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Related links at Entertainment Ave!
Concert Reviews:
Meat Loaf
- July 9, 1996
- July 9, 1994

Billy Joel
- November 22, 1998

Other Links:

Meat Loaf at
The Riviera, Chicago, IL.
Billy Joel at
The Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL.

Some Concert Reviews

November, 1993

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
The Dude on the Right
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 my reviews.

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!!


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