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The public is tough to please when it comes to the national anthem. Plenty of music’s most talented artists have felt the wrath of America after flubbing the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a baseball or football game.
So, when The Fray performed the song that’s been the country’s national anthem for nearly 100 years at the NCAA championship game between Kansas and Kentucky on Monday, they – and the fans – should have been happy that the Grammy-nominated group got all the words right.
However, the band put its own twist on the song by stripping it down to an acoustic version that was a little darker than the traditional tune.
Clearly, The Fray was trying to make the song work for their unique sound, but some people were not fans. Chris Chase at Yahoo Sports wrote that the band “failed in every respect” and the Washington Post added that it was “a version that made you want to curl up in the corner and drunk text an ex.”
On Twitter, people also spoke out about The Fray’s mellow take on the national anthem. Actor Patton Oswalt wrote, “Al Qaeda just claimed responsibility for The Fray’s performance of The National Anthem last night.”
The Fray’s guitarist Dave Welsh seemed to take the criticism in stride. “Upon thinking about it, doing the National Anthem is a bit like choosing between Jif and Skippy. You just can’t please everyone,” he wrote on Twitter.
As for the actual game, the Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59.
Watch The Fray’s performance below:
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