Concert Reviews

Fireworks @ The Grog Shop


Roughly one year ago I took a road trip with a girl to see a band that I knew almost nothing about at the time. The girl is now history (Bitch!) and more than likely I will never return to the hell hole that is Toledo for any reason, save the city’s famed Hungarian restaurant, Tony Packo’s (if you haven’t been, you don’t know what you’re missing). The one thing I did, however, walk away with from that night was an absolute love for the band Fireworks.

Arriving in Cleveland Height’s during this holiday season almost reminds one of being in a small mountain town or possibly even the North Pole, sans snow. All of the shops were decorated and there were people everywhere carrying around shopping bags and enjoying themselves during this busy time of year. I arrived at the Grog Shop as Fireworks was setting up and grabbed a couple Black Labels from the bar before finding a good viewing spot (not always easy to do at the Grog) just as the band took the stage.

Frontman David Mackinder and crew seemed very excited to return to Cleveland and thanked the crowd for coming back to see them. The smaller than average stage at the Grog Shop left little  room for anyone besides Mackinder to move around. He took full advantage of the limited space he had as he thrashed around while belting out lyrics that captivated fans for the entire show. Playing hits off of their first full length album, ‘All I have to Offer is My Own Confusion’   and from their debut EP, ‘We Are Everywhere,’ Fireworks had the fans focused in and going wild, screaming every lyric as they progressed through their set. In addition to performing old favorites, a highlight from the show was “Arrows” from their recent album, ‘Gospel’ (5.24.11 ; Triple Crown records), a record that has really brought them up to speed in the pop-punk community.

One thing that makes Fireworks awesome is their ability to relate to their fans. In the middle of the set, Mackinder was talking about just finishing up school for the semester and having to take a macroeconomics exam, just like many in attendance probably did at one of the two local colleges that sandwich the Grog Shop . Many bands in the punk genre have absurd political agendas or come across as ignorant through their lyrics. It’s refreshing to see a group of guys that go out and have fun playing music as well as writing songs about fun stuff and things that really matter to them, regardless of  how important (or unimportant) it may seem to others.

Listen to Fireworks. They make music that is sensible, down to earth, and that one can relate to. Just hope they don’t fall into the common punk rock trap of straying from one’s true self,  because these guys are honest, pure, and a breath of fresh air.

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