An Independence Day tradition pre-fireworks spectacle, A Capitol Fourth was held Thursday evening on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building for the 33rd year. This year’s annual concert of Americana featured Marry Manilow, American Idol winner 2103 Candice Glover, country crooner Scotty McCreery, triple-threat Megan Hilty and pre-teen soprano Jackie Evancho, to name but a few.
Hosted by Dancing With the Stars’ Tom Bergeron — who apparently has trouble saying ‘Tchaikovsky’ like the rest of us — the nation’s biggest birthday celebration aired on PBS, on the American Forces Network for troops serving overseas, in stereo on NPR member stations, and LIVE for some hundreds of thousands personally in attendance.
And there was one performer who stole the show.
Ostensibly there to rally the crowd to sing his “Sweet Caroline,” Neil Diamond, a Bostonian inspirational in the recovery efforts post Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year, was on hand to nationally debut his “Freedom Song,” with 100% of proceeds from downloads benefitting One Fund Boston.
But it was even after his Boston bit that Diamond shined brightest.
With flags still waving and audience hands still swaying, the GRAMMY and Golden Globe Award winning musician and songwriter described his own Grandmother’s immigration to America. And then, tearing up a bit over his own family story of pride and patriotism, Diamond led the live crowd in a rousing rendition of “They Come to America.”