(well, according to me, anyway)
Only one more night to go at the Celebration of Light (it will always be the Symphony of Fire to me... silly advertising laws). Canada, Sweden, and China have now set off over 2 million dollars worth of explosives over English Bay. All that's left is the finale on Saturday, the competition is over.
Here's my take on the whole deal:
Canada: they had a jazzy little ensemble for their music. Nice music, and they tried to make the fireworks all artsy to fit with the music. They were very pretty, and graceful, and lovely, but that was kinda their downfall. They're fireworks... they need to be BIG, and they need to be LOUD. You need to be able to not only hear the explosions, but feel them on your chest. Maybe that's just me. Hardly an ooh or an aah escaped my lips. And the synchornization? Meh... hard to synchronize with flowy jazz. They were the first night, and I was worried that I've been spoiled by too many Celebration of Light/Symphony of Fire shows. I was beginning to be sad. That is, until I saw...
Sweden: Last year's winner. Now HERE is a country who knows how to do fireworks. A large part of their music was written especially for the show, but of course, they had the requisite Abba interlude... it IS Sweden, after all. The synchronization was AMAZING... if the music went bah bah ba-da, the fireworks went bah bah ba-da (really hard to demonstrate that in a medium that is neither auditory or visual! :P Just trust me on this one...) It was incredible. Oohs and aahs were standard all along hte beach, and many parts of the 30 minute show had me giggling wildly at the sheer spectacularness of it (yes, I know, 'spectacularness' not a word ;) . They had blown Canada out of the water in just the first two minutes! Now the only competitor left was...
China: Being the country in which fireworks had their start, China usually puts on a pretty good show. Last night was no different. No ABBA here: there was a wide variety of tradtional Chinese music, from lyrical songs to songs that sounded like they could be used when going into battle (how appropriate for the medium!). They were big, they were loud, and they made the crowd (estimated at over 300,000) squeal with delight with fireworks shaped as happy faces. How DO they do that?!? Synchronization was very good, too - stronger, or maybe jsut more noticable, in the war-like sections. Their finale was fabulous. I don't think Canada OR Sweden's finales were as high and as wide. Wow.
In my extremely non-expert opinion, I would rate the three shows as follows:
Third place.... Canada.
Second place... China
(click on this image to see a bigger version, then look at the bottom for the outline of people's heads: this gives you an idea of the SIZE of these fireworks!)
And the winner is... Sweden. No question.
We'll see if the judges agree with me at the Finale on Saturday night!