Independence Day fireworks came a few days early Saturday (June 30) on a perfect star-filled night for several thousand who witnesses the debut performance of the California Philharmonic Orchestra at the newly reconfigured outdoor theater on the infield of Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.
<Story continues below following four-minute video highlights of fireworks, Vanessa Carlton, and USC Marching Band…>
Between the combustive covers was a show filled with multiple styles of orchestral appeal, including a handful of newly orchestrated pop songs by 31-year-old three-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, and crowd-pleasing appearance by the USC Trojan Marching Band on the proscenium playing everything from the university’s fight song to Fleetwood Mac‘s “Tusk,” for which the band performed in the original 1980s music video. (Most likely few on stage or in the audience were aware of the irony of the band coming to Arcadia to perform the song made famous by former Arcadia High School student Stevie Nicks.)
And, oh yes, the Cal Phil played several classical pieces as well, with the sound quality as good or better than ever from the hundreds of tables in front of the concrete slab stage nestled on a man-made grassy berm all the way past the rows of benches to the open grass seating to the rear.
Eager concert-goers began arriving before the gates opened at 5:30 p.m. and enjoyed all manner of activities and socializing while dining for more than two hours before the program began. Although a few people left during intermission or right after the USC band, most of the throng left simultaneously after the fireworks. The departure process appeared to be very orderly and cars left the parking lot without hesitation or any apparent back-up or traffic jams.
This was truly a reason for celebration as we prepare for a day of widespread fireworks, most of which will not be accompanied by the same level of entertainment.
– By Scott Hettrick