Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh Say, Can You Sync? Did Beyonce Sing Live or to Track?

Did Beyonce lip-sync the Star Spangled Banner?

It's the big buzz the last 24 hours or so. Personally, I have no problem with it if she did. It always bugs me when people mess up the National Anthem. I'm not talking about people who can't sing - I'm talking about people who can sing very well but feel the need to put their own mark on the anthem and screw it up by changing notes, sometimes changing words and generally over-singing. It happens at baseball games all the time. The worst example I can think of was Patti LaBelle at the World Series game in Philadelphia in 2008. Just unlistenable.

Beyonce did nothing like that. She looked great and sounded great. Really killed it. Okay, she did change a couple of notes, but nothing annoying.

So what about the lip-sync business? It has been revealed that the US Marine Band was a recorded track. They admit that. That's fine. Band instruments don't always work correctly in cold weather, so they use tracks to make sure it sounds right for the millions watching around the world. It's also been revealed that Beyonce had no opportunity to rehearse with the US Marine Band. You just know that the Marines are not about to change any notes or do unnecessary extra flourishes when they play the anthem. They are, after all, Marines.

So what about Beyonce? I think she did lip-sync. She does a great job of it (admittedly, for most of the song her mouth is hidden by the mic, and she's not on camera the whole time anyway), but if you watch the very end she sings "the brave" a second time. Watch her mouth (at 2:20 on the video below) and notice that she opens her mouth a nanosecond too late on "brave." That can only happen if you're not doing it live.

Who cares? She did a great job on a song that's very tough to sing.

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