May 4, 2013

M3 Rock Fest 2013 (day #2) - MPP

By Bob Suehs


May 4, 2013 (Day #2)

Columbia, MD

Merriweather Post Pavilion

The night before Day #2 of the M3 Rock Fest I caught the Limp Bizkit concert at Rams Head Live and I’ll admit I partied a little too hard because I didn’t get in bed till after 5 AM & woke up around 1 PM so needless to say I missed a small chunk of the M3 show.....I arrived in time to catch the tail end of the band formerly known as Vixen and they sounded good from a distance. The first act I caught this day was actually Jack Russell’s Great White and Jack’s voice sounded great but his band was not as tight as they were when I saw them in a small club a few months prior. The guitar solos were sloppy and probably the highlight of the set was “Save Your Love” because the crowd sang along with Jack and it was the shining moment in the bands short set!

Loudness took the main stage shortly after Great White finished up and Loudness were kinda bland in all honesty. The bands set started off with an instrumental song that came off more like a line check than an actual song...most people up front were unsure if their set had actually started because it was an anti climactic start and for some reason they played their biggest/only hit 3rd in the set...the rest of what they did was just whatever and really not worth talking about.

Kings X played on the 2nd stage next and Kings X blew Loudness away with a set that was pure rock n roll power...the guitar sounded vibrant, Dug’s bass was strong with his vocals raspy....Kings X had it all and I still don’t know how they could lump Kings X in with the hair metal genre but somehow they did!

Steel Panther took the main stage following Kings X’s set on the 2nd stage & to be quite honest with you Steel Panther were probably the best band of the day.... they owned the show as far as I’m concerned!

Yes, the Steel Panther comedy routine is always the same BUT they do it so well and they parody all that is/was hair metal so well that they were the band you had to see on this day!

Firehouse were on the 2nd stage after Steel Panther’s set and they actually started early for some reason....Firehouse were onstage before Steel Panther even finished up and that caused them to finish their set early which left a 30 minute gap between the end of Firehouse’s set & the start of Twisted Sister’s set.

I caught the first 2 songs from Firehouse & walked away afterwards because Firehouse were never a personal favorite of mine and they were just a little bland.

Eddie Trunk introduced Twisted Sister to the stage & he commented that Bret Michael’s was the nights closer...when Eddie made that comment the crowd literally began to boo & it was clear that Bret was not the fan favorite on this night!

Twisted Sister took control of the main stage and they had a large curtain that covered the stage so you couldn’t see their set was anti climactic when the band came out with no costumes or make-up on... it was Twisted Sister just getting on stage & playing. J.J. French didn’t wear his wig and no one really dressed up other than Dee. Twisted Sister played an hour long set that started off with “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” and interestingly enough Eddie’s guitar had problems during the first song much like it did the last time the band played M3. If you listened close you could hear Eddie’s guitar cutting in & out for the first song but the problem was corrected quickly.

Twisted Sister set list:

You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll, Shoot ‘em Down, Stay Hungry, I Believe in Rock N Roll, Kids Are Back, We’re Not Gonna Take It, The Price, Burn In Hell, I Wanna Rock

When the band started “We’re Not Gonna Take It” Dee’s vocals didn’t start in exactly on time because Dee was talking a bit before the song started & when the crowd began to sing the first lines of the song Dee joked, “Hey, I don’t need help singing my own song, I’m not Vince Neil!” He quickly said it was just a joke but the crowd knew what he meant!

The nights headliner for the 2nd stage was Jackyl and I was surprised to see the band had so many people standing there in the cold to see them play...I say “in the cold” because once the sun set the temperature also dropped and it went from warm to cold rather fast! Jesse took the stage with a tinge of hillbilly pride while the rest of the band came off part redneck/part rock n roll. Jackyl played a solid set and the tragic part of their show was during the “Lumberjack Song” because they went over curfew and the venue cut the lights during the entire last song! Jackyl literally played the entire last song in the dark & the last few notes they just aborted because it was a mess & Jesse seemed pissed off with the lights being cut.

Bret Michael’s headlining set on the main stage was the shows big finale and onstage Bret had 6 large photo’s of himself which covered the amps up. The backing band he has now is more like a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute act than an 80’s glam band...there’s 2 guitarists, 2 back up singer, a keyboard player, drummer & bass player not to mention Bret plays guitar occasionally & a roadie played acoustic guitar for “What I Got”.

Before Bret took the stage an announcer came on the PA to inform the crowd that Bret had a new TV show debuting & he told the time/date/channel so everyone knew when to watch it & Bret even commented about his new show onstage as well as talking about his new “Jammin’ with Friends” CD he has coming out soon.

“Talk Dirty To Me” was the set opener which was followed by “Look What The Cat Dragged In”...I’ll be honest here & say that the versions Bret did on this night lacked the flash & power that the original versions have....C.C. Deville IS as much a part of those songs as Bret is and without C.C. there it was lacking in energy.

All the Poison standards were played (Every Rose, Something To Believe In, Unskinny Bop, Nothin’ But a Good Time, etc) & a cover of “Sweet Home Alabama” was tossed in as well....overall it was the same set list he’s been playing for a while now and after “Fallen Angel” Eddie Trunk brought Bret back out to finish the set with “Nothin’ But a Good Time”.

It was kinda funny to watch the crowd during Bret’s set because more than 1/2 of the crowd left and if you walked to the back of the venue you could see tons of empty seats which were filled when Twisted Sister played.....the bulk of the crowd didn’t seem to care for Bret that much.

All in all it was a fun day and the weather was perfect!

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