As much as we’d like to pretend that we were tuning into President Barack Obama‘s Inauguration Ceremony for the pageantry and the historical significance…well, we’re gonna be honest. We probably would’ve slept in and missed the whole thing if it weren’t for the fact that Beyonce was scheduled to sing the National Anthem.
But after Bey gave such a walloping performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” we felt OK about our lowbrow tendencies. She struck that delicate balance between restraint and runs, and you could appreciate the power of her performance from the faces of VP Joe Biden and others seated behind her. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones who loved it. Head below to see how the rest of the web reacted.
:: Rolling Stone lauded the unflappable B: “The singer kept it airy and soothing for most of the song before bursting open for a powerful finish. Beyoncé dealt with some sort of technical difficulty, removing her earpiece, though she recovered nicely.”
:: Vulture thinks it was a top-tier performance of the difficult song: “Beyoncé had the big, difficult song — which, being Beyoncé, she nailed, even as her earpiece malfunctioned halfway through. In the pantheon of Great National Anthem performances, it wasn’t close to Whitney (what could be?), and it wasn’t as cool as Marvin Gaye, but by the time Bey got to ‘waaaaave,’ with the melisma and the ‘I did it’ smile? And the entire National Mall cheering? And Biden making Biden faces? Yeah, this has to be top five.”
:: Spin seems to agree with Vulture: It was “a suave, evocative rendition of a notoriously difficult tune — not quite Whitney-Houston-in-1991 levels of superlativeness, perhaps, but definitely part of the same conversation.”
:: MTV called it an “emotional, diva-fied version of the national anthem.”
:: Across the pond, the Guardian said Bey “roused the Washington crowd…with a soaring performance.”
:: BuzzFeed summed it up thusly: “Wow, just wow.”
:: And, finally, we have TMZ. The site facetiously asked “Did Beyonce Butcher the National Anthem?” To which they answered, “NO. OF COURSE NOT. IT WAS F**KING AWESOME.”