My 2012 – it was great year, there really is no place like home

I moved home at the end of last year after my wonderful U2 360 tour across America and wondered how 2012 would ever top it. I don’t know if it did, but I had a really great year! It was great to be back with my family and friends, plus I made a few new ones. 2012 was the year I turned 40, it was the year I stopped being a hermit and ‘got out there again’, it was the year I finally got a real job that I actually enjoy, it was the year I returned back to my church, it was a year of many concerts (other than U2), it was the year I met Brady Anderson and Lisa Marie Presley, it was the year the Orioles went to the playoffs – and I was there, and it was the year my Denver Broncos won 11 games in a row to finish the season 13-3 and #1 seed in the AFC. Yeah 2012 was pretty fantastic!

2012 started off right on January 21st when I got my picture taken with Brady Anderson. I have met him several times over the past 23 years, but I have never gotten my picture taken with him – until this year. I went to the Orioles FanFest because I knew Brady would be there. Just a few minutes after arriving, my friend spotted Brady walking by. So of course I ran after him and followed him to the photo booth. I walked right up to him, we locked eyes and I said, “Brady! Hi!” He smiled and said, “Hi.” I said, “Are you going to be posing next?” He said, “Yes, posing, stripping, whatever.” Big sigh! I got in line and over a half hour later, I finally got my picture taken with Brady Anderson! I walked up to him and he said, “If you’re taller than me, I’m not going to take the picture.” I offered to squat down, but he laughed and said it was ok. I then told him I had been a fan since 1989, I was very glad he was with back with the Orioles, and I looked forward to seeing him at the stadium. He said, “Thanks. That means a lot.” I was shaking and sweating for several minutes after.

Brady and me1.21.12

Brady and me
1.21.12

The end of January I started working at Dogtopia, a dog daycare and boarding facility in Clarksville. It was great working with the dogs, and I really loved it. But real money, benefits, and doing something else I also loved won out in the end. I started working as Social Media Manager for Century Corp / Awalt Bldrs.

Dogtopia

Dogtopia

I saw many great concerts in 2012. The first was Jordan Knight on March 25th at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD. I was front row on the rail all the way to the left. It was a great show, very intimate and entertaining – foreshadow of what was to come in August. 

In April, I participated in the A to Z blog challenge on both my blogs. I blogged everyday except Sundays thematically from A to Z. For this blog, I wrote about my 26 favorite things from A to Z: music, movies, tv, sports, people, places and food. On my On the Road with U2 blog, I wrote about my 26 favorite U2 songs from A to Z.

me and Lisa Marie Presley 6.15.12

me and Lisa Marie Presley 6.15.12

June 15th was a great day that I sort of spent with Lisa Marie Presley. Not really, but I did see her in 2 concerts on the same day. The first was Lisa Marie’s free Private Artist Showcase at Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis – I won passes from the radio station WRNR. I sat at a table right up front and center in front of Lisa’s microphone. I was so close that my knees were touching the stage. Lisa only played three songs (Weary, Storm of Nails, Over Me), but it was great to be that close during an acoustic set with Lisa singing from a chair – very intimate. Then I was off to Baltimore for the second Lisa Marie Presley concert at Baltimore Soundstage. This was a full show. I was again seated at the front center table. Lisa sounded wonderful, and the show was fantastic!! The set list was as follows: So Long, Over Me, Weary, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Soften the Blows, Forgiving, Storm of Nails, Un-Break, Storm and Grace, Lights Out. After the show I had a Meet and Greet with Lisa Marie Presley. She is so great and does this at most of her shows – a chance to talk with Lisa, get an autograph and a picture with her. As always, Lisa was SO nice and SO gracious and SO beautiful! I walked up to her, shook her hand and told her it was nice to meet her – she said, “Thank you.” I asked her to autograph my set list. And she was signing it, I thanked her for playing the show in Annapolis earlier that day. She said, “It was a crazy morning!” I told her there was another Rams Head right next door to where we were. She laughed and said, “Yeah poor planning.” Then I asked if I could take my picture with her, and she of course agreed. It was extra special to me that Lisa signed my set list because the first time I ever saw Lisa Marie Presley was also in Baltimore back in 2003. I got the set list then too, and she autographed it when I met her after the show then also. Basking in our excitement over talking with Lisa Marie Presley, we waited outside the Baltimore Soundstage and in front of Lisa’s tour bus. A few minutes later, Lisa walked out surrounded by a few security guards. People on the street ran up and surrounded her. She was nice enough to stop and pose for pictures with them and sign autographs. 

