Vie’s Verses – Reflections on M3 2012 – Part One: The Highs
Another M3 Festival has come and gone leaving behind only the memories. 2012 was once again a great year for the M3 festival, and although Saturday’s portion of the show had a few hiccups and missed cues, overall, the festival was fantastic. A fun filled day of hard rocking, hair metal music, after a fun filled night of the same. As usual both days of the festival flew by and before I knew it, I was on my way home with a music hangover.
As with any major music production, there were plenty of highs, a few lows, and some pleasant surprises. Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail, shall we? Welcome to this very special 3-part edition of Vie’s Verses.
Let’s start with the good stuff. There were a lot of great things to see at the 2012 M3 Festival, but one of the most immediately noticeable was all of the beautiful women. It’s great to know that hair metal still has women who love the music and look terrific. It’s also great to know that there are younger women who love hair metal and look terrific! Now granted, I am a happily married man, but if I wasn’t, the M3 festival is where I would go to find the next love of my life. These beauties were absolutely stunning! As Steve Whiteman said from the stage, “There are no ugly women here!” Well stated, Steve.
For the second year in a row, KIX headlined night one (dubbed the Kix-Off Party) and once again produced an amazing performance. I am always in awe of the energy that Steve Whiteman and Kix bring to the stage each time they perform live. This latest performance was no exception. Whiteman and company brought the goods in both the songs they played and the energy they performed them with. Classic Kix hits were all done to perfection, including surprises like “Lie Like A Rug.” And while Whiteman stated that Night Ranger should have headlined the show, there is no replacement for Kix. They were the true headliners of the evening.
One of the best performances at this year’s M3 was also one of the shortest (see Part Two: The Lows). Stryper came on during the early part of Saturday and after having to do a quick live sound check, they kick-started their 6-song performance with passion. Reach Out, Free, Calling On You, To Hell With The Devil, Soldiers Under Command, and Sing-Along Song were all performed during the condensed set. Each song was performed note perfect and Michael Sweet still has the range to hit all of the notes on every song. And while I would have loved to hear him sing Honestly (to truly test his range), the M3 guffaw to start the Saturday show prevented that from happening. All in all though, Stryper was the best performance of day two. I hope that they return next year as headliners.
Wow! Geoff Tate not only looks great, but the man can still sing too! Queensryche absolutely blew me away during their performance. I had never been a huge Queensryche fan, I only own two albums and one of them is Hear In The Now Frontier, so I did not know a lot of the songs they performed. However, that didn’t matter. Their performance was so mesmerizing and intense, that I was mystified by all of the songs. And while I may not run out and buy their entire back catalog, if Queensryche were to schedule a future show near me, I would certainly have to check it out. Having never seen Queensryche before, my first experience was a grand one.
Once again, Warrant with Robert Mason made me a believer and renewed my membership in the Warrant fan club. This is the best that Warrant has sounded since Cherry Pie. Warrant not only performed all of their massive hits, they also took the time to play new material from their latest release, Rockaholic. The new songs sounded as fantastic as the classic material and if you’re a Warrant fan, I hope that you have a copy of Rockaholic. If not, you need to purchase it. Robert Mason looked as buff and beautiful as ever and his voice and energy has not shortened one bit. The rest of the band seemed rejuvenated by Mason’s lead and they all brought the energy of the early 90s with them. By watching Warrant perform, you would have sworn they were headlining a huge arena, not serving as a middle act for the M3 Festival. In a perfect world, Warrant would be one of the top bands on next year’s bill, perhaps co-headlining with Stryper. Hmmmm, maybe these two bands should get together for a summer tour? I know that I would go see that.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for part two…The Lows.
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