1812 Overture replaced by thunder as storm rolls in

Lightning over Somerville

Boom! Lightning over Somerville. Photo by R.S.Y. Buchanan.

They started the Esplanade fireworks a bit early tonight - just in time for them to end and evacuate the area as a storm plowed across the area, knocking out power in at least part of Waltham and Cambridge and sending skittish dogs and children under beds.

Christopher reports:

Have to give Boston Pops organizers credit on timing. Made it from the esplanade lagoon to Kenmore JUST as the rain started.

The Hynes Convention Center and the Common garage were open to people seeking refuge from the storm.

Conqy reports:

"Are those fireworks?" *Pokes head out of window and is immediately soaked by thunderstorm*

In East Boston, police used cruiser loudspeakers before the fireworks to alert people gathered on the waterfront that the fireworks would be starting earlier than expected and would be immediately followed by torrential rains. Alison Frisby reports the post-fireworks scene:

Downpour starts as crowds are filing down my street, lots of screaming girls.

Tom Griffiths checks in from the western part of the state:

I live in Northampton, I got this storm 3 hours ago...before it sold out and went mainstream.

Booze Epoque captured boats fleeing the Charles after the fireworks:

Boats in the Charles

J. Alain Ferry reports stretched power lines were all that kept a tree from crushing a car on North Crescent Street in Brighton:

Downed tree in Brighton

Bbarbaruolo photographed another tree that came down on Washington Street near Comm. Ave. in Brighton:

Downed tree in Brighton



Free tagging: 


We could see the light show

There was only flashing in colors, though, and a distant poomp poomp poomp. We couldn't see the individual fireworks like we usually can.

Then we saw the Epic Mother Nature light show that followed, complete with waterfall effects, massive tree shaking drama, and epic kettle drum solos.

Voting is closed. 17

It was like the sky was saying

.."puny little goonball monkeys... here's some real fireworks".

I ignored it all with my usual alacrity.

But I did toss a glance at the doppler and saw the reality bearing down on the simulacra at an express train clip of a very large line squall and I thought,... those poor souls are gonna get drenched all because of runaway complexity and entrenched abstractions.

They really shoulda ditched the expensive Pops nonsense after Fiedler headed for the last baton wave.

Instead of this noxious hick glitz o rama, they could just invite a different civic symphony orchestra from around the state each year as it is a situation where spirit trumps virtuosity and when you've heard one 1812 Overture, you've heard em all.

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For some reason your writing

By on

For some reason your writing tends to remind me of the late Gabriel García Márquez. In time I may figure out why that is.

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Honestly ...

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You know, if you're the sort of person who can't enjoy the 1812 Overture more than once in your life, I think I rather pity you.

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The tune is fine

..and fits but how many versions does anyone need?

I revisit it now and then. It has echoed through the pathways of memory since Quaker Oats used it to make some faux point about a breakfast item with a lyric of .

"This is the cereal that's shot from guns...(kapow)"... back in the whimsical mad ave days of giant fists emerging from washing machines.

The funniest part was how the whole peacock ritual was hurriedly tossed under the bus once the storm started rolling.

Since the rest of the teevee world stopped giving a shit several years ago and Boston seems to be wearing out its welcome with too much self hype, it may well be time to come to Jesus and figure out a more graceful community based way to do this.

Corporate Gigantism is so 2006.

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Poor Pot

.you just need to wait for your meds to kick in and you'll be fine.

Trying wasn't involved.

Your pal,

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Some people's sense of art and culture is as pale as my Irish ass.

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I know, it's ridiculous.

The Shostakovich "Leningrad Symphony' always answered me more fully as a triumph over adversity theme.

The little pastoral melody slowly getting eclipsed buy the sinister counter theme that probably represented the Third Reich tells a more powerful tale than that poofy confection from Pyotr Illich.

But it probably wouldn't do for a summer fete such as this and the howitzer wouldn't get its work out.

Real authenticity would call for a choral rendition of William Billings hits.

And Prince Nico MBarga would really get the crowd on its feet instead of the strange carcass of the Beach Boys but alas, he's gone.


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Learning to sing the music of Billings and his colleagues should be a core requirement in Massachusetts schools. And we should all be able to sing "Chester" by heart...

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I know,

It's a lot more engaging that the Star Spangled booze tune.

And to express appreciation for your enthusiasm here's Chester.


With high school kids, no less.

