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Brutally honest reviews of every performance

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Every Grammys ceremony has its enduring performances that will endure as shining moments in the artists’ careers.

And then, there are the duds — the sets that the Grammys would just rather let fade into memory.

So which 2019 Grammys performers earned their right to perform at music’s biggest night? Read on for reviews of every performance at this year’s show. 

Shawn Mendes and Miley Cyrus, “In My Blood”

As straightforward as Grammy performances come, this wasn’t a mash-up between the two artists’ songs or a reimagined arrangement, just Cyrus duetting with Mendes over his perfectly inoffensive single. Biceps fully out, Mendes was endearing — or wildly boring, depending on whether you ask his fans or his haters — as he played piano before joining Cyrus onstage, backed by a swelling string section, because what is a dramatic Grammys performance without a string section, truly? As attendees of Dolly Parson’s MusiCares tribute saw when Mendes and Cyrus sang Parton’s classic “Islands in the Stream” together, the two artists are capable of making some lovely musical moments together. It’s a shame the Grammys didn’t give them a little more to do.

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Camila Cabello, “Havana”

The Grammys certainly gave Camila Cabello quite the set for her show-opening performance, placing her in a giant dollhouse surrounded by faux-neon storefronts and an army of colorfully-costumed dancers. And yet, at this point in February 2019, it’s been over a year since the release of “Havana,” and it’s worth asking whether the Grammys should’ve picked something a little fresher to lead the show. Bonus points go to Young Thug’s appearance, one of the most prolific rappers in recent years not to earn a single Grammys nomination, though to be honest, he didn’t do much but recite his verse while striking various poses. Things livened up once Ricky Martin took the stage in his all-white suit, joined by J. Balvin who did a few bars — too few, honestly — of “Mi Gente.” Just as the stage started melting down into chaos, it was over.

Review: ‘Camila’ confidently looks beyond ‘Havana’ on solo debut album

 

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