Meat Loaf - Performance Review
By David Dalton
I guessed that I was in for an interesting experience last week at Hammersmith Odean
when the concert started with a demonic looking character in a black leather jacket slowly
peeling off leather gauntlets, while the drummer was thumping out what sounded like the
beat to Ravel's Bolero.
After the rest of the band - two keyboard players, two guitarists and a bass player -
had assembled and had been playing for about five minutes, on came two backing singers,
followed by the grand entrance of Meat Loaf himself. Yes, Meat Loaf is a person, though
the name must refer to his diet. He began stalking across the stage in his frilly dress
shirt and dinner jacket, daintily holding a red silk handkerchief. Then he showed his true
colors and considerable belly, when he threw off his dinner jacket and got worked up for
the first number - Bat Out Of Hell - the title track from his current epic chart album
That drew great response from the packed audience and he continued with well known
material, all at maximum watts, moving into the chart single You Took The Words Right Out
Of My Mouth (EPC 5980).
While the music is loud and rocking, Meat Loaf's performance is highly theatrical as he
acts out several numbers, mostly with his attractive female backing singer. One told the
story of a wolf preying on the girl, while another described the mayhem caused by a boy
maniac killing people with a Fender guitar. In the latter, the boy is about to club his
parents to death in bed when his father wakes up and says: "Son, is that any way to
treat an expensive musical instrument?"
Meat Loaf left the stage at one point to allow his band to show they could really play,
and they did in a series of competent solos. Meat Loaf then came back for a couple of
soulful rockers in Johnny B. Goode and River Deep, Mountain High, with the singer shedding
about a stone in weight if effort and perspiration are anything to go by.