Last night at The Hamilton, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were recognized with a GRAMMYs on the Hill Award by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation for “their support and understanding of music creators’ unique role in American life.” The evening included special performances by Lady Antebellum, Los Lonely Boys, and 90s chart toppers, Hanson. Hanson? Seriously?
The evening was a long one. Red carpet access to Lady A and Hanson began at 6, and the award ceremony and performances lasted until after 10pm.
Here’s how it went down.
5:59pm – Ushered to the 2nd floor of The Hamilton for a private red carpet and Q&A with Lady Antebellum, Hanson, high level execs from The Recording Academy and some members of Congress. Immediately notice a sea of wine glasses covering the bar. I’m talking at least 50 glasses of already poured red and white ready for the taking. I start my night with a Diet Coke.
6:20 – The room quickly fills with so-not-DC folks, sporting tans we can only dream of and the bleachiest of blonde hair.
6:36 – Lady Antebellum has arrived. All way hotter than I’d expected. So many people storming the step-and-repeat to join them for a group photo. Contemplate myself joining in said photos.
6:41 – While approaching the bar for a refill of my Diet Coke – my fourth of the night – Fresh FM’s Tommy Pavlick and a cameraman rush toward me and a trio of maybe recognizable guys who I suddenly realize comprise Hansom. MMMBop! Immediately take selfie with them in the background.
6:45 – BuzzFeed Boy About Town Benny Johnson is walking by and I grab him for another selfie with 2 of the Hanson brothers in the background. Directly in front of us is none other than Zac Hanson, laughing at our – or my –
hilariousness patheticness. Obviously take another selfie which includes Zac.
7:00 – While being ushered to the Awards Presentation, I find myself huddled with all three of the Hanson brothers, something that would make a 1996 Nick beyond excited. Fast forward 18 years, and it’s cool, I guess.
7:05 – Nearly 100 tables have been set up in the performance level of The Hamilton, filled with hundreds of guests.
7:10 – Switch to wine.
7:30 – While catching up with last year’s White House Correspondents Dinner photog Daniel Swartz in the press balcony overlooking the dinner, I see Benny Johnson seated front and center of the stage. How the hell did that happen? Immediately go take photo.
8:15 – Ceremony begins with a singing of the National Anthem by Hanson…one of the worst I’ve ever heard.
Joy Williams, Grammy-winning artist of the Civil Wars, later introduces Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House Minority Leader. Quickly realizing her gaff, she jokes, “Just one day at a time Kev. Just one day at a time. Every vote counts. You’d think I’d know that after watching ‘House of Cards.’”
Congressman Doug Collins joins SESAC Songwriters Gary Burr and Victoria Shaw on stage for a premiere of their song, “Fair,” to which I don’t even think Collins is singing. Is his mic even on? Described to me by Zac Hanson as the “best and worst of Nashville,” “Fair’s” chorus goes, “An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay/ That’s all I need at the end of the day/ Isn’t that the American dream? It’s that what we all reach for?/ I just need some common ground, somewhere.”” Not my cup of tea.
After receiving the Recording Artists Coalition Award, Lady Antebellum performs a set which includes their super famous “Need You Now” and more recent hit, “Compass,” in which several members of Congress joined the seven-time Grammy winners on stage, including Reps. Long, Schock, Pelosi, and Waxman.
10:15 – It’s a quarter after 10, I’m a little drunk, and I depart.
10:45 – Arrive home. Blast MMMBop.
In attendance: Obviously, BuzzFeed’s Benny Johnson, POLITICO’s Alex Byers, Hollywood on the Potomac’s Janet Donovan and Brendan Kownacki, Revamp’s Daniel Swartz, Artists and Athlete’s Steve Ross, Jill Collins, and Deb Fiscella.