? Kacey Musgraves introduced Katy Perry for the Dolly Parton tribute, but was not a performer herself. I know that Musgraves has performed with Loretta Lynn at a past awards show so, having her perform with Dolly may have been repetitious, but I think that brining in Katy Perry was also another tactic at drawing viewers away from the iheartradio awards and it didn't work. I love me some Katy Perry do not get me wrong. Her CrossRoads performance with Kacey is one of my FAVORITE EVER, but.....BUT, I didn't feel she fit for this tribute. I would have much rather seen either some current Women in Country or a up and coming Woman in Country present this award and get that performance slot. There are so many to have chosen from and yet they sat in the non televised section of the theatre watching like everyone else.

Brandy Clark "Stripes"
Should've been a performer.

I'm not going into the performances I would've rather not seen, weren't as expected or were exactly what we expected, and met our expectations.....sadly and I won't mention the winners that I disagree with. All that to say, I think I was more disappointed that anything in this years ACMs. I hope that some notes are taken and some changes made before the 2017 show. I LOVE award shows. I LOVE country music. So, I HATE feeling negative about either. But, I think as a fan and music lover it is my right to share what did and didn't work for me. I mean, with out the fans/viewers who exactly would watch the show anyway ?! Isn't at least half of it for the fans ?! Just wondering.

To see my predictions post or my CMA posts feel free to search them in the blog search bar.
Also, let me know if you agree or disagree and why with my predictions, post review, etc. See you next Monday with the next #NewMusicMonday post.

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