By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
This year Pacific Palisades rocked the Fourth of July in a different fashion: virtually.
Palisades Americanism Parade Association presented its annual Palisades Rocks the Fourth as a virtual concert that was live-streamed for free across social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitch—allowing viewers to enjoy music from afar during Safer at Home orders.
Actress, writer, singer and Palisades Charter High School alumna Gilli Messer opened the event by singing “America the Beautiful,” followed by a formal introduction from emcee Sam Lagana, who is the stadium voice for the Los Angeles Rams.
“Normally on July Fourth we would have started the day on Sunset Boulevard … and that would have been followed up at 2 o’clock with the Palisades Americanism parade,” Lagana shared. “We would have rolled over to the high school and had our Palisades Rocks the Fourth live concert, followed by our town fireworks. But this is not a normal year. Instead we’ve brought Grammy Award-winning artists and incredible music all together for you.”
The one-hour show, which kicked off at 8 p.m., featured musicians Adam Topol and Tom Freund, who headlined the concert, Ben Harper, Rocky Dawuni, Louise Goffin, Jessy Greene, Chris Joyner and KT Tunstall. Additional performances were made by Trinity Rose, Arielle Martinez Cohen, Jacob Winthrop and the Pali High band.
Local officials Richard Bloom and Mike Bonin, actor Steve Guttenberg, and head coach of the Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr shared celebratory messages throughout the program.
“Happy Fourth of July, it’s the best day of the year in the Palisades,” Kerr said. “I have such great memories of running in the 10K, being in the parade, feeling the energy all day long in the town and watching the fireworks from my mom’s house on Chautauqua.
“We’ll stick it out, we’ll get through this together and I can’t wait to see all of you next year at the festivities.”
The end of the show called for a community-wide sing-along of “This Land Is Your Land” featuring the performers of the night.
This year’s virtual concert also served to raise awareness for MusiCorps, an organization that helps wounded veterans play music and recover their
lives, as well as the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund for musicians who have been affected by the pandemic.
Palisadians Keith Turner and Rob Weber, with the assistance of Topol and Freund, and editor Joshua Cutsinger, produced Palisades Rocks the Fourth this year. Palisadian filmmakers Tyler Newman, Peter Keenan and Sarah Kelly contributed most of the scenic footage from around the Palisades for the production.
“When the coronavirus lockdown hit California in mid-March, we had no idea what the future held for the Palisades July Fourth celebration,” Weber said to the Palisadian-Post. “During the lockdown I was moved by the videos of similarly home-bound people in Spain, Italy and other countries, going out on their balconies in the evening to sing songs with their neighbors.
“It occurred to me that we could try something similar here in the Palisades … it was a fun experience, and the final product absolutely exceeded our expectations.”
Turner added that an important part of Palisades Rocks the Fourth is showcasing the young talent in town.
“We had over two hours of solid performance and many hours from other submissions—there is enough talent in Pacific Palisades to fuel a 24-hour a day music television channel,” he said. “We had a lot of tough editing decisions to keep the show to one hour in length.”
Weber said most of the performances shown were recorded within two weeks of the Fourth of July, and the team was editing up until the evening of July 3.
“Boy, did I ever underestimate the amount of work necessary to make a TV show look good,” Weber said. “I do hope that California will be in a space that allows us to host a parade, live concert and fireworks again in 2021.”
The concert is still available to watch on YouTube indefinitely.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.