Metro Weekly

A Capitol Fourth: John Stamos, Beach Boys, Four Tops and more

Everyone should experience the National Symphony Orchestra's A Capitol Fourth concert

Fireworks over US Capitol — Photo: Courtesy of Capital Concerts Keith Lamond via Shutterstock

It’s not something you’ll want to do every year — there’s far too many tourists — but everyone should experience the National Symphony Orchestra’s A Capitol Fourth concert at least once, or even twice. Jack Everly leads the NSO in a performance of American favorites and classical masterworks, while several military bands will add to the patriotic spirit, a celebration of the country’s 241st birthday. (Damn, we’re getting old.)

The 37th annual show, broadcast on PBS, features John Stamos doubling as show host and drummer with the Beach Boys — with Mark McGrath adding vocal harmonies. Also performing, The Four Tops and Sam Moore, the Blues Brothers, led by actor Dan Aykroyd and accompanied by the Sacred Hearts band, gospel great Yolanda Adams, country stars Trace Adkins and Kellie Pickler, The Voice Season 12 winner Chris Blue, and Broadway starlet Laura Osnes.

Disney Channel star Sofia Carson kicks off the festivities with the national anthem, and the NSO concludes it with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as the soundtrack to what organizers tout as “the biggest, most distinctive fireworks display in the nation.”

Tuesday, July 4, at 8 p.m. West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit for more information.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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