A week later, I saw Lucero on June 22nd at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. Lucero is this great band from Memphis that I never saw while I lived there for 3 years – I kept missing them even though they played just a few minutes from my house. Lucero was definitely worth the wait. It was a great show! Wearing my 38104 tee, I was up front and center on the rail, until it got a little too crazy then I booked back to the side. 

Maryland Live Casino opened and quickly became my home away from home – not really, but it is really great having a real, Vegas-style casino only 20 minutes from my house. I go as often I can afford. Great slots, great restaurants, and it has a great concert venue in Rams Head Center Stage. So far I’ve only seen The Regal Beagles and 2U, but I plan to see more concerts there.

Maryland Live Casino

Maryland Live Casino

On July 10th, I had a flashback to the 1980s when I went to see the Lita Ford / Poison / Def Leppard concert at Merriweather in Columbia, MD. Lita Ford can still rock and Poison was great – unfortunately the screens were not on so I could not see Brett close up. They did the screens on for Def Leppard, who was fantastic! It was a great, relaxing night outside under the stars with old friends listening to some our favorite music from our youth. 

A couple weeks later I saw one of my favorite groups Toad the Wet Sprocket at Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis on Juy 30th. My seat was right at the stage, but on the side. Toad the Wet Sprocket played for an hour and a half. They sounded even better than they did in the 90s. Glenn’s voice is just beautiful – and he still performs barefoot! I don’t have the complete set list because I don’t really know the songs after the first four albums, but they did play three of my favorite songs. So here is the set list according to the songs I knew: Fly From Heaven, Something’s Always Wrong, Good Intentions, Torn, I Will Not Take These Things For Granted, Come Back Down, Nightingale Song, All I Want, Fall Down, Come Down, Walk on the Ocean. 

