M3 Rock Festival Day 3 at The Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia Maryland May 8, 2022



Upon arriving at The Merriweather Post Pavillion for day three of the 13th annual M3 Rock Festival, the line was rather small, probably due to cold temperatures and people recovering from the after-party festivities. Sunday’s lineup only included three bands that I had never seen before, and three of my all-time favorite bands. Stryper, Tesla, and Skid Row were the bands I was most looking forward to. Since the rain was pretty much gone, the crowd seemed to fill in a little more throughout today.  There were a lot more people on the lawn area. Today’s lineup was the biggest of the weekend with 9 bands on the schedule.


First up was Burning Witches. This all-female heavy metal band has an awesome sound that reminds me a little of Warlock. They’ve been around since 2015 and released their fourth album almost a year ago entitled The Witch of The North. Laura Guldemond delivers powerful vocals with a heavy gaze and lots of energy. All the band members have that same energy and were head-banging throughout the show. With their short six song set, it was hard for me to pick a favorite song, as they all carried so much power in their delivery.  Dressed in all black, these witches bring their A-game. Check them out on tour now with The Iron Maiden’s.


Burning Witches

Sunday May 8



Burning Witches is:

Romana Kalkuhl – Guitar

Lala Frischknecht – drums

Laura Guldemond – vocals

Jay Grob – Bass

Larissa Schuster – lead guitar




1.) Executed

2.) Wings of Steel

3.) Flight of the Valkyries

4.) Hexenhammer

5.) Black Widow

6.) Burning Witches


Leatherwolf is a heavy metal band originally formed in 1981, and has gone through some breakups and lineup changes, but has been active again since 1999. With 3 guitarists, one doubling up on keyboards, this six-piece band came to rock the house. Keith Adamiak’s vocals are powerful with a hint of Rob Halford in there. Every member except the drummer participated at some point on backup vocals. Keith had an awesome leather with a Ying-Yang Wolf logo on the back. I was, once again, blown away by a band that I hadn’t seen before.



Sunday May 8



Leatherwolf is:

Keith Adamiak – vocals
Rob Math – guitars
Luke Man – guitars
Wayne Findlay – guitar/keyboards
Brice Snyder – bass
Dean Roberts – drums





1.) Behind The Gun

2.) Spiter

3.) Street Ready

4.) Gypsies and Thieves

5.) Rule The Night

6.) Thunder

7.) The Calling / Wicked Ways


Although I miss Spike being the front man for Quireboys, I think they sounded good without him. I will miss his persona and hope they can make amends. Guy Griffin has taken over the lead vocal duties for the band and Chip Z’Nuff from Enuff Z’Nuff filled in on bass guitar. Being only the 3rd band on the lineup for the day they only had a short six song, 40-minute set. It was fun seeing Tory Stoffregen in the pit enjoying the show and getting some great shots as well. Everyone was singing along to 7 O’clock as the closing song.



Sunday May 8



Quireboys is:

Guy Griffin – guitar, lead vocals

Keith Weir – keyboards

Paul Guerin – guitar

Chip Z’Nuff – bass guitar

Pip Mailing – drums




1.) I Love This Dirty Town

2.) Misled

3.) Gracie B

4.) There She Goes Again

5.) This Is Rock ‘n Roll
6.) 7 O’Clock



The fourth band for the day was XYZ fronted by Terry Ilous who is considered a founding member of the band. Pat Fontaine was not in attendance and bass guitar duties were handled by Ian Smith and Jacob Mann of All Or Nothing filled in on guitar. Former member Paul Monroe filled in on drums for this show. Paul hadn’t played on stage with them in 30 years. Terry told a story about how “Face Down in a Gutter” is about Drummer Paul Monroe was in love and ended up, well….  During their set, a couple got engaged on stage, Gia Magliano and Eric Steven, the manager for the band, All or Nothing. Terry had Dee Sawyer help out with the vocals on a few songs with him including the last song of the night and their biggest hit “Inside Out”. 



