The 37th annual Stadium of Fire on Saturday showcased local talent, patriotic demonstrations and headlining performances from country artists Hunter Hayes and Little Big Town and comedian Brian Regan.
The pre-show kicked off with local Provo musicians Sami Murphy and Caleb Paul competing against each other in the Gigg Stadium of Fire Talent Competition, with Paul declared the winner.
Murphy and Paul were followed by a skydiving performance from the Rockwell Airtime Skydivers, who dropped into the LaVell Edwards Stadium to the theme from “Rocky.” The crowd went wild as a parasailor glided overhead.
Following a short break, Stadium of Fire officially kicked off with a performance by the Stadium of Fire dancers. The National Anthem was sung by local teen and “The Voice” contestant Aaliyah Rose. The crowd was then treated to a flyover by two F-15 jets, as well as a wave of fireworks from the south end of the stadium.
Following the National Anthem, KSL news anchor Dave McCann introduced country artist Hunter Hayes, who opened with his hit song “I Want Crazy.” Hayes then performed his recently released single “Rescue,” which was met with wild applause from the audience. Hayes closed his set by inviting the audience to sing along to “Wanted.”
“You look so beautiful!” Hayes said to his audience as they held their phones overhead, creating the appearance of twinkling lights. As Hayes exited the stage, he was met with thunderous applause.
Comedian Brian Regan then took the stage, poking fun at walkie talkies, college football and Miami, Florida. Regan was regularly met with laughter from his audience.
“You guys are terrific. I didn’t expect to be telling jokes in between firework blasts,” Regan said, referencing the fireworks exploding over the stadium. “I’ve never enjoyed the Fourth of July during my show.”
Following Regan’s performance, McCann gave a tribute in memory of LaVell Edwards, who passed away last December. McCann thanked Edwards’ family for attending the festival and then introduced Little Big Town to the audience.
As the stadium lights dimmed, Little Big Town opened their set with their recently-released song “Night On Our Side.” Singer Karen Fairchild then led the group in performing “Happy People.” Members of the audience cheered loudly as they sang and danced along with the band.
The stadium buzzed with energy as Little Big Town performed some of their biggest hits, including “Girl Crush,” which has drawn controversy in the past over its subject material. The band closed their performance with a patriotic message and a performance of “Boondocks,” which was met with a standing ovation.
The festival closed with an on-field light show featuring hundreds of performers dancing in the darkness, illuminated by small handheld lights and lasers. Brian Miser, also known as The Human Fuse, made his Stadium of Fire debut by lighting himself on fire as he was shot out of a catapult. As he landed, Miser began to dance in time to the music playing in the background.
Miser’s stunt was followed by a firework show. The sky was illuminated by brilliant, colorful explosions and lasers, all set to popular musical numbers like “Ring of Fire,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “Only in America.”
For the most part, attendees seemed satisfied with the show.
“Brian Regan was definitely a highlight … and then the fireworks just seemed like they would never end,” said TJ Conover, who traveled from Benton, Arkansas with his family to see Stadium of Fire.