The legendary & reclusive Joni Mitchell makes a rare appearance at Clive’s party
As I headed out to Los Angeles for Grammy week, I had a plan to hit up as many parties as possible, and list of various artists that I wanted to meet to get signatures from. I was lucky that most of the talent would be in attendance at the two biggest social events of the weekend (other then the actual awards).
First was the MusiCares person of the year tribute on Friday evening, held at LA's convention centre. Secondly, the party of all parties, Clive Davis' annual pre Grammy shindig on Saturday night (held at the Beverly Hilton, in the same ballroom used for the Golden Globes). In Hollywood there is no bigger or more entertaining party all year than Clive's party. Clive has a way of showcasing many new talents while supporting legendary artists.
This year was no different, as the night started off with Lionel Richie opening with his hit Easy and then a romping version of All Night Long which got everyone in the star packed room on their feet, setting the tone for a very fun night. Imagine Dragons performed an acoustic version of their hit single Radio Active and the event moved on to the honouree of the night, music mogul Lucian Grainge, who was there to accept the Icon Award. Lucian was congratulated by all in attendance, and by video, with U2 singing congratulations acapella, and Ozzy Osbourne and Elton John praising the record man for his dedication to music and artistry.
The night heated up with the third performance of the evening — newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis joking with the crowd about "Never playing in a room with 17 chandeliers and that they would probably won't play in one again", before an intense performance of their 2013 hits Thrift Shop and Can't Hold Us.
In addition to the array of star performers, the ballroom was filled with one A-Lister sitting next to the other. There was one table that had all of Metallica sitting next to a table with Miley Cyrus; a table featuring Joni Mitchell, Jane Fonda, Robbie Robertson and Rod Stewart; then another with the Foo Fighters sitting with Krist Novoselic from Nirvana. One of the oddest table pairings was seeing the elegant Rihanna in a stunning yellow gown sitting across from Neil Diamond, and one table over was Taylor Swift sitting next to her new BFF, Lorde.
Clive Davis' introduced a new and incredible act called Great Big World, playing the song Say Something. The intimate piano and vocals from lead singer Ian Axel captivated the crowd to a dead silence, with everyone hanging on each key stroke. However new Ian Axel was to this room filled with superstars, he handled a very awkward moment when his piano totally went out of tune and asked for someone to fix it. There was a very long silence as the crowd gazed at him, waiting for him to play, Axel then leaned into the mic and quietly muttered "This is awkward", at which point the room's silence broke, just as the tech finished bringing the piano back into key.
Another eye opening performance came next as R.Kelly entered the ballroom from the back, walking through the tables with a line of African singers and dancers, all singing his new song (written for Nelson Mandela). What always makes Clive Davis' parties so much fun is the diversity and eclectic mix of performers, as only Clive's party can go from R.Kelly, to John Fogerty playing with the Foo Fighters.
Miley Cyrus performed three songs: Get It Right, Dolly Parton cover Jolene, and had everyone standing and applauding during her hit Wrecking Ball. The crowd stayed on their feet for the next performance which featured Pharell, T.I. and Robin Thicke singing their huge hit of 2013, Blurred Lines. Robin sang on top of a speaker, while Pharell and T.I. had the entire room going bananas.
What came next was the most anticipated performer of the night, Lorde. At about ten minutes to midnight, out walked the mysterious Lorde, dressed in black. The crowd went crazy for her. Taylor Swift was dancing (awkwardly) next to me, while Lorde put a spell on the audience with her two singles, Royals followed by Team.
After Lorde finished her two songs, the party was pretty much over, with Fantasia singing one last song as most guests departed home, including myself. What an amazing night.