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 Montreal Fireworks Forum —› 2017 Display Reviews —› Portugal - Macedos Pirotecnia reviews
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Posted: Jul 26, 2017 20:08:52

Hello everyone,

Please post your reviews of the Portuguese display here!


Posted: Jul 27, 2017 00:14:35

Just got home and our observation was that the last third of the show pulled it out of the "just OK"category. It did not help that there was a firing problem on one of the five sections on the lake which often gave it a lop sided effect. Finally in the last two segments the show came to life! The Rio segment with multiple bursts of colour was great and the last segment in silver and gold was visually spectacular (and extremely classy!)
The grand finale filled,the sky and when we thought it could not get louder it ended with a low and loud volly that you felt to your core. All in all a good show with a great ending.

Posted: Jul 27, 2017 03:13:26   Edited by: fredbastien

A delightful dinner in a quick-service Portuguese grill put me on the spirit for this third appearance of Macedo’s Pirotecnia in the Montreal International Fireworks Competition. Although we felt the start of a light rain around 9:15pm, we fortunately avoided precipitation during this very good performance of the Portuguese entrant. The dinner caused me to arrive slightly later than usual and the sunset was over when I finally rode the Ferris Wheel. While it was dark, I could see that we were going to enjoy a pretty large display.

I found the “Portuguese Odyssey” concept interesting and well-done. It allowed to glue musics from (or evoking) Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The narrative was pretty effective to highlight changes from one part of the Portuguese history to another. Some transitions between the segments were well mixed, both on the soundtrack and by the pyrotechnic effects, which sometimes brought a part to a close and, at the same time, merged into the following segment. With a reservation below due to technical problems, the synchronization was flawless and accurate through the show. We had not heard Vangelis' Conquest of Paradise since a couple of years (the award-winning display of Pirotecnica Morsani in 2011, to be more specific), and it was great to hear this piece from the composer whose other musics from the same movie soundtrack (1492) continue to set the stage for each production of the Montreal International Fireworks Competition.

This extravaganza featured a good density of products. Macedo’s Pirotecnia did the finale I enjoyed the most, so far, this year. It was a nice build-up, leading me to scream “Go! Go! Go!” with the hope to increase the pace and the size of this fantastic segment, which I really enjoyed. The finale (apparently) ended after the soundtrack, ultimate volleys of whistles and salutes being fired without (audible) musics. The density was not only during the finale, but also through the show. As soon as the beginning of the display, many note-synchronized sequences simultaneously involved multiple firing positions along ramps 3 and 5, filling all the space. I found the use of the 5th ramp especially effective tonight: bold comets, mines, and fast pace cakes erupted from these five floating platforms. Two or three times, fans of comets were launched over the lake, adding an impression of proximity with the fireworks. A barrage of nautical shells was also very enjoyable, but the lake thus came into life only once.

The material included bright colours, many crackling, gorgeous Z-cakes. Many shells of photoflashes (or strobes) made their appearance, some of them being of original kinds according to Paul's interview. However, the quality of some pieces was questionable, especially some devices similar to girandolas: their behaviour has been erratic and many appeared to crash on the second ramp or over the lake, next to their launching positions. Also, the richness of colour was somewhat limited in this show, with prominence of red, green and white/golden fireworks (mostly from the national flag). More diverse colours – as well as firing patterns – might have been welcome.

The most important problem of this display was the failure of one or two major firing positions on the third ramp center left. Other problems were also apparent on the right side, but they were more obvious on the center left. They weakened the consistency of many segments through the 30-minute performance, leading to asymmetric patterns and disrupting chase sequences. At least, they didn’t cause any “black-out” during the show.

These problems lead me to rank Macedo's Pirotecnia to a lower position and to qualify the show of a very good one instead of excellent. However, some displays which suffered of firing problems have been among the winners in the past, so it is hard to say how jury members dealt with this situation. Also, I am aware of a diversity of opinions regarding which displays are the best so far, so I feel there is no consensus about which teams are ahead in the 2017 competition.

My personal ranking so far :

1. Surex (Poland) (tight)
2. Féérie (France) (tight)
3. Macedo’s Pirotecnia (Portugal)
4. Vaccalluzzo (Italy)
5. IP (Germany)


The British team Jubilee is next. Given the level of the competition this year, the theme they have selected, and their previous performance in Montreal, I would say that the doorway to the Gold Jupiter is open.


P.S.: My apologies to early readers of this post. I realized this morning that I had been especially tired and unable to make sense with some sentences when I first put my comments online!

Posted: Jul 27, 2017 07:11:29

The video is uploaded now (actually will complete a couple of minutes after my posting this message).

Weather was great for filming!


