The Sixth Annual M3 Rock Festival starts next Friday, and the 2014 lineup is stronger than ever. Each year, the fine folks at the Merriweather Post Pavillion bring in some of the finest classic rock acts in the U.S This year’s festival includes some first time acts at M3 including Autograph, Heaven’s Edge, Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel, Femme Fatale, and John Corabi. (Corabi has been at M3 before with RATT, but never as a solo artist).
Friday Night’s headliner is Kix, and Saturday Night’s is Tesla. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Queensryche with Todd La Torre, or Jack Russell’s Great White, look no further. If you haven’t seen Extreme, Night Ranger or Stryper live, don’t miss this excellent opportunity to see them perform.
Overall, it is seventeen bands for a reasonable price, and tickets are STILL available. Don’t miss your chance to check out one of the coolest music festivals of the year.
Check out clips from Heaven’s Edge, Femme Fatale and Autograph below.
Heaven’s Edge – Skin to Skin
Femme Fatale – Falling In And Out of Love
Autograph – Turn up the Radio
Check out our Photo Gallery below from Slaughter’s performance at the M3 Rock Festival on Saturday, May 14th, 2011.
Slaughter made their third annual appearance to the M3 Rock Festival in 2011. Ok, so they technically played at three m3 Rock Festivals. Two thirds of Slaughter was Vince Neil’s backing band in 2010.
I have to admit that when I saw Slaughter at the first M3, I was pretty disappointed. Every band has its bad day, and I was hoping they would be better in 2011. Honestly, they weren’t better. Mark Slaughter’s voice wasn’t at it’s best, and that made for what I considered a somewhat lopsided performance. On the flipside, Zoltan Chaney is an absolute beast on the drums, and he is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, as is Dana Strum who always has his hair flying, and making crazy faces while playing. The band played the songs you would expect including “Spend My Life”, “Burning Bridges”, “Take Me Away”, “Wild Life”, “Up All Night”,and “Fly To the Angels”. At one point in the show, Mark Slaughter made his way into the stands while singing, which was much to the joy of many fans.
Overall, Slaughter attempted to bring it at M3, but I thought they fell a little short. I was somewhat disappointed in their set, but it was one of the few low points at M3, so who am I to complain. For another perspective on Slaughter’s set, check out Ryo’s opinion here.
You can view our Photo Gallery from Slaughter’s set at this link.
One performance that I was most looking forward to at this year’s M3 Music Festival was Slaughter. I’ve always been a huge fan of the band dating all the way back to Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum’s Vinnie Vincent Invasion days. I was the first kid on my block to own All Systems Go and I was one of the first to own Slaughter’s debut, Stick It To Ya.
I had not seen Slaughter in a live setting since 2000, so I was overly excited about their appearance. I even determined that I would skip Hurtsmile’s set so that I could enjoy every moment of Slaughter. There was even a part of me that desperately wanted to believe the band was going to slip in a performance of “Love Kills” from the aforementioned Vinnie Vincent Invasion days. I knew that was highly unlikely, but I was still hopeful.
When Slaughter took the stage, I was giddy as a school girl with a crush. I couldn’t wait to start singing along with the band and reliving the glory days of my youth. Then the music started. At first I could not recognize what song was being performed. I thought that the band needed a moment to adjust the soundboard. Then Mark Slaughter started to sing. It was all downhill from there.
Mark Slaughter had no voice. That was apparent from the very beginning of their set. And how did Slaughter try to make up for that fact? They raised the volume on their guitars to a level of distortion that destroyed their music. It wasn’t until the chorus when I realized that the opening song was “The Wild Life.”
I’m not saying that I expected Slaughter circa 2011 to sound like Slaughter circa 1990 or even Slaughter circa 2000, but at some point as a band you have to ask if you are delivering a product worth charging the public. Mark Slaughter looked heavy and had no voice. It’s not that he just couldn’t hit the high notes, he couldn’t hit any notes. He could barely be heard.
