The VMA's '09: The performances

The VMA's 09: The performancesMTV served up a nice roster of performers this year. All of whom brought a nice touch of uniqueness, along with spades of talent and theatrics to the stage. Check out the performance circus after the jump...

Michael Jackson tribute featuring Janet Jackson

I laughed my arse off when the dancers did the "Smooth criminal" lean. One dude did not lean so much as he did bend over and look frightened at the prospect of falling. Either his magnetic shoes weren't working, or they didn't have enough pairs to go around.

Now for the main spectacle. Janet Jackson live is always a win. She was clearly miming at certain parts, but I won't knock her for that. Her stage swagger really is something. I always forget how how Janet is live until I see her do her thing, and then I'm reminded. She didn't move as clean as she did in the music video. Nor did she manage to come up off of the floor quick enough to do the spin straight afterwards. But she still did good. "Scream" was a great video. Not just visually, but because of the connection Michael and Janet had in it. It was one of the only times you caught a glimpse of how close they were and that there's something different running through their veins to the rest of us. Great tribute. I would've LOVED for Janet to have performed "Together again". It would've choked me up like a bitch though. Because when that song came out it really resonated with me having lost somebody close to me at the time.

Beyoncé - Sweet dreams / Single ladies (Put a ring on it)

This was a hot performance, but it didn't feel all that tight to me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but at points it felt too loose. Almost like a random concert encore than an actual performance of a song. I liked it. But was hoping for something shorter, sweeter and newer. I would've loved for Beyoncé to have performed "Ego" or even "Diva" instead. I'm not caring about "Sweet dreams", so she can go to hell with performing that. Beyoncé is still the baddest android in the universe. And I LOVED how my favourite part of the dance (the old 1, 2 palm and knee) got given extra air time. Say what you will, but she definitely brought the house down with this performance and got every single person in the place moving.

Lady Gaga - Paparazzi

Lady Gaga made a fatal mistake. She focused too much on the theatrics and not the vocals. She sounded great at the start. Really strong and capable. But then it all went to shit the second she began to dance. The best thing would have been for her to have let the backing track handle the chorus and only sang on the verses so that she could dance properly. Rather than dance half-arsed and sing half-arsed in a low voice to try and hide the fact she's struggling to catch her breath. I do love that she did "Paparazzi" instead of milking the songs she was nominated for. It would've been easy for her to have just performed "Just dance" and "Poker face".

I dug the set, the piano break and the ending. She even dropped the microphone so it hit the floor to the beat of the song. It may not have been intentional, but I'mma say it was. She weren't playing with the theatrics! It's just a shame Lady Gaga's vocals took a hit and that she didn't really use the entire stage. She should have at least strutted down the run way so she didn't seem so distant from everyone.

Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys - Empire State of mind

I wasn't a huge fan of the song when I first listened to The Blueprint 3. But watching this performance of it really brought it to life and made me love it. Seeing Jay-Z and Alicia Keys on stage together, along with the visual imagery of New York landmarks during the performance really brought the whole thing together. They did a great job, and seemed like the perfect performance pair on that stage. There was so much energy flowing between Jay and Alicia, and also in the crowd. Can't knock the hustle at all. Alicia sounded amazing live. Better than she does on the CD. I love how Beyoncé was jammin' along to the song too. It's sweet how despite being his wife, she also seems like his biggest fan. That's gotta be a bit of a turn on for Jay-Z. As if B being sheer hotness wasn't enough.

Don't ask me why Lil' Bow Wow was doing on stage in drag at the end. Bitch had to make her un-welcomed appearance and ruin everything.

P!nk - Sober

As P!nk did last year, she owned this year's VMA's. Most striking performance of the night in my opinion. It was a simple yet complex performance. I wasn't expecting P!nk to perform "Sober" for a start. And then to see her do acrobatics in the air with such precision and make it look easy WHILST singing?! Brilliant. This woman does not get enough props for her live game. I'm gonna have to get me some tickets to see her live on her Funhouse tour. One of my friends keeps pestering me to go to see her at the end of this year, and watching Pink do her thing at this year's VMA's has just sealed the deal. I didn't really like "Sober" until I watched this performance. She sold the song to me.

Before the stage... The red carpet


  1. Really good performances throughout. Janet was awesome. "Scream" is one of my favorite songs and videos of ALL time, and it's a shame they never got to perform is live together.

    I really liked Beyonce's performances and all the little break downs. Lady Gaga's was crazy as expected. After hearing her sing "Paparazzi" live so many times, I prefer it much more to the studio version. I don't like the higher key, and think her live, deeper singing voice is sexier.

    Pink killed it! Miming bitches in the game should take notes, especially ones who do nothing but walk around on stage or just stand there (I won't name any name). This woman sang live WHILE flipping and flying around in the air. Take notes bitches!

  2. it's not lil bow wow, but lil mama. bow wow is a male.

  3. Oh and J, about Gaga's vocals, I actually kind of liked the ragged, out of breath sound she had for them, especially towards the end with the blood coming down her waist. It gave it that extra drama. I thought it was really cool.

  4. I didn't mind the vocals during the end, because like you say: it added to the drama. But on the second verse she sounded terrible. She kept switching the key she sang to catch her breath and it sounded shit. It sounded noticeably bad because she opened the song so strong vocally. REALLY strong. Then it went to hell as soon as she began to dance.

    Still a good performance though. "Paparazzi" is my fave song on the album, but her live versions are better because she really does sound so much more vocally capable when she does it live. Well...most of the time.



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