Remember yesterday, when I talked about what a great job Beyonce did singing the national anthem at Obama’s inauguration despite whatever technical difficulties caused her to rip out her ear piece? I was so amazed, in fact, that I even felt bad for not devoting a whole post to it, as Beyonce should have to share the spotlight with no one.
Well, color me slightly less amazed today after the revelation that Bey was not, in fact, singing live, but lip syncing to a pre-recorded track as the band pretended to play their instruments. The Washingtonian first burst everyone’s bubble when they pointed out that Bey had posted a photo to Instagram of herself in the studio with members of the Marine Corps band:
And it was confirmed to The Times UK earlier today:
A spokeswoman for the Marine Corp Band Kristen DuBois said it was standard procedure to record a backing track and Beyoncé decided shortly before her performance to rely on the studio version rather than risk singing it live on the Capitol.
Now, I realize this is standard practice for performances with a lot riding on them, but doesn’t it defeat the point of, well, performing? Beyonce was not dancing around or putting on an elaborate stage show. She was standing there singing a powerful rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” that was supposed to commemorate a singular moment in time. Is it totally unreasonable to expect someone to do their singing in real time in this kind of situation? Just because it happens a lot doesn’t make it any less disappointing each time.
And why on earth did she rip out her ear piece? I guess maybe it was too loud or something, but that single, unfortunate action caused millions of people to construct a narrative of triumph in the face of adversity. As a result, this whole thing is now a damning indictment of the American dream on par with The Great Gatsby. Maybe that’s what Joe Biden was frowning about.