The Billboard Music Awards were held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this evening and, much like the Grammys, wisely minimized the amount of airtime devoted to acceptance speeches in favor of wall-to-wall performances. Sadly, most of the evening was dominated by artists who, to paraphrase the fairly toasted Kid Rock, were lip-synching to pre-recorded musical tracks. However, the following five performances stood out from the pack and really delivered, demonstrating that the future of music is still shining bright.
We’ve seen Miguel perform “Adorn” on virtually every television program that has a musical segment, so it wasn’t like there was a totally fresh component to this performance. However, Miguel got “caught up in the moment” and went Hulk Hogan by way of Bob Beamon in front of an audience of millions, nearly decapitating an audience member with a vicious leg drop after a botched long jump attempt. Just take a look at this GIF to witness the brutalness (via Reality TV GIFs):
Whatcha gonna do when MIGUEL runs wild on you?
got caught up in the moment, thank goodness Khyati is okay
— Miguel (@MiguelUnlimited) May 20, 2013
UPDATE (12:15 a.m.): This video with Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler commentary is making us LOLOLOLOLOLOL (via @akathemaskedman):
BRUNO MARS, “TREASURE”
Bruno, one of the industry’s consummate performers, opened the show up on an energetic version of “Treasure” off his outstanding sophomore LP, Unorthodox Jukebox. Between this, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” disco is officially BACK.
KACEY MUSGRAVES, “MERRY GO ’ROUND”
The 24-year-old Musgraves has been kicking around the Nashville scene for the better part of the last 10 years, but after tonight’s raw and honest performance of “Merry Go ’Round,” she seems poised for her career to taken another jump. Her new record, Same Trailer Different Park, is garnering lots of critical raves, and she earned major points for being one of the few performers this evening to knock the crowd’s socks off without relying on a backing vocal track.
TAYLOR SWIFT, “22”
Most of tonight’s performances were notable for their over-reliance on laser lights and EDM beats, which is what distinguished Taylor’s performance of “22.” It featured neither of those things, and recalled her triumphant performance of “You Belong With Me” from the 2009 VMAs in its visual inventiveness (her perf started in her dressing room, continued backstage, and climaxed on stage). Tay Tay also displayed newfound confidence in her body, rocking a pair of short shorts that put her enviable stems front-and-center.
PRINCE, “LET’S GO CRAZY”/”FIXURLIFEUP”
It’s Prince. Need we say anymore?
Nicki Nicki Nicki! We think Weezy’s face says it all.
[Photo: Getty Images]