The Fray just lowered the bar of mediocrity to an all-time low. I wish I could say I was shocked by the band’s embarrassing rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at the NCAA Finals, but not really. Their performance merely reflected the lowered expectations of mainstream music today.
Let’s start with some basic analysis of why the Fray’s performance was so underwhelming. Firstly, the band seemed nervous due to what may have been little or no rehearsal. Secondly, the lead guitarist consistently botched the third chord in his progression, which probably led the average TV viewer to believe his guitar was either out of tune or that there was some sort of technical glitch. The latter is partly true: the glitch was lack of basic technical skill on behalf of the guitarist. Make no mistake, he was playing a simple fingerpicking pattern that a semi-competent player with one year’s experience could perfect. Simply playing his instrument correctly would have significantly improved the song.