MTV VMAs: Odd Future’s nerves and Adele’s elegance
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If the MTV Video Music Awards wanted to inject some controversy into the telecast, tapping locals Odd Future would seem to be a surefire way to do it. But Odd Future didn’t get the chance to perform, unless one counts a tepid comedy bit in which Odd Future engaged in a dance-off with Will Ferrell and Jack Black (the “future” Beastie Boys).
MTV producers avoided Odd Future’s violence-happy lyrics and instead let the group introduce the award for best hip-hop video, with Tyler, the Creator admitting he was overcome with nerves. At least the confession of butterflies was a moment of spontaneity, as Pitbull and Ne-Yo soon ran down their anonymous club-hit “Tonight.” In terms of energy, the performance boasted some lasers, but even Ne-Yo seemed bored. Can’t blame him, as there’s little to say about this by-the-numbers dance anthem.
Things got more serious and reserved when Adele performed her bare “Someone Like You,” opting to forgo hit “Rolling in the Deep.” It was a fine choice, as few can tackle a ballad like Adele. Her voice is strong and direct, and tackles grief by moving with the melody rather than trying to pummel it. It was a less-is-more performance, a tactic award-show producers rarely indulge in, but Adele needs few adornments to impress.
-- Todd Martens