The Dude on the Right
Meat Loaf at
The Riviera, Chicago, IL.
Billy Joel at
The Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL.
Some Concert Reviews
Well, I have some good news, and I have some bad news. First, the
good news. Last week I got to see three different concerts, Meat
Loaf, Betsy and the Boneshakers, and Billy Joel. The bad news is we
lost the Dude on the Left. I don't know what happened. We had just
left the Meat Loaf concert when all of a sudden there was a bright
light coming from the sky and the next thing I knew he was gone. I'm
guessing aliens took him, I just hope they bring him back so he can
take his finals! I'll keep you posted as I find out more. But on to
Meat Loaf: It takes a big man to keep a crowd rocking when
your 2 1/2 hour concert is only twelve songs long. Although not as
big as he used to be (at least in terms of waist size), Meat Loaf is
bigger and sounding better than ever.
Last Tuesday it was Meat Loaf at the Riviera. It was his first
appearance in the Chicago area in over two years (last time he was
at Star Plaza Theater), and he hasn't lost a beat, nor has his band.
All of the favorites were there from Bat Out of Hell I, as well as
the present and future hits from Bat Out of Hell II. With a
commanding control of the crowd, Meat Loaf directed a two set
performance that reminded everyone if anyone can come back from
almost permanently losing their voice, suffering a breakdown, and
splitting from his favorite songwriter, he can.
The show opened with an electrifying performance of "I Would
Do Anything for Love (But I Won't do That)", his current single
that exploded on the charts. True, the song is over ten minutes
long, but the crowd was just starting, and Mr. Loaf knew it. He
continued rolling along with the crowd, keeping them pumped up just
when a lull started. He wouldn't let them quit. "You Took the
Words Right Out of My Mouth," "All Revved up With No Place
to Go," and "Bat Out of Hell" all sounded fresh. But
it was his new material that proved his alliance with Jim Steinman
is somewhat of a "meant-to-be." Come on, with lyrics like
"She used her body just like a bandage, she used my body just
like a wound," and "If you want my views of history then
there's something you should know, the three men I admire most are
Curly, Larry, and Mo!," it's hard to understand what is
sometimes going through Steinman's head, but somehow, Meat Loaf
makes it easy to understand.
Who else but Meat Loaf could make a song with probably the
longest title ever "Objects in the Rearview Mirror May Appear
Closer Than They Are" stand the test of 10+ minutes and still
have the crowd ready for more? He rocked. He joked. Hell, he even
threatened to go kick the ass of a guy who didn't seem to having
enough fun in the balcony. It was pure Meat Loaf, and the crowd ate
him up (pun intended).
You got it, I loved it. Meat Loaf was (I saw him when he played
Biddy Mulligan's many, many years ago-way cool) a premier performer,
but now he has proven the test of time. He still puts on one of the
best shows of any performer I've seen. As a musician, most people
love Meat Loaf, but to really appreciate the talent of this man, you
have to see him live, his acting out of "Paradise by the
Dashboard Light," his control of the crowd like a minister, and
his ability to rock year in and year out make Meat Loaf one of the
most memorable performers of the year. Let's just hope his
three-year world tour brings him back to Chicago soon.
So, you guessed it, Meat Loaf gets TWO THUMBS UP, an appendage
up, hell he even gets TWO BIG TOES UP. I loved it! And even though
my partner isn't with us anymore, as I was blinded by the light of
the supposed UFO, I heard him screaming "EVERYTHING UP - I
LOVED HIM!" I guess that's speaks for itself.
Next is Betsy and the Boneshakers. They were here a
while back, basically a blues band. And a good blues band at that.
But from the start it seemed that this Bog night was crashing
quicker than a Korean jetliner. Yep, no one was there. Maybe it was
school work, maybe something else, but a lot of people missed a
really good band.
Yep, they played some blues, some Dylan, some Wilson Picket, and
even though only a few people were applauding, they still played
their hearts out. Betsy tried to make a joke or two, but no one
seemed to be listening, but they played on. I really don't know what
else to say except they get ONE THUMB UP for effort. A talented band
playing to nobody is still a talented band.
And finally, Billy Joel. Yep, the Piano Man himself was at
Rosemont for a show last Tuesday, and for the show I saw Friday. I
saw him last time around about three years, and let's just say that
he hasn't lost a beat either. In a circular stage, every seat was a
good seat, and the seats behind the stage were great (that's where I
was). Mixing it up behind his latest "River of Dreams" and
dipping into a bastion of his old hits, Billy Joel showed that good
old fashioned Rock and Roll is not dead.
Yep, he played River of Dreams, Allentown, Goodnight Saigon, and
others, and kept the crowd going all night long. With shades of gray
in his hair, Bill Joel gave hope to all "not-so-aging"
rockers that life goes on.
And, if you didn't guess it, it was Piano Man that brought the
house down at the end of the night. Yep, Billy Joel gave a show to
remember, probably for another three years. And from me, Billy Joel
get TWO THUMBS UP. Truly a great performer as well, and a lesson to
all kids that piano lessons ain't that bad.
So, that brings me to the end of my reviews. What a week it was,
it's amazing how I still manage to pass all of my classes. This
week, go home and visit the folks for Turkey Day. Yep, no band in
the Bog this week but they'll be back in December. Hopefully the
Dude on the Left will return by then and all will be back to
abnormalcy. As always, Party Smart. Rellim Reeb, Rellim Reeb!!