Monday, May 18, 2015

M3 Rock Festival Day 1 @ Merriweather Post Pavilion 5/1/2015

I went to see M3 Rock Festival, 2015 (2 Day lawn ticket $61) with my buddy Tony. We saw Tony Sr., Ariel and Ilem, and maybe someone else on the first day- Friday. This would be another Kix-off party- which some people love, and other hate and go home early. To each his own.

M3 Rock Festival Lineup 

There were not a lot of people there when we got there (after Trixter, unfortunately), but more people seemed to get there later- blame the Friday DC area traffic! By the time Dokken came on, there was a healthy amount of people in the pavilion and the lawn. Not as many as the next day would hold, but still a pretty good turnout.

I didn't get to the merch, but I'm assuming it was the same setup as it would be for the Day 2. I also didn't get many pictures, and even less usable ones. OH WELL.

Dio Disciples from the Lawn

Dio Disciples was the first band we saw, and the one I was most excited to see. I had last seen them in 2011, when Empire was still Jaxx, with Tim Ripper Owens and Toby Jepson. This time, vocals were handled by Oni Logan (Lynch Mob) and Joe Retta (Heaven and Earth). Joe blew me away and did a killer job, sounding very Dio-like. Their other players were Craig Goldy (ex-Dio, last seen with the similar tribute band Black Knights Rising  ) on guitar, Scott Warren (ex- Dio) on keyboards, Simon Wright (AC/DC, Dio) on drums, and not sure on bass. Obviously this band of mostly ex-Dio members were on point musically. I've never been a huge Craig Goldy fan, but he was better this evening.

One oddity is that I am pretty sure that the Dio Disciples - missed "carousel" lyric on "Heaven and Hell." I can't find video proof yet, but I def recall not hearing it! They surprisingly didn't play "Rainbow in the Dark" or any deep cuts (which they did last time), but rather a safe "greatest hits" set. That was fine by me, as they all sounded amazing. I believe they were my pick for favourite of the night, easily. Amazing songs and great performance set the bar so high for the rest of the evening.

Quiet Riot from the Lawn

Quiet Riot started a bit later, and despite playing a decent set of hits with Jizzy Pearl (ex- LA Guns, Love/Hate, Ratt, etc.) on vocals. They sounded good, nothing really to complain about, but the energy level and enjoyment were nowhere near to those of Dio Disciples. They were not bad, but just overshadowed. I think they played "Let's Get Crazy," but the other setlists I see don't have it. I think they have maybe one original member left- it's really odd.

Dokken was up next- they (Don Dokken's voice or lack there of) were the subject of much discussion afterwards. I thought the band was good, and that Don sounded better than last time, but that Don was still phoning it in ("forever! Oh... I guess we're the dream Warriors... maybe tonight... maybe tonight Don will sing." The chorus was particularly lacking (see the video). The selection of Dokken songs (including the rarely played "Dream Warriors" was, of course, great. I think that the songs were so good that we mostly overlooked Don's lackadaisical performance. Looking back at some videos, like for "The Hunter," are a  bit cringeworthy when it comes to the vocals. Maybe my buddy and I were singing louder than Don, so it sounded better than I remember. WOW. Compared to Dio Disciples, Dokken would probably be the third best band of the night.

The mix for the headliner Kix was a bit too loud. I thought they were the second best, behind Dio Disciples' mix of cover songs. Local boys Kix were, of course, a pretty hard act to top. People will have different thoughts on Kix's shows, songs, and (same) stage show. If you have seen Kix in the past few years, you've seen them today (minus some new songs). That being said, they are still one of the best live acts I've seen. I think I've always had a great time at a Kix show, and this was only slightly different as the mix was a bit off for the beginning of the set. There were no surprises, just some solid hard rock/hair band music. Steve Whiteman and the boys were about the same as usual, minus the mix!

Overall, a very fun time, with some gripes (Dokken, traffic, some more of the same from Kix). A nice set up for the main event at M3 Day 2!

Next show: M3 Day 2!!!


Dio Disciples (5:48- 6:32)
  • Holy Diver  (Dio cover)
  • Egypt (The Chains Are On)  (Dio cover)
  • Stargazer  (Rainbow cover)
  • Stand Up and Shout  (Dio cover)
  • The Last in Line  (Dio cover)
  • Long Live Rock 'n' Roll  (Rainbow cover)
  • Man on the Silver Mountain  (Rainbow cover)
  • Heaven and Hell  (Black Sabbath cover)

Quiet Riot (6:45- 7:38)

  • Run for Cover
  • Slick Black Cadillac
  • Mama, Weer all Crazee Now
  • Love is a Bitch
  • Sign of the Times
  • Let's get Crazy (I'm pretty sure they played this but I don't see other reports on it)
  • Sucks to Be You
  • Cum on Feel the Noize
  • Metal Health

Dokken (8:01- 8:46)
  • Kiss of Death
  • The Hunter
  • Dream Warriors
  • Into the Fire
  • Breaking the Chains
  • Alone Again
  • In My Dreams
  • Tooth and Nail
  • Just Got Lucky

Kix (9:05-10:36)
  • Wheels in Motion
  • Girl Money
  • No Ring Around Rosie
  • You're Gone
  • Sex
  • The Itch
  • Midnight Dynamite
  • Mean Miss Adventure
  • Don' Close Your Eyes
  • Get it While It's Hot
  • Cold Blood
  • Drum solo (short)
  • Love Me With Your Top Down
  • Blow My Fuse

  • Can't Stop the Show
  • Yeah Yeah Yeah