Last year I was introduced to a new addiction thanks to some friends made through my years on the Monsters of Rock Cruise. Why, of course, it’s another music festival! With the Monsters of Rock Cruise (MORC) and Sweden Rock Festival already in the cards and Firefest UK planned for later in the year I was somehow able to squeeze in (cash flow and workwise) my first M3 Festival in Maryland in 2014. The M3 Festival began in 2009 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland on Saturday May 30 and spent 2009 and 2010 as a single day event until spreading its wings to include Friday night and the addition of more acts on the bill. All of the festival dates took place in May save 2010’s in June and it seems to have settled in the earlier parts of May (first and second weeks of May for the last three events). There’s even a separately hosted pre-party event presented by D-Toxin Productions on Thursday night to get the mayhem kicked off just right. What does M3 officially stand for? I don’t really know (or much care even…lol). I’ve seen reports of Metal/Mayhem/May (but one was in June) or Metal/Mayhem/Merriweather or even Mostly/Middle-aged/Men, all of which are true, but I think I’ll go with Meister’s/Metal/Mayhem!
Several months ago a friend and I (who works at a competing website and had attended last year’s event with me) began to speculate on the actual date for the 2015 M3 and we made a reservation at the Sheraton Hotel months in advance. The Sheraton is the closest hotel to Merriwether Post Pavilion, where all bands stay and we were able to secure a room for not too much more than the mortgage deeds to both of our houses! This year we wanted to be where the action is, now let’s hope we guessed the date correctly! We became members of the Facebook group M3 Rockers somewhere along the way. The group is obviously based around the festival but contains lots of discussion surrounding this style of music. In fact, it’s the most active, fun and informative group on Facebook (aside from the Decibel Geek page of course). There are also several M3 performers past and present that are active members of the group! I participated in a segment they offer on Mondays called “Meet Your Members” in which one member introduces themselves via a questionnaire. I’ve attached my questionnaire and answers at the bottom of this ramble for anyone wanting to “Meet The Meister”! The Facebook group is open to anyone to join (upon Admin approval) so check it out through the link at the bottom of the page and let ’em know The Meister from Decibel Geek sent ya!
As usually happens it seems a couple of the bands “accidentally” leaked their planned performances at the festival on various internet pages, creating some excited buzz over the social media platforms and for both of us as well. Then with the “official lineup announcement” slated for unveiling on Monday January 5, 2015 an incredible amount of heightened speculations and buzz ensued when the full event roster was leaked to various websites a couple of days before. With a confirmation arriving finally from M3, the leak was verified. Some have (excitedly) said it is an awesome lineup. Some have (bitterly even) trashed the roster. For me personally, I feel that it is a very strong collection of artists, all the bands (well almost all) are awesome performers. Unfortunately, however, I’ve seen all, but two of them before. And not only seen them before but in many cases multiple times, several of which will occur again aboard MORC the very week before this 2015 event! There’s always some who don’t like the choice of performers at a festival such as this and, realistically, I can list an easy ten bands that I would have rather seen make the cut. But, I say to the complainers (of which there are far too many in this world in all facets of society)……don’t go if you aren’t thinking that the roster warrants the costs! Yes, it’s expensive for me to attend M3, with the flights and hotels and so forth but I’m going to have a great time with friends old and new (any time not at work is a definite plus, no?), meet new awesome people (many from the M3 Rockers group that I’ve only talked to on Facebook), drink a lot of sub-standard beer (well you can’t deny that Canada’s beer is better!) and see and hear (again) some of the heroes from my youth with some of the songs that I grew up with. Hell, six of these bands even appear in my tattoo!
Tickets are released for sale on Friday, January, 9, 2015 and we’ll both be ready at our respective computers at the ring of the bell so to speak!
Personally, I can’t wait for M3 how about you? Hope to meet you there! If you see this idiot running around the festival (see the photo to the right) say “Hi” and feel free buy him a beer!
My reviews of 2014’s M3:
M3 Rockerz “Meet Your Members” 12/15
#1-Where are you from? (Who are you/ Where do you come from? What do you wanna do with your life?)
