Paisley will be joined on the Stadium of Fire stage by David Archuleta, the “American Idol” runner-up from Murray who’s promoting a new album of his own, “The Other Side of Down,” released Oct. 5. The two won’t be performing together, Archuleta said, but he’s happy to be on the same bill.
Paisley, Archuleta said, is “a really great guy. I’m looking forward to watching him perform.” The two met briefly in 2008 when Archuleta presented Paisley with the award for Favorite Country Male Artist at the American Music Awards.
For Archuleta, this year’s Stadium of Fire is a return engagement (it’s Paisley’s first appearance at the event). When he was 12, in 2003, Archuleta sang the national anthem at Stadium of Fire (another country artist, Martina McBride, was the headlining act that year). “It was really a crazy experience, but it was really great to get to do it,” he said.
Paisley said that he’s enjoyed celebrating the Fourth of July since he was a kid growing up in West Virginia. His father, a state department of transportation official, ran the town fire department, and Paisley got to ride in a fire truck each year and pass out candy during parades. “It’s really one of my fondest memories,” he said.
Archuleta remembers going to Murray Park to see the city fireworks display with his family. “We’d get the sparklers out and run all around,” he said. “It was always a really fun experience to do as a family.”
It will be a while before either Paisley or Archuleta puts out another new album, but both are keeping busy. Archuleta said that he’s enjoying “working on new music” without having a recording deadline looming. “I’m just trying to focus on my sound and experiment,” he said.
Archuleta said he’s kept track of “American Idol” since Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez were added as judges. He said that he “really likes” the new judges, but that he doesn’t know whether he would have done any better under their tutelage than he did with departed judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.