M3 Rock Festival 05/14/11
Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
Words/Photos by SluggerA
For anyone who does’t live on the East coast, chances are, you may not know what the “M3 Festival” is. It’s a flashback to the 80’s hairmetal era, that’s what it is!! I missed the first 2, and I would have missed this years if it weren’t for my good friend, Bob. He had an extra ticket and it was all mine! The show was two days, Friday and Saturday. I wasn’t able to make the Friday night show and I missed Warrant. However, Saturday morning, I crawled out of bed, went to school to take my psychology final and then headed to Merriweather Post Pavilion, only 10 minutes from my house!
The day was a dreary, rainy day. It sprinkled off and on with a danger of a huge, big, bad thunderstorm, but that didn’t stop us 80’s hair metal lovers. We actually got lucky because the heavy rain held out until the end of the night. I walked through the gates after getting my ticket from Bob and didn’t know which way to go. Bob informed that Firehouse was playing, so I took off to my seat to catch Firehouse.
I sat down and do what I always do at a show…especially when I’m alone…look around me. I was suddenly back in middle school/high school. The mullets, the slash top hats, the tight pants, the big hair…and I’m not talking about the bands…I’m talking about my fellow concert goers! I’m sure some of them just dressed up to “play the part,” but you could tell that most of them are like that everyday. I saw one man with his son, who was mabye 12 years old…his son had a mullet!! It made me smile.
I didn’t know too many songs by Firehouse, but they started playing “Love of a lifetime,” I wanted to hurl. Not because I don’t like the song, in fact..I love it! But looking around you could see all the couples, with their arms around each other, probably reliving some sortm of moment in time in the backseat of their car, making out to that song…lol….I can hate because I’m single….had I been there with a “boyfriend,” I would have been looking all starry eyed too…blaaaaah…lol…
I stayed at the mainstage the entire day except for at the end. I missed a lot of the bands on the side stage. From what I heard, I missed some good sets on that side, but I wasn’t really in the mood to walk around, back and forth between stages. I did get up at one point and heard a band playing, but they weren’t on the side stage. There was another, smaller stage that had miniture orange cones on the roof. I got closer to see kids, yes, kids playing music….I watched for a minute, thought it was cute, and walked away. Not sure what it was about but it was kind of cool.
After Firehouse played, the next band up on the main stage was Slaughter. Slaughter was one of my more favorite bands back in the day so I was excited to see them. Mark Slaughter sounded like he had some trouble singing like he used to. I didn’t really notice it though until I got home and watched the video footage I took. I didn’t notice because I was locked on the drummer. I have no idea if it was the original drummer, but this dude was AMAZING! Talk about having energy and knowing how to entertain. The dude couldn’t sit still. He was constantly standing up and playing, his sticks were twirrling and being thrown up into the air, he was even playing the cymbal at one point with his left foot!! Yes, his FOOT! He also took his left foot and put it out in front of him and moved it back and forth. It was great to see.
Slaughter’s set wouldn’t have been as good if it weren’t for their drummer but when they played “Fly to the Angels,” I was really going back to the day. I remember that song being blared on my brother’s radio and thinking, “Who is that???” My oldest brother was always playing metal. He had the biggest cassette tape collection I have ever seen!! Yes, I said it; CASSETTE TAPE! Lol. When Slaughter played “Up all night,” that’s what got me up out of my seat. “Up all night…sleep all day,” what teenager didn’t live by that, especially in the summer when you had no school. All you had to do was sleep all day and party all night…yeah…memories….
After Slaughter, Great White was up, with a different singer. From what I understand their original singer (whose name is escaping right now and I don’t feel like looking it up) was sick and was unable to perform, so they had some guy fill in. He was good…but he was not the sound of Great White. I personally thought they should have went on before Slaughter.
After Great White, was Sebastian Bach, another one that I was waiting to see. I have to say, I can’t stand to hear Sebastian Bach speak. His speaking voice is so annoying to me…but his singing voice…he’s still got it! Ball grabbing vocals, the true sound of the 80’s! He played some of his solo songs, which I didn’t know, but he played mostly Skid Row songs, which I was all about! When they opened up with “Slave to the Grind,” EVERYONE in the arena stood up, and they had all been sitting down the entire day.
