For the first time in nearly a quarter-century, the Boston Pops won’t be performing on the Fourth of July. Credit for that goes to Hurricane Arthur, whose impending arrival turned the traditional July 3 dry run into the concert proper. But even with a program being adjusted on the fly right up until the end, Thursday night’s performance at the Hatch Shell was just as festive as if it had happened on the correct date.
With Boston Idol winner Jilly Martin serving as a Kacey Musgraves-flavored appetizer, the concert began in earnest with John Williams’s hopeful “Liberty Fanfare” (written, appropriately enough, for the rededication of the Statue Of Liberty on the last Pops-less Fourth). Governor Deval Patrick narrated the origins of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” (and the specific flag that inspired it) as the music underscoring him used the song as a base while twisting off into subtle variations.