Monday, August 18, 2014

PGI 2014, Blow Away Fireworks

We took in the Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) convention finale at Mason City IA this past Friday evening. As I say, the video is so misleading that I hesitate to put in in, but MAYBE along with some words it will give a TINY clue.

The video is nigh on useless -- like "getting" a space shuttle launch, an iceberg calving in Glacier Bay, mountains, or a zillion other things that fall similarly short on pictures and video, but MAYBE it gives SOME idea. My favorite part is at 5 min in, set to Pink Floyd "On the Turning Away" -- I like the tune and that was the first one they did the giant "flame flashes"on which I thought were especially impressive.

What they do is essentially create a "virtual screen", roughly 300yards wide and like 1K' high plus something like 30 yards deep, with computer controlled launching equipment and TONS of fireworks. In front of that screen are big speakers for the music.

If you have seen "Illuminations" at Epcot in Florida, that is the idea -- in some ways that is maybe "better" in some abstract sense, since their "stage" is the whole lake, huge water fountains, fireworks launchers around the lake, lasers, video projections on the water screens, etc --- BUT, you give up the sense of immediacy. "Illuminations" is "stadium full orchestra" ... PGI finale is ZZ Top live in your living room -- you are RIGHT there.

I sat with my mouth agape for most of the show -- the scope is incredible, the immediacy is simply riveting. $20 per ticket, no parking cover -- the bargain of a lifetime for unforgettable entertainment.

Next year Gillette WY

If you have never seen Illuminations, do. If you get a chance to see PGI anywhere close to you ... WELL worth the trouble!

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