I spent two glorious days in Hershey, PA on August 17 and 18 at the Mix Tape Festival featuring the New Kids on the Block. This was the first annual MixTape Festival. It was a pop festival featuring performances by Kelly Clarkson, The Wanted, LL Cool J, DJ Paully D, 98 Degrees, NKOTBSB and NKOTB! The whole reason I went was obviously for New Kids on the Block (NKOTB). There were playing Friday night and again Saturday night with the Back Street Boys (NKOTBSB). Although I’m not a fan of the Back Street Boys, it was cool to see NKOTB two nights in a row! NKOTB’s performance Friday night August 17th was absolutely amazing! I was so close to Jordan that my neck hurt from looking up at him and my legs were quivering from being so close to him. That is the most excited I’ve been since Larry hugged me in Pittsburgh the year before – and my friend Abbey, who is now my good luck charm, was there standing next to me both times. We were in Hershey Stadium at 3:45 to secure our spot, even though NKOTB wouldn’t take the stage for 5 more hours. We were one person back from the rail behind the VIP section. We noticed there were five platforms (let’s call them blocks) spaced along the rail on the VIP side. We quickly realized 5 blocks for 5 New Kids. We knew that NKOTB performs one song in the middle of the audience. I mentioned to Abbey that it would be great if they opened the show out here in front of us, rather than on the main stage. We stood behind the center block. Even though we were one person back, we were so close that we could reach out and touch it. Luckily for me, I am tall and the person in front of me was not. Minutes after we had secured our spot at the center block, it started to rain and then downpour – and it continued to drizzle the rest of the night. After performances by Aaron Carter, Steel Panther, DJ Paully D, it was time for NKOTB. I was so excited! I hadn’t seen them in two years – since the opening of the No Casino Tour in Vegas. The screens came down and the thunderous pound of the video starting scared me to death. After the retrospective video, I saw NKOTB riding through the stadium on a what looked like a golf cart. I was right, they were starting the show on those five blocks – right in front of us! It was so exciting watching them run in. Unfortunately Jordan ran past us to the block on the right. Donnie got on the block right in front of us. They opened with One Song. Towards the end of the song, all five of the New Kids were directly in front of us on the center block. Unfortunately Jordan and Joey were facing the other way toward the VIP, but Jon, Donnie and Danny were facing us. They were all wearing Adidas track suits. Jordan’s and Joey’s were blue with matching blue sun glasses while Jon’s, Donnie’s and Danny’s were red. At the end of the first song, they all started to get off of the block – except for Jordan! At that moment, I felt a big push like I was riding a wave and I ended up in front of Abbey (who had been standing next to me) and completely squishing the girl in front of me who was luckily really short. I was even closer to Jordan now. Then Jordan (and the rest of them) took off his track suits and was wearing a white tank and white pants. I was taking video and pictures and my legs were quivering – I was so excited! Abbey said Jordan was posing for me. NKOTB performed Summertime while Jordan was in front of me – not that I remember. All I remember is my neck hurting from looking up at Jordan because he was close, reaching out for him to touch me (which he didn’t) and my legs shaking. It was quite an amazing 3 minutes! At the end of Summertime, Jordan left and Joey came to our block while NKOTB performed Dirty Dancing.  I let Abbey get in front of me, so she could see – besides Jordan had already left for another block. After Dirty Dancing, NKOTB went to the main stage. Friday was Donnie’s birthday, so Jordan, Joey, Danny, Jon, and the audience sang Happy Birthday. And then out of nowhere Jon started singing NKOTB’s version of Happy Birthday! It was great because Jon never sings and is very shy on stage. He stopped after the first verse and Donnie told him to keep singing “it’s the same lyrics.” And even Jordan tried to help him, hiding behind him singing. A while later, I think it was Jordan who said something like let’s go back out there to perform this “they’re VIP too!” So back they came – right in front of us. Unfortunately, Jordan did not come back to our center block, but he was on the one to the left of us. Joey was in front of us while they performed Tonight. But it turned out to be great because his wife brought their little son Griffin up on the block with Joey. And together they sang. It couldn’t have been any cuter! Then NKOTB returned to the main stage for the rest of the show. At the end of the show, 98 Degrees joined NKOTB on stage during Hangin Tough. I got to see Nick Lachey and Jordan Knight standing next to each other. Sigh! As they were saying goodnight, Donnie told everyone to go watch Kelly Clarkson’s performance because they had a surprise for us. So at 10pm we went to the other end of the stadium to watch Kelly Clarkson, who was very good. About a half hour into her set, Joey McIntyre walks out and they sing an amazing duet together. The NKOTB set list for Friday August 17th was as follows: One Song, Summertime, Dirty Dancing, The Right Stuff, Didn’t I Blow Your Mind, Valentine Girl, If You Go Away, Please Don’t Go Girl, Step By Step, Cover Girl, Happy Birthday, Tonight, I’ll Be Loving You Forever, Hangin Tough.  

Jordan!

Jordan!

