More than the occasion-free Bob Marley tribute; more than Goth Taylor Swift in the opening number; for me the highlight of spectacle at the 2013 Grammys was Al Walser in a spacesuit.
The Liechtenstein-raised producer's Grammy nomination (alas, Skrillex beat him in the dance recording category) was the most curious story in the run-up to Sunday's ceremony. Watching Walser stand to let other Staples attendees squeeze past his interstellar bulk reminded me of how big a deal the Grammys are to anybody not already in the pop firmament.
There he was, on the red carpet detailing how his interstellar getup was a metaphor for how being from one of the world's smallest countries meant feeling like you were from space. There he was, a few rows in front of me in the mid-range-nosebleed seats, trying to maneuver through Staples Center aisles in a suit meant for literal moonwalking. He was in there for a few sweaty hours, and I wondered whether he felt that his outfit was a better idea in theory than in practice -- but it was definitely the sartorial choice of the night.
Who knows? Maybe Walser will uncork a major EDM hit that will capitalize on his moment in the Grammy lights. But in all likelihood, this was the biggest night in his musical life, one that required no more handshaking or ballot-pleading or finding out a guerrilla-mission way to belong.