At this point, there is almost no harder gig than having to perform the National Anthem at a big-time sporting event. Every single person is watching you and waiting to see precisely what you do at every turn, and there are so many people in the social media world waiting to roast you the moment that you wrap up the song. It’s kind of demented in a way, but it feels almost like they’re waiting on you to fail more than to succeed.
Yet, Metallica did something for their performance of the National Anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals that a lot of people can probably get behind. It’s simple, kind of to the point, but it also really works as a great rock rendition of the song. Who would have thought that a famous metal band would be so great at rocking out The Star-Spangled Banner in 2019?
In the video below, you can get a good sense of precisely what we’re talking about. Rather than singing the lyrics themselves, the band decided to let the guitars do the talking and give us a very solid, instrumental version of the album. Let’s not pretend for the slightest to that this is the first time we’ve ever heard of a guitar-led version of the National Anthem, given that Jimi Hendrix probably will always have the most famous version of all time. (We’re not even going to bother comparing this to some of what they did.)
Yet, Metallica put a little bit of their own spin on it, giving “The Star-Spangled Banner” some unique flavor without at the same time destroying the classic melody that is present here throughout. One of the biggest mistakes that so many people tend to make when doing The Star Spangled Banner is that they feel like they have to put 3000 creative stamps on it when really, you need just one or two. It’s basically akin to the person who puts eight or nine postage stamps on a letter thinking they need that many when really, just do one or two and that’s going to make everybody happy. Less is sometimes more.
Ultimately, everyone’s reasonably happy with this performance judging from social media, and because of that, it’s probably going to move forward and not make all that much news tomorrow. Really, the way the National Anthem performances tend to go is that if they’re really bad, they tend to stick around the pop culture news cycle for a while. Just ask Roseanne Barr about that. If they’re pretty good, however, the focus ultimately is about the sporting event and whatever happens as a result of the game.
Anyhow, if you do what to get some more news and discussion on the National Anthem, check out our take on the Game 1 performance, including from a former contestant of NBC’s The Voice, by visiting the link here.
What did you think about Metallica’s performance of The Star-Spangled Banner? Be sure to share in the comments. (Photo: ABC.)