They’re two of the most patriotic artists in country music. And we’re sure that Big Kenny and John Rich were feeling that pride while the stepped on the ice at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to perform the national anthem before the NHL Predators took on Dallas Stars.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the ice. As the introductions were being made and the colors presented by the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, the emcee for the evening introduced Big & Rich as “these gender-bending multi-platinum superstars…”
It doesn’t seem that John or Kenny heard the gaffe, which was probably meant to be “genre,” not “gender.” They were likely focusing on their starting note for the extremely difficult performance that not only includes the incredible range of the “Star Spangled Banner,” but also the challenge of feedback from the seats.
Of course, if either of those issues had crossed their minds, you never would have known. Respectfully removing their hats, the award-winning duo delivered their performance with honor and reverence, and the signature harmonies and vibratos that have given them the Big & Rich sound. And you could have heard a pin…or a puck…drop on the ice.
Big Kenny did punctuate the ending of the song with a hardy “yee-haw” when he finished and the declaration almost give it a “play ball” or “drivers, start your engines” feel. In fact, we suggest that becoming the official start for all Nashville Predators hockey games.