Fans roared at the sound of Carrie Underwood bellowing the lyrics to “Good Girl” and awed over the vibrantly colored fireworks at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Thousands of Utahns filled the venue in Provo on Friday night to celebrate Independence Day at America’s Freedom Festival’s 34th “Stadium of Fire” event.
This was a reprise of sorts for Underwood, who also performed here in 2010.
The American Idol star and six-time Grammy winner opened her set with a booming performance of her signature song. Wearing patriotic denim shorts and cowboy boots, she proceeded to wow fans with her hits — including “Last Name,” “Blown Away” and “Some Hearts” — and inviting the audience to sing along on numerous occasions.
To the delight of many, Underwood blended her song “Jesus, Take the Wheel” with a rendition of the old Christian hymn “How Great Thou Art.”
She laughed a little when she sang the snarky, sassy lyrics of her closing song “Before He Cheats” — a song about a girl ruining her boyfriend’s car for revenge.
Underwood’s performance was preceded by the Stadium of Fire dancers, who performed a number which took them across the football field, and by the rousing entry of four skydivers, who parachuted into the stadium carrying American flags.
An acrobatic group called Flippenout also made an appearance, performing a choreographed trampoline routine.
U.S. Army veteran J.R. Martinez, made famous by giving motivational speeches after returning injured from Iraq, opened for Underwood with an inspirational message honoring current and past U.S. veterans.
“In memory of all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, I respect and honor you 100 percent,” Martinez said as the crowd erupted in appreciation.
Other performances included the Studio C cast, a comedy group that has garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube. The group got laughs joking about the Founding Fathers and the Bill of Rights.
The evening culminated with one of the largest stadium firework shows in the nation.