As a band, Slaughter owes it to their fans to determine if they are able to perform or not. I’m not sure how the band could give a performance like they did at M3 and honestly think that they are ready to go on the road (Slaughter will be doing select festivals and a couple of shows with Whitesnake this summer). Sometimes it’s best to examine your band and ask if you are truly able to continue on.
Every proud athlete and entertainer comes to this point in their career and they all want to labor on. Some even believe that they can. Then they get out onstage and are unable to produce. Unfortunately, that is the position Slaughter is in. While the music still sounded decent, it was far from great. And it was painfully obvious how Mark Slaughter was straining behind the microphone. Perhaps it’s time for the band to say goodbye and hang it up. Perhaps it’s best for the past to be left in the past and remembered for nostalgic purposes only.
I will still listen to my Slaughter (and Vinnie Vincent Invasion) albums with fondness, but I don’t think I could ever see the band live again. Their set was so disappointing, that I was almost upset with myself for sitting through the whole thing. I wanted to believe that it was going to change and that Mark’s voice was going to kick in strong at any moment. Perhaps he was saving it for “Fly To The Angels.” He wasn’t. Unfortunately, there was no voice left. This is something that Slaughter should consider and examine before they take the stage again later this year. Sometimes you have to hang it up and move on.
I must admit that I was pretty excited when I first read about the lineup for the M3 festival in Columbia, Maryland. Unlike Rock Gone Wild, and Rocklahoma, this is a one day festival, cram packed with more classic hard rock acts that you can handle in one day. There was several bands on this festival’s roster that I have not seen before, so it was a complete no-brainer. I made the trek to Columbia, MD Friday night. Sure it took roughly 8 hours each way by car, but it was well worth it, in my opinion.
The weather was perfect for the event. It was hot and sunny all day, and the crowd for M3 filled up the stands pretty quick.
Before most folks made into the festival, they were greeted by the heavy beats of Carmine Appice’s SLAMM. I only caught the tail end of their performance, but it seemed pretty cool for the most part. This wasn’t SLAMM’s scheduled set time, as they played later on in the festival. Their early performance helped to generate excitement amongst the large crowd filing into the venue.
The festival kicked off with former Guns N’ Roses and Kill for Thrills Guitarist, Gilby Clarke. Gilby’s set was short, but he fired off some of my favorite songs of his including “Tijiuana Jail“ and “Cure Me or Kill Me“. He even threw in “Be Yourself” from the Rockstar: Supernova CD. Imagine That! I never expected to hear a song from this CD again. I think Gilby handled it better than Lukas Rossi.
After Clarke’s set, I had to pick and choose which bands I wanted to see play live because several of the set times over lapped. I HATED this part of the festival. I genuinely like every band on the bill, and wanted the chance to see every band perform. This was not possible, so I had to sacrifice one band over another several times throughout the day. I don’t think this was fair to the bands, or to the fans who paid to see them.
The first choice was Y&T vs. XYZ. Y&T beat out XYZ in the battle of the alphabet bands,and rightly so. Y&T is celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2009, and I wasn’t budging from my seat. This band doesn’t know where Cincinnati, Ohio is on the map (they never play in my hometown), so I couldn’t wait to see them play. Dave Meniketti and company blasted out a rocking set of tunes that spanned over their vast career including, “Dirty Girl”, “Black Tiger”, “Mean Streak”, and “Summertime Girls”. My only complaint is that their set was too short. I would have loved to have heard some more Y&T songs. Some friends of mine were at the XYZ stage, and said XYZ put on a hell of a show as well. I guess you win some and you lose some. I enjoyed Y&T and I hope the rock gods will be kind enough to offer me another chance to see this band, when they can play a full show.
The next band dilemna after Y&T was Slaughter vs. Jetboy. I like Slaughter, but this was no competition for me at all. I immediately ran over to the second stage to check out Jetboy’s set. I got there early, and was front and center for the show.
