M3 ROCK FESTIVAL – DAY 2
ADLERS APPETITE – AUTOGRAPH – DANGER DANGER – FIREHO– USE – KINGDOM COME – STEVE RILEY’S L.A. GUNS – TORA TORA – WARRANT – WHITESNAKE
Merriweather Post Pavilion
May 4, 2019
Photos & Review by Frank Piercy
Thousands had already flocked to the Merriweather Post Pavilion for the start of M3 and even more would arrive on this day, day 2. The day started earlier with the gates opening at 11am and the first band hitting the stage at noon, much to the chagrin of those that drank just a little to much at the brand new M3 Official After Party at the Sheraton. The morning’s opening band was Tora Tora.
TORA TORA Photo Gallery
Hailing from Memphis Tennessee, singer Anthony Corder, guitarist Keith Douglas, bassist Patrick Francis and drummer John Patterson brought their brand of bluesy rock to Columbia Maryland. Unfortunately it was a small four song set that had the, still sleepy and hung over crowd singing along to “Guilty” and “Walking Shoes”. And finishing off their set with “Revolution Day” and “Rose of Jericho”. A solid set by a band that has a new album out Bastards of Beale. It was a great start to the day and to make it even better, the sun was out.
Next on the bill was a band that I was supposed to cover on Thursday night before this. Due to the last minute nature of my whole weekend down here at M3 I had to back out of it. Fortunately, Autograph was on the schedule for this and the second band on this afternoon. As I think about it now, as much as I love seeing these guys in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den, nothing can compare to shooting them in the daylight. The downside is a short, seven song set that day. The set kicked off with “Deep End” and culminating with the one song that everybody knows, “Turn Up The Radio”. They do throw in other songs, like my favorite “Get Off Your Ass” from their latest album and Loud n Clear. Other songs on the setlist were, “You Are Us, We Are You”, “All I’m Gonna Take” and another favorite “Send Her To Me”. Steve Lynch does get his guitar solo, right before another new song, “Every Generation”. Listening to Simon Daniels sing and watching him on stage with Randy Rand, Mark Wieland and Steve and you can see how much of a cohesive group they have become since getting back together only five years ago.
AUTOGRAPH Photo Gallery
The crowd was slowly growing as the afternoon wore on and people were finally getting enough energy to make it to the Merriweather. A lot of people were looking forward to seeing the next band on the line up, I know I was. Kingdom Come was another mid 80’s band that I had never seen live before and with this current line up being practically the original line up, only with vocalist Keith St. John not being an original member. Kingdom Come is Danny Stag and Rick Steier on guitars, Johnny “JB” Frank on bass and James Kottak on drums. All together at the same time for the first time since about 1989. The crowd was excited for their short five song set. Keith whirled and skipped and jumped around the stage while singing “Perfect ‘O’”, “Living Out of Touch”, “Do You Like It”, “Highway 6” and of course the one song everyone sang along to….. “Get It On”.
KINGDOM COME Photo Gallery
As the stage spun around, you could feel the energy start to grow from the anticipation of the next act. Danger Danger with another popular frontman, Ted Poley. Originally hailing from Queens NY, these guys brought to the stage a very heartfelt energy filled set. With Steve Brown (Trixter) on guitar, Bruno Ravel on Bass and Steve West on Drums they proceeded to show why they should have a longer set, starting out with “Rock America”, “Beat the Bullet” and “Under the Gun”. Ted and Steve Brown were all over the stage, with songs “Monkey Business”, “Don’t Walk Away” and “Don’t Blame It On Love”. Their set closed out with their set of MTV classics from back in the day, with “Naughty Naughty” and “Bang Bang”. Its been what 30 years now since these videos first came out. Ted and the boys are still all over that stage like they were 20 years old still. Rock lives on!
DANGER DANGER Photo Gallery
Now for the moment of this review that I had not been not looking forward to. A bit of controversary (okay a bit of an understatement) was started prior to the event, when it was announced L.A. Guns was on the line up. Much to the surprise of Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns. Apparently Steve Riley was given some money to put together his version of L.A. Guns. I wont go into any more on that, personally I feel that Phil is THE voice of L.A. Guns and Tracii is THE sound of L.A. Guns. I will say this though, I was expecting a train wreck of a set from former L.A. Guns members Steve Riley (drums), Kelly Nickles (Bass) and Scotty Griffin (guitar). I know I was not expecting much from Kurt Frohlich on vocals and guitar. I was surprised at how tight they sounded. They played a ten song set made up of songs mostly from the first three L.A. Guns albums. I was surprised to hear “Wild Obsession” while I was chatting with a young lady who caught my eye when I saw her singing along.
