Hollywood Bowl Celebrated the Fourth with Kool and the Gang

by Kevin Taft

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday July 12, 2021

The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl  (Source:hollywoodbowl.com)

After almost two years, the Hollywood Bowl is back! And in many ways, it hasn't changed. Phew!
When the Bowl announced a truncated season starting in July, information on their site revealed there would be vaccinated and un-vaccinated sections. Seats and boxes would be socially distant, and the usual capacity of almost 18 thousand, would be reduced to about 4 thousand.
With the reopening of the state on June 15th, that all changed. And while the event space now utilizes "virtual" everything, including tickets and food orders, it felt like the Bowl was back to normal.
Sure, some guests wore masks as there are signs everywhere asking that those who are unvaccinated continue to do so. But other than that, it was status quo and still one of the best organized event spaces in Los Angeles.
This year's opening night (usually sometime in June) occurred on Fourth of July weekend with their amazing fireworks show, preceded by patriotic songs played beautifully by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra as conducted by Thomas Wilkins, and followed by an energetic set by soul icons "Kool and the Gang."
Playing their most popular hits like "Get Down on It," "Ladies Night," and, of course, straight wedding staple "Celebration," the band had the audience on its feet and finally celebrating a (somewhat) return to normalcy. You could feel the relief in the air as the crowd gathered together to revel in being with others, dancing the pandemic away, and thankful that the summer's greatest showcase of entertainment was back.
There are only a few original members of the "Gang," but that didn't matter. The heart and soul of the band was intact and ready to party. "Everyone around the world, come on!" didn't just feel like a song lyric. It felt like a call to action.
And they loved it.
"Kool and the Gang July 4th Fireworks Spectacular" played the Hollywood Bowl on July 3rd and 4th. For tickets and information about coming events, visit hollywoodbowl.com.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.