1. OK, it was far from a “wow” opener but Taylor Swift, in her new bob and sparkly cat suit, rocked with authority on “Out of the Woods.” She provided drama without being stagy, for a change.
2. It was easy to get a crush on Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild after she sang lead on the group’s “Girl Crush,” surrounded by string players sitting in a semicircle around the vocal quartet. Stunning. The tune won best country song and group performance.
3. Does a cappella get any better than Stevie Wonder doing Earth, Wind & Fire’s “That’s the Way of the World” with Pentatonix? Nifty arrangement. Great emotion dedicated to the late EWF leader Maurice White. During the performance, the camera panned to shots of EWF members in the audience. Very moving.
4. Triple-winner Alabama Shakes showed how to mix rock, soul and drama on “Don’t Wanna Fight.”
5. Hate to be repetitious so we’ll keep it short. Kendrick Lamar live: Wow!