Meat Loaf in concert 2005
|There are seminal
albums in this world; Dark Side Of The Moon, Thriller, A
Night At The Opera - all classics of their genre. Meat Loaf's
Bat Out Of Hell sits alongside them very nicely thank you
(one of only two albums never to have dropped from the top 200 since its
release) and still garners much praise from its peers, twenty-eight years
after its release.
But let's start at the beginning. Unusually, the support band are going to get a mention. Hurricane Party, a five piece Rock act, parodied everything clichéd in the world of metal in their show - the ubiquitous arm raising, the drummer twirling and throwing drumsticks, the lead guitarist playing the thing behind his head, the legs splayed / head bent posing - had one major saving grace they were fantastic! Richie Hevanz (surely a stage name) possesses such a strong voice that he could carry the Justin Hawkins theatrics, including a sprint around the entire arena, with great mastery. Whereas the bass of Rob Randell churned the stomach with its raw power, backed ably by Chris Rivers on drums. Scene setters one and all, to the point that the queue for their CD at Merchandise almost outgrew that of the main attraction during the interval. Special mention should also go to guitarist Robin Hirshfield. Christ on a bike, can this bloke play or what? It's been a long, long time since there has been anybody so enthusiastically impressive playing in the Big Top and other up and coming guitarists should take note of the name, as it's definitely one for the future.
So on with the show and, at precisely
9:00 pm the big guy sauntered onto stage looking so much better than
he'd done twelve months earlier after his heart scare, to grab his guitar,
mike stand and trademarked red silk handkerchief.
By song four though, the equipment was
back on track and Dead Ringer was hammered out with great
pantomime flair. That's the thing with a Meat Loaf gig. He doesn't
just get up and sing he re-enacts the whole song with a style that makes
for superb entertainment and total crowd control is his to do with as
Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth
came hot on its heels, with the crowd singing along the repeated title
line. That is until the big guy spotted somebody in the crowd not singing
and made him universally unpopular with the 4,800 sell out crowd. "How
can you not be singing? Are you on leave from a mental institution?"
then, with a chorus of boos for the paying customer, Meat Loaf
looked him in the eye and said "They don't like you very much,
There is a new album out - Bat Out
Of Hell III - in 2006. Only Hurts When I Feel It was duly
sung, followed on by the partying All Revved Up from the original
Bat Out Of Hell album.
Then the highlight of the evening -
Paradise By The Dashboard Light. A song in three parts, this
has now become a play in its own right, with Meat enacting the
role of lustful youth turned cynical, ensnared husband, with a gusto
and enthusiasm that is breathtaking. Patricia Russo's amazing voice
is superb as the acting Temptress of the song, and her voice is very
much 'the gravy' that is needed to make Meat sound so good.
Time to slow down for Two Out Of
Three Ain't Bad before picking up the tempo again with I Would
Do Anything For Love.
Meat Loaf paid tribute to his band,
all of whom played their part superbly well in making this a show to
remember, by calling them the "Best damn rock band in the world.
I don't care what they say, this is the best damn rock band in
the world." And on this showing, well, he's entitled to his point
The opening strains of Bat Out Of
Hell itself sent the audience into hysteria land and, no matter
how many times it is listened to, the song still gets the hairs on the
back of the neck rising.
This was a pure, unadulterated rock
show that had the sprinkling of seasoning that add that final touch
of classy spice to such events; a band that enjoy themselves, an audience
up for creating the right atmosphere (even those dressed as though attending
a Showaddywaddy gig - I kid you not. There were also a number of Meat
Loaf impersonators about too, which was really quite scary) and a star
honed to professional excess.
He may be getting on, but Meat Loaf
can still rock and roll with the best of them.
|Have you also seen Meat Loaf live in concert or maybe you would just like to comment on this review - FEEDBACK|
Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit. - Chris High 2003.
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