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Meat Loaf
A Concert Review

July 9, 1996

Deer Creek


A Review by
The Dude on the Right
The first time I saw Meat Loaf was at this bar called Biddy Mulligans in northern Chicago. He was a bigger man then, in size that is, and easily commanded the crowd through a non-stop performance. This time, it was a three hour drive (we'll do almost anything, go almost anywhere, to see a show) to see the man, a wonderfully boring ride through Indiana to an outdoor venue called Deer Creek - it's in Indiana. He's a much smaller man now, in size, but his presence on stage is as large as ever.

He and his band, the Neverland Express, blew through a two and a half hour set list of material that spanned his entire career, and it was easy to tell the die hard fans, those that stuck with him through the "middle" years, that time-frame between Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II. You could tell because they were the ones singing and dancing to "Midnight at the Lost and Found" and "Dead Ringer." It was cool to hear songs from those "middle" years, those even being a couple of my personal favorites, but the rest of the crowd was there to hear the hits, and they got 'em.

A Meat Loaf show isn't just a guy singing up on stage - his is a full blown production capable because most of Jim Steinman's songs (he's the main songwriter for those that didn't know) tell a story, and many times a lengthy one. Meat's a man who loves to act, who love to put a slightly different twist in his songs. He'll do an acapella opening for "Original Sin" off his latest Welcome to the Neighborhood CD, sit in an easy-chair with a floor lamp beside him for "Left in the Dark," and always seems to come up with a different twist for the anthem "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." This time that twist began in a diner scene, complete with roller skates, a flashing bow-tie, and a '69 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. As the story goes along, Girl ends up with a whip and a dominatrix outfit sportin' the perkiest and pointiest breasts I've ever seen. Then, dinner plates start flying, Boy tells her three lovely little words (it sure ain't "I Love You"), and Girl knees him in, well, where a girl would knee a guy. It's fun, the crowd sings along the entire time, and the many times I've seen Mr. Loaf it's always been different.

But, you know, Meat Loaf , whenever he can, will pull out a surprise for a home crowd, and this time he decided to bring out Indianapolis Colt's Tony Saragousa (sorry if I spelled his name wrong, I'm an disgruntled ex - Cleveland Brown fan whose allegiance has now shifted to the Green Bay Packers, but, I digress) to sing "Mustang Sally." He wasn't bad, but both of them, next time, need to get the words to the entire song down. The crowd, again, couldn't get enough, but Meat wasn't finished.

By this time Meat Loaf's voice was just about gone. It cracked, it stopped, but you could see him putting everything into it - he had one song left. "Bat Out of Hell" was the grand finale, complete with a giant inflatable bat, and even though his voice swayed a bit, he and the band got through it and it was a great way to end a great show.

I have never seen Meat Loaf give less than 200% at a concert, and this time was no different. For a concert that is an experience, Meat is the man. I just wish I had some photo's. Seems, once again, there was a mix-up with the photo pass. Oh well, I suppose if you want to see some of Meat Loaf jump to our National Concert Hall and check out our preview review - there's some photos there! Sorry. In any event, this is Meat Loaf, and I love Meat Loaf, and if he ever puts on a lousy show I would be totally amazed. This time, TWO HUGE THUMBS UP!!

And that's it for this one. Till next time, I'm the Dude on the Right. L8R!!


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