The most stirring and uplifting version of the Star Spangled Banner anthem must surely be the experience in Chicago before the beginning of each Blackhawks hockey game. With the Stanley Cup Playoffs in full swing and the Blackhawks with the best record in the National Hockey League, the crowd at the United Center on west Madison Street in Chicago is louder than ever. It has been a tradition in Chicago for over 25 years to start cheering, applauding, screaming and whistling from the first note of the anthem in crescendo through the last note. Nowhere is the U.S. National Anthem performed with a louder, more enthusiastic, inspiring and patriotic effort.
Many who have experienced it will say it sends chills down the spine. The noise from 22,000 fans is almost painfully deafening. If you have never been to a Blackhawks game in Chicago, perhaps this short video clip will give some idea of what it's like during the anthem at the "Mad House on Madison." This particular one contains many signs and flags honoring U.S. troops who were viewing via a live broadcast to the Middle East.