New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2011

1 01 2012

For my generation, Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” was the show to watch on New Year’s Eve.  We were too young to go out for the evening, so most of us stayed up to watch the ball drop and then bang on pots and pans or light firecrackers (not at my place.)  The only alternative to that was Guy Lombardo, which is what my grandmother would have had on if I were at her place.

I don’t really have much reason to watch “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” anymore.  I’m not big on most of the current pop stars.  Most NYE’s the last 20 years have been spent out of the house.  But I did watch last night, half enthralled with the spectacle of it.  A few things stood out.

  • Lady Gaga doesn’t have necessarily a nice voice, but she can belt out a song.  There are not many entertainers of her caliber.  Without a doubt, it’s fun to watch Lady Gaga just to see what she wears.  I think the globe-like thing she was wearing when she first hit the stage was supposed to be the NYE crystal ball.  A friend suggested she was symbolically wearing a burka which covered the globe, but which was later lifted (symbolizing freedom, I s’pose.)  Only she knows.
  • Thank God for Ryan Seacrest.  Dick Clark is a great guy and a legend, but that stroke really did a lot of damage.  He can hardly talk.  Seacrest, love him or hate him, really did a good job putting on that show.
  • Jenny McCarthy is a nice sort of side-line hostess.  She’s been goofy and sassy since her MTV days.
  • Justin Bieber’s a nice kid… more on that in a moment
  • Pitbull looks and sounds more like a cage fighter than a rapper-singer.  Not my style.

Now, Justin Bieber tackling The Beatles’ “Let It Be” can’t be ignored.  You can imagine that doing a song like that, on a stage of that size, would draw either a lot of praise or criticism.  It’s drawn both and deserves both.  Kudos to Justin for having the guts to play a song that could only put him in a lose-lose position, at least with older fans.  If he pulls it off, “It’s a great song to begin with so how could you screw it up?”  If he flops, “The kid is a no-talent pretty boy who just showed he’s incapable of actually singing a song.”  Being a Beatles fan and not a Belieber, I say the kid did alright.  The band behind him help.  They played a very clean, stripped down version of the song.  No horns and strings and stuff; guitar, bass, piano, drums (maybe some organ.)

Justin fell flat when he tried to get the crowd to sing the chorus.  He doesn’t have the strength of personality to do that.  He also doesn’t have a strong enough voice to belt out a song that originally was sung with so much seeming emotional depth and vocal power.  That said, I didn’t hate it. I respect him for trying.  Judge for yourselves.





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