I've always had a soft spot for Meat Loaf. Like just about everyone, my Mom owns "Bat Out of Hell" and it was one of the first albums I listened to as a kid. I was a sucker for some quality cover art. So, in a Summerfest of bucket list check marks for me, I made sure I was able to see Meat Loaf perform "Paradise By the Dashboard Light." While I did not leave disappointed, I must say that I was a little disappointed when I first got there.
The new Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard is gorgeous, there's no doubting that, but they missed a great opportunity to change the way the venue works. The stage still has the aluminum benches that everyone stands on, effectively blocking the view for anyone behind them. I understand waiting for hours to get a good spot for your favorite headliner, I'm sure I'll even do it once or twice this summer, but the benches have got to go. Or at least be downsized.
Once we snaked our way to a reasonable spot, though, Meat Loaf did not disappoint. I had been warned that at age 63, Meat Loaf wasn't able to rock quite as hard as he might like to. He certainly didn't show his age as he opened with one of my personal favorites, "Bless My Soul" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." He then surprised everyone, maybe even himself, when he played "Bat Out of Hell" as the third song.
One thing that really surprised me about Meat Loaf's live performance was his on-stage vulgarity. I didn't personally have a problem with it, but there were a lot of "f-bombs," more than some people may have been comfortable with. I was told that that's the norm for a Meat Loaf show, however, and the show didn't suffer for it in the least as far as I'm concerned. If there was one thing that I could have done without, it was the phallic T-shirt cannons. That, to me, seemed below a rock 'n' roll legend such as Meat Loaf. It can't be said enough, however, that the show itself was absolutely outstanding.
As the hits kept coming, the band dropped in a few of the newer tunes …Read more...