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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

Gwen Stefani, Gustavo Dudamel with LA Phil & More Celebrate the Hollywood Bowl’s 100th Birthday

Gwen Stefani, María Dueñas, Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and more performed for Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl, celebrating the iconic venue’s 100th birthday. The celebratory night included the world premiere of Centennial Overture, dance, special guest performances, and of course fireworks.

Friday evening began with a long and chaotic battle for parking, attendees were seen exiting their vehicles in the middle of the traffic and running to the venue. Guests were visibly eager to get into the venue and experience an extraordinary historic celebration. The Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl was indeed a benefit concert, raising over $2.46M for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and other community programs that serve the youth and families of Los Angeles.

The night opened with “The Star-Spangled Banner” followed by the world premiere of the Centennial Overture, a near six-minute piece by John Williams written especially for the venue’s centennial. Gustavo Dudamel announced that Williams first performed at the Bowl over 40 years ago and welcomed the conductor on stage handing over the conducting baton to Williams.

The piece was followed by LA Phil’s performance of Stravinsky’s Variation d’Apollon and Pas de deux Apollon et Terpsichore from Apollo, accompanied by a stunning dance by ballet stars Roberto Bolle and Tiler Peck. The three-piece band consisting of Branford Marsalis, Eric Revis and Matthew Howard nearly stole the show during their performance alongside LA Phil for their rendition of John Williams’ “Escapades” from Catch Me If You Can. 19-year-old violinist, María Dueñas performed Ravel’s Tzigane alongside the orchestra right before a quick intermission.

Following a quick complimentary snack and hot coffee came the blazing performance from Novena Carmel accompanied by dance trio Let It Happen. With the crowd pumped and thrilled, Gustavo Dudamel introduced the long-awaited Gwen Stefani. The three-time Grammy award-winning artist entered the stage with a pompous pink gown visibly excited to be a part of such a special celebration. Stefani alongside LA Phil performed No Doubt classics such as “Don’t Speak,” “Spiderwebs” and “Just A Girl” during which she had all males in the crowd sing the chorus along with her. Stefani acknowledged and thanked a few guests in the crowd who wore her outfit from the Met Ball, “I know that took a lot of time to make that dress. You guys look amazing.” Stefani even brought out a special guest, her husband Blake Shelton, the country star who sang their duet song “Nobody But You” during a touching performance.

Hollywood’s night sky was illuminated by the traditional firework show closer during the celebratory night’s grand finale. The spectacular show concluded with the first-ever join performance by members of the UCLA Bruin and USC Trojan marching bands as they accompanied LA Phil and Gwen Stefani for a rendition of “Hollaback Girl.” The crowd danced and applauded as Stefani re-entered the stage after a quick costume change slipping into an ensemble matching the marching bands. The Hollywood Bowl’s Centennial Celebration concluded with a loud bang as a pyrotechnic show was synced with the final performance.

(Original Article Publishing on

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