Last Night: Meat Loaf at Pompano Beach Amphitheatre

Categories: Concert Review
Sayre Berman
Meat Loaf and the Neverland Express rocked the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre Saturday night. Click here to view the full slideshow.

Meat Loaf
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, Pompano Beach

Better Than: Mashed Potatoes

If you believe rocker Meat Loaf's songs and his stage antics, the guy is a stud muffin. For more than 30 years, he's surrounded himself with beautiful women, sings songs about "the ladies" not being able to get enough of him (and there's a lot of him), and, rumor has it, that during sex Marvin Michael Lee Aday, grunts the name of his stage alter ego, Meat Loaf, repeatedly.

For all the overweight, and now AARP carrying, former biker bad boys and other big and tallsters out there, Meat Loaf continues to give them hope.

At his concert Saturday night at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, young chicks, grandma chicks, fat chicks, and guys with hair as long as chicks, went wild. They lip synced and air guitared every riff of the more than 20-song set. After two hours and something of a build up to the climactical last song, "Bat Out Of Hell," fans rushed the front of the stage despite the yellow-shirted security handlers attempts to keep them away. It was a full on Meat Loaf orgasm.

While the 61-year-old's vocal chords show a bit of a strain, he still gives it all he's got. Backed by a solid eight-piece band, including longtime back-up singer Patti Russo, Meat Loaf continues to draw a legion of fans who share his demigodish notion. Where they come from, we don't know. But they are there, and they were there Saturday night.

Meat Loaf performed mostly songs from the 1977 Bat Out of Hell release that gave him rock star status. "If It Ain't Broke (Break It)", the second song in the set, is a particularly good track from his last release, Bat Out of Hell III, and written by Meat Loaf longtime collaborator Jim Steinman, of course. (Side note: Depending on whose side you're on, Steinman has always been the man behind the Meat.)

And the perennial pairing between Patti and Meat makes the boy-girl, man-woman energy even that more fever pitched. The much publicized rift between Russo, the lead vocalist of Meat Loaf for 14 years, and Meat has been patched up, but still when Patti gives Meat the one finger salute during the song "Amnesty Is Granted," it still appears that she gives him the finger with gusto. The two parted ways after she was featured on only one song on the release "Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose," on an album that featured three duets.

This time around she gets to play house with at least four funky costume changes and a solo on "Bring Me A Bible and A Beer." She shines during the pubescent anthem "Paradise By the Dashboard Light," and sexily taunts Meat during "You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth" with her signature line of questioning. Say it along with me, will you?

Meat Loaf: On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
Patti: Will he offer me his mouth?
Meat Loaf: Yes
Patti: Will he offer
me his teeth?
Meat Loaf: Yes
Patti: Will he offer me his jaws?
Meat Loaf: Yes
Patti: Will he offer me his hunger?
Meat Loaf: Yes
Patti: Again. Will he offer me his hunger?
Meat Loaf: YES
Patti: And will he starve without me?
Meat Loaf: Yes (on the original song); Saturday night's ad lib: You gotta be out of your f-in mind! Do I look like I'm the kinda guy who would starve?
Patti: And does he love me?
Meat Loaf: Yes

Despite weighing 80 pounds more at the peak of Meat Loaf mania in 1978, Marvin is still a mammoth. He sweats and pants his way through much of his set, but to his credit, he only takes a few short breaks for vocal rest during a jazz jam, metal mix, back-up singer solo "45 Seconds of Ecstasy" and Patti's beer song. His ability to hold notes for long periods of time is still there, only the notes are a bit under key and come out more like a wolf-like wail than the glorious tones of a lion king.

But when he sings "Bat Out of Hell" for the 9,150th time, whether you gave up your Saturday night at Buddy's Trailer Park Bar or you got free tickets from the place where you bought your Harley, you raise your beer to Mr. Meat Loaf. If you didn't think Meat Loaf was a sex god before you walked through the amphitheatre gate, you've become caught up in Meat Loaf mania. Meat Loaf! Meat Loaf! Meat Loaf! you chant. You turn to the fan next to you mouthing every word and realize that now you've offered your throat to the wolf with the red roses. Yes, my friend, rock and roll dreams do come true.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Meat Loaf doesn't just perform a rock show, he stages a rock musical.

Random Detail: Phil Rizzuto's play by play wasn't left out in "Paradise" but piped in rather than a band member trying to mimic the notorious innuendo. Good call.

By the Way: If he ever decides to stop singing (which he vowed he'd never do in 2007 after rumors were he may quit touring), he's not a bad comedian. Saturday night's jokes included the redneck laffer: "A true redneck thinks Taco Bell is the Mexican phone company."

-- Michelle F. Solomon



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