Oh, what a night! The Pasadena POPS held a free open air concert last night at Pasadena City Hall. Sound a little stuffy? This is Pasadena... Although the night was unexpectedly cold - about 60 degrees - my wife and son and I set up two chairs and blankets, ready to cozy up for a sophisticated, cultural evening of music and fun. The event featured the hottest trend in the LA food scene - gourmet food trucks. My family ate gourmet grass-fed hamburgers with rosemary and garlic organic french fries from the Green Truck while sitting in front of the gorgeous City Hall. Local children's fun spot and museum, Kidspace, was on site providing activities for the little ones. Mayor Bill Bogaard (who we have a special place in our heart for because we have photos of him with our three year-old) opened the show in a two minute speech (that's why we like him so much, he gives short speeches) before turning it over to the POPS conductor Rachel Worby who lead the orchestra in an uplifting array of songs from some great musicals and Hollywood films.
Guests appearances were made by the Target dog, who lead the orchestra as they played Henry Mancini's theme from the "Pink Panther." Another fun moment of the night - one that made all the Gen Xers in attendance put down their cheese and crackers (okay, some put down their burritos or hot dogs) - was when the Star Wars theme began to play. A personal appearance by Darth Vader walking through the crowd scared the little ones a bit, but Xers ate it up when he took the conductor's stand and lead the orchestra in the Darth Vader theme. Before ending the night with God Bless America, the Symphony announced their move from Descanso Gardens to the Rose Bowl with the first performance scheduled for June 19th. It was a wonderful evening out for our family, but more importantly, it was nice to be able to show our three year-old, a lover of music, a symphony and demonstrate how musicians play together to make beautiful sounds. When we arrived home, our three year-old grabbed a stick and handed my wife a guitar and said "mama, I'm a conductor. let's play." That was awesome. I should also note that it was our three year old's first experience in a porta-potty, but that's for another day.