There are a lot of complaints about the Star Spangled Banner that I’ll hear and accept. It is a song with a massive vocal range, at just over an octave. It is a song often performed at a dirge pace, unlike the drinking song it steals its melody from. It is frequently embellished by those who maybe shouldn’t.
I get that.
His rendition weighs in at 84 seconds, is sung in an approachable key, instead of one that will strain the basses on top or the sopranos on bottom. It is powerful and confident, and it understands the lyrics’ impact without overdramatizing them. It finishes on the final strains with such force as to singlehandedly keep that flag flying over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry amid the tumult.
If every rendition could be so good, perhaps we might not have to fall back on the execrable God Bless America now seemingly required in the 7th inning.
I’m glad the world got to see DC perform last night, and I hope they get to again next week.