This weekend, the United States celebrates Independence Day. The holiday commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document drafted by the Second Continental Congress that officially announced the secession of the new United States of America from its British overlords and signed on July 4, 1776. In honor of the symbolic formation of a new nation and the beginning of the long road toward independence, Americans will spend the weekend barbecuing, watching baseball, hanging by the pool and watching copious amounts of fireworks.
Fireworks and music certainly aren’t strangers, as all manner of pyrotechnics are a common addition to bands touring arenas and stadiums. There is also no shortage of fireworks featured in music videos, from benign sparklers to massive blasts of flashy fun. Check out the video playlist below, which features the 10 greatest clips that feature fireworks displays.
The All-American Rejects, “It Ends Tonight”
Frontman Tyson Ritter is feeling a little melancholy, and the only cure is to wander into a store, fill a shopping cart full of fireworks, toss some cash at the comely lasses behind the counter, wander into the desert and pound on a piano while the action ignites behind them.
Pryo Level: 8
Kelis, “4th of July (Fireworks)”
Kelis really makes you ear the titular fireworks, but when they do show up they are pretty impressive. In the meantime, she has plenty of incredible fashion choices and animal prints to keep your eyes popping until the pyro arrives.
Pyro Level: 4
The band boards some kind of giant ship, and when night falls, the sky lights up. Muse never do anything half way, so when they light the fuse, the show gets truly explosive.
Pyro Level: 9
Ben Jelen, “Come On”
You wouldn’t normally associate fire-in-the-sky shows with somebody as understated as sensitive singer-songwriter Jelen, but in this clip, he plays some sort of magical piano from which emerges water, women and — in a truly grand finale — a killer fireworks display.
Pyro Level: 6
Feist, “I Feel It All”
Not only is Feist a phenomenally talented Canadian chanteuse, but she also has some sort of command over fireworks. All she needs to do is point at a barrel and watch it blow in spectacular fits of color and smoke.
Pyro Level: 7
Animal Collective, “Fireworks”
For a song called “Fireworks,” these sparkles are disappointingly fake. Still, it’s pretty flashy and works alongside the band’s similarly low-fi approach to their records.
Pyro Level: 1
Britney Spears, “Circus”
Every Britney performance is explosive, and for this clip — which sees her cast in the role of the world’s foxiest ringmaster — features a fantastic display that we’re calling the “sparkler curtain.”
Pyro Level: 3
The B-52’s, “Revolution Earth”
What better way to celebrate a revolution than with a big-time fireworks display? The B-52’s agree.
Pyro Level: 8
Josh Turner, “Firecracker”
Turner’s video is almost exactly like the All-American Rejects clip for “It Ends Tonight,” except with a little less melancholy.
Pyro Level: 6
Matchbox Twenty, “How Far We’ve Come”
The men from Matchbox Twenty use their fireworks budget to celebrate the election of Barack Obama for a truly celebratory clip and song.
Pyro Level: 9
What’s your favorite music video featuring fireworks? Let us know in the comments!