M3 Rock Festival Official Kix-Off Party

M3 Rock Festival Official Kix-Off Party

Now in its fourth year, M3 Rock Festival has grown from an up-and-comer to the definitive way to party like it's 1989. Starting with the annual Kix-Off Party on Friday and heading straight into the festival on Saturday, M3 features enough hard rock and hair metal bands to make your head spin (although, let's be honest... that's probably from the two cans of hairspray you used). Both stages are coordinated so that no sets overlap with each other, meaning you can jam-pack your entire day with the maximum amount of metal. We recommend that you start doing tons of arm curls, '80s movie montage-style, because this May at Merriweather you'll be throwing up more horns than you can possibly imagine.

"Featuring ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Brad Gillis and former Montrose keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald, Night Ranger was one of the most popular mainstream hard rock bands of the mid-'80s. The group formed in the early '80s in San Francisco; in addition to Gillis and Fitzgerald, the members included Jack Blades (vocals, bass), Jeff Watson (guitar), and Kelly Keagy (drums). After a few local gigs, promoter Bill Graham managed to get them supporting slots on Judas Priest, Santana, and Doobie Brothers concerts. Night Ranger's first album, Dawn Patrol (1982), reached number 38 on the U.S. charts, yet it was 1983's Midnight Madness that established the band as a commercial force. Featuring the AOR hit "(You Can Still) Rock in America" and the number five single "Sister Christian," the record peaked at number 15 and sold over a million copies. 1985's 7 Wishes was just as successful, reaching number ten on the charts. Night Ranger's audience began to diminish after 1987's Big Life. Fitzgerald left the following year and the band released their last album, Man in Motion, which failed to go gold or spawn any Top 40 singles. Night Ranger broke up the next year. Jack Blades joined the supergroup Damn Yankees, which also featured Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw. A reunited Night Ranger returned in 1998 with Seven." - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusicGuide

KIX was founded in 1978 in Hagerstown, Maryland as The Shooze, then changed its name to The Generators before eventually settling on KIX. They were considered one of Maryland's top cover bands prior to their signing with Atlantic Records in 1981. Though considered by many glam metal, the band's pop-metal stylings drew inspiration from bubblegum pop and new wave as well as hard rock.


In 1981, they debuted with a self-titled album “KIX,” featuring "Atomic Bombs," "Heartache," "Contrary Mary", "The Itch," and "The Kid." "Love at First Sight" instantly became a concert favorite. "KIX Are for Kids" creatively merged the name of the band with two popular cereals of the 1960s and 1970s, KIX (that featured an atomic bomb commercial) and the Trix Rabbit (i.e., "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!").


"Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" became the band’s most popular concert song, always with a unique ad-lib performance by Whiteman. With this album, the tongue-in-cheek rock & roll style of KIX was established. Their 1983 follow-up, “Cool Kids,” showcased a slightly more commercial side of the band featuring the title song and the single "Body Talk.” Somewhat overlooked but a favorite with female fans was the ballad "For Shame."


KIX then partnered up with Ratt and future Warrant producer Beau Hill and, in 1985, released the album “Midnite Dynamite,” featuring a hard rock single by the same name and funk rock songs “Cold Shower" and "Sex." The band headed west to begin to make a name for themselves in such places as the Sunset Strip, where Mötley Crüe and other glam metal bands rose to stardom.



KIX went back to the studio to write more songs. In 1988, they released “Blow My Fuse,” and finally achieved fame as it went platinum. The slow ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes" -- containing anti-suicidelyrics -- led the way and other popular cuts followed. The album featured popular singles "Cold Blood" and "Blow My Fuse" with popular videos showing the band in concert at Hammerjacks. In 1989, the band released “KIX, Blow My Fuse, the Videos” with their now popular videos and behind-the-scenes footage. As KIX finally graduated to arenas, they opened for such popular artists as Aerosmith.


The album “Hot Wire” finally arrived in 1991 with the single, “Girl Money". While on tour in 1992, they made a live album, titled “KIX Live” at the University of Maryland, College Park. This album was released in 1993. In 1995, the band released their final album “Show Business,” on CMC records. KIX broke up in 1995, and Hammerjack’s Concert Hall was torn down in June 1996 to make way for a parking lot for the Baltimore Ravens' stadium. Steve Whiteman would re-emerge as the singer for local Baltimore band Funny Money, with whom he continues to work. Jimmy Chalfant has also joined Funny Money as the full time drummer. Steve also teaches voice at The Musician's Institute in Baltimore and Triple R Guitar in Lemoyne, Pa. Ronnie Younkins moved to L.A. and wrote, recorded, and released the album "The Slimmer Twins - Lack of
Luxury" as a collaboration with singer Jeremy L. White in 2000. In 2002 he founded The Blues Vultures, maturing into the lead singer and main songwriter position and followed in 2005 with the
album "The Blues Vultures - Cheap Guitars & Honky Tonk Bars." Brian Forsythe plays in The Snakehandlers and has recently been on tour as the guitar player of Rhino Bucket. Brian can be
heard on the Bucket's 2005 release 'And Then It Got Ugly'. Steve Whiteman, Jimmy Chalfant, Ronnie Younkins, and Brian Forsythe have teamed up a few times a year for the last few years to do KIX reunion shows in the Maryland/Pennsylvania area that have been very well received.



