Part 1: Day 1 Review
I wanted to get there in time to see STEELHEART, and we did. We could hear some of the Streelight Circus while walking over, but I didn't care. We immediately noticed that there were a lot of people there already! The mullets, the leather, the jeans, the trashy girls, the 'normal' people, the super fans, the unwashed, the drunkards, the leatheryness.... people were out in full force. And I loved it.
Merch: most every band (including from yesterday) had a shirt (25-30), and some bands had a CD or extra stuff like a bandana. I saw no interesting shirt design except a Kix one that looks like the one I already had. Kind of disappointing, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time I looked at the merch in the 3 years I've been. There was a pink cowboy hat with Bret Michaels written on it, and something else odd... like a signed poster or something.
Steelheart came on abruptly a little later than expected with a sound that was louder than ANY band the previous day. I thought that this was a bit ridiculous. I don't know why, but they were loud as hell- even all the way back on the top of the lawn where we were! And this was really before we all started drinking too (FYI). This loudness continued thru the day. I think Tony was right when he identified the guitar as 'too loud,' and that it needed to be dropped a notch. They started out with a Steel Dragon song, and kept up the energy pretty high, especially with Mike M's super powerful wail. Def one of the highlights for me, even if they did have a really short set.
Trixter took the stage after a lil bit, to a piped in song, and then they started singing over it or something. I thought that was really odd. They sounded really good, but I am not a bit Trixter fan, so I was still riding on the Steelheart high. Their backing vocals were pretty weak and the singer looked like he didn't want to be there or something. I think that also hindered their set. I mean come on, people are showing up early to (drink) and see some bands from their fond memories (I'm assuming, as these bands were all kind before my time). Hell, *I* wanted to see Trixter.
We heard Tuff go on the second stage while Trixter was finishing up. We stayed for the rest of Trixter then headed over, I think we missed their first song. They sounded alright, a little spotty with the vocals and some guitar work. But Tuff is def...not a great hairband. Steelheart and Trixter both are better than these guys. I will give Stevie Rachelle credit for his Metal Sludge and keeping things alive during the dark times. I did like that he threw that 'American Hair Band' song in.... pretty silly. I did like seeing them because I was curious, but I feel we kind of found out why they are a solidly D-List hair band.
JanetShareRoxyGina (aka JSRG aka Vixen 2.0) took the main stage without much fanfare. I do have the first 2 rockin' Vixen albums and was pretty excited when my buddy told me who the hell JSRG was (basically Vixen w/out one original member). They sounded great, and this group of all girls are totally better than the Donnas OR Kittie. And they kicked out ALL their hits. They also apparently did a cover of 'that Adele song.' Even that sounded good. I think they deserved a bigger reaction, and may have had the sleeper set of the day now that I think of it. Hit after hit!!! Maybe a little bit of a 'gimmick' band some may say, but if you can play songs like this, sign me up.
Great White was on the second stage, and I recall being a little wobbly around this point. My notes def were rough to decipher. I missed them when they canceled and rescheduled at Empire/Jaxx recently, so I was curious as to how they'd be. Jack Russell sounded really good. They played what felt like a less amped... more lower key set. Still good, but a different type of energy. 'Mista Bone ' in particular was my favourite. My buddy assures me they are even better than they were this day. I would not be opposed to a cheapish headline show...
Loudness, all the way from Japan, with a ton of Visa issues, was finally on the main stage. They canceled a ton of shows, and there was all sort of hubbub about them maybe canceling M3 appearance! They still lived up to their name and were loud as hell. I dare say perhaps too loud, as the drums and bass were the only thing I could really make out for the first couple songs. Then I heard the rock n roll 'Crazy Night,' and we were the he-roes that night. Looking back, I only picked out a handful of songs, so I am not sure what the hell the other songs were. They sounded really good once someone corrected the sound for 'Crazy Night' I think. I wish they would do a headline tour again, they KILLED in a Empire/Jaxx club setting. I think a lot of people liked them, but it might have been too loud to enjoy more. That and not knowing what a lot of the songs were. Still a great sounding set.
King's X came on a little after Loudness finished, and we had absolutely zero interest in seeing/hearing them. So we roved a bit and got some food. I can't say much about them except that it was forgettable and non offensive.
The ever irreverent Steel Panther Took the main stage and really played a great set. There was a lot of their banter, which if you get it and can overlook the misogyny/racism/juvenile/political correctness/etc. that they poke fun at then you will probably have a good time. Oh and the language. If you've seen Steel Panther before, this set was no different. A fun show, with 'what are they going to say next..?' moments abound. However, my gripe with them on this day was that they are getting top billing over better bands (Loudness, Firehouse, Vixen 2.0 even), and are a parody/joke band. That just seems really wrong to me. But hey I guess if you are a bigger draw... makes sense financially.
We left their set a little early because Firehouse started on the second stage, so we raaaan over.
Firehouse we were pumped to see. I had not seen them live before and probably listened to the first album too many times, so I had some high expectations. The singer sounded pretty spot on, and the rest of the band could do no wrong. The guitarwork in particular I thought was commendable. They sounded great, and I was wishing this set was longer. They played my favourite songs of theirs, and the sounded great in between my neck getting sore from headbanging (I'm still sore a few days later). Highlight: "Overnight Sensation." Tony got Milla up on his shoulders near the end of the set. Madness.
