The Grammys are often called “music’s biggest night.” Indeed, with appearances by Paul McCartney, Adele, Jennifer Hudson, Coldplay, The Foo Fighters and Deadmau5, Sunday night’s 54th annual awards ceremony was larger than life. No matter what you thought about the performances (I personally could have done without Katy Perry in a skintight gold jumpsuit), there’s no denying the whole shebang would not have been possible without LED lighting—and lots of it. Javier Velarde, executive producer of mega-production company Triton, which boasts clients like HBO, Vogue, Sony and Trump to name a few, told Biz Bash in reference to the Grammys, “There was great use of technology…LED set, LED lighting, LED screens, LED stages, LED backdrops. LED has completely taken over." Indeed, it has. The Grammys, held at LA’s Staples Center, boasted two stages—one outside and one inside. Both employed color changing LED installations that provided stunning visual backdrops for the musical performances.
Inside, for instance, a set of 3-dimentional cubes created a dancing playground for the likes of Chris Brown, who jumped and gyrated on platforms high and low, amid morphing and strobing LED wall washers, which illuminated the cubes. It seemed to me Brown was hoping we’d all “Look at Him Now,” and forget about the fact that he aggressively beat then-girlfriend Rihanna during a Grammy pre-party three years ago. But no amount of wall wash lighting could wash our memories clean; Brown has endured heavy public backlash since his performance on Sunday.
On a lighter note, the outdoor stage boasted two competing performance cubes, which employed RGB controllers to change hues and create huge impact. At one point, electronic producer Deadmau5 and rock legends The Foo Fighters performed a mash-up that seamlessly blended their respective musical genres into one fresh sound.
Personally, I preferred the outdoor stage—the tall, LED-lit cubes were imposing and minimal, creating a look that was modern and cutting edge. No matter what your preference, there’s no denying the fact that LED lighting took center stage at this year’s Grammys.