This is what the 4th could be if only we heave the corporate grift with geriatric Beach Balls over the side and let the place be its charming self without worry.

Voting is closed. 12

Not everyone is as old as you...

... I woke up WarriorGirl (who fell asleep watching the fireworks on Channel 4) to watch the taped 1812 Overture. The "Mom, those are REAL CANNONS" exclamation was priceless.

I like the Pops. I don't like the insistence on booking CBS Recording Artists™ who only sing country music for the 4th, but I accept it as the price for getting this broadcast.

Perhaps you should go watch something else? There are at least 30 other broadcast channels and about a thousand cable channels for you to peruse.

Voting is closed. 16

I don't even own a teevee.

My watching tends to be stuff out in the world like bobolinks.

And you tube has quite a bit more than old school top down media.

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It was a very powerful storm.

And you were right.

My Inman window sounded like a hose was on it when it wasn't rattling from the hail.

It's a second floor and the force of the rain water actually washed the filth off of it.

The main thing I was thinking was how it must suck to be out in it.

It's a foul thing when the sense of wonder and excitement people bring to this thing gets mangled because the assorted 'organizers' and players painted themselves into an absurd inflexible corner from trying too hard to be world class.

You don't need to pay top rates for a brand name conductor and orchestra that is strait jacketed with self importance and weird musician union work rules.

I really appreciate what unions have done to get people better pay and work place conditions but the idiot ball bust antics with management over work rules really needs to stop.

This thing had too many special problems from the barge loading of explosives to the 'can't play on Saturday' hand wring.

Note how surrounding towns were able to postpone and readjust the schedule without a 'Danger UXB' scenario.

They must not have such a complicated pyrotechnic regimen.

They probably also don't have to deal with overpaid peacocks in penguin suits who figure they are doing us all a favor by continuing a mission of exposing an indifferent public to orchestra music that failed miserably a while back.

Instead of having these precious wretches, they could have just deployed some high school orchestra and the kids would have been thrilled within an inch of their lives. It woulda meant something to them besides union scale, rehearsal time and bennies.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a toxic old cynic but I also cherish the idea that other harmless people have escaped such a fate and I root for their right to do so.

They deserved better than this half assed frantic potlatch and civic vanity bonfire.

I think of poor Ron pedaling his legs off to get to the thing without having any way of knowing he was hosed, literally in this case.

And I'm sure there were many such souls in a similar predicament.

Now on to the Olympics!!!

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You forget the CBS contract.

They needed to have the show taped on the 3rd for national broadcast tonight. Otherwise, everyone involved (the Pops, the Commonwealth, Liberty Mutual, yadda, yadda, yadda) would be hosed by penalties in the CBS contract. This was the best compromise solution.

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It falls under the Gigantism rubric.

This July 4th thing began long ago as a fairly uncomplicated community ritual with a sense of wonder for all who sought it.

It has since been railroaded by marketing professionals and corporate boosters.

This strategy had some peak but then seems to have turned down the other side.

It has painted itself into a wretched corner and the marketing tail now wags the event dog.

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CBS dumped Boston as a national broadcast a couple years ago because ratings were down against NBC and NYC.

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They didn't get the Overture in

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but at thankfully they managed to fit in Katy Perry and that frigging song from Frozen.

Voting is closed. 17

Incredible storm! Terrible fireworks!

There was a whole lot of cloud-to-cloud lightning to the northwest of where I am on the Revere/Malden line, from about 9:30, maybe earlier, up to 10:30. At about 10:30, it quickly changed to a constant fury of cloud-to-ground lightning and everyone started panicking. I read tweets that everyone was evacuating the Esplanade, storms were rolling into Greater Boston with vengeance, etc. As soon as the skies opened up and released their deluge, I heard several distinct smashing sounds, which I think were windows breaking from debris/trees, and the internet and DirectTV went out. The lightning was incredible, what an awesome storm!

Also, I have a nice view of the Pru and Hancock from my complex, and was fully expecting to see the fireworks there. Firstly, the fireworks seemed to barely even reach any height at all, and secondly, they were shifted wayyyy to the west. Not just a small shift, as expected, but far enough that trees completely blocked almost the entire show. Not that I minded, the lightning was much more fascinating.

Voting is closed. 15

Power in my part of Waltham

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Power in my part of Waltham restored at 5:20 this morning.

Thanks, NStar crews! A bunch of downed branches in the area this morning.

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