VMA performances reflect summer playlist

Michael Westerman

Watching this year’s VMA performances was like pressing shuffle on your summer playlist. All genres of mainstream music were represented from hip hop artists like Drake and Kendrick Lamar to pop stars like Katy Perry.

All the performances kept you watching but not always for the best reasons. Most acts did well like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love.” This radio hit with a strong message really hit home with the vocals of Miranda Lambert and Jenifer Hudson. It was a great display of some of the talent in pop culture today; however the same cannot be said for every performance on the night. Miley Cyrus was successful on having more dancing bears on stage than ever before and touching any crotch that she could find… and that’s about it. The VMA’s also had the familiar Lady Gaga opener and the Bruno Mars jam session. Bruno, playing the song “Gorilla,” rocked out with his band that included a full horn section. Mr. Mars even had a pretty impressive light show that light up the whole Barclays center. As for Lady Gaga, her performance took a step towards confusing rather than improvement. In years past she has taken over the stage and the audience with her theatrics but seemed to lose that interest this time while she changed her wardrobe and hair due multiple times throughout her new single “applause.” It wasn’t the big stunt in which I was expecting. But any energy lost after Gaga’s routine was brought right back when Kanye West’s performed the song “Blood on the Leaves.”  The rap legend really brought the emotion by rapping in the darkness so all the audience could see was his silhouette. After watching Mr. West’s shadow go bezerk for three minutes, it was clear that the long time artist is still in good form.

However no performance came close to Justin Timberlake’s medley that lasted for fifteen minutes. It seemed that the king of pop wanted to make clear that he is still just that: the king. He played just about every one of his chart topping hits and even brought out NSYNC, which kick started his career nearly a decade ago. This performance was massive and for anyone around the age of twenty it sounded like that playlist you made to sing in the shower or secretly dance to in your room to; don’t worry we’re all guilty. All in all the VMA’s gave us an accurate depiction of where pop music is at today and you can make your own judgments about that direction.