“I Wanna Rock”!!! I’m Rich (also known as “The Meister”) from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, a smaller town about an hour north of Toronto. I’m 41 years old, single and work in the restaurant business (for more than 20 years now). I was born in Newmarket and have lived in Toronto and the surrounding area all my life. I’m a rocker through and through and music always, plays inside my head, often causing strange outbursts of singing (co-workers have basically learned to ignore me!) I do not play any instruments but do own a bass that, dammit, one day I’ll finally get around to learning! Previously when an ex-girlfriend repeatedly told me that I was tone deaf, I didn’t listen (just like a typical man, right?) and refused to believe her as I sang away to favourite songs. I recently found her to be absolutely 100% correct as someone recorded me singing……I apologise to anyone in earshot at M3 as not only that, but I often drunkenly monotone hum the parts of a song where I don’t know the words. I have a full sleeve tattoo depicting a guitar case “stickered” with the logos of about 30 bands that have meant something to me throughout my life. I travel as much as possible, taking at least four rock trips a year (MORC, my first M3, Sweden Rock Festival and Firefest UK were last year’s adventures). I’m a writer for The Decibel Geek website and have co-hosted the Decibel Geek podcast on several occasions. So, as you can see, I really do wanna rock!
#2-What was your first concert?
My first concert was a “chaperoned by a friend’s dad” John Cougar Mellencamp event that I don’t really count due to the chaperoning. My first real, “trek unsupervised to the big city”, concert was Alice Cooper on New Year’s Eve 1989 Trash Tour in Toronto (still have the concert tee although I’m a helluva lot fatter now and the white cotton is so paper thin from over washing that you could easily spit through it!)
#3-What was the best concert you’ve ever seen? (Be sure to say when/where and any other details you would like to share)
An extremely hard question to answer having seen so very many concerts and festivals…..I think I should narrow things down to best band’s performance as it’s not really fair to take MORC, M3 or Sweden Rock Festival as a single concert. I’ll also consider things on a concert that I enjoyed most, not necessarily the best performance by said band. Definitely Saxon’s Call to Arms tour in Toronto, KISS pre-Revenge album club tour in Toronto, Tora Tora’s 25th Anniversary in Memphis and The Four Horsemen in Toronto in ‘94 are all contenders but I think I have to go with Tyketto’s first set aboard 2014’s MOR Cruise. There was something magical about that band, that venue (Black & White Lounge on the MSC Divina), I can’t quite put my finger on it exactly. I went into the set only because I was dragged by a friend simply because I could not get a good view of Tesla who were performing at the same time on the pool deck of the ship. I knew some Tyketto music, but honestly did not overly take to them, their albums getting lost in my extensive collection. When I saw them live……..I was actually moved to tears (I know, what a loser!). The emotion, the magic, the band giving their all on that tiny little stage for us, maybe I was just drunk. In any case I named them best show on the boat when I co-hosted The Decibel Geek Podcast’s MORC Memories wrap-up episode and will now expand that to best concert set I’ve ever seen.
#4-What’s your favourite memory evoked by the music of the 80’s?
This memory is probably more inspired by 70’s music, but it was the 80’s when I watched the TV show. When I was a kid, my parents used to watch what was then re-runs of W.K.R.P. in Cincinnati and I quickly fell in love with the show, characters and especially Dr. Johnny Fever. I was 10 or 11 and I knew right then what I wanted to be when I grew up….Dr. Johnny Fever. It was that TV show that got me into music and I would often drag the family together in the evenings and host a DJ hour where I would play songs from my parent’s record collection. Holidays were a special treat for me and always meant a larger audience with visiting family members. As I grew older and discovered heavier music the segment became less and less popular with the family….lol.
#5-Which band/artist is on your M3 bucket list?
While there are many bands I’d love to see play, there are three for sure that come to mind. All three of these I’ve listened to for a long time and the logos for two of them appear in my tattoo. I’ve never seen any of these three bands live and I suspect that unless I do some travel for a one-off show somewhere it’s doubtful that I ever will. Twisted Sister/Lizzy Borden/ House of Lords
#6-Share something interesting about yourself that is not music or M3 related.
This whole “Meet Your Members” seemed like a great idea until I got down to this question and realised that, apparently, I’m just not that interesting…lol. I could tell you that my ancestor was involved in the invention of the gas mask, or that I’m descended from Vikings. How about that I have a huge stamp collection that was originally started by my great Grandfather. Maybe that at the time of my promotion I was the youngest ever Assistant Store Manager of Wal-Mart Canada (I did this and still worked part time at the restaurant). Or even that I have backpacked across Europe for 4.5 months. I cannot eat mashed potatoes as they bring up my gag reflex, resulting in a disastrous date one evening when I attempted to be polite and choke them down. I once lost a bet and had to wear a 50’s style diner skirt around a sports bar during a Superbowl game. Or that I used to take roller skating lessons when I was a kid and I was asked to compete nationally…odd that I’m now too uncoordinated to actually walk on my own two feet!….anyone find any of that nonsense interesting?
Rich “The Meister” Dillon \m/