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 as well. I'm not nearly as familiar with these as I am with the classics, but the die-hard Meat Loaf fans I was with were pleased with them and they were good songs, so I had no problems with listening to them. Throughout the course of the night, the band also played "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth," "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That" and of course, "Paradise By the Dashboard Light."
After a long first day at Summerfest, Meat Loaf hit the spot. He showed very little of his 63 years and put everything he had into each song. I would have no qualms about going to see another Meat Loaf concert, but for now it just feels good to have "see 'Paradise By the Dashboard Light' live" crossed off my bucket list.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Alex Wendland
Published Sept. 18, 2011
In just three years on the Milwaukee Panthers women's soccer team, Sarah Hagen has become arguably the best soccer player in Horizon League history. As just a junior, she repeated as Horizon League Player of the Year, and was All-League First Team and League Tournament MVP for the third-straight season.
Published Sept. 3, 2011
Summer is wrapping up and now is the time where everyone goes football crazy. The game is in full swing at every level, from pee-wee all the way up to the pros. For many, the highest level they will achieve is a fantasy football championship.
Published Aug. 16, 2011
OnMilwaukee.com intern Alex Wendland recently took a position as the offensive and defensive line coach for the freshman team at Whitefish Bay High School. The season has already been more challenging than expected, but he wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
Published July 21, 2011
As a city, we sometimes take our own attractions for granted. Don't fall into that trap, get to the Harley-Davidson Museum this summer.
Published July 19, 2011
The most anticipated movie of the Summer, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" made over $45 million on just midnight showings and $168.6 million during opening weekend. If you weren't one of the millions to see it already, should you?
Published July 14, 2011
There isn't much better than sitting outside and reading a good book, but that really isn't an option come January in Milwaukee. Now that we've finally got warm weather, it's time to dust off that list of books you've been dying to read.
Published July 11, 2011
Two major summer festivals around the Midwest - Summerfest and Chicago's Caravan tour - are in the books. Both festivals had a lot to offer and both were great successes. There can be only one winner, however, in the festival smackdown to end all festival smackdowns, Summerfest vs. Caravan.
Published July 10, 2011
While the Dave Matthews Band decided last year they wouldn't tour the summer of 2011, the band still wanted to perform without the stress of another full summer tour. And thus, the Caravan festival was born. Among those in attendance are many from the Milwaukee area that are using Caravan in replacement of Alpine Valley to get their DMB fix.
Published July 7, 2011
The crowd was warned by the 95 WIIL Rock introduction crew before the show just how "face-melting" the show we were about to see was. And it was - metaphorically, of course. The 16-song set spanned the entirety of the band's career, and the trio even stayed around afterward to meet with the fans.
Published July 3, 2011
The beach balls and straw fedoras were out in full force for the Jason Mraz show at the Marcus Amphitheater Saturday night. Ever the showman, Mraz put on a show that was almost two hours and could be described as "the total package." As is his style, Mraz threw in a handful of funky jams for everyone to groove to and even took a break to send out some "good vibes" for the state of Wisconsin.