Visions of celebrities donning their swankiest attire and glamorously walking down the red carpet come to mind when we think of the Academy Awards.
Typically, the night’s musical performances are secondary to the dresses and outfits of the movie stars in attendance. Musical performances at the Oscars are, generally, used for shooing away winners when their speeches begin to drag on or serve simply as filler for an already too long awards show. However, this year’s Academy Awards ceremony was filled with some very memorable musical performances and of course a few forgettable ones, too.
Idina Menzal’s “Let It Go” – The song, beloved by toddlers and lovers of musicals, contains just enough drama and passion to entice even the most skeptical parents into humming along. Menzal best known for her Tony winning performance as Elphaba in the Broadway blockbuster Wicked, completely dominated her performance, making it one of the most memorable for the evening. Even if John Travolta completely mispronounced her name, the performance will ensure that Idina Menzal’s name will one to remember.
Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” – Even though “Happy” lacked the drama of Menzal’s “Let It Go,” Pharrell’s performance did live up to its expectation. One of better performances of the evening, it was notable for a few clever dance moves, a couple of moments with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, and Pharrell’s famous Arby’s hat.
Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” – Although Midler’s famous track was not an official award nominee; her performance was still a memorable one. Coming right after the tribute montage, Midler demonstrates, yet again, her mastery of “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Like Midler herself, the song maintains its poignancy and never seems to get old.
Karen O’s “Moon Song” – Sometimes a great song does not translate well into an equally great performance. This is true of lead vocalist of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O’s romantic track “Moon Song” from Spike Jonze’s Her. The subtle and beautiful song fits the movie perfectly, but the track and the performance itself lacked the pizzazz and energy needed for Hollywood’s biggest night. Though it was a cute and intimate moment when Karen O took off her shoes to perform the track with Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, the crowd and TV watchers were expecting a star-studded explosion and the performance just fizzled out.