Thor Christensen (yes, Thor) with the Dallas Morning News has a theory.
In an article published this morning, he contends that Tom Petty did not actually sing at the Super Bowl last night, but that things sounded "too pristine" and Petty must have using previously recorded vocals, a la Milli Vanilli.
Too pristine? As in, they sounded good, so it must be fake. Thor also argues that Petty's mouth was "strategically hidden" being a "big spongy microphone." Not that windscreens have ever proven useful when it comes to audio. Right.
I'm INCREDIBLY reluctant to buy into this theory, but Thor does make one interesting point.
Check out this video from last night's performance of "Free Fallin', specifically at the 2:15 mark. Definitely something odd there. [Update: I see what the two commenters are saying about how they probably just turned his mic down for the break. All I said initially was that it was "odd," not that he was definitely lip syncing!]
But maybe the real question isn't "did he fake it," but "does it matter?" It's not like we're dealing with someone like Ashlee Simpson here — we know Petty's the real deal. Is it OK to cut the guy some slack and give him a backup plan on one of the biggest nights of his career? Or should he be expected to suck it up and just play and sing, for good or bad.
I'm honestly torn on this issue, I'd love to hear what you all think.
[Update: Sorry, I had to take this down and repost it. I added all the comments back. I'm not about censorship!]