After a year with no one in the crowd, thousands of tone deaf fans screaming “The Star Spangled Banner” echoed throughout Nassau Coliseum. It was a beautiful sound.
Before the Islanders’ 6-2 win over the Bruins, which closed out the series and sent them to the Stanley Cup semifinals, Nicole Raviv was assigned to sing the national anthem per usual. However, midway through the anthem she became more of a back-up singer by deferring to the crowd of 13,917 fans in attendance.
“It was very unique. Not everyone can experience something like that,” Raviv said. “Last year, I started to sing not in front of fans. So, it was as if we were back to normal. It was really special. It was magical.”
The idea started after game four of the series. While performing the anthem, Raviv’s microphone broke. However, the show went on as the crowd kept singing until the microphone was fixed. Then they went back to singing in unison.
Raviv, mid-twenties, is an indie Canadian and Israeli singer and actress originally from Montreal, Quebec. She moved to New York in 2012, and became the Islanders’ anthem singer in 2019. She has grown accustomed to singing in front of crowds, but none of them matched the intensity of these Islanders fans.
“I have sang the anthem for many sporting events. This one was unique and I never felt a crowd like that. It was an amazing moment for me and everyone who was there.” Raviv said.
The new national anthem trend might be a new good luck charm for the Islanders. In Game 4, after the first fan anthem, the Islanders won 4-1. This time it helped them to finish off the Bruins and earn them back-to back conference finals appearances.
Raviv believes this could be a new norm for Islanders fans.
“We will definitely try to involve the fans as much as we can and make it a collective experience,” she said.
Even if the Islanders’ luck runs out, the fans will hold a special place in Raviv’s heart, and possibly her next album. After the performance, Raviv had nothing but praise for her helpers.
“Tonight was something special. We put on a SHOW! Best backup singers in [the NHL]!” Raviv posted on her Instagram page.