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Devil went down to the casino: Charile Daniels opens new Hanover entertainment venue

The Charlie Daniels Band made history last week, becoming the first act to perform a concert at the new Rams Head Center Stage in Hanover inside Maryland Live! Casino.
The Charlie Daniels Band made history last week, becoming the first act to perform a concert at the new Rams Head Center Stage in Hanover inside Maryland Live! Casino. (SUBMITTED PHOTO , Carroll County Times)

HANOVER - Two songs into his latest concert, Charlie Daniels put down his fiddle, approached the microphone and looked out at the hollering crowd.

"I think this is a brand new place, right," he said, prompting more cheers and more applause.

Daniels, 75, made history once again Aug. 30. The familiar, gray-bearded country rocker became the first musician to perform at Rams Head Center Stage, a 500-seat entertainment venue located inside Maryland Live! Casino.

Ever since Maryland Live! opened in June adjacent to Arundel Mills Mall, the familiar beeps and dings from 3,700 slot machines were the most common sounds emanating from the facility. For an hour, Daniels and his band drowned them out, with his trademark hits like "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" being easily heard throughout the casino.

"I can see the winners from up here," Daniels said, as an homage to the casino surrounding the new venue.

Center Stage is the third Rams Head venue in the Baltimore area, joining, Rams Head Live in Baltimore and Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis.

The 500-seat venue is intimate enough that most seats seem like prime front-row spots. In fact, some spectators in the first couple of rows for the Daniels concert retreated to stand at the back of the room because they deemed the sound too loud from where they were sitting.

Rams Head Center Stage is planning themed entertainment nights this fall, with Monday Night Football on Mondays, country music on Wednesdays, retro '80s classics on Thursdays and classic rock on Sundays.

Daniels was the most notable performer on the schedule through Sept. 30. He was brought in for a kickoff concert mostly for VIP guests at a venue with plush tan seats, five disco ball sculptures and a bar located to the left of the stage.

"Part of the reason we did this is, one, we are going to bring in national acts on a regular basis going forward," said Rob Norton, the President and General Manager of Maryland Live! Casino. "We wanted September, our opening month, to be something special."

The majority of the upcoming concerts feature regional acts, but national touring artists have been booked for Thursday nights including, alternative rockers Sister Hazel today, singer-songwriter Chuck Negron Sept. 13 and British rockers Foghat Sept. 20.

All concerts and events at Rams Head Center Stage in September are scheduled for 8 p.m.

Contrary to when Maryland Live! opened June 6, most entertainment and restaurant options around the casino are up and operational, including Bobby Flay's Burger Palace, Live! Buffet and Phillips Seafood.

And, now, the music and entertainment is there as well, at least six nights per week.

"We have said from the beginning that Maryland Live! was going to be an entertainment destination," Norton said. "I think Rams Head Center Stage brings one more piece of the puzzle."

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