Have you ever been so primed for an event, so anxious for it to arrive, so excited to be going that you started feeling apprehensive…like maybe your expectations were too high and you fear disappointment when it finally comes to pass?
If you are one of those folks who has not yet seen Meat Loaf on his Hang Cool Teddy Bear tour, get as primed as you want. I’m here to tell you there will be no disappointment.
There’s only one time in my life that I’ve had a silly grin on my face as big as the one I was sporting at Meat Loaf’s concert last night. That was when I first test rode a Triumph Rocket III. Raw power, emotion, and a feeling that this was just too good to be true.
As my wife and I stood in line waiting to enter the House of Blues in Dallas I looked at the ageing Meat Loaf fans surrounding us. “Gee, Sweetie, will ya look at all these old farts waiting in line.” I said to Robin.
“I hate to tell you this,” she responded, “But those ‘old farts’ are our age.”
Yeah, I guess she was right…but I’m a fan of the Neverland Express and though my goatee has grey bits and my hair is starting to resemble Jerry Garcia’s, I have no intention of growing up or growing old.
Neither, apparently, does Meat Loaf.
After we’d entered the balcony and claimed our seats we were treated to a set of songs from Pearl, the opening band named after and fronted by Meat Loaf’s adopted daughter, Pearl Aday. This isn’t a review of Pearl, and her music was very different from Meat Loaf’s (whose isn’t?), but I will say this: Pearl may have the option of riding her father’s mighty coat tails, but she doesn’t need them. She’s like a Janis Joplin with even more talent.
I’m a fan. And I’m buying her new album, “Immaculate Little White Fox” as soon as I can get my hands on it.
After Pearl cleared out and the roadies swarmed the moderately sized HOB stage, the lights dimmed and then the Baron of Bombast strutted onto the stage. He paced back and forth for a few seconds, staring into the audience as if looking for someone who needed an ass-kicking. The crowd cheered, screamed, and roared.
Then the music started.
I’ll try, but I have no words to adequately describe it. If you’ve been to Meat Loaf concert you know what I mean. No performer, with the possible exception of Elvis Presley, has ever put that much effort and energy into a live performance.
And that crap some reviewers have been spouting about singing off-pitch and not being able to hit the notes like he used to? That’s a load of horse feathers and I’m ashamed of myself for assuming they might be right prior to attending the concert. Meat Loaf was spot on, his voice was strong, and the tempo was perfect. I detected none of the “slowness” in the speed of the songs that a few other writers have mentioned.
If Meat Loaf has ever given a lousy performance, it wasn’t one of the shows I’ve attended.
I won’t give away the set list, but I will say that the third song was the legendary “Bat Out of Hell”. The band absolutely slaughtered us with their perfect performance, and Meat Loaf crooned and bombarded the sold-out crowd with a flawless vocal performance. He didn’t just own the stage, he owned every square foot of the House of Blues.
At the end of that song he paused, and told us, “You know, you gotta be insane to do ‘Bat Out of Hell’ as the third song in a set. I’m 62 years old now…when I walked out on this stage I was #$%^&*ing forty-seven!”
Some hilarious banter with the incomparable and ageless Patti Russo followed, and the crowd ate every bit of Meat Loaf that was fed to them.
Then the music began to blast again, as Meat Loaf took us on a journey through a barrage of samples from his own timeless and unique catalog of hits. He didn’t hold back, and being in what appears to be the best physical shape of his professional career, perhaps his life, he poured out an incredible amount of energy and talent upon the audience, which participated as only rabid Meat Loaf fans can do.
I went home last night after the show and scratched “See Meat Loaf in Concert Again” off my bucket list.
This morning I got out of bed and added “See Meat Loaf in Concert Again” to my bucket list.