We arrived at Hershey Park around noon on Saturday for Day 2 of the MixTape Festival. We decided to wait at the entrance where the bands arrive to see if could catch a glimpse of NKOTB arriving, but they had apparently already arrived. We saw Jordan walk up the stairs to the stage. Then we watched NKOTB and BSB rehearse. Luckily the stage was high enough that we could see them when they were out on the platform extension of the stage. They rehearsed Single, so I was very happy since they hadn’t played it Friday. After their rehearsal, Danny ran by and waved to us, but he didn’t stop. A few of the guys from Back Street Boys came out and shouted to us. We went inside Around 4:00, we went into the stadium, bought a tee shirt and sat in the shade at the soundboard. Nothing could top the previous night, so we didn’t even try to be up front. Also, the platform extension of the stage wasn’t as close to the GA section were the previous nights ‘blocks.’ We watched the Dan Band and The Wanted, then moved closer for LL Cool J and NKOTBSB. LL was great – and hot! I had seen him once before a few years ago at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis. The audience was very into it and so was Donnie, who was jumping up and down back stage. LL put on a very entertaining show. He was throwing towels out to the girls like Elvis threw scarves. He also threw out some roses and gave away a laptop to a guy in the audience. LL brought two girls up on stage – at two different times. He seemed like a really nice guy. Nice and hot – go figure! At 9pm, it was time for the main event – NKOTBSB! They opened with Single! Now I’ve seen three different versions of Single.I saw the regular album version in Memphis in 2009, the acoustic version in Vegas in 2010, and now the NKOTBSB version. Besides Single and the songs they did with Back Street Boys, NKOTB played the same songs as the previous night. But this time they wore black instead of white. They again came out into the audience for Tonight. Both The Wanted and 98 Degrees joined New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys on stage – 4 boy bands on 1 stage! It was a great show, but I’m not a Back Street Boys fan so I was kind of bored every other 2 songs when BSB performed. It was great to see NKOTB two nights in a row though, but nothing will beat the first 3 songs of that Friday night performance. 

September 6th was the 17th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr’s 2131st consecutive game when he broke Lou Gehrig’s record. It was also the night of Cal Ripken Jr’s statue dedication ceremony at Camden Yards. We were in line at the gates by 3:30, and there were a lot of people there. Highlights of Cal’s 2131 game was being shown on a big screen tv that was set up on the plaza. Just after 5pm, the gates opened. We grabbed our replica statue and ran toward the picnic area where the ceremony was held. I stopped at the first white tent and was elated that I had a front row spot on the rail for the ceremony. Then I realized I was at the wrong white tent. I was at the sound tent. I was confused because that is where Eddie Murray’s ceremony had been, but then I realized that the ceremonies take place next to the statues – duh! Someone shouted, “There’s Brady Anderson!” So I screamed/squealed and ran toward him. After being at the wrong tent and the Brady siting, we ended up in a spot to the left of the correct tent about halfway back. It wasn’t the greatest view of the stage, but I had a great view of Brady. Fans were everywhere. People were lined up 10 deep all the way around the perimeter of the picnic area, as well as up in the seats on all levels looking down onto the ceremony. Inside the closed off seated VIP area, I found Brady – in the back where we were originally standing (next to the wrong tent). The seated VIP audience included Cal’s family (wife Kelly, mom Vi, brothers Billy and Fred), former teammates (Brady Anderson, Eddie Murray, Mike Bordick, Ken Singleton), current Orioles (Buck Showalter, Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds), and Lynda Carter (tv’s Wonder Woman) who is apparently a close friend of Cal’s. Brady sat in the front row with Cal’s family, and he was the first to talk. During Brady’s speech, he cursed. He was talking about how he was injured and asking the trainer if he should play, and the trainer said something like “you don’t think Cal was ever injured?” And Brady replied, “what a dick!” It got a laugh and cheer from the crowd. Then Billy Ripken, who spoke next, commented that he “couldn’t believe Brady cursed in front of his mother.” Brady was embarrassed, but this again got a laugh and cheer from the crowd. Louis Angelos spoke next, and during his speech Brooks Robinson arrived. The crowd jumped to their feet and applauded. Cal leapt from the stage to embrace Brooks. When Angelos was finished, they unveiled Cal’s statue and then Cal spoke. Cal thanked Brady for his speech and said he did a great job considering he only had 24 hours notice. When speaking of his family, Cal got choked up and had to take a moment. After his speech, Cal posed with his statue and talked with his friends and family. I saw Brady talking with Wonder Woman (aka Lynda Carter). Brady starting walking toward us, but then made a b-line for the fans on the opposite end where we were originally standing – by the wrong white tent. Brady signed autographs and shook hands for a few minutes. About an hour later, there was another ceremony for Cal – a shorter ceremony that was on the field. And when they announced Cal and played that music and he was on the field waving and the fans were cheering, it felt like it did in 1995. And in the 5th inning, they showed highlights from that 2131 game 17 years ago on the big screen and then showed Cal in his box at the game last night. Cal stood and waved and the crowd cheered and cheered – and I cried. It was an amazing moment, an amazing night! It seems that Orioles Magic had returned to Baltimore, after a 15 year hiatus. For the first time since 1997, the Baltimore Orioles were in 1st place in September – and made the playoffs.