Posted: Jul 27, 2017 11:11:37

Posted: Jul 30, 2017 12:51:15

A mostly sunny beginning to the day evolved into a very cloudy afternoon to evening period as the atmosphere saturated ahead of an occluded front. Temperatures were 20-21 C by late-evening, and very light rain showers/drizzle occurred during the early-evening period but was followed by mainly cloudy skies for the remainder of the evening (with more ubiquitous showers surrounding the island near midnight to the pre-dawn hours). Winds were also light, from the SW, at 9-12 km/h, allowing the smoke to blow adequately towards extreme right-hand sections of the La Ronde audience. The smoke was, at times, building fairly rapidly in response to high humidity, mostly at right-hand sections of the display (left for those on Notre-Dame), especially towards the final minutes of the display.

This was a very enjoyable and highly anticipated display. With some narration to open the display, the show began slowly, but it soon erupted with a large amount of energy during this introduction. It became evident that synchronization was going to be superb, and, indeed, it was throughout much of the show, sometimes quite intricately, and it flowed rather well with the soundtrack employed. Many of the songs utilized, too, were passionate, and this type of musical selection is often a good choice for a pyromusical, as well as for the theme proposed by the Portuguese team. One of the more dramatic transitional points, for me, was when the Vengelis segment made an appearance, which immediately brought my thoughts to the Argentinian display of 2003 – not necessarily the structure of that segment, but the feel of it. Many of the one-shot mines and comets were well executed and defined the soundtrack very well, and that sequence of fabulous nautical shells was very welcomed. The use of the go-getters and photoflashes were used effectively, too.

I also loved the structure of the theme, which was, for me, the most organized theme thus far of all competitors. In some ways, the thematic approach was reminiscent of the Spanish display of 2009, as well as France of 2012. Indeed, the display had a very traditional and patriotic feel to it, with the Portuguese color arrangement often making an appearance. In accordance with the theme, in many ways, the display really gave the impression as to an age of discovery, conquest and exploration. The finale was also very enjoyable and probably the best one so far this year (either that or Italy’s). There had also been a good balance of emotions felt during the display, and I particularly felt emotionally tied to the display as it segued into “O Amor A Portugal”.

As much as I enjoyed the display, I was expecting somewhat more in diversification of effects to represent some of the soundtracks used. As noted already above, a few firing positions did not come to life often during the display along low-level, causing periods of asymmetry as a gap made an appearance mostly to the right, relative to those on Notre-Dame Street. This was notable during the fans of comets sequences that emerged, and there were also moments where activity appeared skewed to the right, giving a sense of imbalance. The firing patterns of the fans of comets/mines themselves became a little redundant, though their appearances were unique.

I was also hoping to see more color richness in the display, as there tended to be a reliance on the aforementioned color arrangements. While it worked well, it still gave the impression of a less complex design, especially since all of the previous competitors had such high color richness (colors notable this year). Although we have seen a lesser variety of color in past displays, Portugal’s color selection came across as more reserved because of the richer color diversity featured by previous displays this year.

Again, I enjoyed the finale, but I would have liked to see more colors emerge with all of the activity taking place, and probably a more continuous finale (like Italy’s, except longer in duration). It was a little surprising, though, that there was still activity following the conclusion of the music (the final volleys of salutes). The display ended at about 10:34:51 p.m. on my watch. There was also another segment where the fireworks remained briefly after the music had concluded.

Overall, like France and Poland, Portugal is a contender for a Jupiter award this year. Despite the lack of color richness and periods of asymmetry, the theme was represented well and was, to me, the most organized and meaningful so far. The music was also very enjoyable, relevant and worked well with the fireworks.


Posted: Jul 30, 2017 17:27:10

It was a little surprising, though, that there was still activity following the conclusion of the music (the final volleys of salutes). The display ended at about 10:34:51 p.m. on my watch. There was also another segment where the fireworks remained briefly after the music had concluded.

From my video, I could establish at 30:15 the duration of the show, from its beginning (the launch of the initial pyrotechnic effects simultaneously with the end of the countdown) to its end (the extinction of the last pyrotechnic effects and the return to the Ferris Wheel lights, which were a couple of seconds past the apparent ending of the soundtrack).

Speaking about watches and clocks, the Molson's has been late by about 5 minutes some nights. I noticed before the Portuguese show that it had been adjusted, though.


Posted: Jul 30, 2017 17:54:49   Edited by: Smoke

Thanks for that clarification, Fred!

I was also temporarily using a watch other than my own, and it was likely virtually five minutes too fast. I don't think it was ever properly adjusted since we set the clocks one hour forward, in March!


Posted: Aug 5, 2017 09:51:47

My report on the Macedos display: http://montreal-fireworks.com/ReportBlog/?p=1356


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