This year's Grammys were all about pushing authenticity, and how often that's just another kind of performance.
But from the audience, two moments underlined the difference between sincerity as a kind of fashion statement, and when it's the real thing.
Just before the Denver folk-revival trio the Lumineers went on to play their chart-busting but cloying single "Ho Hey," a production assistant felt a bit nervous about the crowd's potential response. "OK, everyone," he said. "I trust you because you're in the music business, so let's practice this one first. I want you all to sing the chorus," and prepped the audience in the refrain of "Ho Hey" while the telecast was on commercial.
They only got a few bars in before killing the rehearsal and rushing back to stage prep, however, and no one got the chance to join in. Perhaps that was for the best, as the planned-on singalong never really materialized during the show – save for an enthusiastic
However, a few songs later, when the legend roundtable of
But as she unwound a few unmediated howls of feeling, she caught herself and laughed, closing out the tune with a hearty flourish. She didn't need a stage PA to rile up the crowd – she did it with raw feeling. That's real communion for you.