Cal with his statue

Cal with his statue

On September 15th, I attended the first annual Charm City Music Festival at Harbor East in Baltimore. It was great to finally have an actual music festival in Baltimore, especially in a year when I didn’t go to the Beale Street Music Festival or Lollapalooza. There were two stages and a dance tent, lots of food, many bars and even a few covered tables and chairs to escape the sun. I saw Thee The The, Cleared for Take Off, Loving the Lie and All Mighty Senators. Thee The The was my favorite. Val Yumm, is the lead singer and guitarist. She rocked! Her energy reminded of my heyday of early 1990s alternative concerts I attended. Thee The The played a great set – I wish it would have been longer. 

Two weeks later, I attended the first annual Main Street Music Festival in historic Ellicott City, in conjunction with their Fall Festival. There were over 50 unsigned bands on 8 stages, but the highlight for me was seeing Darth Vader walking around. Although lunch on the deck at La Palapa’s was also pretty great. Adults, dogs and kids alike enjoyed the crisp Fall day in Ellicott City. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out on Main Street since I moved back home. 

I turned 40 on October 4th and celebrated with my family and friends in Las Vegas. It was a fantastic four days in Sin City. We ate, drank, explored and played the slots. Mom, Dad and I stayed at Ballys while Cindy, Kathy, Frank and Chris stayed at the Winn. And my friends Matt and Melissa live in Vegas. We all gathered at Paris for my birthday dinner. It was a grand celebration. One I will never forget!

my 40th in Vegas

my 40th in Vegas

On October 14th I finally saw Ryan Bingham play at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, after many near misses the past three years.  It was well worth the wait – definitely one of the best shows I have ever been to. I have wanted to see Ryan Bingham, since I saw him and his oscar winning song The Weary Kind in the wonderful movie Crazy Heart. I stood at the front rail, just to the right of Ryan’s microphone. It was a great show that lasted almost two hours! Ryan’s voice was even better live than on his cds – raspy and strong. Ryan played the guitar and harmonica. His new band (he is no longer with the Dead Horses) was great, especially the drummer. There was a girl bassist, which is unusual, and a fantastic guitar player. Just simple, real, rock n roll music. Yes, rock n roll. Ryan Bingham’s new album Tomorrowland is more rock n roll than country. He played my favorite new song Guess Who’s Knockin’ and it was even better than the cd – totally rocked! Ryan introduced I Heard Em Say telling the story about how he wrote it in Memphis after visiting the National Civil Rights Museum. I wanted to shout out, “I used to work there!” but I resisted. 

On November 10th, I saw John Travolta at the Maryland Institute College of Art. It was An Open Conversation with John Travolta & John Waters as part of the Maryland Film Festival’s tribute to John Travolta. A few weeks earlier I went to a 35MM screening of Pulp Fiction at the Charles Theater. I got in line at hour before the show opened and there were about 50 people ahead of me. I got a seat in the 10th row, which was the first row of the cheap seats (behind the VIPs). The show started with a film retrospective of Travolta’s movies. John has a few connections to Baltimore. He filmed Ladder 49 here and starred in Hairspray the musical, which was set in Baltimore. I had no idea how artistic, intelligent and eloquent John Travolta is. It was a very entertaining night.

