Canada’s own Walk Off the Earth represented the nation by performing “O Canada” at Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night in Oakland, California, where the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden City Warriors to mark the team’s third win in series.
The band delivered a jazz-inflected, folky version of Canada’s national anthem ahead of the game, putting their own unique spin on the song with their distinctive four-part harmonies to result in an iconoclastic take on the tune.
Many people who saw the anthem praised Walk Off the Earth for their unique reinvention of the iconic anthem.
Not everyone was pleased, however, and the band also received a fair share of backlash for the performance.
The band responded to the criticism in a statement to ET Canada.
“Doing the national anthem is one of the most scrutinized things you can do in your musical career,” the statement reads. “To all the people that didn’t like our version, when you hire Walk Off the Earth, you’re not going to hear the same rendition that’s played over the PA in elementary school. As much as we love and appreciate that version, we felt like we should put our on take on the song. People are going to love it or hate it no matter what, so let’s go Raps.”