The 51st Grammy Awards. Staples Center. February 8, 2009.

Although the Hollywood Reporter claims the Grammy Awards ratings boost was due in part to Katy Perry belaying from the ceiling in a giant banana, that was barely a highlight this year.

Watching on TV may bore you to tears, but seeing 24 live performances back-to-back - U2 kicking it off with "Get On Your Boots" and Alison Krauss & Robert Plant closing the show - made me as happy as Adele would be if she banged a Jonas Brother.

I am my father's date, but he wears earplugs the entire time so I am left to my own devices to indulge in the shameful "how many celebrities can I identify" game during commercial breaks.

We are seated along the isle where every presenter and performer passes by: I am titillated to brush by scruffy little Thom Yorke (who's performance of "15 Steps" with the USC Marching band was crazy-awesome), Sir Paul McCartney who is tall and still hot, LL Cool J who I am convinced licks his lips 24 hours a day, Zooey Deschanel glued to her fiance Ben Gibbard's arm, and pretty much every pop and country sensation who I could care less about any other time of year. Spotting celebs like Judd Apatow, who's only reason for attending is the music, gave the Grammys a little street cred.

Highlights: Estelle's stellar vocal performance during the Kanye West duet of "American Boy." Radiohead just being there, M.I.A.'s maternity "black and white ladybug" bump swagga' with the best rap artists this year and a tearful yet powerful performance by Jennifer Hudson.

Surprises: I like Taylor Swift and the message she sends to young girls...

Guffaws: Choosing Stevie Wonder to "play us out" as half the Staples Center has already been empty prior to the end of the telecast (this happens every year)...although many poked fun of "Stevie reuniting with the Jonas Brothers" - I kinda dug it. And Katy Perry sucked.

U2 - "Get on Your Boots"

Estelle w/ Kanye West - "American Boy"

Chris Martin with Jay-Z

Macca - "I Saw Her Standing There"

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