Not because the fireworks themselves weren't good. And they weren't. Perhaps it was the weather, the lack of wind, the moisture, but most of the display was a giant multi-colored cloud of smoke for most of the night. Still, I don't fault the fireworks for that, because they are now digital and don't adjust well to sudden changes in conditions.
What I fault it for was the deplorable music. If you like rap and hip-hop, then it was just right for you. But if you expect things like patriotic music or themes, then a massive disappointment. With the exception of a couple songs associated with The Ohio State University, Proud to be an American, Neil Diamond's America, and the annual military music medley, there was nothing. Nothing. No God Bless America. No This is My Country. No Stars and Stripes Forever. They didn't even have the 1812 Overture which, admittedly, has little to do with our independence but has become a staple on 4th of July over the years. Nothing.
It was hip-hop. It was rap. More hip-hop. Some sexually charged themes. A few allusions to drugs. More sex. Hip-hop. Rap. A momentary nod to the Scorpions' Rock You Like a Hurricane. One or two songs from the 60s and 70s. Back to the rap. Hip-hop. Then two movie themes I didn't recognize to round up the show.
In some country that had little to do with independence, freedom, or God, it was good enough. Perhaps a country that cared for nothing other than hedonism, narcissism, sex, drugs and more sex, it was just the right mixture of keen and inspiring music and show tunes. But for those silly folks who think America is something more, you couldn't help but be disappointed.
The good news is that PBS was showing an older concert and fireworks display in Baltimore hosted by the always wonderful John Lithgow. We saw the last five songs, and not a non-patriotic song among them. Well done Baltimore.