internet searching for my answers. Why M3 is a wonderous little two day concert in Baltimore Maryland with some of my all time favorite and bucket list bands having appeared there over the past years. At the urging of some of my cruise friends who also attend M3 I threw caution to the wind and made the call to go. The morning that tickets went on sale I secured myself a single "best available" VIP ticket. My confirmation, emailed to me, showed what row and seat I was in. Hold on.....row and seat numbers?...isn't this a festival?? I was a little surprised and maybe weirded out by the seating at first but it all worked out very well once I was there. The second stage was general admission (as I would expect based on my previous festival experiences) and the main stage was similar to, for those of you here in Toronto, The Molson Ampitheatre only on a little smaller scale. This meant that I could get to the second (Festival) stage early for the chosen band I wanted to see and didn't have to leave the set early to rush for a close pole position on the main (Pavilion) stage which was nice. The second stage is situated over the hill at the back of the uncovered general admission lawn section.
DAY #1-Thursday April 24, 2014
My first M3 event was the pre-party on the Thursday night at Sonoma's Bar & Grill presented by D-Toxin Productions. Awesome local Toronto band Diemonds played this event last year and it's too bad that they weren't on the bill again, but Black Tora were listed and something that I was highly anticipating. I'm not sure where or how I ended up with the 2009 Black Tora album Rise of the Tora way up here north of Toronto, but it is a revered particle of my vast music library. Rounding out the five bands on the itinerary for the evening were Saints of Rebellion, Nasty Habit, Wicked and Station. Saints of Rebellion I had seen at the Rockerz Gone Wild Pool Party II in Miami a few days before the Monsters of Rock Cruise, the rest I was unfamiliar with. The bar was smaller than I had expected, to put it perspective again for those from Toronto, smaller than Rockpile West. There was some merch for the bands set along the back wall next to the guy (Dave's Metal Magic Records) who was selling used CD's at a price of 5 for $20....better take a look see at his stock! Unfortunately my camera was not working and so I'm left with no photos for this occasion aside from a couple that were sent to me by friends.
Saints of Rebellion were great at the Rockerz Gone Wild Pool Party II and were again here although from the section of the bar that I was in, off to the right side, the sound was a little muffled and dull as we were sort of hidden around a corner. The sound was much better as you moved in front of the stage more in line with the PA speakers. Never the less they were enjoyable and I look forward to some recorded material from them.
Wicked graced the stage next from New York, New York. All sporting bleach blonde hair and a hugely glammy look, very Motley Crue somehow, they were also very good and had me hooked by the third and fourth song. Wicked's sound was a little more my traditional style as compared to the more modern sound of Saints of Rebellion and I hope there's some of Wicked's recorded material out there for purchase.
The main event for me was on deck and I deserted my friends and our table in favor of a spot directly in front of the stage for Black Tora's set. Earlier while dropping my purchased CD's (thanks Dave!) in my friend's car I noticed a band unloading equipment from a van in the parking lot that possessed Texas license plates. Turns out that Black Tora DROVE to the gig here! Over 2000 miles, now that's dedication! They played "Never Enough", "Wild Child", "Stealing
|Artwork for Black Tora's new album|
|Geno Arce with The Meister and some cruise friends|
Nasty Habit took the stage and sounded good also possessing an 80's style. The drummer was sporting a Black Tora shirt which I though was rather cool and he was putting on a bit of a show, standing on his drums cheering on the crowd. Not to be outdone the vocalist spent some time in the crowd and on top of the bar at the back during one song. Definitely another band to search out and keep an eye on once I return home, but right now with my energy suddenly awash, I had trouble focusing on their full set and thought that I should have bailed with the rest of the gang.
Trying to push through I lasted about two songs into Station's set before I threw in the towel and had to grab a cab back to the hotel, calling it a night. All in all a very successful event presented by D-Toxin Productions (D-Toxin Website)
DAY #2-Friday April 25, 2014
Just what I was looking forward to seeing for the afternoon of the big event...torrential downpours of rain!! After a morning spent on breakfast and lounging at the hotel it was off to Red Lobster for dinner before heading over to the park for the evenings festivities. The schedule released a few days prior to departure showed the events getting under way at 5:10pm with Bad Seed Rising, a
Winger took stage while I became more and more drenched in the line and I could view them on the large television screen high on the side of the pavilion's roof while I continued to get waterlogged shuffling closer and closer to my goal. After being unable to catch a complete Winger set aboard the Monsters of Rock Cruise it seemed that I still wouldn't fully enjoy their live experience as I listened
|Winger-photo by The Meister|
Lita Ford was our next performer, opening with a cover of Elton John's "The Bitch is Back". Some sound issues hampered the song as although Lita was obviously singing the lyrics no sound emanated from the speakers. Quickly rectified a few moments into the song, the show kept rolling forward with "Hungry" and "Relentless" before Lita announced that she had a surprise coming up for us and launched into "Gotta Let Go". I didn't think that was much of a surprise as she had also
|Lita Ford, Cherie Currie & Mitch Perry-photo by The Meister|
Spotting a cruise friend, of which there are many here, I joined him and his wife in their box not far away from my stadium seat. I'm rather surprised at just how many people I know here at M3 and it's nice to see that I belong in this community. We enjoyed some beverages and caught up a little waiting for Extreme. I was looking forward to this set as I was a huge Extreme fan when they first issued the debut followed by Pornograffitti, but don't have much time for their subsequent efforts. I first became introduced to Extreme through the film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure when I purchased the soundtrack containing "Play With Me". Opening with "Decadence Dance"
|Extreme-photo by The Meister|
|Brian Forsythe of KIX-photo by The Meister|
|Making friends with Steve Whiteman on the screen behind us|
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