Gaga! Sam Smith! The 2016 Oscars Might Be the Best Concert of the Year
Sure, Coachella iscool, but we’re pretty sure the hottest concert ticket of 2016 is actually going to take place on Hollywood’s biggest night.
When the Academy Award nominations were announced on Thursday, music fans might have been excited to see some major names on the Best Original Song list: The Weeknd, Lady Gaga and Sam Smith all have a chance of taking home the trophy on Feb. 28. Also nominated are David Lang for “Simple Song #3” from Youth and J. Ralph and Antony Hegarty (of the band Antony and the Johnsons) for their song “Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction.
And even though, sadly, we won’t get to see Wiz Khalifa hilariously handle all of those pre-show interviews again, it’s hard not to get excited about all of the incredible performance possibilities that await us on Oscar night.
After all, where else can you see one of the biggest pop stars in the world share the stage with an internationally renowned coloratura soprano?
The Weeknd, "Earned It"
Though many were expecting the other major hit from Fifty Shades of Grey, Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do,” to earn an Oscar nod, nominating “Earned It” opens up an entire world of performance possibilities. Though The Weeknd usually prefers to keep things simple during his TV appearances, we’re hoping the Oscars encourage him to go all out – we’re talking fire, we’re talking sparklers, we’re talking rows and rows of backup dancers. This is a song from the hottest film of last year; it would be a shame if his performance didn’t raise the temperature in the room at least a few degrees. (We’re really committed to that whole pyrotechnics idea.)
Sam Smith, "The Writing’s On the Wall"
Some singers are known for elaborate choreography, stagecraft and special effects; others are known for allowing their voice to take center stage. Smith’s performances tend to fall into the second category, but to be fair, his Bond theme is dramatic and sweeping enough that it doesn’t need all of those extras. So, we think he should strip everything back and stick to the essentials: intense lighting, a live orchestra and a mic stand. Cue the tears.
Lady Gaga, "Til It Happens to You"
Sure, Gaga is known for her elaborate, over-the-top performances (and costumes, and props and makeup and choreography), but her Oscar-nominated song – from the documentary The Hunting Ground, about the alleged incidents of sexual assault on college campuses – is a deeply personal one for Gaga. As a result, her performances have leaned toward the simpler, acoustic side, so we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the route she takes on Oscar night. That being said, she’s still Gaga, so we a symbolic, elaborate performance outfit will blend the drama she’s known for with the gravitas fitting of such a powerful song.