For those of us who were in New York and vicinity for Independence Day, the Macy’s annual fireworks production is a city staple for the night’s festivities. Last night’s pyrotechnic show aired along a curated playlist by Usher. While some may argue that the majestic-ness of the fireworks didn’t match the top 40 song choices the R&B singer picked, the Empire State Building sure got into the groove.
Since the New York landmark became equipped with a new LED lighting system last fall, the Empire State Building (ESB, for short) has been making every attempt to match its colors with current events. During the last presidential election, the lights provided live poll results by illuminating various shades of red and blue to denote the percentage of votes between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. ESB also gave a synchronized light show to match a live performance by singer Alicia Keys.
This similar synchronized light show came back out for last night’s spectacular, in which lighting design artist Marc Brickman used Usher’s playlist to match the lights to the songs and fireworks. With the new system, the ESB is not only able to illuminate in 16 million different colors, but show effects such as ripple, flash, sweeps, strobe, and pulsate. For New Yorkers on the east side of town who couldn’t get a good view of fireworks over the Hudson River, the ESB show provided the patriotic spirit. Unsuspecting crowds took to Twitter to clamor over the production.
Empire State Building is TURNT UP my god
— Jenna Wortham ♥ (@jennydeluxe) July 5, 2013
Whoever programmed the lights on top of the Empire State building to disco sync with the fireworks display tonight – I salute you!
— neil harris (@punkdafunk) July 5, 2013
“Partnering the world’s most famous building with the world’s most famous fireworks spectacular can only happen in New York City,” said Anthony Malkin, whose family manages ESB, in a statement. “As the iconic feature of the New York City skyline, we are honored to have this opportunity to add our unmatchable LED lights to the celebration.” Malkin promises the ESB’s light system is designed for current events and cultural impact, and is strictly not for advertising. With rainbow lights celebrating last week’s pride parade and red white and blue for July 4th, it’s not hard for ESB to find relevant colors to excite the crowd.
If you missed last night’s ESB light show, here’s a chance to watch the snippet in full HD.