"What … just … happened?!" asked the fans around me in the tiny pit that adorned the stage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards. GRAMMY winner and this year's Rock Field nominee Jack White had just thrown down his guitar, and the feedback was deafening. Rock is known for being loud, and if the winners in the Rock Field collectively screamed one sentiment, it was that the new generation is here.
The Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance GRAMMY went to first-time nominees Halestorm for "Love Bites (So Do I)," beating out veterans Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Megadeth, Marilyn Manson, and Lamb Of God, all of whom frontwoman Lzzy Hale named as influences during the band's acceptance speech. Their sophomore release, 2012's The Strange Case Of …, has really put the Pennsylvania quartet on the map.
As with Foo Fighters in 2012, the Black Keys were the GRAMMY rock darlings of 2013. Taking home wins for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for "Lonely Boy," which they also performed on the telecast with Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, as well as Best Rock Album for El Camino, the duo tore up the path from seat to stage. Dan Auerbach also won Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical. Another strong candidate in the Rock Field was White's debut solo effort, Blunderbuss.
The prestigious Album Of The Year honor went to Mumford & Sons for Babel. Mumford & Sons were also nominated in the Best Rock Performance category for "I Will Wait." Also nominated for Album Of The Year were Blunderbuss and El Camino, proving that in a world where music is increasingly becoming driven by singles, rock music still rules the album format.
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media was won by Trent Reznor, the mastermind behind GRAMMY-winning band Nine Inch Nails, and Atticus Ross, for their work on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This win furthers Reznor's transition from band member to composer.
It's good to see members of rock music's newest generation clawing their way into the public consciousness. Now we wait to see who will rock the GRAMMY stage next year.