Sunday May 8



XYZ is:

Ian Smith – Bass

Terry Ilous – Vocals

Jacob Mann – Guitars

Joey Shapiro – Rrums not in attendance

Paul Monroe – Filling in on Drums




1.) Maggy

2.) Come On n’ Love Me

3.) Take What You Can

4.) What Keeps Me Loving You

5.) Don’t Say No

6.) Face Down in the Gutter

7.) Inside Out


Zebra might be the only band this weekend with an all-original lineup. Featuring Randy Jackson, Felix Hanemann, and Guy Gelso. Tonight, Zebra played a much shorter set than usual. They usually do a lot of Led Zeppelin cover songs near the end of their set. I would have been happy with that as I was not familiar with any of their songs. For me, they were a little out of genre for this festival. That being said, I will be able to say I saw another iconic 70’s rock band. During the middle of their 9-song set, they dedicated “Who’s Behind the Door” to Marty, their road manager who is no longer with us. 



Sunday May 8



Zebra is:

Randy Jackson – Lead vocals, guitars, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer, mellotron, piano

Felix Hanemann – Bass, strings, keyboards, synthesizer vocals

Guy Gelso – Drums, percussion, vocals




1.) As I Said Before

2.) When You Get There

3.) Who’s Behind the Door

4.) Arabian Nights

5.) Better Not Call

6.) Bears

7.) One More Chance

8.) Take Your Fingers From My Hair

9.) Tell Me What You Want


Yngwie is on his Parabellum tour. Two minutes before the set, I noticed some smoke on the floor of the stage, and was trying to figure out if it was from the house smoke machines or not. A couple seconds later the electrical cord caught fire. One of the stage guys put it out and removed the cord. As Yngwie came out on stage it was apparent that this electrical mishap had to do with his personal smoke machine, as it was not pumping out the billows of smoke we were used to, actually none at all. First thing Yngwie did on stage was come to the front and point to the photographers that were on his side and gesture for them to move over. No doubt Yngwie can shred on the guitar. Beginning the set with “Rising Force”, and then into “TopDown”, “Soldier” and “Valhalla,” his set was very similar to his headline shows except shortened to 11 songs from 23. A few songs into the set he got on the microphone and cursed at the lightning guy because there were white lights on, and it was in his effin rider, that there are to be no white lights. His set ran 4 minutes late. I began to wonder if the venue was going turn the stage around while he was still playing, as I have seen them do in the past. But they let him finish his set.


Yngwie Malmsteen

Sunday May 8



Yngwie Malmsteen is:

Yngwie Malmsteen – guitars, vocals

Nick Marino – keyboards, vocals

Emilio Martinez – bass, vocals

Brian Wilson – drums




1.) Rising Force

2.) Top Down, Foot Down/No Rest

3.) Soldier

4.) Valhalla/Baroque

5.) Relentless Fury

6.) Badinerie (Johann Sebastian Bach cover)

7.) Far Beyond the Sun

8.) Star Spangled Banner(into)

9.) Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple cover)

10.) Trilogy Suite Op. 5

11.) Black Star


Moving on to the first rock band I ever saw live, Stryper. The Yellow and Black Attack is currently on their Calling on You Tour 2022. Focusing on songs from their earlier albums, they also threw in a more recent favorite “Sorry” off of the God Damn Evil release, although Michael almost skipped right over it. Stryper had the most seats filled so far, this cold day in May. Michael commented “that we aren’t preachers, well… I guess we are, since we are throwing bibles out at you”. This has been a thing since their early days. I have seen fans make signs stating why they need to receive a bible. Original members Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet, and Oz Fox still bring this great Christian heavy metal music to their fans along with newest member, Perry Richardson, formerly of Firehouse, Craig Morgan, and Trace Adkins. Robert Sweet is known as the visual timekeeper for the band as his drum kit is set up sideways so the band can see him easier. The biggest hits they played this evening were “Calling on You” and “Always There for You”, but my favorites were the heavier songs like the classics “Soldiers Under Command”, “To Hell with The Devil”, and newer favorite “Sorry”. Stryper never disappoints. 