John Travolta in Baltimore11.10.12

John Travolta in Baltimore
11.10.12

I really did not think I could have a better day with Lisa Marie Presley than I did June 15th when I went to two of her shows on the same day and met Lisa, talked with her, got my picture taken with her and she autographed my set list. Perfect day. But as perfect as that day was 11/11 was even better. Unimaginable, but true. Lisa Marie Presley’s show at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA was phenomenal. Lisa said, “it was the best show of the tour – even better than Nashville.” And as Abbey was next to me when Larry hugged me and when I was so close to Jordan, she was also with me on this unforgettable night with Lisa Marie Presley. We arrived at the Chameleon Club around 5pm to line up. There were about seven people ahead of us. Much to my surprise and delight, they were my old friends (Tee, Rosanna, Matt, Maria, Bambi) from Lisa Marie Presley tours past. Then Birgit and her husband, whom I had met at the Baltimore show, joined us. It was great to see everyone again, which ultimately made the night even more special. We were let inside around 6:45, then into the club about a half hour later. We secured our spots on the front rail. The opening band, El El from Lancaster, played for about a half hour then Lisa took the stage at 9:07 and played until 10:23. This Lisa Marie Presley show was better and longer than the one in Baltimore a few months ago. It is still a promo tour for her latest album, so all songs but three were off Storm and Grace. A welcome addition to the set list for me was a re-worked Idiot off Lisa’s second album Now What. It is probably my favorite Lisa Marie Presley song – if I was forced to pick one. Lisa said Idiot was the “meanest song she had ever written.” The crowd cheered, and Lisa laughed and asked why that made us happy. I think I was the most excited during the show when Lisa played drums on Un-Break and Sticks and Stones because it truly is all about drums. I have a newfound love for Sticks and Stones. I loved the lyrics before, but after Lisa’s amazing performance in Lancaster…Wow! Lisa was interactive and expressive as always and that Lancaster audience was amazing – very enthusiastic and singing along to every song. Lisa said one of her favorites off Storm and Grace is Soften the Blows. The set list in Lancaster, PA was as follows: So Long, Over Me, Weary, Storm of Nails, Just A Dream, Storm and Grace, Idiot, You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet, Forgiving, Soften the Blows, Un-Break, Sticks and Stones, Lights Out, I Need to Know (Tom Petty cover). For some reason Storm and Grace was not played even though it was on the set list. Even after the lights were up and Lisa was long gone from the stage, we stayed there soaking in the wonderful show we had just experienced. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in my quest for a set list.  We waited around a bit longer. Abbey decided to leave, but she had a wonderful time celebrating her birthday at her first Lisa Marie Presley show. I got in the merch line and noticed Lisa was standing right next to me waiting to start the Meet and Greets. She heard me say “I’m back” to the merchandise lady. Lisa leaned over to me and asked, “Are you buying everything?” I told her no, just a hat because I had bought everything on her website. She asked if she could sign something for me, so I had her autograph my ticket. I told her that I love Idiot, and it was my ‘go out’ song – that I used to listen to it before I went out to bars to get me excited and hyped up. I told her that I also wanted my picture with her, so I was going to go to the end of the Meet and Greet line – since I wasn’t technically in line for the Meet and Greet yet. It was just pretty cool that Lisa initiated a conversation with me. (yes, i’m geeking out a bit) When I got back to Lisa for my ‘official’ Meet and Greet, I asked her to autograph my M&G pass and asked for a photo with her. I also thanked her for doing the Meet and Greets because a lot of bands charge for them or don’t even do them. She had no idea that bands actually charged for Meet and Greets – she was appalled. Lisa Marie Presley is the sweetest person. She is so gracious and down to earth. It is always a pleasure and a privilege to meet and speak with her. The Lisa Marie Presley show at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA was absolutely amazing! Lisa sang beautifully, the band was tight, and the audience was enthusiastic. Everybody in that room was a great mood and there was a fantastic energy. It was just one of those one in a million kind of nights. Thanks to Abbey, Birgit, Tee, Rosanna, Matt, Bambi, Maria, LMP’s band and crew, Michael Lockwood, and of course Lisa Marie Presley for making November 11th in Lancaster, PA a night to remember!

