“You have tremendous potential. Potential for joy or hate. Light or dark. Life or death. But in the end you choose. What a gift. What a joy to witness. All of your wildest hopes and dreams and desires. All of the things you feel are impossible are in reality too small for your potential. Bright journies and powerful dreams are about to dawn, but so are man’s oldest nightmares. It will be your choice.” – The Man in the Moon

On Saturday July 6th, Glenn Beck debuted his new Man in the Moon event to a sold out audience of over 16,000 people at USANA Amphitheater outside Salt Lake City, Utah. The event used a mix of film, music, dance, fireworks and spoken word, to create an immersive storytelling experience unlike anything that had ever been seen before at this scale.

The week leading up to the event was plagued with pretty much the worse luck possible for an event like this. On the night of the first dress rehearsal, the computers crashed and the crew was only able to do a video run through. The next night things went much more smoothly, until a transformer blew and the stadium lost power with only five minutes left in the show. Storms plagued the next few nights, leaving the premiere of the show as the first time anyone, including Glenn, had ever seen the show.

And, keeping in line with the luck of the rest of the week, the hours leading up to the event were punctuated by rain.

At one point, Glenn said they may have to not use some of the projectors that were set up for the show because if they were damaged the cost would be close $600,000. But thirty minutes before show time, despite weather continuing to not cooperate, Glenn said they were going to go on with the show as planned, projectors and all.

But the Glenn Beck audience persevered, and in the end was rewarded with an amazing show unlike anything that had ever been seen before.

The Man in the Moon, more than anything, was something that needed to be experienced in person in order to truly understand the story. The show was designed to tell the story of America, freedom, and man’s struggle between light and dark from the beginning of time until today.

The show kicked off with Glenn on stage, welcoming the crowd and talking about the importance of entertainment and culture in the movement to celebrate man’s freedom.

“It’s not our politics that have failed us,” Glenn said.

We must know and understand history in order to learn from our mistakes and move forward, and that is exactly what Man in the Moon and the Independence Week festivities sought to instill.

Glenn then pulled out an old book, the story of the Man in the Moon. Taking the book and entering a control capsule beneath the Moon, Glenn began to tell the story of America and man’s freedom, from the dawn of time through the stories of the Bible to the Renaissance, the Pilgrims, and World War 2.

But at World War 2, after the second atomic bomb dropped onto the stage and fireworks exploded, Glenn came out and told the audience while the old book he found may have ended with the bomb that the end of our story is not yet written.

After a dramatic recounting of man’s race to the moon, an old and fragile Man in the Moon explained that he could not tell us how our story ends, for he is not the author – we are.

“You have tremendous potential. Potential for joy or hate. Light or dark. Life or death. But in the end you choose. What a gift. What a joy to witness. All of your wildest hopes and dreams and desires. All of the things you feel are impossible are in reality too small for your potential. Bright journies and powerful dreams are about to dawn, but so are man’s oldest nightmares. It will be your choice,” The Man in the Moon told the audience.

But there is hope. “On the morrow the sun shall return,” the Man in the Moon said. And with that, an incredible fireworks display began.

Below are photos from the event:

Flying performers hang in front of the giant moon

The moon is illuminated in blue

The story of Noah’s Ark

Dancers perform during the Noah’s Ark flood scene

The Tower of Babel recreated from the moon’s perspective

The atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki