The annual PBS concert A Capitol Fourth 2021 shines bright with star power, honor and fireworks as the country reopens.
After 15 months of suffering through a global pandemic, it seems America has finally turned the corner. Businesses have reopened, nearly 70% of the adult population have received at least one vaccination shot and people are starting to return to some sort of normalcy. That excitement and hope was channeled through a beautiful 90 minute special celebrating America's 245th birthday on Independence Day. PBS' A Capitol Fourth 2021 aired Sunday as a glorious tribute to America, the brave men and women that defend her and all of the parts of America that combine to make it what it is.
In a press release, Executive Producer Michael Colbert stated his intentions for the 41st edition of this American tradition: "As families and friends reunite and the county begins to open up this Fourth of July, we plan to bring you an exciting program with the greatest fireworks display in the nation, performances by the biggest stars and patriotic favorites." And an exciting program Capitol Concerts delivered.
Hosted by Vanessa Williams and Kermit the Frog (see my interview with Kermit the Frog right here) A Capitol Fourth 2021 was a mixture of pre-taped performances from around the country with a few live performances sprinkled in for good measure. World famous 17 time Grammy nominee (& 4 time winner) Renee Fleming kicked off the special singing The National Anthem and set the tone for the epic concert spanning sea to shining sea.
Other performers included:
Cynthia Erivo performing her debut solo single The Good and Freeway of Love
Pentatonix belting out RENT's Seasons of Love from the Los Angeles skyline
Gladys Knight tearing the stage down in Washington DC
Jimmie Allen performing American Heartbreaker
Jennifer Nettles performing Oh What A Beautiful Morning
Train performing in San Francisco in front of the Golden Gate Bridge
Mickey Guyton performing her song Without A Net
Alan Jackson performing America The Beautiful
Kermit the Frog performing Rainbow Connection
Auli'i Cravalho performing A Whole New World from New York
Ali Stroker performing A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman
Hamilton's Christopher Jackson performing in DC
And the world premiere of Jimmy Buffet's rendition of the iconic This Land Is Your Land
As you can see from the highlights above, it was a night of tribute, celebration and a love for this nation that we call home.
And of course, A Capitol Fourth featured the nation's Independence Day fireworks, a 17 minute show stopping spectacle set to a stunning music bed of patriotic songs from the National Symphony Orchestra against the beautiful DC skyline.
As always, Capitol Concerts has put on an incredibly entertaining and beautiful celebration of our Nation and served as a representation of our country opening up and coming together once again.
Watch my interview with Pentatonix here or listen on this weeks episode of Pop Culture Weekly here to hear interviews with Pentatonix, Jimmie Allen, Kermit the Frog, Auli'i Cravalho and Ali Stroker. And be sure to watch the replay of A Capitol Fourth 2021 on PBS OnDemand, YouTube and Facebook until July 18th.