Big hair, big fireworks!

More fireworks filled my big screen at home Sunday night than ever before in all the years I’ve watched the WEBN Riverfest fireworks on television. I’m sure the people along the Ohio River felt the same way during the 1980s themed Cincinnati Bell/WEBN fireworks.

Not just more fireworks filled the sky, but this year we saw more blasts from the bridges than ever before from Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks.

Which instantly makes this year’s WEBN fireworks one of my all-time favorites. (Forget what I said last year about the 2013 fireworks being the best ever.) This year we had bigger and higher fireworks, and a much better sound track than the zombie-themed tunes last year.

Joe Rozzi, who doesn’t give away any secrets before the fireworks, told WXIX-TV at the conclusion of its live telecast that his company has new software which can fire pyrotechnics from the bridges and barges at the same time — which it did to rock the ’80s music.

“I just wanted to do the bridges more. Instead of bridge-(then)-barge, I said, Let’s do it all at once,” Rozzi said.

Rozzi, who graduated from high school in 1985, really got into this music, and it showed.

–The pulsating overhead explosions and bridge firings were perfectly timed to the drum and guitar solos opening Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher.”

–The mix of barge fireworks and overhead explosions matched the tempo of Guns N’ Rose’s “Paradise City.”

–Rozzi’s didn’t miss a beat lighting up the sky to the triumphant opening of the “Rocky” moive theme, or Run DMC’s “Walk This Way.”

— One of the coolest new elements came during “Ghostbusters,” when rockets were shot horizontally from the bridges at each other, instead of at an angle over the barge.

WEBN and Rozzi also had fun going back to the future with ’80s audio from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “E.T.” and “Terminator.” It would have been nice to drop in a little local ’80s flavor which Channel 19 featured throughout its 8-9 p.m. warm-up show: Bengals running back Ickey Woods and the Super Bowl bound Bengals’ “Ickey Shuffle,” Pete Rose’s record-breaking hit No. 4,192, “Rain Man” and the “WKRP in Cincinnati” theme. (Last year’s zombie theme was done by a Clear Channel staffer in Cleveland. Was the ’80s sound track done by an out-of-towner too?)

Channel 19 again did a terrific job delivering the fireworks to viewers at home. We saw the the right mix of close-ups and wide shots which captured the bridge blasts, overhead explosions, candles floating on the river and the waterfall off the bridge (done to “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” by Journey.)

The great camera work – plus the movie bits and familiar music (in contrast to the zombie-inspired music last year from Linkin Park, Nero, Rob Zombie, etc.) — made this my favorite WEBN fireworks in recent years.

Let’s face it, WEBN and its TV partners have had some problems in recent years. In 2011, the radio station fed the wrong sound track to Channel 19, the same year thick air trapped the smoke over the river blocking the camera view.

In 2007, Channel 5 used shaky helicopter shots and distant cameras in Devou Park for the worst telecast ever. Two years later, Channel 5 in the last year of its contract went cheap, not broadcasting the fireworks in true high-definition.

The only part of this WEBN fireworks I didn’t like was the finale, because I didn’t recognize the music. To me, the perfect walk-off song would have been “Don’t Stop Believin.” After the problems with fireworks telecasts, that pretty much sums up our feelings, right?

Do you agree? Was this you favorite WEBN fireworks show? What were your favorite parts?

Kiese note: WXIX-TV repeats the two-hour “Last Blast of Summer” special at 11 a.m. Monday.