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Annual Essence Of Entertainment Concert Series Returns To Dell Music Center Days After July 4 Shooting On Parkway

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The annual Essence of Entertainment concert series at the Dell Music Center is back. Thursday night's concert is the first big outdoor event since the Welcome America concert and fireworks Monday night when two officers were shot on the Ben Franklin Parkway and hundreds ran for cover.

The lines were long, the faces friendly, and police and security were plenty, ringing in a summer season of smooth sounds at the Dell Music Center.

Nonetheless, the threat of violence is ever-present in America. Three days after that mysterious Parkway shooting, some concertgoers were wary.

"Absolutely. This is my first time to the Dell in maybe two years so I was definitely apprehensive," Michele Jenkins said.

Mia McCann also admitted she was apprehensive.

"It's a shame. Sometimes you can't even go out. And this is like for a summer concert so I'm going to enjoy the best I can," she said.

But neither allowed that fear to stop them and they felt safe and secure given the Dell's safety measures.

"We see a high presence of protection out here and these people that's out here tonight they're looking forward to having themselves a good time," Michael Crawford said.

And that presence is by design.

"We purposely made sure that we have more security than we need. We have metal detectors on top of the sheriff's department, on top of the Philadelphia Police Department," Dell General Manager Susan Slawson said.

Everyone CBS3 spoke to expressed empathy for those who still feel reticent about attending outdoor public events, but no one said it better than Philadelphia legend Patty Jackson of WDAS-FM.

"Don't let that fear get in the way because this is a great city, there's great people in this city and they want to be able to entertain you and show you the goodness that all of Philadelphia has to offer," Jackson said.

As every concertgoer we spoke to shared, nothing was going to stop them from seeing the legendary Gladys Knight in-person.

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