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Concert Fireworks: 10 Explosive Videos

Dave Hogan, Getty Images
Dave Hogan, Getty Images

Turns out, there are few very classic rock songs that can’t be improved with a few hundred pounds of TNT and several thousand screaming fans. As we compiled this flashy (and often very loud) tribute to end-of-show pyromania, we had to wonder what bands like Kiss, Motley Crue and Metallica do to make Independence Day special. After all, as these explosive concert fireworks videos demonstrate quite clearly, they each set off enough 4th of July-style fireworks each night to make most cities jealous. So, light your fuses, watch your fingers and enjoy our 10 Explosive Concert Fireworks Videos list …


Bruce Springsteen

Oct. 10, 2009: Giants Stadium

Who else but New Jersey hero Bruce Springsteen could possibly be given the job of performing the last shows at Giants Stadium? As you can see here, he almost saves the demolition crew a whole lot of work with an impressive concert fireworks display.


Rolling Stones

Oct. 22, 2006: Austin, Texas

The Rolling Stones spent much of 2006 touring in support of their most recent studio album, A Bigger Bang, and judging from this clip, fireworks manufacturers around the world are probably pretty happy that they did so.


The Who

Aug. 12, 2012: Olympic Closing Ceremony

Although many Americans (like us) who stayed in and stayed up late through hours of boring, overblown pageantry to cover this performance weren’t actually able to see it happen live (thanks, NBC!), the Who put on quite a show at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and of course a large number of fireworks were involved. (Sorry, did that sound bitter?)



June 30, 2009: Glasgow, Scotland

Here’s one thing to remember about concert fireworks shows: Sometimes they’re a bit of a trick. You’ll notice AC/DC are nowhere to be seen or heard in this video. That’s because they’re already quickly and safely zooming out of the venue, probably with a police escort. Meanwhile you’re standing there staring into the sky with your mouth open … and are now facing an hour-long wait to get out of the parking lot. Use this information however you see fit.


Queen (Unintentional)

July 4, 2012: San Diego, Calif.

OK, this isn’t concert fireworks footage, but it’s one of the more remarkable things we’ve seen recently, so forgive us. Something went wrong at San Diego’s 2012 4th of July fireworks show, and every one of their explosive went off (safely) in just 15 seconds, as Queen‘s “We Will Rock You” played in the background.



Aug. 24, 2012: Vancouver, B.C.

Boy, if there’s one band you’d think wouldn’t joke about things going wrong with a concert fireworks display, it’d be Metallica. After all, frontman James Hetfield was severely burned in a 1992 onstage accident. But here they are 10 years later simulating a mishap that results in a roadie getting “set on fire.” Points for creativity, at the very least!



Roger Waters

May 20, 2011: Manchester, England

Most bands save the best fireworks for the end of their shows, but since Pink Floyd veteran Roger Waters knows he’s got a show-stopping wall collapse to close out the night, he goes hog-wild with curtains of white sparks right at the start of the set.


Motley Crue

Sept. 7, 2012: Chicago, Ill.

In terms of both duration and pure chaos, it’s hard to beat the explosiveness at the end of a Motley Crue show. For example, we’re starting this clip after the lady on 10-foot stilts shot sparks out of her metal bustier. Go ahead — call us too old, but holy heck, do we feel bad for the eardrums of those otherwise very lucky people up front.



December 3, 1999: Bremen Germany

It’s hard to imagine that any other band (or even most governments) have set off as many fireworks as Kiss has over their 40-year career. But reader Doug Canipe brought one particular show to our attention. Apparently the group were banned from using any pyrotechnics during a 1999 gig in Germany. They obeyed this rule — for a while. But to make sure the fans got their money’s worth, at the end of the night, Kiss set off every firework planned for the two-hour concert in one glorious 30-second blast.


Bon Jovi

May 27, 2010: New Meadowlands Stadium

Following in his hero’s footsteps once more, Jersey boys Bon Jovi outdid Bruce Springsteen’s old Giants Stadium closing fireworks show (see No. 10 on our concert fireworks countdown) with an absolutely massive display at the replacement stadium seven months later.


Next: Top 10 Patriotic Songs

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