Sunday May 8



Stryper is:

Michael Sweet – lead vocals, guitar, piano

Robert Sweet – drums, percussion

Oz Fox – guitar, backing vocals

Perry Richardson – bass guitar, backing vocals




1.) Surrender 

2.) More Than a Man

3.) Sorry

4.) Calling on You

5.) Free

6.) The Rock That Makes Me Roll

7.) Loving You

8.) All For One

9.) Always There For You

10.) The Way

11.) Soldiers under Command

12.) To Hell with The Devil



Skid Row was probably the most anticipated show of the weekend, with everyone wanting to see how their new vocalist Erik Gronwall would do. Skid Row’s new singer was on fire, as he has always been with his former band H.E.A.T.  Erik came running out from side stage as the band started playing and jumped off a riser, flying through the air, leading into “Slave to the Grind”.  They kept the momentum going into “The Threat” and “Big Guns” before slowing it down a bit with fan favorite “18 and Life”. Dave Sabo always slaying the guitar and interacting with the fans jumping forward from the stage onto the speakers to be closer to them.  They also threw in a Ramones cover, “Psycho Therapy”. Skid Row had the house packed and on their feet for their entire ten song set and 3-song encore, including a new song “Gang’s All Here”,  and ending the night with “Youth Gone Wild”. Skid Row announced that they have a new album coming out October 19.


Skid Row

Sunday May 8



Skid Row is:

Dave “The Snake” Sabo – Lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Rachel Bolan – Bass, backing vocals

Scotti Hill – Rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals

Rob Hammersmith – Drums, backing vocals

Erik Grönwall – Lead vocals




1.) Slave to the Grind
2.) The Threat
3.) Big Guns
4.) 18 and Life
5.) Piece of Me
6.) Livin’ on a Chain Gang
7.) Psycho Therapy (Ramones cover)
8.) I Remember You
9.) Psycho Love
10.) Monkey Business
11.) Darkened Room
12.) Gang’s All Here
13.) Youth Gone Wild


Now for my all-time favorite band and festival headliner, Tesla.  Tonight, Tesla’s setlist included all the classic favorites, newer songs “Breaking Free”, “Miles Away” and a song off the forthcoming album “Cold Blue Steel“. If you haven’t heard this song yet, it is awesome. You can get it on streaming platforms or on their website. Troy Luccketta was taking a break and Steve Brown filling in. You can tell Steve is having fun by the huge smile he carries throughout the set. He was the perfect replacement for Troy until he returns. One of my favorite songs is “Edison’s Medicine” because we get to see Frank Hannon on the Theremin and this always makes for some cool photos. Throughout the set, their album covers flash on the big screen behind them for most songs they play. Towards the end of the set, JT Loux joined the band on stage for a few songs. JT is a guitarist and band that Frank Hannon is working with. They have opened for Tesla at some recent shows and JT has filled in for Dave Rude recently. 



Sunday May 8



Tesla is:

Jeff Keith  – Lead Vocals

Brian Wheat – Bass, backing vocals, keyboards, piano

Frank Hannon – Guitar, backing vocals, keyboards, piano, organ, theremin, bass, mandolin, harmonica

Dave Rude – Guitar, backing vocals, bass

Steve Brown – Drums, percussion (2021–present; substitute for Troy Luccketta)





1.) Modern Day Cowboy
2.) Cold Blue Steel
3.) Breakin’ Free
4.) Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)
5.) Mama’s Fool
6.) Miles Away
7.) Changes
8.) Lazy Days, Crazy Nights
9.) What You Give
10.) Edison’s Medicine (Man Out of Time)
11.) Love Song
12.) Little Suzi (Ph.D. cover)
13.) Signs (Five Man Electrical Band cover)
M3 Day two coverage HERE!
M3 Day 1 coverage HERE!



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