M3 Rock Festival – Official Pre-Party – Columbia, MD – 5/5/2023

As is tradition, the M3 Rock Festival kicked off the first weekend of May in Columbia, Maryland.  This year’s festivities took place over Saturday and Sunday, with pre-party events kicking things off on Friday evening.  While a shortened weekend, it was still a whirlwind for anyone who returned from the Monsters of Rock Cruise on Thursday morning like Sunday’s headliners, KIX, Winger, Great White, and yours truly…

There were certainly options on Friday night with the official pre-party featuring Pete Evick (Brett Michaels Band), Chad Stewart (Faster Pussycat), and Dean Cramer (Funny Money), taking place at a brand new venue nearby called The Collective Encore, which was located lakeside just a few steps from the host hotel, the Merriweather Lakehouse and less than a mile from the Merriweather Post Pavilion which would soon host the two-day festival.

For those in the know, this special kick-off event featured a stripped-down performance by members of the Bret Michaels Band, Faster Pussycat, and Funny Money similar to the band coined as This, That, and the Other which featured the members of the Bret Michaels Band (minus Bret) a few years back.

With acoustic guitar, percussion, and unique arrangements of classics from some of your favorite pop and rock artists like Poison, Bon Jovi, Prince, Van Halen, and more, the night was full of surprises and laughs at the intimate sold-out show. The ensemble was joined by special guests Ted Poley (Danger Danger, Tokyo Motor Fist) and Patrick Kennison (Heaven Below, Lita Ford).

We look forward to catching these guys on the road this summer, and hope that this pre-party event becomes an annual M3 tradition!

As for the other options, M3’s VIP guests were treated to a private party with Mike Tramp (White Lion) and guitarist Markus Nand, who performed classic White Lion hits from Tramp’s new release featuring new versions of the songs of his former band. And, unfortunately, that was Mike Tramp’s only performance of the weekend as he took ill with Covid prior to his scheduled performance on the main stage on Sunday.

I was able to catch up with guys on Saturday at the Pavilion, and plan some local coverage.  So you can see video and captures from performances at Pittsburgh’s Hard Rock Cafe and Boardman’s Los Gallos following some recovery time for the artist both in our social feeds @ThePureRockShop and @MikeTrampOfficial despite the unexpected cancellation. If you missed him, you can still catch Mike Tramp on the road with new dates being added.

Additionally, Dave Dillman’s D-Toxin Productions hosted the “M-Pre Party” featuring an emerging rock showcase at the Reckless Shepard Brewpub, with highlights including Ronnie Younkins’ band, The Blues Vultures, Station, Rat Rod, The Rumors, Streetlight Circus, and Old School.

D-Toxin Productions has been hosting these events for 13 years now, and from what we heard, this was the best show yet.  While disappointed to miss Ronnie on stage, we are very excited to hear that he’ll be returning to Merriweather Post Pavilion on September 17th to perform with KIX at their farewell show.

We are just getting started with M3 Rock Festival coverage.  Follow us @ThePureRockShop for more from the two-day 2023 event at Merriweather Post-Pavilion along with a recap of the Heaven’s Edge official record release party at the Merriweather Lakehouse ballroom. (Day 1 Coverage, Day 2 Coverage).

Lots happening this past month as well as upcoming captures, recaps, news and interviews from of local and regional concerts and festivals including Jackyl, Faster Pussycat, Chris Jericho’s Kuarantine, and more this summer so check back often…

Recap and Live Photos by Editor and founder Kara Marie Uhrlen for The Pure Rock Shop.  Posted on 5/29/2023.