Concert Review: KOOL & THE GANG (Hollywood Bowl)

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by Susan Gordon on July 16, 2021

in Concerts / Events,Music,Theater-Los Angeles


All is right with the world again – the Hollywood Bowl is back! There was no way that one of the largest July 4th Weekend Celebrations could disappoint, especially when one of the headliner’s biggest hits happens to be “Celebration” – the classic 1980 hit from the well-established soul-jazz to disco to hard funk to mainstream pop-infused Kool & the Gang. How comforting it was to see a full house once again, at the iconic Bowl after over a year of isolation, fear, and uncertainty held during the pandemic. But we were all back, never missing a beat with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and their illustrious conductor Thomas Wilkins, who garnered thunderous applause when he took to the stage and said “I have two words to say to you: Welcome Home.”

The HB Orchestra opened with patriotic material including “America the Beautiful” and a version of John Williams’ “Summon the Heroes”, written as a theme for the Olympics — here dedicated to the healthcare workers.

After an intermission of people watching and reconnecting with old friends, Kool & the Gang brought the party on with their booty-shaking classics including “Ladies Night,” “Jungle Boogie,” ‘Fresh,” “Hollywood Swinging,” and “Get Down on It.” They even serenaded a female fan named Joanna during “Joanna.”

The excitement was palpable as it radiated from the band members being on stage again in front of the thousands of fans. And, what would a Celebration be without the Bowl’s Fireworks which, as always, never disappoint. A tradition that celebrates the holiday and the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel – Summer is here! Celebrate!

for future events, visit The Hollywood Bowl

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