A couple of days before the M3 festival, Sebastian Bach actually got arrested for possession of weed. He made a statement during his show that it was much better than jail! Then he went on to say that he plays rock n’ roll…OF COURSE he smokes weed! He also made a cool statement about catching Bin Laden and said something to the effect of that’s what happens when you fuck with the US! He got many cheers. I will say, he knows how to get a crowd going! One thing that looked off, though, was his guitar player. He looks REALLY young, but he was good!
I think Sebastian Bach was my favorite on the main stage because I knew more of his songs than any of the other bands. He played all the hits, “18 and Life,” “I Remember you,” “Monkey Business (one of my personal favorites),” “Slave to the Grind,” and he ended with “Youth Gone Wild.” A great set!
Up next was Mr. Big. They put on a good show, but I never really got into them back in the day. Maybe it was just me, but Mr. Big seemed ALOT louder than the bands before them…I’m pretty sure that is what made me deaf for the next few days! After Mr. Big, was Tesla. I saw Tesla a couple of years ago at Rams Head in Baltimore and I couldn’t believe how good they still where. They acutally sold out that night. I watched 3 of their songs, but then I left to get a good spot at the side stage. Lita fuckin’ Ford was up next and that was the main reason I went to the show. I’ve never seen her live and she’s one of my all time favorites from back in the day.
So, I finally left the main stage and headed over to the side stage. There was a small crowd already but as it got closer for Lita to come on, it was packed! It seemed like it took them forever to get things set up…or maybe I was just really excited. It was here, that I saw the most disgusting thing! The whole day I had seen funny 80’s get ups and all kinds of characters. I noticed there was no fighting with anyone, no one getting kicked out. It was like a peace fest or something. In fact, the only thing that I had seen up to that point that was even some what “exciting” from the crowd was a girl a few seats in front of me, sitting in her seat with her head down. She must have been there for 2 hours before EMT’s came and took her out of there. She was drunk. She couldn’t have been worse than the guy in the Lita Ford crowd, though.
I was just standing there, minding my own business, waiting for LITA FUCKIN’ FORD, when I hear a guy from my left yelling, “Coming through…make way…” I look over to see a guy, escorting his buddy out of the crowd in front of the stage. I followed them with my eyes to try to figure out what was going on…BAD IDEA!! Just as I looked back at them, one last time, the dude puked…and I don’t mean…he puked…I mean…HE FUCKIN’ PUKED!! Just as he cleared the crowd, he starting blowing chunks…he made it to the trash can, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…as disgusting as it was, I couldn’t stop looking because it wasn’t human. The dude was puking BRIGHT ORANGE liquid…it was like something out of a movie…but that’s not the worst part…the worst part is HOW MUCH was flying out of his mouth. Imagine a 5 gallon bucket..filled with water…and imagine dumping the water out…all at once…imagine how much water would come out all at once…that’s exactly how this bright orange vomit was coming out of this dude’s mouth…it was CRAZY!!
Hey…sharing is caring!!! Anyway…Lita Ford FINALLY came on and the rain had picked up, but only a little, it was standable. For an older chic, she looked pretty good, from what I was seeing anyway.
Lita can still rock it out! One funny thing she said was, the tent that was over the stage was leaking and one of the stage guys kept wiping the water off the stage. Lita told him to stop wiping up the wet spots! You don’t clean up the wet spots! Lol…it made me laugh! When she played “Close my eyes forever,” the crowd got to participate by singing the Ozzy party and the Lita parts…it was someting to hear the ENTIRE crowd singing that song and watching Lita not sing it but listen to us sing it instead! That must be an awesome feeling, to be standing in front of so many people, singing your song, word for word, line by line…that’s power! She ended with “Kiss me deadly,” and I wanted so bad to get that song on video, but my memory card was full and I only got the first two lines before it was done. I think Lita Ford was my favorite for the entire day….I was soo happy to finally see her perform and I was, in no way, dissappointed!
Whitesnake was finishing up the show on the main stage, but to be honest, I could have cared less to see them, so I went on home after Lita Ford played. The second I walked in the door, the rain started POURING down…in case I forgot to mention it, it was an outisde show! So I left just in time to avoid getting wet! Being back home and laying in my bed, ears ringing, I was thinking about my life. Time sure does fly, and the older you get, the faster it goes….you gotta live your life…do what you want…before you know it..it’s gonna be over…alot of the bands kept saying it’s been 25 years since this song or that song…25 FUCKIN YEARS!! It seems like it was just yesterday…makes me wish I could go back to the 80’s and have another chance to live my life the way I wanted to…things would have been different…and as I drifted off to sleep that’s what I was thinking….if only I knew then what I know now….