The Fray National Anthem: Band panned for NCAA basketball performance - Reverb

News: The Fray performs questionable version of national anthem on national TV

Denver pop-rock icons the Fray performed a questionable version of the national anthem at the start of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game in New Orleans Monday night. The roughly two-minute performance sparked a firestorm on social media moments after its conclusion — the vast majority of tweets reacting negatively.

The band members responded on Twitter:

While the performance was not awful by any standards — it left many scratching their heads. This is a band that owes its success to piano-based, highly accessible pop songs. Why tinker with that formula on national TV? Why not give Isaac Slade a Baby Grand and let the other guys sing back-up? Moreover, why go the increasingly tired, revivalist folk route of bands like Mumford & Sons?

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John Hendrickson is the managing editor of Reverb and a multimedia journalist for The Denver Post. Follow his rants on music and more on Twitter.

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  • Killmeebay

    they should do the right thing and break up then get jobs at starbucks, I am embarrassed for the entire denver music scene that these talentless bozos are the biggest music success from denver

  • Prangsta3

    i dont understand what was wrong with this? grow the hell up.

    • Ears McGee

      Listen to the turnaround at the end of each measure; pretty sure the guitarist was playing the wrong notes.  Or else baldy was singing the wrong notes, one or the other.

      • John J. Wood

        The guitarist was playing clams (wrong notes), and all they were doing was strumming to begin with.  I see better musicianship just in tuning up at bluegrass picks locally, and I am sincerely not kidding.

  • Jon156

    i’m not so sure they’re the ‘biggest’ musical success story out of denver anymore.  or maybe i’m imagining

  • Nshaffer2319

    My daughter (13 yrs) and I (62yrs) thought it was cool; different.

  • Taylorbiskup

    The guitar chords were fucked up.

  • John J. Wood

    This is what I posted
    immediately on my FB page after that butchering: “Please do not judge
    Colorado music by one of the worst renditions of the National Anthem
    ever played…by The Fray! I could have played a better rendition:
    THAT’S how much
    it sucked!” Folks, the National Anthem is not a WIMP POP song —
    especially since their two guitarists could barely play it. I could have
    rounded up several groups of pickers from Nederland, Lyons, Boulder and
    Longmont and *know* the results would have been much better. That said,
    the real crime was that CBS and the NCAA blew it because a featured
    artist from the city the game was held in — New Orleans — should have
    been represented. Imagine Aaron Neville or Dr. John — both whom sings
    rings around Isaac Slade in their sleep — or the Dirty Dozen Brass
    Band. Once again, the priority was on crap pop culture, and many ears
    suffered as a result. A friend of mine coined a new phrase as a result of last night, “Please
    don’t Fray the National Anthem!”

  • dannypants

    it did seem like some of the guitar chords were sour.  and they are not a dissonant band so….yeah.   
    ok, they are not my kind of band, but honestly, i did think the performance was pretty bad.  sorry.