With summer almost over, I realized that there was a good chance I wasn’t going to make it to the Hollywood Bowl this season. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go this season, it’s just that I never got around to planning for it. When the season was announced, I had other things on my mind. And then as the summer went on, I just kind of forgot about it. I was a bit sad to think that I wasn’t going to get out there this summer when my friend Dani texted me.
One of Dani’s friends had extra tickets for the John Williams concert. Dani was taking one and she wanted to see if I wanted one too. This was just a few days before the concert, but somehow my schedule was free the night of the show (which wasn’t the case for so many nights this summer) and I said I wanted the ticket. It worked out so well that I probably couldn’t have planned it better myself!
Dani, her friend, and I met up to take the Bowl bus together. It was such a hot and muggy afternoon that we were happy to get inside the air-conditioned bus. I don’t know what happened, but in that very long drive (it was about an hour and a half) it got hot and humid inside the bus too. We were all starting to feel drowsy and ready to get off the bus. But it seemed to take forever for us to get there.
And once we arrived, it wasn’t much better outside. We were hoping that it would cool down once the sun was down, but it was still over 90 degrees out at almost 8pm. We aren’t used to the humidity either so that made things much worse. But we were just happy to be at the Bowl and get to our seats.
Once we were seated (and drank a ton of water and had some food) we were starting to feel better. I think we were probably all dehydrated from sweating so much and we needed to get something into our bodies to get into a better space to watch the show. It was still close to being unbearably hot, but it was better once I didn’t feel sick anymore.
And as always, the concert was amazing! We had some pretty great seats and the people with the seats next to us didn’t show up so we were able to spread out a bit more. That was nice since we didn’t have to be squished in our seats which would have probably made us feel even worse in that weather.
The first half of the concert was with another conductor, but he was great and the music was wonderful. But I think everyone was waiting for after intermission when John Williams was coming out. And he didn’t disappoint! He conducted the philharmonic in all the scores that we wanted to hear like Harry Potter, Superman, and of course Star Wars when everyone got their light sabers out.
But what we weren’t expecting was to have Kobe Bryant come out to read his poem “Dear Basketball” while John Williams conducted the score he created for it. It was very moving and as someone who isn’t a sports person I was surprised by how it ended up being a highlight of the evening. It was something that was special to get to witness and I love that there are always fun surprises whenever I go see this show.
Of the group I was with, I was the only person who had seen John Williams before. So when the evening was coming to a close, I told everyone else to stay seated because there are almost always 2 encores. And the finale song is always the score from ET. And it was exactly what I thought it would be (although the rainbow lighting that they normally put on the Bowl didn’t happen this year).
After the concert was over, it took some time for us to get back to the bus to head back home. It was still so hot and humid outside but fortunately this time the air conditioning in the bus was working. We were able to relax on the bus right home except when we saw the huge fire that was happening in the hills nearby from the freeway. We all knew the fire was happening, but to see it from the freeway and how bright it glowed at night was a little scary. Fortunately, it wasn’t that close to us and now the fire is getting closer to being totally out.
I’m so glad that I was able to make it to the Bowl this summer. I really didn’t think I’d make it and it really helped to make my summer feel more complete by getting to go. There are still a few more shows this summer, but I don’t know if I’ll make it out to another one. But I know I need to prioritize getting tickets next summer when they go on sale.