The Ninth Annual M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
Now in its ninth year, M3 brought out not only the ’80s glam and metal bands it’s known for, but a first time appearance by North of the Border rockers Loverboy as well as Saturday’s headliner, the newly reformed RATT.
Friday started with a special acoustic performance by Lita Ford. Lita also spent her time as an MC on Saturday along with Eddie Trunk who was on hand for the entire weekend. Station followed right after Lita’s short set. Baton Rouge and Dangerous Toys were next up. Faster Pussycat then took the stage for its set without singer Taime Downe who was hospitalized with pneumonia. Drummer Chad Stewart and bassist Danny Nordahl sang a few songs to begin the show. Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys), Share Ross (Vixen) and Ted Poley (Danger Danger) all stepped in and helped the band finish out their set. Winger was next on with one of the best performances of the entire weekend. Loverboy then followed with a string of MTV era hits. Local Maryland favorites KIX finished the night off with their brand of good old fashioned hard drivin’ rock and roll.
A new, permanent second stage, The Chrysalis was added in the Symphony Woods area. It’s also meant to be used not only during music festivals, but also community and cultural arts events. The bands performing on the new stage included 1 Nite Stand, Korupt, Junkyard, Vain, Bang Tango, Vixen and Dokken. Junkyard put in a masterful performance highlighted by original guitarist Brian Baker sitting in on their song “Hollywood” to end their set.
The Pavilion stage was filled with a full day of musical mayhem featuring classic acts Rhino Bucket, Mitch Malloy, Autograph, Danger Danger, Jack Russell’s Great White, Warrant, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer and RATT. The return of RATT to M3 brought back their classic lineup of Stephen Pearcy, Juan Croucier and Warren DeMartini. Joining them were guitarist Carlos Cavazo and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso. They were the most anticipated band of the day and did not disappoint.
All the bands performing on both days gave the crowd what they came for a great time hearing the music that most of us grew listening to.
A two day music festival filled with some of the ’80s Best Rock Bands, M3 Festival has become the cornerstone for the scene that will never die.
In 2018 the M3 Festival will be celebrating its Tenth Anniversary, so look out for some great things to be happening.
A collection of photos can be found here:
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All Images © Joe Schaeffer Photography