M3 Festival

Featuring…Whitesnake, Vince Neil, Extreme, Dokken, Black ‘N Blue, Autograph, Bang Tango, Skid Row, Kix, Kingdom Come, Vixen, Warrant, Quiet Riot, Danger Danger, Steve Adler, Firehouse….

Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD – 5/3-5/2019

Quick Hits and Takes…

Ally Wachsberg was On Scene & Heard…

M3 – 2019

**The weather was chilly 6 degrees & rainy off and on all weekend.

FRIDAY

Place: Merriweather Post Pavilion
The rain held out as I arrived on Friday to the pavilion filled with fans that were quite excited to experience the M3 Festival for the first time, along with all the returning veteran ROCKERS.

No rain yet at 6:30pm only overcast skies.
As I approached the front West gates of the Box office & security, fans were in line to enter and we’re reuniting with other friends that they only see at this yearly festival.
The energy was building as I proceeded to pick up our tickets and media credentials. Smiling faces from security staff at Merriweather greeted us with a kind Hello as they checked all the bags.

As I proceeded through the main gates, passing the full merch. booths I started to see the thousands of fans excited to start the M3 weekend!
Along the perimeter of the pavilion were the food concessions, sodas and alcohol bars.
I did notice the price for food was higher than usual for a Pavilion location …. Example, a Burger & Fries combo was $24 dollars!!! Same for chicken fingers & Fries etc.
I can see why some of the patrons had lunch bags in hand.

A shout out to the friendly staff and security in the Pavillion. 
I can’t say that for other theaters, pavilions or arenas who are very rude to the fans.

Regarding the Rockstar VIP experience ticket, this year not only one but two bands decided not to do the meet and greet or photos after all….. In the past we usually have had one of the artists back down last minute… this year we had TWO!
The fans were deeply disappointed when the hostess for the VIP Rockstar Tickets announced the news that Whitesnake would not be making any appearance to the fans at their show on Saturday night and that on Sunday Vince Neil also would not be able to do the Meet & Greet.
Talk about a serious upset, considering the tickets are $1000 each.
Apparently there is nothing that management and promoters could do.

As for us in the photo media group we were then told  30 mins prior to the show, that without a signed released from Whitesnake we were not able to hold our cameras at our seat or have access to the pit to appreciate our photo time.
We were told to return to the office to have our cameras held and confiscated until after their performance.

Myself nor my publisher received any information regarding this change, so there was no time to have access to sign a release waiver to take photos. 😱

With all that said…  On to the Show…

Friday Night

ENUFF Z NUFF
Chip from ENUFF Z NUFF came on in  his full costume jacket, silver pearl crusted JT, and bright pink sunglasses. The crowd was cheering the band and the band had happy smiling faces ….the smoke machines were then turned on and everything looked super.

BLACK N’BLUE

Next up BLACK N’BLUE. They got the crowd a little bit more excited as the sun started to set in the distance … The band was really rocking & singer Jamie St James was really bringing it!!
Sound quality was good and it seemed like the volume was turned up a little bit more than the previous bands.

KIX


Headliner for that night was KIX !
It’s their hometown so of course there were many fans adorned in their old and new KIX T-shirts and singing every song word for word, note for note.
Steve Whiteman always with a huge smile and his silly humor brought the Friday night show to a very happy climax for the fans.
The perfect band to close the opening night of M3.

Saturday

Day 2 started @12 Noon

TORA TORA

The crowd was a little soft when TORA TORA hit the stage, and the sound definitely needed a little bit of tweaking. If you were on the Monsters of Rock cruise, it was pretty much the same set. If you weren’t on the MORC…it was still pretty much the same set.

AUTOGRAPH


They sure did seem to get the afternoon going after kick off time at 12:45pm.
Guitars seemed sharp, vocals a little low, lights not very good in the daytime for the stage show. But that didn’t stop the energy of the crowd who sang along to everything. Truly a fan favorite!

KINGDOM COME


A great return by these boys with Keith St. John on vocals . The right mix of attitude, energy and rock’n moves.
The bands performance, sound and style was well appreciated by the fans.
Drummer James Kottak (Scorpions) was having a stellar day on the drum kit too! He said a big hello and thank you to the fans while standing above his kit. He removed his shirt, turned around  and showcased his tattoo art “ Rock & Roll Forever” to the cheering fans.
I will add that the lighting engineer nailed this stage performance!

DANGER DANGER

Who doesn’t love this band! Big cheers as Ted Poley hit the stage! He delivers the music with a great attitude and sound.
If you’ve never seen him before you may not know, that he likes to take a security guard with him and enter the floor seats and stands were the fans are. Ted will sing-along and take selfie‘s with his fans each with a handshake, hug and even a kiss!

LA GUNS:

I have to admit I’m a little lost with this band currently. I’m not too sure who is playing in this band at all? Steven Riley?! Others?!
I wasn’t a fan of the performance, I found it quite average.
Fans seated around me seem to feel the same way.

