Would you expect anything else? Brantley Gilbert says when it comes to the Fourth of July and fireworks, he does his best to find the best. Sometimes that means leaning into local laws and regulations. Sometimes that means a buddy takes one in the belly.

Talking to Taste of Country Nights ahead of his performance on A Capitol Fourth on Saturday (July 4, 8PM ET on PBS), Gilbert recalled a trip to South Carolina to get commercial grade fireworks, if he could get them.

“I didn’t know if there were illegal fireworks that we weren’t supposed to have, and if there were, I wanted some of those,” he tells Taste of Country Nights' Evan and Amber. “I’ve been accused of going a little overboard from time to time."

Back at home in Georgia, he set close friends and family far away from the action, but his friend Steve was alongside him, assisting in the detonation. Things were going well ... until they lit the very first firework.

"One of the fireworks went off, the mortar shot and they all bounced kinda, and one turned over and faced directly at us and shot him in the stomach," Gilbert recalls. "And we got it on video."

If not for the cursing, Gilbert says he'd share the video, but he promises "it is the most amazing piece of footage I think I ever acquired."

There will be no explosions or hurt friends when Gilbert takes to PBS this weekend. He filmed his performance in Nashville, meaning he'll be able to watch on his own television. Trace Adkins and Lauren Alaina are two more country artists slated to perform during the 40th annual celebration. Actor John Stamos and Vanessa Williams will host.

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