8 April 2016, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was a lot of fun, even if I am not a big fan of the other artists inducted for 2016. The show was fast-paced and had a few surprises, many tender moments, many laughs, and more.
David Byrne, Kimbra and The Roots opened with a tribute to David Bowie, performing “Fame”, so appropriate for the event. Then Metallica’s Lars Ulrich gave a very impassioned and eloquent speech to induct Deep Purple, whose members spoke sincerely and graciously, especially of each other, and especially of the absent and dissenting Ritchie Blakemore. Their performance was pretty cool.
Steve Miller spoke of his fascinating family background and learning guitar from his godfather, Les Paul, but he was probably the most bland inclusion in the proceedings. He’s a great guitarist and “The Joker” is a good song but the rest was so-so.
Kendrick Lamar’s induction speech for N.W.A. was spirited and fun and the N.W.A. guys were all grown up, dignified, generous, full of sage advice for young kids (“Stay at school!”) and spoke longingly and lovingly for Eazy-E. They didn’t perform; I kind of wished they had.
Without any introduction, Sheryl Crow came on stage to sing “New Kid In Town” in tribute to Glenn Frey. It was perfection and a perfect centrepiece for the show.
After the In Memoriam section came Chicago’s induction, which will have a separate post here, as they were the reason I was there.
Last was Cheap Trick, who had the biggest fan contingent in the house. Kid Rock gave a funny and excited speech, and the members of Cheap Trick were also in good form. They played loud and were mighty fine. The finale with all the inductees was “Ain’t That A Shame”. It was a shame it wasn’t “25 or 6 to 4”, but that’s show business! Better photos and lots of video clips are circulating online, but this is how it looked through my lens on the night.