Jetboy guitarist Billy Rowe was having some sound issues to start the show, but the crew got him fixed up pretty quickly. Jetboy rocked the crowd hard, and put on an extremely tight set of tunes. Out of all of the bands at M3, I would say Jetboy was in the top 2 as far as the performance they gave. These guys should have played on the main stage for sure. Mickey Finn’s vocals were great, and his bright green Mohawk made him one of the most photogenic rockers of the day. The whole band was on fire during this set. Fernie Rod and Billy Rowe’s playing was great. I didn’t know who to keep an eye on. Billy was blasting away on the slide guitar, and Fernie was adding in his awesome licks. Michael Butler is a pretty fun bass player to watch as well. This guy knows how to get a crowd going. New drummer Doug Hovan didn’t miss a beat. Those that hung out for Jetboy’s set got treated to some classic Jetboy tunes including “Feel The Shake”, and “Heavy Chevy”. They also a played a few new unreleased songs that were nothing short of A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!. I can’t wait to see what fans reactions are when they hear these songs. Prepare to be blown away!!
Next up on the main stage was Jani Lane and his new solo band featuring Kerri Kelli from Alice Cooper on Guitar. Jani’s set consisted primarily of Warrant tunes (no surprise there), and a brand new unreleased track. Jani’s voice sounded good, as did his band. Jani has always managed to attract some pretty good guitar players, and Kerri Kelli is definitely one of the better ones. I like Jani Lane and I wanted to stay for more songs, but he is coming to my hometown in a couple of months, and I will definitely be going to see him then. I hung out for 3 or 4 songs, and ran back to stage two for the Bulletboys.
Marq Torien might be the only original member left of the Bulletboys, but this band does not rock any less. I didn’t make it over for the start of their set, but I did catch three or four of their songs before I had to depart for my Jetboy interview. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to hear “Smooth Up In Ya”, but I will definitely catch the Bulletboys on their tour with Faster Pussycat later this year.
I met up with Fernie Rod and Billy Rowe, for a really cool sit down interview, which I will post at HRH later this week. By the time our interview was done, Dokken was finishing up their set. They sounded ok from where I was standing, and I was able to catch Jon Levin wailing away on those infamous George Lynch solos.
I quickly ran back up to stage two to catch Steel Panther perform. I didn’t expect much from these guys, but you know what…. I loved their set. Their songs are a really good hair metal parody, but they are so good at what they do, you can’t help but like them. I must admit that the only songs that I knew were “Death To All But Metal” and “Fat Girl”, but I liked all of the tunes they performed. I will certainly pick up their CD when it becomes available. I couldn’t stay for Steel Panther’s entire set either, as I didn’t want to miss one minute of Kix’s set. I ran back down the hill to stage one and got there right before Kix took the Stage.
The best performance of the day, easily goes to Kix. They were absolutely fantastic. Maryland obviously has a strong appreciation for their band, and rightfully so. Kix’s excellent set included the following songs (in no certain order): “Midnight Dynamite”, “Itch”, “Get It White It’s Hot”, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” , “Cold Blood”, “Blow My Fuse”, “Girl Money” and a bunch more. Singer Steve Whiteman is every bit as good as the day he started this band. Ronnie Younkins and Brian Forsythe have to be one of the most under appreciated guitar tandems in rock today. Kix’s set was so good, they could have closed this show, and everyone would have been happy. Luckily, there was plenty of rock left on this day. I ran back up the hill to stage two to catch L.A. Guns.
This L.A. Guns is the version with Phil Lewis, Steve Riley, Scotty Griffin and Stacey Blades. The same lineup has been together for quite a few years now and sound great. Stacey Blades might not be Tracii Guns, but he is a damn good guitarist, and does a great job on these classic L.A. Guns tunes. Phil Lewis made this rock fan feel old by mentioning that 2009 was the 20th anniversary of the Cocked & Loaded CD. Good Grief…has it been 20 years already? I enjoyed their short set.
Extreme’s set over lapped with L.A. Guns so I missed the beginning of their show. I really wanted to stay for the whole Extreme set too, but the end of their set overlapped with KEEL’s. From what I could tell, Gary Cherone sounded exactly the same, and Nuno Bettencourt was amazing as always. I enjoyed the few songs that I got to hear.