I had seen Twisted Sister before and they were good, but IMO not a band I really get pumped for. Now they knew what was up because they came out strong, kept up the energy with pretty much all the Twisted Sister Songs I wanted to hear. Not much talk, just a lot of rock. One of the best sets of the day, with those things in mind. Some of the backing vocals were a little meh, but other than that I really can't complain. Maybe even they shoulda played another song or 2.
Jackyl was headlining the second stage, and I am a fan. I have seen them in club venue and they sound better there. They were good, but not as great as they were at Empire/Jaxx (or even Ram's Head). There was some energy that is contained in a club show that was kind of a bit too free on the festival stage. 'I Stand Alone' was easily the highlight.... and the chainsaw of course. I don't recall 'Dirty Little Mind,' but my notes indicate that it was played. I don't really like that song. I was def losing steam around this time, as I don't recall enjoying this set as much as I normally would have.
Now it was getting later, and I know I was getting tired... and the next underwhelming headliner of the Bret Michaels Band was on now. I was fine with hearing some Poison songs, but he threw in some unneeded covers ('Sweet Home Alabama', 'Momma Don't...' (look OK Poison covered that song, but at this point it is a cover twice removed)). Why bother playing those? Just play some solo stuff or dig up a Poison classic. I thought 'Look What ...' sounded heavier than usual, and I enjoyed that. Everything else sounded...fine... not great, but not horrible. Just...OK, this is... not annoying. But I agree with my buddy in not really getting how some people travel hundreds of miles to see... Bret Michaels. I suppose he must be more visible with all the TV shows he's involved in. Whatever the case, easily the weakest Headliner M3 has had, IMO. We left around 'Every Rose...' so if he played more songs I don't know what they were (I imagine he would have since there was about 15 more minutes left of usable time).
Thankfully it did not get as cold as it was the previous night and I wasn't shivering too much walking back to the car.
Overall a fun time, a great show. Even if bittersweet at what could have been (music wise).
Best sets: JSRG, Twisted Sister
My favourite set: Firehouse
Worst set: King's X (or Tuff)
Steelheart (12:39- 1:11)
- Blood Pollution (Steel Dragon cover)
- Gimme Gimme
- Like Never Before
- We All Die Young
- I'll Never Let You Go
Trixter (1:33- 1:55)
- Road of a Thousand Dreams
- Heart of Steel
- Line of Fire
- One in a Million
- Give it to Me Good
Tuff (2:05- 2:26)
(missed first song, Trixter was still on)
- God Bless This Mess
- Good Guys Wear Black
- I Hate Kissing You Goodbye
- Ruck a Pit Bridge
- American Hair Band
JanetShareRoxyGina (JSRG) (2:50- 3:20)
- Rev It Up (Vixen cover)
- How Much Love (Vixen cover)
- Never Say Never (Vixen cover)
- Cryin' (Vixen cover)
- Streets in Paradise (Vixen cover)
- Rolling In The Deep (Adele cover)
- I want you to rock me (Vixen cover)
- Edge of a broken heart (Vixen cover)
- Wrecking Ball (Vixen cover)
Great White (3:30- 4:07)
- Call It Rock 'n' Roll (Great White cover)
- Desert Moon (Great White cover)
- Save Your Love (Great White cover)
- Mista Bone (Great White cover)
- Rock Me (Great White cover)
- Once Bitten Twice Shy (Ian Hunter cover)
- Crazy Nights
- Heavy Chains
- Drum Solo
- (Unknown) (Think this was King of Pain)
- (Unknown) (from 2 albums before, is what the singer said)
King's X (Did not watch, didn't care. They came on around 5)
Steel Panther (6- 6:45?)
- Eyes of a Panther
- Tomorrow Night
- Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
- Asian Hooker
- Just Like Tiger Woods
- Community Property
- Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
- 17 Girls in a Row
- Death to All but Metal
(Firehouse started playing and we went to see them)
Firehouse (6:40- 7:16)
- Hold Your Fire
- All She Wrote
- When I Look Into Your Eyes
- Overnight Sensation
- Love Of A Lifetime
- Don't Treat Me Bad
Twisted Sister (7:20 ish- 7:49)
- You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll
- Shoot 'Em Down
- I Believe in Rock 'n' Roll
- Stay Hungry
- The Kids are Back
- We're Not Gonna Take It
- The Price
- Burn in Hell
- I Wanna Rock
Jackyl (8:40- ?)
- My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine's Ass
- Down On Me
- I Stand Alone
- When Will It Rain
- Dirty Little Mind
- Redneck Punk
- The Lumberjack
Bret Michaels (9:40?- (we left about 10:45))
- Talk Dirty To Me (Poison song)
- Look What The Cat Dragged In (Poison song)
- Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
- Your Mamma Don't Dance (Loggins & Messina/ Poison song)
- Get Your Ride On
- Something To Believe In (Poison song)
- Unskinny Bop (Poison song)
- Every Rose Has Its Thorn (Poison song)