On Friday afternoon, the day wasn’t looking very good with all the thunderstorms and grey skies. But by the time 8pm rolled around, the skies were clear and it was a beautiful un-muggy 75 degrees outside at the Hatch Shell in Boston.
Despite the gloomy weather, Bostonians and visitors packed onto the grass in front of the Hatch Shell, and lined the pathways and banks of the Charles River, all in anticipation of seeing and hearing The Boston Pops and Neil Diamond celebrate the 4th of July early, with a full dress rehearsal of Saturday’s big performance on Friday night, July 3rd.
A variety of performers graced the stage and there were surprises for all, including a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, which was not supposed to be performed on Friday, according to an earlier interview with Keith Lockhart.
I had seen the canons with service men standing at the ready, and I hoped we might hear the 1812. When the first familiar bars of da da da dada da da da dada were played, the audience erupted in applause! How exciting! There is only one time each year that I hear the 1812, and it sent shivers up my spine!
Neil Diamond came out and sang two songs, Cracklin Rosie and Forever in Blue Jeans. I thought they were interesting selections, given his long list of songs to choose from. But Neil Diamond sounded great and the crowd loved each song!
After a brief intermission, Neil came back and sang Sweet Caroline and America. Neil came down into the audience for Sweet Caroline, which was pretty exciting for all those people in the first few rows! Neil then sang America, but was stopped part way through so that they could start again, but Neil kept on singing right to the end! It was great!
Rounding out the night was Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. And what a fun ending!!
Now I can’t wait for my interview with Keith Lockhart and Saturday’s performance and fireworks! Stay tuned!
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