Thunder Over Louisville: 2011 Edition

WOW! That was a really awesome fireworks display. And I’m not just saying that. It has been years since I’ve been pleased with their display. What is the reason for this my previous displeasure and my current satisfaction? MUSIC. That’s right, in past years the music took me out of the moment of the fireworks, but this year it was the correct mixture and the synchronization between the fireworks and music was beautiful. I’ll explain.

First, one of the things that really bothers me with compilation music are the transitions. It is almost never good to go from country to rock to orchestral to soft rock and a mixture of whatever. In past years, I muted the TV so I wouldn’t lose concentration on the beauty of the fireworks. This year was different. They used all orchestral, big band, and other types of music. Very few pieces had words in it. The ones that did went along with the overall theme and didn’t break the flow. There were some rough transitions, but nothing like in previous years. If the Thunder Over Louisville producers want to have another successful year next year, they need to stay away from most hip hop, country, pop, etc music and stay with the classical, orchestral, and similar styles of music. Plus, it’s easier to synchronize the fireworks with it – you can crescendo the fireworks in time with the music (which they did two or three times during this show).

The second reason why this year’s Thunder was spectacular were the new styles of fireworks they had on display. For several years, the fireworks were mostly the same with one or two new styles thrown in. But they were difficult to see or notice because they were drowned out by the other fireworks. I saw four or five, at least, new styles this year. The ones that impressed me the most were the short shots off the bridge. At the beginning of the show, there were rockets that streamed off the bridge, then spiraled inward. There was another short shot with a nice white/blue color that mostly fired straight up, but had a bit of randomness between the different cannons so that there was overlap between the streams. This was near the end of the show. Another piece that impressed me were a couple of bloom shots. Instead of having points spots, the bloom shot I liked most had smaller, more compact blooms where each point would have been. The array of colors in some of the shots were impressive.

The third reason why I like this year’s Thunder is that not only were the fireworks in sync with the music, but they were in sync with each other. Also, transitions between the different styles of fireworks was good. There was almost no downtime between shots – good job tech crew!

I have been mostly disappointed with the views the TV crews have given Thunder in the past. But they did a really good job this year. Or, perhaps, it’s because I was able to watch on a large, wide-screen TV. However, in years’ past, they would do close-ups, focus on a single barge too long, focus on a small section of bridge too long, something. But this year, they did a good job getting appropriate views of the entire scene (and, thankfully, no crowd shots… which sounds like a good view, but it’s not.)

So, I wonder will anyone from the Thunder organization trip into my blog post and take notes? I doubt it, but it would be nice, I wrote this mostly for them. Congratulations!

p.s. I’d post some pictures of shots from this year, but they haven’t been posted anywhere else, yet. And if they did, they’d probably be copyrighted.