Then in the summer of 2008 KIX performed outside their home area for the first time in 13 years at two of the biggest rock festivals in the US. Rocklahoma in Pryor, Oklahoma and Rock the Bayou in
Houston, TX. KIX was hailed by many music websites and attendees as “Best Performance” at both festivals. These were both massive rock festival where KIX played alongside acts such as Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Telsa, Queensrÿche, Ratt, Lita Ford, Warrant and more. Since then KIX has been performing more and more shows at festivals, casinos and biker rally’s across the country impressing promoters with their top notch performances and cult following of fans who seem to turn up in big numbers to see them everywhere they play.

"If there is such a thing as false advertising in rock & roll, then Enuff Z'nuff is one of its textbook examples. Packaged in garish peace-glam attire by their record company, the group was wrongly lumped in with the disposable pop-metal bands of the late '80s (Poison, Warrant, etc.) rather than appreciated for the truly gifted power pop act that they were. By the time they finally managed to shed their deceptive camouflage, it was much too late to turn public opinion, or their fortunes, around.


Musical soul brothers Donnie Vie (guitar and vocals) and Chip Znuff met in Chicago in 1984 and quickly set about writing songs together. Their relationship proved extremely fruitful and in less than a year the duo had recruited guitar player Gino Martino and drummer B.W. Boski, named themselves Enuff Z'nuff, and begun shopping around a full-length demo called Hollywood Squares to the major labels. Obtaining a contract proved more difficult than they expected, however, and it was only four years later, and after the arrival of virtuoso guitarist Derek Frigo and drummer Vikki Foxx, that the band finally signed a deal with Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco.


Released in August 1989, Enuff Z'nuff's self-titled debut scored a couple of quick hit singles with "New Thing" and "Fly High Michelle," but the frustrated band found themselves receiving more attention for their over-the-top, brightly colored, peace sign-infested wardrobe than their superlative hard rock songs. By the time they unleashed 1991's Strength album, the band had noticeably toned down their image and turned up their creative ambitions to deliver a masterful '90s take on the crunchy power pop sound of Cheap Trick and Badfinger. America's new alternative rock regime was not impressed, however, and their dismissal from Atco due to disappointing sales coincided with a growing rift with guitarist Frigo. And though they were quickly snapped up by Arista Records, drummer Foxx would leave abruptly for the greener pastures of former Mötley Crüe vocalist Vince Neil's solo band as soon as the sessions for their third album, Animals with Human Intelligence, were completed. When this third effort tanked with consumers as well, Arista also shut its doors and Frigo quit for good.


Vie and Znuff hit rock bottom in 1994. With no record deal in sight and wallowing in deepening drug addiction, they decided to re-release their original 1985 demos as the next Enuff Z'nuff album, simply calling it 1985. Containing liner notes penned by the "King of All Media" himself, Howard Stern (by all accounts a rabid fan), the album proved a godsend, doing enough business domestically and in Japan (remember, production costs were negligible) to pad the band's coffers and get the boys back on their feet. It also allowed them to record two new albums in 1995: an official release for Mayhem Records called Tweaked (featuring original guitarist Martino and drummer Ricky Parent) and the Japan-only Chip & Donnie: Brothers -- later re-released stateside in 1997 as Seven. In between, Enuff Z'nuff recorded 1996's Peach Fuzz as a trio following Martino's departure, then released the retrospective Live in 1998. Guitarist John Monaco joined the group in time for 1998's Paraphernalia (which was released by Spitfire Records, along with most of the band's late-'90s output) and stayed on through 2000's 10.


Unfortunately, this unusual spell of relative stability would not last for Enuff Z'nuff. Following the release of their 11th studio album, Welcome to Blue Island, by the Dream Catcher label in 2002, Donnie Vie quit to pursue a solo career in Los Angeles, leaving Chip Znuff and a number of henchmen to carry on and tour sporadically as a trio. Then, just as reunion discussions with former members Derek Frigo and Vikki Foxx were getting under way, Enuff Z'nuff's already shaky constituents were dealt another devastating blow on May 29, 2004, when Frigo was found dead from an accidental drug overdose outside his girlfriend's apartment in L.A. The band had just finished recording ?, which was eventually released in November 2004 on the Pony Canyon label. A live album, Tonight, Sold Out, followed in 2007." - Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusicGuide

In the Pink

Let There Be Rock

Columbia’s Let There Be Rock School is the first and only performance-based music school serving Howard County and the surrounding areas. At Let There Be Rock, we strive to be the preeminent force in producing the area’s best young musicians, by employing professional, working rock musicians to engage students in music theory and practice while nurturing and leading them as they form bands and work toward regular performances in front of live audiences.


But unlike standard music lessons where music is a solitary pursuit, music at Let There Be Rock is a team effort. We provide a range of opportunities for students to engage with peers and experts alike, practicing, jamming, songwriting and performing, often with the benefit of a live audience. Our programs foster teamwork, social skills, and relationships, giving kids not just a foundation in music, but a sense of purpose and a community where they belong. And forget the recital. The hallmark of Let There Be Rock is the live concert performance, a standing-room-only event hosted at a real, local music venue. Our concerts are must-see events, with area residents saving the date to come see these kids bring down the house.


But we’re more than just the coolest music school in town. We are also Howard County’s hottest place to be seen for kids that rock. Our “Rock Lounge” is a place where students can socialize, play games, eat snacks, do homework, watch TV and DVDs, or venture to rehearsal rooms to jam with friends or band mates, practice, or engage in impromptu songwriting sessions. Members of Let There Be Rock are welcome in the Rock Lounge before or after lessons and rehearsals, and during all hours of operation, Monday through Saturday.

$25 - $45

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M3 Rock Festival Official Kix-Off Party with Night Ranger, Kix, Enuff Z'nuff, In the Pink, Let There Be Rock

Friday, May 11 · 4:30 PM at Merriweather Post Pavilion