Vie’s Verses – Reflections on M3 2012 – Part Two: The Lows
As there always is with any festival the size of M3, the low points come alongside of the high points. And while they were few and far in between, there were some unfortunate lows at the 2012 M3 Music Festival.
While Friday night’s show went off without a hitch, the same cannot be said for the Saturday show. Great White was supposed to kick off at 12:10PM shortly after the opening acts of Let There Be Rock and Drum Wars. At 12:30PM I was nestled in my seat, still waiting for the band to come onstage and still wondering what was happening. By 12:50PM, Great White finally took the stage.
I do not know what caused the delay. I do not know if it was the band, the festival producers, or some other unforeseen force, but what I do know is that the late start time cost some acts their stage time. Great White was supposed to play for 45 minutes and they got reduced to 35. If that wasn’t bad enough, Stryper had to do their sound check in front of the live audience, and their set was cut to 30 minutes. They didn’t even get to perform Honestly, or Always There For You, which pissed me off. Again, I don’t know who to direct my anger at, but at the end of Stryper’s set I was extremely aggravated. They had just given a brilliant performance and they weren’t even allowed to do a final song. What the hell is up with that?
One word describes Dokken’s set—terrible. Don sounded awful, and while the fill in band members he assembled were decent, they lacked the cohesiveness of the original band. Hearing Dokken butcher his own songs was hard to sit through. In fact, Rob Rockitt decided he’d had enough about halfway through the set and left to get pictures of the next band. I muddled my way to the end, but was sorry I did. The fans in attendance seemed to love it, but between Dokken’s awful vocals, his jab at George Lynch, and his endless desire to pretend that it was 1987 again, I couldn’t stomach the set. Don, if you want to live in the past, then pull out your vinyl albums and stay at home.
I know that I am in the minority with my opinion here. I know that the fans were ecstatic to see Stephen Pearcy back in Ratt. I know that the M3 crowd went berserk when Ratt took the stage, but to me, they had absolutely no right to headline M3. I know that Cinderella was supposed to headline and had to bow out due to injury, so M3 had to put someone in that slot. However, after seeing Queensryche and Ratt, it’s obvious that Queensryche should have headlined.
Ratt was terrible. Yes, Juan Croucier was back for this show and Stephen Pearcy was at the helm, but it couldn’t save their abysmal performance. Look, I am a huge Ratt fan, have been since 1984, but I’m also honest. Stephen Pearcy cannot sing anymore. His vocals at M3 reminded me so much of Slaughter’s performance last year, that I was just happy when the set was over. As terrible as that sounds, it’s true.
For the first three songs, Pearcy couldn’t even be heard, because their soundboard technician was not very good at his job. Once his microphone situation was fixed, it was easy to tell that he was straining to sing. His voice has lost any power that it had, and he sounded like a cover of his former self. The guitars were way too loud and drowned out the rest of the music. Bobby Blotzer’s drums could barely be heard. Overall, their performance was disappointing at best, but to me it was just horrendous. Judging by the fans response, no one else felt this way, so maybe I was just expecting too much, or I wasn’t drunk enough, but the next time Ratt is on the road with Stephen Pearcy, count me out.
GEOFF TATE’S MICROPHONE INCIDENT
As I mentioned, Queensryche performance was brilliant. However, there was one moment during their set that I found a little disturbing. During one of their first three songs (perhaps it was I Don’t Believe In Love) Geoff Tate decided that it would be all right to throw the microphone stand.
Sometimes this is rock star cool, like when guitars get smashed. Unfortunately, in this instance, Tate decided to throw the stand as hard as he could at the photographers in the pit. What was up with that? I found it strange and even though to myself “I hope no one got hit with that.” I was also hoping it was done as a performance enhancement. Apparently, that was not the case.
I later found out that the stand did hit one of the photographers, and that there have been instances with Tate and photographers in the past. I guess some rock stars just think it’s cool to hate on photographers. It’s one thing to hate the Paparazzi, but to direct anger toward professional photographers that are there to give your band press coverage is just kind of stupid.
Don’t miss out tomorrow when I talk about all The Pleasant Surprises.
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