STEVE RILEY’S L A GUNS Photo Gallery
The next band up, is a band that was put together by the former drummer of one of Hollywood’s biggest bands from the 80’s. Adler’s Appetite was started by former Guns n’ Roses drummer Steven Adler and he had chosen some great musicians to work with. Ariel Kamin, a fantastic vocalist from Argentina that sounds just as good as Axl did in the 80s, guitarists Michael Thomas and Alistair James with bassist Tanya O Callaghan. The smiling Adler led M3 thru what was basically a GnR sing along…. Just wish I could remember more than “Paradise City”and “Welcome to the Jungle”, but the kid Ari did fantastic!
ADLER’s APPETITE Photo Gallery
Firehouse was coming to the stage next, another band from the 80’s that is still pretty much all the original members. Such a rare thing these days. The sole exception being the bassist, Perry Richardson, the original bassist is now in Stryper, another band that has retained ¾ of its line up over the last 35 years or so. One of my favorite bands to see live, always full of energy, always looking happy, always sounding good they took to the stage for an hour long set that was comprised of 11 songs, from “Overnight Sensation”, “Crash” and “Shake & Tumble”. To their most popular songs like “Love of a Lifetime”, “Reach for the Sky” and “Don’t Treat Me Bad”. The Firehouse set was another one that was sung along to almost word for word by everyone.
FIREHO– USE Photo Gallery
I remember the first time I saw the next band that was about to perform on this revolving stage, they were opening for Motley Crue at the Hartford Civic Center back around 1989. On this day thy were now on their “Dirty Thirty Tour” and the first band of the evening with more then an hour long set. Warrant!
Robert Mason came bounding onto the stage to the sound of Erik Turner and Joey Allen’s guitars and a drum beat that was throbbing, he started into “32 Pennies”. Next into another fan favorite, “Down Boys”. Robert isn’t Jani Lane, but his energy and voice make up for it so very much. Bringing out a lot of the first two albums that day, the down boys played through classics like, “Big Talk”, “Sometimes She Cries”, “Heaven”, “D.R.F.S.R” and “I Saw Red”. There were many more and a couple of tunes from the album Louder Harder Faster, like the title track and also “Only Broken Heart”. A few more songs were played but the crowd was waiting for the last two songs, “Uncle Toms Cabin” and of course, “Cherry Pie”. I wonder how many different versions of that song from this evening are now uploaded to YouTube.
WARRANT Photo Gallery
Next up was a performance that I was most looking forward. Whitesnake was about to take the stage.
By that time, the sun had settled down for the day and it now night. Having progressed through a day of great music all in one place. The venue was jammed with people by that time and the noise was overwhelming. There I was, standing there waiting for the legend that is David Coverdale to grace us with his presence on stage.
Whitesanake gave no reason to be disappointed. David Coverdale and the Whitesnake crew played out the first of the three songs that I was allowed to shoot, “Bad Boys” and one of my favorites, that couldn’t help but to stand there and start singing to, “Slide It In”. And the next song “Gonna Be Alright”. It has been a few years since I had seen Whitesnake. Maybe 15 or so since a show I went to at The Oakdale Theater and although the lineup is a little bit different, Joel Hoekstra and Reb Beach on guitars certainly know how to entertain. The bass department is handled by Michael Devin and of course the great Tommy Aldridge on drums. And on keyboard, the talented Michele Luppi.
While my excitement started to die down, I was able to gather myself and listen and sing along to the next few songs, “Love Ain’t No Stranger”, “Hey You (You Make Me Rock)” and another favorite of mine, “Slow and Easy”. I remember actually having that on cassette back in like 85′. Yes I am old… Then came, “Trouble Is Your Middle Name”, “Shut Up and Kiss Me”, and then the classic MTV songs started making their appearances, with “Is this Love”, “Give Me All Your Love” and THE BEST EVER music video ever played….”Here I Go Again”, which closed out the set list. Or did it?
The guitar intro and drums at the start of “Still Of The Night” took so many back into the 80’s. Then it was over. Until you got back to the hotel and then went to the afterparty. I know I did. Vixen and Autograph were playing small sets and I was not going to miss those.