Boygenius’ Grammys 2024 fits paid tribute to one of the greatest awards show performances of all time
Just as we were mourning Boygenius’ indefinite hiatus, the supergroup were back at the 2024 Grammy Awards to clean up by winning Best Alternative Music Album, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. After spending last summer touring in Thom Browne suits, the band turned to the designer for this year’s Grammys look: off-white suits paired with white button-downs and black ties, with patent black Oxfords and black socks.
But what of the pink carnations pinned to their lapels? Mega fans will note the overt reference to the Boygenius song “We’re In Love”: “In the next one, will you find me? / I’ll be the boy with the pink carnation / Pinned to my lapel, who looks like hell and asks for help / And if you do, I’ll know it’s you.” The song was written by Lucy Dacus, about her bandmates and the importance of their friendship.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 04: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) (L-R) Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker of Boygenius, winners of the "Best Rock Performance" award for "Not Strong Enough", the "Best Rock Song" award for â€œNot Strong Enoughâ€, and the "Best Alternative Music Album" award for "The Record", pose in the press room during the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
But the mention of the pink carnation is also an Elliott Smith nod. In an interview with the Guardian, the band expressed how they bonded nerding out over the late indie folk singer, and how the “We’re in Love” lyrics had originally had the carnation be white, before Bridgers insisted they change it to pink “because Elliott Smith wanted to wear a pink carnation at the Oscars with his white suit, and they were like: ‘This flower looks stupid, take it off.’”
Smith's raw “Miss Misery” performance at the 1997 Oscars is a memory career moment of his – much like The Beatles' Ed Sullivan set from 1964, which Boygenius paid tribute to with their Saturday Night Live suits last year.
At the time, Smith was admonished for wearing a wrinkled white suit, his hair askew, with nothing but an acoustic guitar. Looking back, the performance channels some of the same plain and tender emotion that the Boys have made their trademark. And he may not have been able to wear a pink carnation in 1997, but nearly three decades later, Boygenius put three on in honour of him.