M3 Rock Festival 2015 Preview: Part One
April 12, 2015
Founded in 2009, the M3 Rock Festival is back for its seventh consecutive year when it hosts two days of hard rock and heavy metal at the Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Maryland on May 1st and 2nd. In what has to be considered one of the premiere metal festivals in the world, the M3 Rock Festival essentially caters to bringing together hard rock bands whose glory days date back to the mid to late ’80s and early ’90s — and tickets can be purchased at m3rock.webs.com.
Over the years, the M3 Rock Festival has morphed into a two day festival where the first day takes place on a Friday evening and usually consists of about five bands headlined by Maryland home state favorites Kix. The second day is the biggest of the festival, featuring two stages and non-stop music for approximately twelve hours.
This year, the M3 Rock Festival will be headlined by none other than multi-platinum sellers Europe, who are touring in the US for the first time in almost a decade. Europe of course are best known for their multi-platinum album The Final Countdown, which was released in 1986 and whose title track went to #1 in a phenomenal 25 countries. After breaking up in 1992, the Swedish rockers officially got back together with original guitarist John Norum in October of 2003. Since that time, Europe have not looked back, opting for a more classic rock sound and releasing five studio records, including their latest War Of Kings, which was released in March of this year. In 2013, Europe was one of the headliners of the iconic Sweden Rock Festival.
There are 14 other bands scheduled to join Europe on the second day of the 2015 edition of M3. This includes Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer, who released his long awaited and critically acclaimed solo record, The Way Life Goes, in 2013. Regarding the frontman’s debut solo offering Sleaze Roxx stated, “Tom Keifer has thrown a little bit of everything into The Way Life Goes, pushing his own boundaries at times while offering his hardcore fan base exactly want they want and expect. And as good as Keifer sounds after all these years it is his guitar playing that almost takes centre stage, offering a wide array of memorable riffs as he tackles the electric, acoustic and slide guitar.” For the last two years Keifer has toured promoting The Way Life Goes, playing many tracks from that successful solo record as well as all of the fan favorites from his storied time in Cinderella.
One of the only bands to return from the 2014 M3 Rock Festival line-up is none other than Seattle based Queensryche who have fourteen studio records to their credit and are poised to release their second album with frontman Todd La Torre at the helm. Queensryche were largely regarded as one of the best bands to have performed at the 2014 edition of the M3 Rock Festival, with Sleaze Roxx stating, “I was simply blown away by how good “new” vocalist LaTorre sounded. When Stryper played I had thought Michael Sweet had the best set of pipes at M3, but LaTorre was even better — handling the tough early Geoff Tate led material with ease. All of the songs played by Queensryche sounded awesome…”
One of this year’s ‘first timers’, and likely one of the most anticipated bands will be Krokus, who are arguably the biggest hard rock act that Switzerland has ever produced. Krokus date all the way back to 1975 and experienced their biggest successes in the US with 1983’s Headhunter and 1984’s The Blitz, both of which reached gold status. The classic line-up reunited back in 2007 and have released, albeit with more line-up changes, the studio records Hoodoo in 2010 and Dirty Dynamite in 2013 as well as a live album entitled Long Stick Goes Boom: Live From Da House Of Rust in 2014.
One of the other top billed bands for day two is Warrant, who have found renewed life with “new” frontman Robert Mason. After quickly experiencing multi-platinum success with the release of their first two records, 1989’s Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich and 1990’s Cherry Pie, the band eventually parted ways with original singer Jani Lane (who eventually passed away from acute alcohol poisoning in 2011) four studio albums later. Warrant forged ahead with Black ‘N Blue‘s frontman Jamie St. James handling lead vocals for 2006’s Born Again, before the band resurfaced once again with lead singer Robert Mason — a pairing that resulted in 2011’s Rockaholic. Although Warrant did not perform at last year’s edition of the M3 Rock Festival, Mason did make a guest appearance during Lita Ford‘s set closer “Kiss Me Deadly”.
Stay tuned for Parts Two through Four of Sleaze Roxx’s M3 Rock Festival Preview.
Courtesy of www.sleazeroxx.com