On a chilly Friday night down in Columbia, Maryland, the 2022 edition of the M3 Rock Festival was set to start. Fans were bundled up in blankets and layers of clothes as rain poured down and wind howled through the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Despite the weather, there was tangible excitement for the weekend ahead.
M3 Festival, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Friday 6 May 2022.
Lineup: Count’s 77, Lizzy Borden, Doro, Kix
Words and photography: Shannon Wilk
For more than ten years, the M3 festival has been building to become an internationally recognised ’80s arena rock experience, drawing fans from six continents, 20 countries and every state in the USA.
Kicking off the night was Count’s 77, a hard rock band founded in Las Vegas, Nevada, by Danny “The Count” Koker of Counting Cars fame. After forming in 2012, the band has released two full-length albums, which filled their 30-minute opening set at the festival.
Much of the crowd appeared to be unfamiliar with the band, but they “let the rockin’ do the talkin'”, and this year’s festival was off to an impressive start.
Riding With The Sons Of Perdition
Let The Rockin’ Do The Talkin’
Do You Feel Me?
Summer of ’77
Sin City Boogie Man
Next up on the bill was the infamous shock rocker Lizzy Borden. This show was the debut of his brand new lineup featuring a few young guns who brought their A-game. Lizzy Borden marched onstage in his platform boots and triple painted face mask as Joey Scott pounded on the drums.
If there is one band that establishes the mood just by walking on stage, it is this one. Their set featured a mix of newer songs like My Midnight Things as well as older songs like the iconic Master Of Disguise and even a cover of The Ramones’ Pet Sematary.
As the set was reaching a close, Lizzy tossed black roses into the crowd and jumped down into the photo pit to stroke blood onto the faces of the lucky (or unlucky) few. Long May They Haunt Us….
My Midnight Things
Master of Disguise
Pet Sematary (Ramones cover)
Me Against the World
Long May They Haunt Us
Around 8:30 PM it was time for the fierce frontwoman of German Heavy Metal band Warlock to take the stage with an iron fist. The Queen of Heavy Metal herself, Doro Pesch, rocked out a few classic Warlock songs with a big smile on her face.
Guitarist Tommy Bolan and Doro have been playing together since the band’s club days in NYC in 1987, and it shows. These two have an obvious bond when performing together that can only exist after so many years, and after so many rides Doro has taken on Tommy’s shoulders onstage.
The fantastic All We Are was a triumphant, but not agonising, end to a fantastically energetic set.
I Rule the Ruins (Warlock cover)
Burning the Witches (Warlock cover)
East Meets West (Warlock cover)
Raise Your Fist in the Air
All For Metal
All We Are (Warlock cover)
Just like every M3 since the beginning, Friday night’s headliners are local legends Kix. Frontman Steve Whiteman takes control of the crowd with the iconic “thank you” call and audience “you’re welcome” response.
Even though this band has been featured in all 13 M3 Rock Festivals, fans have yet to get tired of them and rightfully so.
Between the kick-ass Kix hits like Cold Blood, Midnite Dynamite and more, Whiteman had the crowd in stitches with his comedic remarks.
Kix are the embodiment of all that is good about ’80s Arena rock. They are still going strong, building on the vast collection of great memories from fans of all ages.
Tonight was a thrilling kick-off of a fantastic M3 weekend to come.
MetalTalk’s coverage of the 2022 edition of the M3 Rock Festival can be found at metaltalk.net/tag/m3-festival-2022.
Get It While It’s Hot
No Ring Around Rosie
Lie Like a Rug
Love Me with Your Top Down
Don’t Close Your Eyes
Blow My Fuse