I quickly ran back up the hill (are you seeing a pattern here) to catch the start of KEEL’s set. Judging from what I could tell from KEEL, I should have stayed to watch Extreme. I don’t know what the deal was, but something was missing in KEEL’s performance. I think Ron Keel may have been having some sound issues as his voice did not seem very loud in a few songs. He was using a wireless microphone, and this could have been oen of the problems. I thought his voice was a lot smoother, and no where near as coarse as it was back in the 80’s. It was this coarseness that gave KEEL such a cool metal sound, and I didn’t hear it during their set. They played songs from all of their albums which was cool, but I kept feeling like this was a phone in perfomance. Some of the songs from the KEEL set list was (in no order): “Cherry Lane”, “The Right to Rock”, “Speed Demon”, “Because The Night” and a few more. I hope I get the chance to see KEEL again. I love their music, and they definitely deserve a second chance. I had high expectations for KEEL at M3, and the band didn’t meet them.
I headed back down the hill one final time for RATT & Twisted Sister. I wanted to see Carmine Appice’s SLAMM, but I was ready to see two full sets of music before I called it a day.
RATT was up next, and they did not disappoint me. Pearcy’s voice sounded pretty good for the most part, and Warren DeMartini was awesome. He has been one of my favorite guitarists for a long time, and he did not disappoint. My seat for the main stage event was on the far right hand side of the stage, and the sight line wasn’t the greatest. I immediately realised that the rhythm guitarist was not Carlos Cavazo, but appeared to be John Corabi. His hair was a little different since the last time I saw him, and I almost didn’t recognize him. The one thing I have noticed the last couple of times that I have seen RATT is that Corabi kind of stands off to the side and lets the rest of the band do their thing. I don’t know if there is bad blood there, or what the deal is. Corabi is a terrific musician and singer, but I wonder how happy he is in RATT. Aside from that, I enjoyed RATT’s set. Their set list included: “Lay It Down”, “You’re In Love”, “Back For More”, “Wanted Man” and much to my surprise and enjoyment, “Nobody Rides For Free’ (From the Point Break Movie soundtrack).
Twisted Sister took the stage around 9:30, and immediately was experiencing sound issues. JJ French did not have any sound to start the show, and it took quite a while for the Twisted Sister crew to get him fixed up. After the inital snafu’s at the beginning of their set. Twister Sister kicked some major ass to close out the M3 festival. This was my first experience seeing Twisted Sister and a couple of things surprised me. These guys talk a lot during their shows. Dee Snider was pretty funny, but did he really need to continue to advertise his House of Hair Radio show during Twisted Sister’s set? Was JJ French’s rant about American Idol really necessary? Twisted Sister needs to play more and talk less during their shows, in my opinion. Aside from too much talking, I loved Twisted Sister. Their set was high energy, hair flinging fun, and the band really does try to put on the best show possible. Their set list included the following songs: “Under the Blade”, ‘Horror-teria”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “Burn in Hell”, “The Price”, and I Wanna Rock”. Twisted Sister’s set was a great ending to an amazing day at Merriweather Post Pavillion. I hope they make this an annual event. If they do, I will be back!!
Today is the 11th Anniversary of the death of Slaughter guitarist, Tim Kelly.
The following is from the Slaughter website:
On February 5, 1998 while compiling tracks for this very recording, we recieved the most difficult and disturbing phone call of our lives. An Arizona highway patrol trooper, much to our disbelief, confirmed that Tim Kelly had passed away as a result of a tragic auto/truck accident in Bagdad, AZ. That day we lost a family member, guitar player and best friend.
“The things that we’ve gone through together over the last almost ten years created a bond between the four of us that is beyond description. Tim Kelly has forever changed my life. He was and always will be a part of me, and his spirit will remain with me forever.”….BlasElias
Life is and will always not be the same, without “Tim Kelly.” It still seems like a bad dream, I wish I could wake up and it be back to the way things were….Tim was a true “Rock Star”, Tim lived for the moment and will be part of us no matter where he is”….Dana Strum “
Tim was always concerned about others. he was a very compassionate man and was the guy who always put a smile on your face. Tim ,You”ll always be on my mind, I think I’ve learned a lesson on how fragile life is, Savor every moment…Spread your wings, and Fly to the angels in Eternal Life…..God Bless you my friend” ….Mark Slaughter
We want to make sure that Tim Kelly, who dedicated his life to making goodtime, upbeat music will not to be forgotten. Everyone from fellow musicians to industry professionals, CNN, MTV, local and national news and his fans paritcipated in paying homage to this music man. There is no question that Tim Kelly is and always will be a very missed man.
Today is the last day for early bird ticket prices $99 for general admission.
After today the price for general admissions jumps to $125. Rock the Bayou will take place August 29th – September 1st in Houston, Texas
The following bands are now on the bill for Rock the Bayou:
Bud Light Stage Bands:
Black ‘N Blue
Pretty Boy Floyd
There are also two additional stages with local and national bands;
Check out RocktheBayou.com for more information.
This CD was produced by Slaughter’s Dana Strum. Not surprisingly, the band sounds like Slaughter, and at times a little like Guns ‘N Roses.
Steven Shareaux is a good singer, and has a sound that is somewhat unique. The band is quite solid as well.
No Rules is a CD that was a little better than some of the other offerings by many of the hard rock bands in the early 90’s. This CD, like many, was released to late in the game, and crashed and burned when Nirvana hit the music scene. The band hung around and released an EP in 1992 but then broke up and has not been heard from since.
Some of the stand out cuts on this disc are You’re So Strange, Trash City, Velvet Crush and the cover of the Paul Simon classic Mrs. Robinson.
Fans of 80’s hard rock are going to love No Rules! You can get low cost used copies of this CD at Amazon.com. Go grab one before they are all gone! You can hear more songs at Kik Tracee’s myspace page here.
Enjoy the video for You’re So Strange!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Don’t Need Rules
2. Mrs. Robinson
3. You’re So Strange
4. Trash City
5. Hard Time
6. Big Western Sky
7. Generation Express
8. Soul Shaker
9. Tangerine Man
11. Velvet Crush
12. Rattlesnake Eyes
13. Romeo Blues
14. Fade Dunaway
Kik Tracee is:
Stephen Shareaux – Lead Vocals
Rob Grad – Bass Guitar and Background vocals
Michael Marquis – Lead and Acoustic Guitar and Background vocals
Gregory Hex – Rhythm and Slide Guitars and Background Vocals
Johnny Douglas- Drums, Percussion and Background Vocals
With the change in the music scene, Chrysalis Records didn’t want to release this disc. Slaughter eventually signed with CMC and released this disc on the new label. Sadly, after a double platinum and gold album, Slaughter found little success with Fear No Evil.
Amazingly, this is the hardest output by Slaughter, and one of the better releases of the band’s career. Lack of airplay, and a release that was in the middle of the Grunge era of rock, left Fear No Evil as one of the better unknown releases by the band. The heaviness of the tunes reminds of a Dana Strum and Marc Slaughter’s sound while they were in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Tim Kelly’s (R.I.P.) guitar playing on this disc is superb. He cuts loose more on this disc than on any other Slaughter release.
The highlights on this disc are Live Like There’s No Tomorrow, Get Used To It, Searchin’, Let the Good Times Roll, and Outta My Head.
Live Like There’s No Tomorrow
Let The Good Times Roll
Hopefully, when Slaughter takes the stage at the Rocklahoma Music Festival they will play some cuts off of Fear No Evil, but since these songs are the least known of the Slaughter tunes out there, I doubt you will hear any of these. You will at least get a double dose of guitarist Jeff Blando, and Dana Strum, as they are currently playing in Vince Neil’s band too!
If you are a fan of Slaughter, you need to pick up Fear No Evil. You won’t be disappointed.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Live Like There’s No Tomorrow
2. Get Used To It
4. It’ll Be Alright
5. Let The Good Times Roll
6. Breakdown ‘N’ Cry
7. Hard Times
8. Divine Order
9. Yesterday’s Gone
11. Outta My Head
12. Unknown Destination