One would have thought -- hoped -- by now that bands would have realized the inherent danger of using pyrotechnics inside nightclubs. Think of the 2003 fire in a Rhode Island nightclub when the band Great White's use of pyrotechnics onstage killed 100. Or the Dec. 30, 2004, fire at the República Cromañón in Buenos Aires, where the band reportedly warned those in the audience to not use flares but one lit decorations on the ceiling ablaze, resulting in the deaths of 194. Billboard reports that the band playing at the Brazilian nightclub where more than 230 patrons were killed early this morning were known for their use of pyrotechnics:
Gurizada Fandangueira performed about once a month at Kiss nightclub in the southern Brazilian city Santa Maria, where a fire early Sunday morning (Jan. 27) resulted in the death of 233 students attending a party for the local university's department of agronomy. One of the band members is reported dead in the fire that officials say was started after the band's singer set off an onstage pyrotechnic display that ignited foam acoustic insulation on the ceiling.
The effects were a routine part of the band's act, accompanying their performance of upbeat Brazilian country pop music punctuated by accordion and percussion.
"[The group] demonstrates... a great deal of innovation in the stage set up, visual effects and pyrotechnics, which makes all the difference in the unique identity of the band," Gurizada Fandangueira enthused on its Facebook profile.
Set off by remote control, sparkler columns placed at the front of the stage rose above the band members' heads at the climax of their set. Habitually, they lasted only seconds, according to Eliel de Lima, the band's drummer, who spoke to Globo's G1 newsafter the tragedy.
De Lima told G1 that the band's accordian player, Danilo Jaques, died in the fire when he fell behind his bandmates as they escaped from the burning club.