HallamFM Arena, Sheffield
Saturday 13 December 2003
My first, and presumably last, Meat Loaf concert. We heard this was to be Meat's "final farewell" tour, now that he is to concentrate on acting, so we couldn't miss the opportunity. There was added tension because of his recent heart scare, so we were anxiously watching the web site to see if this performance would be cancelled or postponed. But it went ahead, and the "warmup" (Meat's bass guitarist) reassured us that he was "a new man".
Then, right at the start, he's wheeled onto stage on a hospital trolley by two "nurses"! Brilliant.
But then the next three songs had me worried. He seemed to be holding back, moving slowly, having difficulty getting the words out. Was he really not well after all? No, it seemed he just needed time to warm up himself. After a slow start, it just got better and better. Of course, the performances were not as "polished" as on the recordings, but the set pieces, the variations, some great guitar work, and the playing with the audience, more than made up for that.
The encore was "I'd Do Anything for Love", followed by "Bat Out of Hell" -- talk about giving them what they want! -- and it seemed like everyone was on their feet for these -- even the people up in the steeply raked vertiginous balcony seats (like us!)
A wonderful evening. (I wonder when the "final final farewell" tour will be?)
reviewed 14 December 2003