me and Lisa Marie11.11.12

me and Lisa Marie
11.11.12

Just a few days later I saw one of my favorites Olivia Newton-John at The Strathmore in Rockville, MD on November 16th. I have loved Olivia Newton-John since I was 5 years old when I first saw her in Grease. This was my second time seeing Olivia in concert. It was a seated show and most people in the audience were there because it was part of their subscription to The Strathmore. The only songs they knew the words to were from Grease. Of course I knew every word to every song and was SO excited to hear them! Olivia was very funny and entertaining, and she can still belt it out! The surprise of the night for me was hearing Shaking You, which has always been a favorite of mine, but not very well known. It is a heartbraking song off the Two of a Kind soundtrack. The set list was as follows: Have You Never Been Mellow, A Little More Love, Sam, Xanadu, Magic, Suddenly, If Not For You, Let Be There, Please Mr Please, Take Me Home Country Roads, Jolene, If You Love Me, Physical, Suspended In Time, Shaking You, Never Give Into It, Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee, You’re the One that I Want, Hopelessly Devoted to You, Summer Nights, We Go Together, Grace and Gratitude, I Honestly Love You. 

I can now cross seeing Bob Dylan off my bucket list. I saw Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler at the Verizon Center in DC on November 20th. It was a seated show, and I was about 20 rows back just right of center – but luckily Bob’s piano was on my side of the stage and that’s where Bob was for most of the show. Mark Knopfler (from Dire Straits) played first for about an hour fifteen minutes. He is really talented, but too ‘jam band’ for me. And the only Dire Straits song he played was So Far Away From Me. Bob Dylan was good, more bluesy than I anticipated – especially the Highway 61 song. The audience was much more mellow and preppie than I had anticipated. I guess I expected a bunch of pot smoking hippies – guess they all grew up.

Bob Dylan11.20.12

Bob Dylan
11.20.12

One of the greatest days of 2012 was December 16th when my Denver Broncos defeated the Ravens 34-17 in Baltimore. But almost as great as the win was meeting and hanging out with Broncos fans. The Denver Broncos Fanclub – DC Chapter organized a tailgate in lot J at M&T Bank Stadium before the Broncos-Ravens game. We arrived around 10:30, and the tailgate was in full swing soon after. It was great to meet everyone including Will, Rick, Ryan, Brandon, Mie, Dell, Ron, Dan and John. It was just so amazing to finally be hanging out and celebrating with fellow Broncos fans. We drank and ate and talked about how great the Broncos are, then we headed into the game. What a great game it was! Looking across the field behind the Broncos bench, it was a sea of orange where most of the Denver fans moved down to celebrate together. Elvis Dumervil tweeted about it saying, “We had a ton of fans out in Baltimore….s/o to our great fans. Great team win but still a lot more more work to get done.” This season the Denver Broncos won 11 in a row, finishing the season 13-3 and #1 seed in the AFC with home field throughout the playoffs.

Broncos country in Baltimore12.16.12

Broncos country in Baltimore
12.16.12

These were the great events I went to in 2012. Just as great was all the time I spent with my family and friends. From what I can tell, 2013 is sure to be just as great of a year – if not better. I already have tickets to see Soundgarden, Olivia Newton-John, Lucero and the Memphis Grizzlies-Wizards NBA game – and that’s just the first three months. And if my Denver Broncos win the Superbowl and the Orioles make the playoffs, then 2013 will definitely be an amazing year. I really don’t like to say I have new year’s resolutions, but rather things I would like to accomplish. So for 2013, I would like to publish my On the Road with U2 book, blog and journal more regularly, read more and watch less, walk my dogs more regularly, and keep an active social life.

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About Deena 'DeenasDays' Dietrich (444 Articles)
My name is Deena Dietrich. After 3 years living in Memphis and 3 months driving across America following the U2 360 Tour in 2011, I am back home in Ellicott City, Maryland with my 2 dogs Elvis and Cilla. Now I am making my way as a Social Media Manager and Blogger as I try to get my book about my U2 travels published. My motto is "It is better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't." So follow me on my journey as I pursue my passions in music and sports: U2, Broncos, LMP, Grizzlies, NKOTB, Orioles.

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