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Witnessed

The M3 Festival: 2011-05-14

08/07/11  ||  InquisitorGeneralis

Tour poster
What: The M3 Festival
Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion; Columbia, Maryland
When: May 14th, 2011

Those of us who live in the Baltimore/Washington D.C metro area are blessed with many things; easy access to our nation’s capital and rich history, abundant federal jobs and money (even as the rest of the nation slides down the crapper), and an almost guaranteed stop for every major concert tour. On top of all that, we have two high-profile metal festivals that are exclusive the this area alone. First, the mighty Maryland Deathfest which takes place in Baltimore proper and is one of the world’s premier extreme metal concerts. Second, and a distant fucking second, is the M3 Festival which celebrates all things related to 80’s hair, glam, and sleeze metal. I got me some free passes to this year’s two-event, held at the legendary Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia Md, right smack in the middle between B-more and D.C., but only decided to go on main-event Saturday. Be forewarned, what was supposed to be a review about the bands (who mostly sucked) quickly degenerated into a commentary on the 20,000+ crowd who gave me one of the most enjoyable people watching experiences of my sad and pathetic life. It was truly amazing to see thousands and thousands of people who actually relish the glory days of bands like Faster Pussycat and Mister Big. You might think that our skyrocketing debt, plummeting dollar, and 10% unemployment might be clear indicators of the decline of the world’s most powerful nation. This review eclipses all of those as a prophesy of America’s forthcoming doom…

the crowd
Unbelievably, there were THIS MANY people at the M3 Festival!

Mrs. Generalis and I arrived around 4:30 so we could see the one band she cared about (Mr. Big) play the one song she cared about, “To be with you”. I was more excite from some of the bigger names later and in the bill and wanted to spend more time in the parking lot drinking malt liquor, but as you fellas out there know, you gotta keep those women happy, so Mr. Big here we came. Mrs. Generalis was worried that they would play “To be with you” first and miss it. I explained to her that since Mr. Big were a craptastic one-hit wonder, if they did that the entire festival would take one long, extended piss break for the rest of their set. Just call me Nostradamus, because I called that one. We had to suffer through 45 minutes of cheese-filled wankery before the big payoff at the end. The ladyfriend was happy, but my mind was missing the 44 ounces of St. Ides Special Brew that I had planned to imbibe. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Oh, and in case you couldn’t tell, Mr. Big sucks big balls and should be avoided at all costs.

The Jerkymobile
That’s right folks, it’s hair metal beef jerky! God blesh the USA!

Next up, we ventured to the side stage for veteran Los Angeles sleezeballs Faster Pussycat. There was an impressive crowd gathered to the see the Pussies, which was difficult on the very low-sitting stage. I recognized “Bathroom wall” and “Poison ivy”. Faster Pussycat seemed to rock a bit harder than most other hair acts, and they were moderately enjoyable. The lead singer looked like an anti-drug add though. He could pass for Marilyn Manson’s older, fatter, less-successful brother. Either way, I was mildly surprised by these posters for Heroin addiction.

Next up was Mr. Vh1 himself, Sebastian Bach. Much to my total and complete surprised, Bach was good. Would I ever go see SeBITCHIAN rehash the old Skid Row hits alone? Fuck no, but compared to most of the other bands the M3 Fest had to offer, Bach was like Freddy Fucken Mercury up there. His backing band was decent and provided a little extra zip in the form of some double bass drumming (true rarity amongst fruity hair metal) and some genuine showmanship. Bach came out of the gates with “Youth gone wild” which made all the 50 year-old broads in the crowd cream their granny-panties and go wild themselves. Obviously, the crowd was much more into the Skid Mark Row tunes than Bach’s solo stuff, although he did play one decent song called “American metalhead” or something like that. Sebastian the Crab finished with “Ill remember you”, “18 and life”, and “Monkey business”. He knows where his bread is buttered.

Fatty
This was the hottest chick at the show!

After this, me and the ladyfriend faced an almost unanswerable dilemma, Tesla or Lita Ford? I felt like Indiana Jones standing before the ancient knight in “The Last Crusade”. I actually like a few Tesla songs, but was also motivated to see how hot Lita Ford (if hot at all) was looking these days. Fortunately, Tesla started on the main stage a few minutes before Ford so we caught the beginning of their penultimate headlining set. A friend described me that Tesla’s sound is “cowboy metal”…whatever the fuck that means. Either way, when Tesla enters a groove similar to early (and good) Ratt, I enjoy them. It was good to hear “Signs”, a song I have always liked. Sadly, we didn’t get “Comin’ at you live” which is the only Tesla song that I think is turly kick-ass. After Tesla finished, we moved over to the side stage to see Lita Ford.

Done and done
This is what happens when you have sex with David Coverdale!

For being half of a century old, Lita Ford is looking pretty foxy these. Not as good as back in ’88 when she was licking blocks of ice while sporting some ass-riding spandex, but still foxy. More impressively, she is a capable lead guitarist and came out swinging with a band of clearly hired guns (goons) behind her. Lita saved “Kiss me deadly” and whatever other moderately popular songs she has for the end of the set. After Lita, we moved back to the pavilion for the festivals final group of reanimated corpses, Whitesnake. Whitesnake sucked a big, fat, old, saggy cock. Their new album is fucking awful, Coverdale looks like an extra from “The Walking Dead”, and the rest of the band are a bunch of oiled-up nobodies. Me and the missus left three songs into Whitesnake’s (how could someone let them) headlining set. I heard “Still of the night”, which was enough. Plus, it started to rain. Sorry WhiteSUCK, you are not worth catching a cold over. I am sure “Is this love” and “Here I go again” were played at the end. No tears were shit over missing those two pathetic crooners.

The ultimate haircut
Oh yeah baby, the ULTIMATE haircut!

Overall, this celebration of all things 80’s was enjoyable because it was free. I would not have spent a single cent of my hard earned clams on this crap. Still, I got to laugh at thousands of doughy 80’s wannabe-rockers reliving their (not so) glory days and rehashed the songs they lost their virginity to in the back of a 83 Firebird. As far as the tunes go, this show was a 5 at very fucken best. However, the entertainment factor due to the hilarious crowd and zombie-fruit like appearance of many of the bands (I’m looking at you Coverdale) makes the overall score somewhere closer to a 7. To close this out, I figured the following image is required…

Fuck Hair metal

Couldn’t have said it better myself! Until next time…