I had only learned of Heaven's Edge when a friend (Decibel Geek photographer Brian Ronald) gave me the album to listen to a few weeks before as he knew that I would be seeing them here at M3. He said only, "you have to hear this album" and he was right! I was loving this 1990 debut Heaven's
|with friends waiting for Heaven's Edge|
|Heaven's Edge opening the "Festival Stage at 2014's M3-photo by The Meister|
|Mark Evans-photo by Meister|
|Keel performing at 2014's M3 Festival=photo by The Meister|
|Ron Keel-by The Meister|
|Ron Keel-by The Meister|
|John Corabi-by The Meister|
After meeting some Canadians at the end of Corabi's set and needing to dispose of the remnants of the refueling process that took place on the way to Corabi, I listened to Jack Russell's Great White's
|Jack Russell-by The Meister|
|Femme Fatale's Lorraine Lewis on the "Festival Stage" at M3-photo by The Meister|
|Nita Strauss-by The Meister|
|Courtney Cox-by Meister|
Arguably the most commercially successful Christian Rock band, Stryper, commanded the "Pavilion Stage" next starting off with "To Hell With The Devil". Being a big fan of their latest
|Michael Sweet-by Meister|
disrespectful given the messages in their music.
In the stands a few rows behind me I noticed a young lady with a lizard of some kind nestled on her shoulder. Turns out the little metal loving lizard made the trip from London, Ontario for the festival!
Back over the hill for Red Dragon Cartel, arriving a little late after meeting the lizard and coming in for "Deceived", the lead
|Jake E. Lee-photo by Meister|
I couldn't help wondering why and how my friend and fellow Decibel Geek writer Kate Campbell was not in attendance at M3 as the next band filled the stands of the Pavilion. I speak of none other than her "ultimate" favorite, Queensryche. This is the Todd LaTorre fronted version of the band and
|Autograph at M3 Festival-photo by The Meister|
|Steve Lynch-by Meister|
|Randy Rand-by Meister|
While it is extremely rare that I say anything overly negative about a band's performance or recording, I have to be completely honest with my comments on the next band. I was looking forward to the Sebastian Bach live set as it's something I'd not yet experienced. I'll never make that mistake again! Arriving during "Slave to the Grind" I was surprised to hear that the volume for this
|Sebastian Bach-by Meister|
I had had the chance to see Phil Lewis and L.A. Guns on a few occasions through the Monsters of Rock Cruises and thought them to be an excellent live band. Unfortunately on the 2013 Cruise guitarist Michael Grant had forgotten his passport and was denied embarkation, but the band
|Phil Lewis-photo by Meister|
Seeing Night Ranger on the initial MOR Cruise is what made me take notice of them, previously not taking to their more poppy and commercial sounds (albeit I'd only heard a couple of radio hits).
|Brad Gillis-photo by Meister|
I took this time to finally check out the VIP bar area that I had only briefly made my way into for beverage purchase until now. By doing this I was missing Slaughter, which did not upset me in the least after their shows in Toronto in early April. It is common knowledge that Mark Slaughter's voice is not what it used to be but that is not even my issue if he sings in a lower register. At a $40 ticket price tag they played only an hour long set of 6 songs all of which were drawn out with lengthy instrument solos in the middle that in most cases did not even fit with the songs, creating a horrible snoozefest!
|Jeff Keith-photo by Meister|
And there we have my first (but definitely not last) M3 Festival of events with great friends from around the world and the music that we love. Out of all 19 bands appearing at the festival I only missed two sets completely (Bad Seed Rising/Slaughter) and only one I didn't enjoy (Sebastian Bach). For me as I had expected and looked forward to Keel, Heaven's Edge, Femme Fatale and Autograph were the stand out faves for me, but every band seemed to just have that little more kick in their step at this event......and now it's off to Sweden Rock in June, stay tuned!
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