Metal Grammys 2018: Body Count Make a Racket Despite Technical Difficulties


When it was announced that the Grammy pre-show would feature a performance by Body Count, the Ice-T-fronted kings of metal to lift weights to, I was a bit skeptical. It’s not because I dislike Body Count, or that I think they didn’t deserve to play the Grammys, only that a band like Body Count benefits from being seen in a sweaty club with the lights flashing and your fists flying. The Grammys is the opposite of that situation, and Grammy pre-show even more so.

By the time people even got to see Body Count, I’d been given a tour of the absolute freakshow that is the Pre-Grammy Grammys. The highlights of this included David Letterman’s Paul Shaffer saying “Shit” a lot, the Bayou Ramblers looking like the greasiest D&D campaign you’ve ever seen, and Neil Degrasse Tyson being pimp as fuck as per usual.

Shaffer’s preprepared introduction for Body Count was pretty solid, but when it was time to begin the performance, something was wrong. A bass issue? It wasn’t entirely clear. And so Schaffer began a rambling bit about counting the corpses down at the morgue, followed by him inviting the band to soundcheck onstage. The spectacle was cringe-worthy, even if every metal musician in the world knew that of cooourse the Grammys would find a way to fuck things up for the only real metal band they’ve hosted in years.

Body Count’s performance was solid, but felt marred by this slow start. Ice-T sounded pissed, but wasn’t as energetic as he needed to be; at times he sounded pretty winded. The acoustics and setting were also off-key, as predicted; the shots of the amphitheater with Body Count raging at the center of it gave off the vibe of a rad band playing a shitty community center. That said, choosing “Black Hoodie” as the track to play at the Grammys after the political madness of the past year was a ballsy choice, and ending the performance with Ice-T holding up his palms and yelling, “DON’T SHOOT” was appropriately confrontational.

So, did Body Count uphold their end of the bargain? Definitely. Could it have been better? Definitely. Is anyone surprised by either of these things? Definitely not. Is this Body Count’s fault? Nah, who cares. I’m more willing to believe the Grammys didn’t have their shit together than I am that Body Count being technical divas.

You can find footage of the performance below. Body Count were also up for the Best Metal Performance Grammy for “Black Hoodie”, but sadly lost to Mastodon. Go figure.

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