After 62 years of living like ... well, like Steven Tyler, Aerosmith frontman and newly appointed "American Idol" judge Steven Tyler's voice sounds like that of an alley cat with strep throat after a Novocain injection. This works well when mixed in with crunching guitars and thumping bass at a stadium concert; not so much in the exposed vocal challenge that is the national anthem.
[Photos: More of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler]
Remember: This man will be sitting in judgment of others' singing abilities on national television. Watch fan-shot videos of this epic performance here and here and here and here. There's also a video of Tyler later in the game, riding a motorcycle on the ice for a giveaway and receiving a mixed reaction when the crowd was asked about his anthem performance.
The reaction from the unofficial music critics in the Boston media to Tyler's anthem?
Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe: "There was even a national anthem delivered by Aerosmith legend (and self-proclaimed Bruins fan) Steven Tyler, about which we can only say it's very fortunate for Mr. Tyler that Simon Cowell wasn't in the house to deliver a critique. But his exuberant rendition did have heart, if nothing else."
Bud Barth of the Telegram and Gazette: "Aerosmith's Steven Tyler delivered a...well, let's call it a unique version of the national anthem before the game."
Mike Fine of The Patriot Ledger: "Aside from Steven Tyler's hideous shrieking of the national anthem, the Garden was positively jumping Thursday night."
Oh, that's just mean. Look on the bright side: It wasn't the train wreck that was Tyler's infamous 2001 butchering of the anthem at the Indianapolis 500, which was ranked the seventh-worst anthem performance of all-time by Billboard.com and featured Tyler finishing the tune with "o'er the homer ... land of the freeee / and the hooooome of thhhhhe ... Indianapolis 500!"
So yes, it could be worse. Much, much worse.
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