The Meister’s 2015 M3 Experience: Day #2-The Morning of Saturday May 2, 2015 At Merriweather Post Pavilion
We rose quite early considering the events of last night and hit the Sheraton breakfast buffet as fuel for the long day ahead. The intent was to arrive quite early at The Merriweather Post Pavilion today as one of the main events for us was to be The KiLLeR DWaRfS set slated to kick off the day at 11:30am. Yes, we can see The DWaRfS at home regularly but they simply kick ass are genuinely great, humble dudes and I’m proud to say are also friends of mine. Again, as I mentioned yesterday, the complete crime of having them and a few other bands only planned for a half hour set time was staring us in the face, many other groups did not fare all that much better with a 40 minute time slot as the day moves on. Surely we could have scratched Bad Seed Rising (no offense, I’ve never even seen you) or shifted them to a third side local stage along with yesterday’s Korupt and then moved one band to Friday and cut down KIX to allow a longer set for everyone. In any case, we were set to rock all day long and as we got into the elevator to the lobby at the Sheraton we quickly held the door for another passenger. Russ DWaRf, toting two guitar cases stepped in, quipping “nice shirt” upon seeing Olivier‘s KiLLeR DWaRfS tee. “Good band” Olivier returned. The bell signified that the lift had arrived at its destination of the hotel lobby as Russ responded “I hear the singer is really good-looking”. Classic DWaRf humor and a great way to start the day.
We arrived and were basically right on the barrier, as the guys were arranging their gear on stage. I noticed right away a huge faux pas by M3 this year in that this side stage set up in the wooded area at the base of a hill was a much smaller arrangement than last year and even worse was not very high off the ground. This would provide much difficulty in gaining decent sightlines at other sets throughout the day if crowds gather as we travel back and forth between here and the seated pavilion. A short soundcheck soon followed consisting of one song after which Russ said “Thank you, goodnight” to the crowd, he only needed to slam the mike down on the stage to complete the joke! As Canada’s KiLLeR DWaRfS waited side stage for their cue to start, a few fans were slipping CD covers through the chain link fence for the boys, who are always happy to sign. Jack Russell was even lurking side stage, I assume a DWaRf fan! The DWaRfS took the stage by storm holding nothing back at this early hour and doing all of Canada proud as the lone reps at this event. They took charge immediately with the rampaging “Comin’ Through” from the Dirty Weapons album. With this short set, there was no time wasted and Russ was already falling to the stage floor as if his marionette strings had been cleanly sliced through, something that usually waits until at least the second song. Russ‘ humorous between-song monologs were kept to a minimum with the too short stage time and “Hard Luck Town” was followed by “Doesn’t Matter”. Not knowing what kind of a following my friends had here, I was surprised, shocked and overwhelmed with joy and pride when I looked behind me to see that the general admission area of the side stage was completely full of people all the way up the hill as far as the eye could see! The DWaRfS had just created an impossibly huge turnout, fucking awesome guys! “Stand Tall (Stick To Your Guns)” saw Russ engage in his usual crowd surfing bit, but it escalated as he was hoisted up to stand on the fans’ hands, truly “Standing Tall” sir! My video of this song including Russ‘ antics is presented at the bottom of this page. The iconic DWaRf tricycle took a beating during “Keep The Spirit Alive” as Russ flung it hard on the floor of the stage several times while fragments and shards flew into the air. Earlier there had been some discussion behind me about “the original trike” and at this destruction I said “and that’s how I know it’s not the original trike!” Two young ladies in front of us overheard me and responded with “The original is in the Hard Rock Cafe Hall of Fame in Toronto.” My response of “I know I was there for the ceremony” brought surprised reactions from the ladies who are also from Toronto and apparently attend many of the same shows as us including the trike induction, yet we’ve never met before! M3 Festival making connections! (DWaRf crowd photo taken from KiLLeR DWaRfS Facebook page…..If you want to play “Where’s Meister?”, there may be prizes involved!)
Holy crap what a total tone setter to this second day of M3 2015 and definitely a hard act to follow! Another favorite band of mine, Rhino Bucket, was starting right now on the pavilion stage. Crap! What to do, what to do? Last year I would have been on my way over there right now, probably arriving late and missing the first, maybe two songs. But to do that this year would mean relinquishing my great spot on the barrier for Tyketto set to appear on this side stage in half an hour. Not a problem last year as the stage set up was far, far superior and afforded “possible for short guys visibility” from a distance, this year not so much. Plus Rhino Bucket started the exact minute that KiLLeR DWaRfS ended! With them only doing a half hour show, by the time I get over to the pavilion I’ll maybe get only 4 Rhino Bucket songs. Later in the day the time between stages and sets increases to 5 minutes, still not enough time to move back and forth and as soon as that one band gets a little behind and off track, the 5 minutes will surely vanish. Poor planning M3! As I stated before, drop a band or two, extend set times and in between travel times for 2016, please!
