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McGraw delights sold-out crowd at Stadium of Fire

By Harrison Epstein - | Jul 3, 2022
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Country music superstar Tim McGraw performs during the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Dancers perform with Marie Osmond during the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Fire dancers perform at the conclusion of the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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A sold-out crowd waits for the start of the Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Marie Osmond sings at the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Country music superstar Tim McGraw performs during the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Attendees listen to country music superstar Tim McGraw at Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Violinist Jenny Oaks Baker shoots fire out of her instrument during the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Attendees dance and listen to country music superstar Tim McGraw at Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Fire dancers perform at the conclusion of the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Utah Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Attendees listen to country music superstar Tim McGraw at Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Country music superstar Tim McGraw performs during the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Dancers perform before the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Freedom Festival Executive Director Jim Evans speaks during Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
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Country music superstar Tim McGraw performs during the Stadium of Fire concert held at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, July 2, 2022.

The crown jewel of America’s Freedom Festival in Provo, the Stadium of Fire concert, came and went with a blur of fireworks, speeches, country music and euphoria from attendees — those who live in Utah County and tourists who came in for the spectacle.

For Zac Bramble, the Stadium of Fire is a tradition like no other.

“It’s a family tradition. I don’t think I’ve ever missed a year,” he said, before clarifying that, yes, he missed two while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and one after he gave his niece the ticket so she could see Miley Cyrus.

For the second year, Bramble was with Whitney Jex, who has more than accepted getting “sucked into” his family tradition.

“That’s one of our only requirements for our relationship. I don’t care about Christmas. The Fourth of July is mine every year. Stadium of Fire is a must,” Bramble said.

The 2022 show was headlined by country music superstar Tim McGraw. McGraw is a three-time Grammy award winner, holds a bevy of awards from organizations including Billboard and the Academy of Country Music, and was named Country Music Icon by the People’s Choice Awards in 2014.

This year was also the second time he graced the stage at Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium, having headlined Stadium of Fire in 2016.

Before McGraw came on stage, though, a series of dignitaries made their ways to the podium. Freedom Festival Executive Director Jim Evans welcomed the sold-out crowd to the stadium, S. Gifford Nielsen — General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — gave the invocation and both Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufisi and Gov. Spencer Cox spoke to the crowd.

Members of the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army parachute team, dropped onto the field and Provo’s own Marie Osmond warmed up the crowd before McGraw stepped into the spotlight.

From the first second he took the stage, fans were on their feet ready to sing along to each and every hit from the country icon.

He rode through the hits before capping the night with an encore performance of “Humble and Kind” before having the stadium sing it back to him.

The night closed out with a performance from violinist Jenny Oaks Baker combined with fire dancing before the fireworks spectacular drew every eye in the stadium — and those as far away as 900 East — into the sky.

The fireworks show was choreographed to a series of flame-related tracks, from Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” to Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” and much, much more.

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