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M3 rocks Merriweather Post Pavilion

Extreme performs at the 2014 M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Extreme performs at the 2014 M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Richie Downs for Merriweather Post Pavilion

The 6th annual M3 Rock Festival hit Merriweather Post Pavilion this past Friday and Saturday, and for those of you unfamiliar with this particular music festival, imagine walking through the gates and immediately stepping back into 1989 and a time when hair metal and guitar solos ruled the world. Given that the lineup included such 'classic' hair metal artists including Kix, Queensryche and Skid Row's Sebastian Bach, the crowd consisted of it what can only be described as a sociologist's dream come true. Denim jackets with patches were plentiful as were trucker hats with fun sayings on them including "Tattooed and Employed." The crowd came to rock out like they did in the Eighties and they rocked out hard. Here's a rundown on each day:

Friday: All the Aqua Net in the world couldn't withstand the torrential downpour that took place on Friday, but it didn't decrease either the fist-pumping or beer-fueled "woooos" that came from the crowd (Fun fact: there was actually a line for the men's bathtroom at M3!). With a shortened line-up that included Winger and hometown heroes Kix, the bad ass-ness award went to Lita Ford for bringing out Cherie Currie (former lead singer of The Runaways) and having the two of them blast through some hits from The Runaways' catalogue. The first runner-up should go to Extreme lead singer Gary Cherone's pants for withstanding the non-stop bending, lunging and all-around posing that they had to endure during Extreme's set.

Saturday: With much better weather, the crowd happily wandered through the festival village where they could take advantage of the 80s makeover tent (yes, Aqua Net was involved) or get a book signed by That Metal Show's Eddie Trunk at the Chuck Levin's booth. Or they simply travelled back and forth between the main and second stage taking in acts including Queensryche (the non-Geoff Tate version), Tesla, L.A. Guns and Sebastian Bach, who delivered what can only be described as the most passive-aggressive rock set I've ever seen (one second he would berate the crowd for not rocking out hard enough followed by telling them how much they rock. Any day now, I'm expecting flowers from Bach with a note saying that it was a mistake and he'll never do it again).

Sure, hair metal has been described as the Wonder White bread of rock. But for a brief time, Merriweather was transported into a magical land of hard riffs and power ballads (and sometimes hard-riffed power ballads) where complete strangers sang lyrics simultaneously to each other, air guitared and sealed their union with a fist bump or high five. Proving to themselves that they could still rock out to their favorite bands, without the aid of Aqua Net.

For more information on the the M3 Rock Festival, click here.