Music fans have learned to expect a certain amount of artifice from rock stars when they take the stage for high-profile live events — after all, it takes a lot of guts and maybe a little bit of insanity to risk a flub ruining a major gig. Lip-syncing or miming to tape, however, are still seen as major no-nos, and potentially just as embarrassing as a flubbed note if they're found out.

All of which is to say that U2 may have some explaining to do in the wake of a TMZ report suggesting that the group's live appearance at the Grammys on Jan. 28 won't really be live at all. According to the tabloid network, the band will actually be taping its performance tonight.

As TMZ's report notes, the basic gimmick behind the band's Grammy act — that they're playing live from a remote location — will still be somewhat true, in a sense. U2 will have played live, just prior to the ceremony — and by taping their performance beforehand, will presumably have the opportunity to edit or tune out any mistakes.

It might add up to a disappointing bit of sleight of hand for fans who'd prefer a warts-and-all performance, but U2 would hardly be the first act to take advantage of a safety net for a gig like this — and it was just a few years ago that the Red Hot Chili Peppers encountered controversy after being caught miming during the Super Bowl halftime show.

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