Rock has been dying at the Grammys for years, but last night was definitely a low point. The genre’s awards have been receiving less and less coverage for years, with less performances as well. U2, who are pushing 60, doing some sort of political statement was the extent of rock’s major live presence. The Best Rock Song category wasn’t televised, which featured Foo Fighters beating Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. Avenged Sevenfold even told fans and the media they wouldn’t be attending due to the lack of respect the award was getting due to the lack of televised coverage. The National also did not receive proper coverage for their Best Alternative Album award.
While Foo Fighters and Metallica are obviously entering the latter part of their careers, the fact that even they can’t get on TV is disheartening for bands coming up. Younger acts like Greta Van Fleet and Royal Blood can hopefully be the next generation of rock heavyweights if they can start pumping out classic albums, but how are they supposed to have hope of shaking up the mainstream when even the biggest names in the genre can’t get any respect at music’s biggest awards show?
The Best Rock Performance was also not televised, which featured Chris Cornell’s “The Promise” losing posthumously to Leonard Cohen’s “You Want It Darker.” Cornell’s daughters and widow were in attendance, and televising this segment could have been a nice chance to pay tribute to Cornell’s career and impact on the industry with some sort of live performance.
There was also a bit where Hillary Clinton and others read quotes from a political book. Why not use that segment to have an artist cover Linkin Park’s “One More Light” in honor of Chester Bennington? Linkin Park didn’t receive any nominations, and it would have been the perfect song to pay tribute to Bennington and others in rock we’ve lost in the last year. Logic’s suicide prevention awareness song was definitely a nice gesture coming out of the In Memoriam segment, but it would have been nice to hear more of the music from the rock artists who have passed away, as we only really got that with Chris Stapleton’s tribute to Tom Petty.