Tyketto‘s half an hour began at 12:35pm and they did their best to give KiLLeR DWaRfS a run for their money! Danny Vaughn certainly has a powerful voice, strong and clear and I just can’t get enough of this band’s live performances. They moved fairly quickly through their set list including “Lay Your Body Down”, “Rescue Me” and “Burning Down Inside” which began with Danny taking a quick audience poll. “How many here have been waiting a goodly while to see Tyketto live?”, “How many have never seen Tyketto?” and “How many wandered over here going who the fuck is Tyketto?” were the three questions posed. “Dig In Deep” and “Wings” were the next selections in the altogether way too short set. Maybe I should make some travel arrangements for a fly in date to try and catch a full headline set, since I’m not confident on seeing them in Toronto any time soon, although that would totally rock! Vaughn also took a moment to inform the crowd that Tyketto was in the works of a brand new album! Where do I send my money? Their biggest and most well-known track, “Forever Young” of course signified the end of another Tyketto concert masterpiece. Trust me, if the opportunity presents itself make sure you see Tyketto perform, at the very least check out the Decibel Geek YouTube Channel for some MORC and M3 Tyketto concert performance videos, with more on the way.
Rushing from the festival stage over to the pavilion we had a 5-minute window until the start of Vixen. Thank God we have our seats here so that vantage points here are not too much of a worry. However, I felt the need to stop for a pee and then also for a fresh overpriced adult beverage along the way, causing us to be late. We came in during the opening number, “Rev It Up”, and next up was “How Much Love”, which I caught on video also appearing soon on Decibel Geek YouTube. The ladies had been granted an extra 10 minutes in set times over DWaRfS/Tyketto so they were able to squeeze in a nine song show. But they could have even fit in another with the omission of the “crowd repeat after me as I sing lines from other famous songs” fiasco that came with “I Want You To Rock Me”. “Love Is A Killer” saw vocalist Janet Gardner speak briefly of founding guitarist Jan Kuehnemund who was tragically taken from us in late 2013. These ladies definitely rock live, something that blew me away the first time I saw them in 2013 as JSRG at the MORC pre-party and they have consistently impressed in 6 subsequent concerts! “Cruisin'”, “Cryin'”, “Streets In Paradise” and “Love Made Me” all filled out the playlist. The closer would, of course, be their signature hit “Edge Of A Broken Heart”, another victim of my video prowess. Looking forward to my next Vixen experience which appears to be MORC 2016 West Coast.
Black ‘n’ Blue was the next festival stage band. I’ve seen Black ‘n’ Blue several times of late (Firefest Festival UK, MORC 2015) so I opted to pass by the merchandise booth to peruse the selections, grab a beer and also some chow instead of catching their set. Let’s face it, I should have hunkered over there, but honestly I just couldn’t face seeing only the top of Jamie St. James flowing blond hair float around the stage. Damn, I hate this stage compared to last year. If I hadn’t been here before it probably wouldn’t have bothered me at all to be honest. Black ‘n’ Blue do totally rock and I’m sure that they delighted the crowd.
Returning a little late to the pavilion for L.A. Guns after checking out the backstage area, chatting briefly with Darrell DWaRf and thoroughly enjoying VIPanini for lunch they were already well into “No Mercy”. L.A. Guns sounded really good, perhaps the best I’ve seen them of late even, which has been several times in recent years. I do miss seeing guitarist and fellow Canuck Stacey Blades in the outfit but Michael Grant is phenomenal as well and they ripped through classics such as “Showdown (Riot On Sunset)”, “Sex Action”, “Never Enough”, “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Over The Edge” next. L.A. Guns then broke out a real treat with a deep cut off the 2002 Waking The Dead album, “Hellraiser’s Ball”. “Electric Gypsy”, “The Ballad Of Jayne” and “Rip And Tear” wrapped up another great show.
Even though I was now under the shade of the pavilion roof the sun caught earlier in the day was taking its toll on me. Amazing how much a little while under the scorching rays can sap your energy a few hours later. Ok, well maybe in part due to the early part of the day morning beers and even a little recouping from last night’s debauchery. In any case, I had to sleep and what better time to take a nap than during Bang Tango on the festival stage. I stayed in my pavilion seat and took an awesome and refreshing nap…….sunglasses on, maybe no-one noticed an old man enjoying a little siesta!
Watch for Meister’s M3 2015: Part #3 (Saturday Evening) – The Final 2015 Installment coming soon!