The hopes for perfect weather were realized today as PBS delivered one of the greatest Capitol Fourth concerts in the 34 years of the national July 4th event. Tom Bergeron served the nation well as host of the concert. To be in the audience tonight was a sheer joy as the nation celebrated its 238th birthday with a fantastic concert headlined by music legend Frankie Valli and with great performances by Frankie Valli, Michael McDonald, Patti LaBelle, Jordin Sparks, Kendall Schmidt, Sara Evans, John Williams and the National Symphony Orchestra. The children were delighted by the appearance of Kermit and Miss. Piggy from the Muffets and a special tribute for the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.
As the gate opened at 3 pm the steady flow of concert goers continued for four hours as the Capitol West Lawn was filled to capacity in one of the largest crowds to attend The Capitol Fourth celebration in its 34 year history. The concern for the weather was never an issue today or tonight as the concert was picture perfect with strong performances from each and every cast member. It was a birthday party to remember.
The winds were steady but controlled and PBS was able to hoist up the giant screen above the grounds to enable all who were seated on the Capitol grounds to view the concert with little difficulty. The extra support cables held the screen in place even as strong winds shook the trees from time to time throughout the concert.
It was a lovely evening from the opening act until Frankie Valli closed the show with a beautiful rendition of his classic hit, “Let’s Hang On,” and asked the audience to sing and dance along with him. His performance was an inspiration to all who attended the concert. The Capitol Police assisted the huge audience with the same professionalism and skill that has made the Capitol Fourth one of the greatest July 4th celebrations in the United States of America.
A Capitol Fourth received corporate sponsorship by The Boeing Company with additional funding by the National Park Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of the Army and PBS. American Airlines provided travel for the great performers and support for the concert.
PBS provided customer service and another great concert for the nation tonight.