Continuing my delve into the staging & presentation of Eurovision songs and today we look at the Pyrotechnics. It’s something we’ve very much come to expect in Eurovision these days, not that every song needs flaming pianos (see. Austria 2015) guitars (see. Albania 2013) or record decks (see. Bulgaria 2005) but they do certainly liven things up a bit! Some great effects can be achieved with the use of fireworks and it certainly adds a bit of drama to the evening doesn’t it?!
In case you missed it, Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel made a little programme last year about the use of pyrotechnics at the show in Vienna
Here are some of my favourite pyro-moments from Eurovision…
Czech Republic 2008 Tereza Kerndlová – Have Some Fun
Goodness gracious, great balls of fire! I think these are my favourite types of pyrotechnics, I just love them and if you’ve ever been close to the front of a concerts when they’ve used them you’ll know just how fabulous they are in real life, in front of your face, and how HOT they are too!! Whilst this may not be the most endearing or well remembered of Eurovision performances. I love that the fireballs are times to go off with the pattern of the lyrics – very cool!!
Romania 2010 Ovi and Paula Seling – Playing With Fire
If you’re going to enter a song called ‘Playing with Fire’ then you really need some fire on stage! What I love about the pyro in this performance is actually the subtlety of it. It would have been so easy with a song like this to use just about every fiery trick known to technicians, but they didn’t, they actually kept it quite simple. Full marks from me to whoever designed the pyro for this performance.
Azerbaijan 2011 Ell & Nikki – Running Scared
Another of the popular pyro effects is the fire curtain and one of the most gorgeous uses of it at Eurovision was by 2011 winner Azerbaijan. Again it is used quite subtly and only towards the end of the song, after the bridge. when everything fades slightly darker, then as the chorus comes back in the fire starts to rain from above creating a beautiful effect. This effect was used really well by Denmark in 2013 in their winning performance by Emmelie de Forest too.
Australia 2015 Guy Sebastian – Tonight Again
And now for something a bit fun! I was tempted to put this into my article about use of the video screen because I think this effort by Australia is just brilliant, but thought I’d save it for the pyro’s purely because of the exploding streetlights. You get a great flash of fireworks after the bridge of the song when the final chorus comes in and then at the very end of the song the street lights, that appear to have just been stage props, suddenly explode, throwing sparks all over the place – love it!
Finland 2006 Lordi – Hard Rock Helleujah
Well, it would have been wrong not to include them really, and you could argue that they are the ‘genesis’ of big time pyrotechnics at Eurovision. For all the subtlety of the other performances I’ve mentioned and loved, it’s fair to say this I love for all it’s over the top drama. Flaming instruments, the axe carried by Mr Lordi and the spiralling Catherine wheels, I mean really, it’s so over-the-top and yet so fabulous too – thanks you Finland for changing the way stage pyros have been used at Eurovision ever since.
These are just a few, of course there are loads more great firework moments, let us know which ones you’ve loved…
Author: Lisa-Jayne Lewis
Source: Eurovision Ireland