STEVEN ADLER BAND

Now this was impressive!
Steven Adler originally from that little band, Guns N Roses of course on the drums.
Steven entered the stage with a big smile thanking all the fans, and telling everyone how wonderful it was to be at the M3 Festival.
The band was AMAZING!
Ariel Kamin had so much energy on the vocals and in his “guns” moves were incredible and just lit the place up with a spark!
Beautiful Tanya O’Callaghan on Bass, and ripping guitars by AJ, & Michael Thomas.
Night Train” and “Welcome to the Jungle” sounded wicked!

FIRE HOUSE


Nice clean sound and generally what I’ve come to expect from Firehouse. Not bad …

WARRANT

Time to get the crowd in the groove and this was the band . Time set @7:30pm . Saturday night started!
The lighting again could have been better … Well appointed stage banners with “Dirty 30” reflecting Warrant’s anniversary.
The band members were a little slow moving on stage at the start of the set. Though singer Robert Mason was making a grand entrance with jumps and all!
The guitarists easily followed through with a more energetic performance.
Crowd was pleased and singing along …

WHITESNAKE:
No pics due to the release fiasco.
The set time was 9:15pm shortly after 9:30pm the show started, a little late .
The crowd was very loud and electric cheering on the band.
They opened with “Slide It In” and the volume at 11!
The stage was bright, colorful and with WS banners and snake skin all over.
David Coverdale always eloquently spoken, stated his appreciation and love for and from the fans throughout the years. Set was just over an hour.
Reb Beach on guitar with his original WHITESNAKE style of shredding while trading off solos with Joel Hoekstra. This was perfection!
Michael Devin on Bass, stayed back and kept it tight but simple. Unfortunately, you could only faintly hear Michele Luppi’s keyboards during the set. Did I mention he has a sweet smile too..?
 Tommy Aldridge on the drums performed his solo with his signature bare handed bashing technique!! Incredible!!

Leaving the pavilion it started to rain ….

Sunday

Day 3 start time 12:00pm noon
Thunderstorm and pouring rain!!

VAIN: I missed them

XYZ: I missed them

BANG TANGO


Good sleazy rock and roll from Hollywood, CA . Songs were good. The stage was a little dark. (Lighting seemed to be off for most of this event) I don’t know enough of their music.
Great performance and deep cuts by singer Joe Leste.

VIXEN

The ladies of Vixen performed beautifully they had a stunning black & hot pink backdrop.
Lorraine Lewis was perfectly dressed in a black leather bustier style top, with black pants and glasses with a pink tinge.
She was proudly wearing her new jewelry which is a silver fox necklace, with a V through it which is of course the Vixen symbol.
She has transitioned very well with this band and has wonderful chemistry with bassist Share Pederson, guitarist Britt Lightning and drummer Roxy Petrucci and of course, Tyson Leslie on the keyboards.
Wonderful performance by all!

QUIET RIOT


All I have to say is WOW!! The new singer is incredible! This was my first time seeing them with James Durbin.
I did not know he was a finalist on American Idol.. WHAT!?! He finished 4th place in Season 10.

Well not only does he have killer pipes, he sure know how to get the crowd going. No shyness here! Amazing front man for this band. Seems he is really into the music as he digs deep into the lyrics and pushes that volume high!
Original band member Frankie Banali on the drums was more simple and quiet ….

***Still officially pouring rain all day!
As the media photogs found it most depressing, we carried covers & bags for our gear and parkas for ourselves while we ventured out in the Pavilion.

SKID ROW


Of course it has been Sebastian Bach-less for years now … Though you don’t want to miss this band with their “new” talented and humble singer ZP. Let’s not forget to mention his amazing long, dark curly hair that everyone around seemed to be jealous of!!
THIS. BAND. ROCKS!
My favorite of their set was “Monkey Business” They killed it!

EXTREME


Well this is your All American Band style performance!  Gary Cherone nails the notes, all class and energy like no other.
To his side the talented Nuno Bettencourt on guitar. 
The band all look great and their set is like a physical fitness class.
Another major failure for the lighting guy? What is this dudes problem! It was all yellow lighting … blahhh

VINCE NEIL

Vince Neil, lead vocalist for the notorious Motley Crue.
He shares the stage with his solo band who are basically Slaughter minus Mark.
Vince opened with “Dr. Feelgood” followed by “Looks that kill” and “Home sweet Home”with all band members equally grooving on stage. The crowd was ALIVE!! A sea of Motley shirts throughout the Pavilion.
Volume was back up to 11, and the stage just a little too dark.
.

Vince spoke from the heart and mentioned his family members (Grandfather) who served and how grateful he is for the people that protect America today! Dana Strum rocking his  long blonde hair, swinging away on the bass.


Fans got an added surprise as guitarist Jeff Blando performed Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell“!! One hit after another for Neils’ set which was closed out with “Kickstart My Heart” .
Let’s not forget Zoltan Chaney, an insanely talented and acrobatic drummer for the decades!
The band brought so much energy for the Motley fans….

DOKKEN


It’s really only Don Dokken now … I don’t know his band members.
He was almost the 3rd artist cancelling his Meet & Greet until he was convinced enough to power through, which he did.
I saw Don a couple years ago at M3 Festival in 2017 and I found his performance this year to be completely different. He was more in key vocally and looked very styled out. Basically he looked and sounded great!! To the delight of the fans, he sang all of the Dokken hits.

Still raining … uhhhh

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