POETS AND PIRATES COME TO BALTIMORE, MD
We packed our jackets and ponchos and headed to the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore - home of the Ravens- for a full day of concerts. Traffic was manageable and we arrived in time to listen to some side stage entertainment along Raven’s Walk while we ate lunch. David Nail sang his new single, “I’m About to Come Alive.” Some pretty girls certainly came alive in front of the stage when this attractive young man began to sing. He didn’t seem to mind it – guess it goes with the territory.
As we headed toward the stadium we stopped at one of the radio station tents and who should arrive while we were there? American Idol’s Phil Stacey! He said hello and shook hands and even granted some photo-ops with fans before heading to the side stage for his performance. Unfortunately it was scheduled to occur at the same time as Gary Allan so we missed it.
By the time Gary Allan came on stage the sun had come out and it was beginning to get down-right hot! Gary himself was heating up the stage singing “Nothing on But the Radio,” “Best I Ever Had,” “Watching Airplanes,” “Right Where I Need to Be,” “A Feeling Like That,” and “Songs About Rain” just to name a few.
Next up was LeAnn Rimes. This girl has an amazing voice (and body to match – note to self, no more excuses for not going to the gym!) She was very friendly to the crowd, signing hats, shirts, and even a couple of beach balls that bounced her way. Cheers erupted in the stadium when she donned a Ravens Jersey with the number one on the front. She sang many of her greatest hits along with her newest release, “Good Friends and a Glass of Wine.”
Big and Rich exploded onto the stage in their customary fashion ready to get the party started. They sang a variety of their songs including “The 8th of November” saying it was one of the most important songs they have ever written. It’s a story about a Vietnam Vet and his experience in one of the toughest airborne battles in Vietnam. During their set they were joined by Cowboy Troy who sang, “I Played Chicken with the Train" and Two Foot Fred who also made an appearance.
Brooks & Dunn were next on the docket and it was obvious many fans were there to see this dynamic duo. The crowd roared its welcome as they opened with “Cowboy Town.” Kix demonstrated his harmonica skills on several numbers while Ronnie’s tenor voice soared. With a screen backdrop of American flags they sang, “Only in America,” while a group of military soldiers in dress uniform came marching onto the stage followed by a burst of red, white and blue streamers that settled onto the folks on the field.
It was now 9 p.m. and the crowd was prepped and ready for the crown jewel of the evening - Kenny Chesney. Many had come from miles around, tail-gated and partied and waited all day for this very moment. Just the mention of his name evoked squeals of delight and anticipation from the crowd. I was so busy watching the stage that I almost missed his entrance; I had to be tapped on the shoulder and my view redirected! He finally emerged from the middle of the catwalk (no mishap of a trapped boot at this venue, thank goodness). He was wearing his traditional cowboy hat, a sleeveless blue Bruce Springsteen Live 1975-85 T-shirt, faded, worn blue jeans and boots. He shook hands with fans and seemed happy to be singing the songs he loves. Among them were “Never Wanted Nothin’ More,” “How Forever Feels,” “Wild Ride,” “Don’t Blink,” “Shift Work,” “Young,” “Beer In Mexico,” Keg in the Closet,” “When the Sun Goes Down,” “Big Star,” “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem,” “Living in Fast Forward,” “Back Where I Come From,” “She’s Got It All,” and “Better As A Memory.”
I confess we skipped out on the encore to get a head start on traffic exiting the parking lots. Judging by the amount of alcohol consumed at the stadium we figured it was a good idea to get ahead of all those folks. All in all, it was a great day with plenty of good music and best of all no rain!!