Live Music Means Singing In Full Sight And Sound Even When Imperfect
Please give me more lip-syncing -- just add a little bit of honest messaging.
We all know Beyonce Knowles can sing -- but maybe not always at a Presidential inauguration.
Singing in 40-degree weather can be really hard. Make that doubly hard for cold fingers used to play an instrument. Singer/guitarist/ James Taylor got through his performance but he admitted it was touch and go. Singer Kelly Clarkson didn't want to lip-synch, but her live performance wasn't easy either.
Beyonce allegedly decided to go the taped route. One can understand. "The Star Spangled Banner" is a bear to sing, musically lame and not terribly interesting -- words and patriotism aside, of course.
To me it's a different story when mulling whether to knock out a live tune on "Saturday Night Live" or "The Grammys." Those shows’ main purpose is entertainment. Entertainment melding with patriotism at the Presidential inauguration is just a side show.
During this TV season, there have been ample times to see shows -- scripted, reality and others -- do the live thing, all of which makes for nervous producers and performers. And, yes, some flubs. But they offer a sense of immediacy, which can be lost in this increasingly time-shifted TV and media world.
Others might say that big-time performers, those who make plenty of money, should always suck it up and get the job done live.
In any event, if performers are going to lip-sync, I'd prefer some honesty about their decision. Give me some notice -- a "bug," balloon, or message on the screen about what is going on. If you announce, "And now singing our National Anthem, Beyonce," she had better be singing right then and there.
Considering all we have gone through with big celebrities and sports performers telling the truth, I have no problem with laying out the truth in real time -- no matter how clunky and uncomfortable it might be: "And due to cold weather, and terrible musical conditions, lip-syncing our national anthem -- behind a screen so you can't see her face -- is... "