08192017

Stadium of Fire heats up Provo with Human Fuse, fireworks and country music

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One of Utah’s young dancers participates in the opening dance number at the 37th Annual Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

PROVO, UTAH – The 37th Annual Stadium of Fire set LaVell Edward Stadium — and at one point one of the people in it — on fire Saturday night.

With a nearly three hour show, the 2017 America’s Freedom Festival in Provo included country stars, a comedian, a daredevil, local talent and, of course, fireworks.

Headliner Little Big Town — including members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook — closed out the performance portion of the program with their smooth country hits. The four-man country group sang “Boondocks,” “Pontoon,” “Girl Crush,” and more.

Besides Little Big Town’s performance, here’s what you missed at the 2017 Stadium of Fire.

The night’s a Hayes

(Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

County singer Hunter Hayes opened the program. Besides singing his hit songs “Wanted” and “Crazy,” Hayes also shared a new song, “Rescue,” with the audience.

“I live for this. I write 100 songs just so I to get a 10-song record,” Hayes told the audience. …”Hopefully I can make a best friend out of somebody I’ve never met through a song, through the magic of music. Music is that thing that connects us all; it’s that universal language.”

Make me — insert firework blast — laugh

(Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

Comedian Brian Regan opened his act by explaining why he was doing everything wrong as a comedian at that moment.

“There’s some rules in comedy,” he said. “One of them is never do comedy outdoors. Another one is never do comedy in front of kids. A third is never do comedy in a stadium, so let’s do this.”

Regan of course broke all his rules of comedy as he delivered his punch lines between firework blasts at the Stadium of Fire, a point he incorporated into his routine. He also appropriately focused his jokes on sports and stadium humor, including his problem with sports journalists’ awkward leading questions and the mathematics of “must-win games.”

This man is on fire

(Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

The Human Fuse lit himself on fire, blasted out of a cannon and twirled to a spot where firefighters from the Provo Fire Department helped put out of the fire with fire extinguishers.

We “Gigg” it

(Photo by Rebecca Lan/UV360)

Sami Murphy, a 13-year-old singer from Houston, Texas, was a finalist for Gigg’s Stadium of Fire Talent Competition. She was selected by online voters to perform at LaVell Edwards Stadium as part of the Stadium of Fire’s pre-show.

Taking home the trophy

(Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

Caleb Paul, a singer/songwriter from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the other finalist in the talent competition. By the vote of the loudest cheer, Paul won the grand prize: $15,000 worth of studio recording time with VALO, a Warner Chappell company.

La La Provo

The opening dance number started with a music video and continued the performance of the football field. It was a tribute to the Oscar Award-winning film, “La La Land.”

Tiny dancers

Young dancers from across Utah joined forces to put on two dance numbers for the Stadium of Fire: one to kick off the show and the other to close the show with laser beams.

Skydiving by the Rocky Mountain climbing

One popular Stadium of Fire tradition is the Rockwell Airtime skydivers. This year, five parachuters descended on LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Flyover on a jet plane

Two F-15s flew over the Stadium of Fire and exited the stadium’s air space with a blast of fireworks.

Song and stripes

Aaliyah Rose, a 14-year-old Provo singer, sang the National Anthem after the arrival of the colors and introduction of Utah’s servicemen.

Red, white and blue

During the Stadium of Fire, the entire audience recited the Pledge of Alliance together.

Recognizing a survivor

Melissa Cochran, a Bountiful resident, was recognized between performances for surviving the London bombing in March. She lost her husband Kurt in the terrorist attack.

Light it up

The Stadium of Fire concludes with a firework show over the stadium.

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