With the date of the NFL kickoff falling on the same day as an Orioles home game, the Ravens played the first game of the season against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Denver. As defending Super Bowl champions, the Ravens normally would have been granted a home opener. In order to appease the fans that couldn’t quite afford the time or money to get to Denver to cheer on the purple and black, the NFL-sponsored a week of games and food in our very own Harbor Place.
On Thursday night, to rally in support of our boys, Keith Urban held a free concert. The multi-platinum, Grammy winning artist performed on a floating stage constructed in front of the Maryland Science Center. The concert began at 7:30 pm and ran about one-and-a-half hours long.
Urban certainly got the season kicked off the right way, opening the concert with his number one chart topper, “Long Hot Summer.” Both football lovers and country fans alike danced and sang along to the tune of the-oh-so familiar song.
Urban continued his set, even taking the chance to test some of his new material out on an engaged audience. Sounds of banjos and guitars blasted out of the speakers as Urban shared with this special crowd some new songs from his new album that dropped in stores September 10th.
The city never imagined that with the Orioles hosting the White Sox and every bar or restaurant screening kick off in Denver that the crowd would be as large as it was. Close to 210,000 football fans celebrated our return of football in the Harbor, 17,000 attended the Orioles game and the party in the Harbor, while close to 15,000 Baltimore fans made it all the way to Denver to watch our beloved Ravens. With this many people around, the city practically shut down and when there was a lull in the concert due to a filming break, what other way to entertain a crowd than start a chant of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes? Well, there simply is no other!
With the help of my large group of friends and a group of local high school boys next to us, I began to cheer the first lines of the Baltimore Football anthem. With the crowd cheering “oh oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh” Urban’s band decided to join in the fun. We completed several verses of the song when Urban and his band kicked off another set of songs.
Keith kept the crowd moving all night and fully engaged them whether it be letting fans sing into his microphone or talking to fans in between breaks, even giving away guitar picks and a signed guitar. Towards the end of the concert, Urban sang the opening lines of his 2002 hit “Somebody Like You” and replaced the second verse line “But you’re teaching me to be a better man” to “But you Ravens fans are Super Bowl champs” further exciting the sea of black and purple.
Once the final notes of the night had been played Urban and his band joined the crowd for a laser light and firework show above the harbor to lead us into the minute countdown to kickoff. Overall, it was one of the best nights the city of Baltimore has ever seen and was a night worth remembering to Ravens fans. Keith Urban fully deserves a 10. The country star does all he can to engage the crowd and keep up the hype all night long, never giving up without giving all he possibly can.