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The Fray’s National Anthem Loses the NCAA Championship

The Fray

In case your computer hasn’t told you yet, the Fray performed the national anthem at last night’s NCAA championship game in New Orleans, and it was weird.

The Grammy-nominated Denver band stood before the anxious 71,000-member audience and delivered a two-guitar, one-tambourine, one-little-drummer-boy-drum acoustic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that looked as though it was probably meant to emulate something vaguely patriotic (a Revolutionary War nod, perhaps?). But it ended up coming out, basically, as a Fray song with Francis Scott Key’s lyrics. The instant Internet reviews were mostly of the “they butchered it!” variety Christina Aguilera earned for her Super Bowl flub in 2011. The band realized they’d become a trending topic on Twitter, so they tweet-responded:

Commenters on VH1’s post about the performance were mighty defensive of the band, but social media remained unforgiving. We’ve collected a few reactions below. Luckily, there are plenty of Fray fans who aren’t NCAA fans.

Even after the game (which Kentucky won 67-59 against Kansas, incidentally), the band couldn’t even let off some steam without getting more negative reviews: