I knew when I saw the announcement for the lineup at M3 in 2014, it was going to be an awesome show. As Friday night, and the first half of Saturday had already proved at M3, this was the Festival show to be at this year.
One of the acts that I was most anxious to see at M3 was Red Dragon Cartel. This return of Jake E. Lee to the big stage is something that I could not miss, and judging from the capacity crowd at the second stage, Jake E. Lee’s fans were in full force. Red Dragon Cartel did a great selection of tunes including music from Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands and of course Red Dragon Cartel. Darren Lewis did a fine job on vocals, and Jake E. Lee was freakin’ amazing, just as I had expected. As great as Red Dragon Cartel was, the evening was only going to get better from there.
Next up on the main stage was Queensryche. This was Queensryche with Todd La Torre on vocals in case you were wondering which version. I have not seen Todd LaTorre with Queensryche before, but I recall Queensryche’s last appearance at M3. It was obvious there was tension in the band at the time, and it ended up being one of the band’s last shows with their former singer Geoff Tate. With that being said, this was a different Queensryche than the one I saw previously, and I gotta say, I was impressed as hell. Queensryche was on fire at M3. They came out with all guns blazing, and Mr. LaTorre was absolutely incredible. As soon as I heard the opening riffs of “Nightrider” I was hooked. I haven’t heard Queensryche do this song in years. I was also super excited to hear “Queen of the Reich”. Man…oh Man, Queensryche practically stole the show, and I am pretty sure Todd LaTorre made about 10,000 new believers at the M3 Rock Festival. They were fantastic! A couple of days after M3, it was announced that Geoff Tate will and Queensryche have come to an agreement, and that Tate will no longer use the Queensryche name. This is good news, and I look forward to supporting both Queensryche and Geoff Tate in the future.
Our day was super packed, and I am sad to say that I missed Autograph. This was due to a conflicting schedule for an interview that we had lined up with Brad Gillis and Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger. (coming to HRH soon).
Next band up was Sebastian Bach and his solo band. As much as I love Sebastian, his performance at M3 this year was not my favorite. He kept going on and on about how his new album was # 1 on iTunes, and while I think that is great, and a hell of a hard accomplishment for any hard rock / musician from the 80’s, it came across kind of douchey. Sebastian seemed upset that folks still want to hear Skid Row songs, and while he did them and sound great, it kind of set the mood for his show. He was good, but he could have been so much better. He was amazing at the 2012 M3.
L.A. Guns was up next on the second stage. Aside from Kix, L.A. Guns has probably played more M3 Rock Festival’s than any other band, and always enjoy their shows. This year the band has a new guitarist, former Endeverafter frontman and guitarist Michael Grant. I have been fortunate enough to see Michael play with his former band, and I already knew that he is one bad ass dude. Grant does a great job as the band’s latest Axe slinger, and of course Phil Lewis and company were great. I can’t understand why they were on the second stage, but I digress.
I am embarrassed to say that the first time I saw Night Ranger live was at the 2012 M3 Rock Festival. Since then, I have made up for lost time and have seen them play live several times. The reason why I have gone, and will continue to go to Night Ranger concerts is that the band puts on an incredible live show. Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra really tear it up on stage, and are a blast to watch play. Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy still deliver some of the best rock vocals on the planet. Night Ranger’s set was far too short, but their condensed set was damn impressive, and I thought they were easily the best band of the day. The joy of music always comes out on the faces of Night Ranger. They always seem to enjoy playing as much as I do hearing and seeing them. Night Ranger also debuted their new song “High Road”, and I gotta say the new song is pretty good. I look forward to hearing the rest of the new album soon.
I didn’t make it over the hill again for Slaughter as the sky had opened up and turned what was an awesome weather day, into a rather soggy evening. I chose to protect my gear from the rain, and hung near the main stage for Tesla.
Tesla has been one of my favorite bands for a long time, and it has been a couple of years since I have seen them play (ironically Night Ranger opened up for them then too!) Night Ranger is always a tough act to follow in my opinion, but Tesla lived up to the challenge. Not only did Tesla debut a new song “MP3” off of their soon to be released album Simplicity, they also played killer set of tunes that covered the majority of their discography. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t hear “Song and Emotion” (one of my personal favorites) or Cumin’ Atcha Live, but it was still a great show. The Merriweather Post Pavilion was jam packed to one of the biggest crowds that I have ever seen for M3, and Tesla kept them all standing. This was a true testament to one great band.
Of all of the M3 Rock Festival’s I have been to, this one was by far my favorite. It was a great time with my good friend Ryo Vie, packed with awesome music and memories that I will never forget. I am already counting the days until M3 Rock Festival # 7 in 2015. I don’t know how they will top this lineup next year, but I have a feeling the next M3 Rock Festival is going to be even better!
Jake E. Lee’s triumphant return to the hard rock world has been a blessing to many hard rock fans’ ears. Jake E. Lee’s new band Red Dragon Cartel, has been playing a bunch of club shows across the U.S. and recently performed on the Monsters of Rock cruise. Next Saturday night, Red Dragon Cartel will be taking the stage at the M3 Rock Festival.
This hard rock fan couldn’t be more excited to hear Jake E. Lee perform, and his appearance at M3 may be my most anticipated moment of this awesome two day festival in Columbia, MD.
Check out the clips “Deceived” and “Shout It Out” below.
Tickets for the M3 Rock Festival are STILL available. Get your tickets at this link!
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
When Eddie Trunk brought Jake E. Lee on That Metal Show in 2013, I couldn’t have been more excited. Mr. Lee has been noticeably absent from the hard rock world for a few years, and I greatly missed him. When Jake mentioned his new band Red Dragon Cartel, I was ecstatic that Jake was returning to make new music. I have longed to hear him play in a band since the last Badlands CD Dusk from ’98.
Well Red Dragon Cartel is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier. The new music is great, and has me super excited to see the band live later in 2014.
The opening track “Deceiver” is an awesome stadium anthem that easily states that JAKE E. LEE IS BACK! The riffs on this song sound like they could have easily been off of the Ozzy Osbourne Ultimate Sin album. I can’t get enough of this song.
The song “Shout It Out” has more of a modern flair to it, but it a good song, and one of my favorites on the album.
“Feeder” features Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander on vocals, and as always Zander does a terrific job. This guy could sing names out of the phone book and make it sound good. Jake E. Lee’s riffs are pretty awesome too. Something about the intro on this song reminds me of the opening music on the animated series Batman Beyond, but it is very cool.
“Fall From The Sky (Seagull)” is a slower tune that has a cool alternative vibe too it. I really dig this track. It sounds great loud too!
If there is one weak track on the Red Dragon Cartel album, It is “Wasted”. While I like Paul Di’Anno, I don’t think his voice has aged well, and this song to me would have been better with Darren Smith on vocals. I like the music, but the vocals kill it for me.
“Slave” is another cool rocker with some killer riffs from Jake E. Lee. This hard driving tune really gets your blood pumping.
I am sure some folks were shocked when they heard “Big Mouth” with Maria Brink on vocals. This is unlike anything Jake E. Lee has ever done. It is a modern hard rocker, which isn’t too far off from what In This Moment plays. I like In This Moment and Maria Brink so I have really been enjoying this tune. I am hoping In This Moment will play this live at some point.
The song “War Machine” is doom-laden Black Sabbath like metal opus that gets better every time I listen to it. What a cool tune!
I was surprised to find that Jake E. Lee locked in Sass Jordan to sing a song on the album. I love Sass Jordan, especially on her recent release S.U.N. – Something Unto Nothing. She is a powerful bluesy singer. She does a killer job on “Redeem Me”.
“Exquisite Tenderness” is the first song that Jake E. Lee ever wrote. This is a piano based instrumental that shows that Mr. Lee has a great musical talent beyond his guitar (but please don’t give up that six string Jake!).
If you buy the special Best Buy Edition of the Red Dragon Cartel CD, you will get a bonus track “American Dream”. Is it worth it? I think so. This is a cool rocker that should not be missed.
Overall, I have been enjoying Red Dragon Cartel. It has easily been my favorite hard rock CD of 2014 so far. Some of my peers have not been so kind to Red Dragon Cartel singer Darren Smith, but I will go on record that I like his voice a lot. He reminds of a cross between John Corabi and Rod Jackson. I like both of those singers and I like Darren too. I can’t wait to hear him sing these songs live.
Red Dragon Cartel’s debut is a solid album all the way through, and most importantly it brings Jake E. Lee back to the limelight, and live stages all across the world. Welcome back Jake! I am glad you and Red Dragon Cartel are here!
02. Shout It Out
03. Feeder (Robin Zander)
04. Fall From The Sky (Seagull)
05. Wasted (Paul Di’Anno)
07. Big Mouth (Maria Brink)
08. War Machine
09. Redeem Me
10. Exquisite Tenderness
11. American Dream (Bonus Track)
Red Dragon Cartel is:
Jake E. Lee – Guitars
Ronnie Mancuso – Bass
D.J Smith – Vocals
Jonas Fairley – Drums
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist, Jake E. Lee is pleased to announce June 2014 UK tour dates for his new band Red Dragon Cartel. The UK tour follows Red Dragon Cartel’s critically acclaimed, eponymous debut album, released by Frontiers Records on January 27th.
The UK tour includes London’s O2 Academy Islington (June 6), Nottingham Rescue Rooms (June 7), Wolverhampton Slade Rooms (June 8), Glasgow Classic Grand (June 10) and Newcastle O2 Academy 2 (June 11). Special guests on all UK dates include Syron Vanes and Jupiter Falls.
As previously announced, Red Dragon Cartel will also play Download Festival on Sunday June 15th.
A special 24 hour ticket pre-sale for the Red Dragon Cartel UK tour dates will kick off on Planet Rock from 9am on Thursday January 30th. Tickets will then go on sale to the general public on Friday January 31st via www.seetickets.com or directly from the venues.
The band’s new single “Deceived” will be released in the UK on Monday February 10th.
Get a FREE DOWNLOAD of the track “Feeder” from Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel!! Just head to the Noise Trade website to grab a copy: http://www.noisetrade.com/reddragoncartel/feeder “Feeder” features Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander on vocals.
New Album by Band Comprised of Former Ozzy Osbourne/Badlands Guitar Legend Jake E. Lee, Bassist Ronnie Mancuso, Vocalist D.J. Smith and Drummer Jonas Fairley Set for Release in January
The newest band ready to take aim at the creative void in the hard rock world, Red Dragon Cartel, are set to release their debut album via Frontiers Records. The self-titled debut by the band made up of guitar legend Jake E. Lee, bassist Ronnie Mancuso, singer D.J. Smith and drummer Jonas Fairley is set for release on January 24th in Europe and January 28th in North America.
Jake E. Lee is best known for his work in Badlands and as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums. Red Dragon Cartel also features various guest appearances from some of music’s most notable faces including legendary Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Kill Devil Hill/Pantera bassist Rex Brown, Slash’s Conspirators Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz and In This Moment front woman Maria Brink. The album was produced by Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee and was executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch).
From the opening riff of “Deceived” to final sustained piano chord of “Exquisite Tenderness,” it is clear Red Dragon Cartel has created an album that stands amongst some of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Infectious songs such as “Shout It Out,” “Wasted” and “Slave” showcase the band’s ability to write memorable hooks and vocal melodies. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick lends his voice to the track “Feeder” and a lyric video for the song can be seen below.
Maria Brink of In This Moment lends her unique vocals to the track “Big Mouth.” Paul Di’Anno and Sass Jordan also lend their talents to the band’s debut. Jake E. Lee’s trademark playing style instantly shines through and picks up right where he left off. The album is available for pre-order on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/1aYjMng or digitally on iTunes at http://smarturl.it/reddragoncartel that comes with an instant download of “Deceived.”
The track listing for Red Dragon Cartel is:
2. Shout It Out
3. Feeder with Robin Zander
4. Fall From The Sky (Seagull)
5. Wasted with Paul Di’Anno
7. Big Mouth with Maria Brink
8. War Machine
9. Redeem Me with Sass Jordan
10. Exquisite Tenderness
The band will be bringing these new powerhouse songs on the road playing a handful of dates in the US before embarking on a full tour in 2014. Tickets are currently on-sale and all information can be found on the band’s website.
December 12th – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go
December 14th – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater (Support of Queensryche)
December 15th – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
December 20th – Las Vegas, NV – Count’s Vamp’d
Red Dragon Cartel – Official Website: http://reddragoncartel.com
Official Facebook: www.facebook.com/reddragoncartel
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/reddragoncartel