HBO did a great job this year. I wasn't too thrilled with Hall and Oates and KISS, but every band had songs that were very listenable and conducive to a show like this. I still don't understand why it should take ,more than a month to release it. It lost some of the luster by delaying it that long. Their best work was editing down the ridiculously long E Street segment. My comments
1) E Street killing the pacing of the show: R&R HOF created this mess by sticking with a stupid technicalty not to induct them with Springsteen more than a decade ago. I am a huge fan of Springsteen and E Street. Having said that, I am disappointed that these guys were so obtuse to how they hijacked the show when many Nirvana fans were waiting for the marquee part of the ceremony to unfold. They should have lined up, limited themselves to a minute each and ended their acceptance in 10 min flat. Scialfa herself should have just thanked her kids for a second and stepped off considering she is the most useless member in the history of the E Street lineup. Also they should have skipped the River as Bruce already had his moment many times before on this show. E Street Shuffle and Kittys Back were plenty to showcase the old and new E Street members. Thankfully, HBO showed less than half of their hour plus long hijacking of the ceremony. I did like Bruce's intro speech, especially how he admitted his selfishness and not so great times in the band.
2) Peter Gabriel; No brainer. He was one of the best artists of the 80s and I prefer his solo work to his experimental Genesis stuff. I thought I was tired of IN Your Eyes, but the song still sounded damn good. His voice in better form than Hall's voice later in the show. Not too jazzed by the song choice for the Martin -Gabriel collaboration.
3) The ladies in the Linda R tribute: Carrie Underwood surprised me at how good she was on Different Drum. Sheryl Crow is too bland for me in general. But she performed very well on a technical level and loved the high note she hit when singing backup to Nicks on It's So Easy. Loved seeing Raiit and Emmylou. One of the most enjoyable set of songs to showcase an artist on this show. Even though I am sick of seeing Shaffer's penishead bob around hyperactively on these shows over the years, he seemed a little more restrained and down to work on this show. So credit for his houseband on this set.
4) KISS: THis is the people's choice and I cant complain even if I don't think their songs are that good. One good thing about their spat, I didn't have to hear that godawful Beth song by Peter Criss. I probably like 3 or 4 of their songs, that's it. My favorite one of theirs is Ace's solo effort on NY Groove and it is just a cover. A case of style over substance. But at least, we got an awesome intro by Tom Morello which jazzed up the broadcast.
5) Hall and Oates: I am not a fan even if I enjoy a couple of their poppy songs like Out of Touch and Make my Dreams come true. Good to see Oates actually does something in the band. I used to think he was the Andrew Ridfley of this band. So with Oates showing some talent, I guess Andrew Ridgley is in a league of his own as far as most useless member of a famous duo(WHAM). How does this band get over Cheap Trick or Cars or Joan Jett? Cars had just as many hits as Hall and Oates and are more rock oriented. Oh, Hall, maybe you have too big of a chip on your shoulder. Come on Chubby Checker in the hall??? For what? a novelty song that wasn't even his?>
6) NIRVANA: Pretty much the marquee induction. Thanks E Street for really making people wait so long for this group to get its due. How good did Kim GOrdon look in that skirt even if her face looks like a female version of Iggy Pop. I loved Gordon's song the best because she captured the fury of Nirvana. Annie Clarke sounded good, but she seemed dressed to attend a Missing Persons tribute. She just does not convey that vibe for a Nirvana song.
No jam at the end , thanks to E Street hogging the ceremony.