Seen Live: Meat Loaf’s Farewell Tour

Last night, before starting “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” Meat Loaf said, We’re gonna try to make it sound as much like 1976 as possible, for you people. It ain’t gonna happen … but we’re gonna try.

And he was right. It didn’t sound anything like 1976. That’s 37 years ago. That was four years before I was born. In 1977, Bat Out of Hell came out, and three years later, I was born. Thirteen years later, mr. Loaf made a glorious comeback with Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and the massive hit single “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).” Even then, he sounded nothing like 1976. And now, it’s 20 years later still.

No one in their right mind would expect a 65 year old man to sound like he did 37 years ago.

Meat Loaf’s show in the IJsselhallen in Zwolle was the only Dutch concert on his Last at Bat: Farewell Tour (or whatever it’s called). And even though it didn’t sound anything like 1976 and despite that mr. Loaf wasn’t always spot on, it was a great show. Wickedly awesomely so.

To be honest, the first half of the show didn’t impress me much, mostly due to the selection of songs. But then he sang “Objects in the Rear View Mirror …” and he had me. Again, mr. Loaf wasn’t perfect, but the band was awesome as ever and let’s face it: when Jim Steinman’s music is being played and it’s is being played well, I turn into a puddle of goo. You can mop me up, so to speak.

The second half of the show—you know, the part where he plays all of Bat in the right order—was epic. The arrangements stayed for the most part close to the album versions, which meant that there was no extended sing-along in “Took the Words” and that song was over and done with in less then 11 minutes, but where they deviated, it worked. “Heaven Can Wait” got an acoustic guitar solo, and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” got a lengthy instrumental interlude. Usually, I’m not the biggest fan of “Two Out of Three”, but this arrangement, and especially mr. Loaf’s performance, wow. Just wow.

And then, the moment that you knew that would come. When you play Bat Out of Hell all the way through, when you’ve managed to get past that song to the last song on side B, well, that’s my very favourite Meat Loaf song. It might just as well be my all-time top 5 number one song ever. It’s the one song I wanted to hear most. Even if the rest of the show would have been as disastrous as the 2008 Amsterdam fiasco, mr. Loaf could have saved the show with just an acceptable performance of “For Crying Out Loud.” Luckily, he exceeded my expectations. I can’t quite say that he nailed it, but fuck it. It was awesome.

With Meat Loaf retiring from touring, it’s likely that I won’t see him perform live again. Well, it is what it is. And this was an excellent goodbye.

Seen live
Meat Loaf, the “Last at Bat: Farewell Tour” at IJsselhallen, Zwolle on May 11th, 20013
Set List
Running for the Red Light (I Gotta Life) » Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back / Dead Ringer for Love / If It Ain’t Broke (Break It) / Los Angeloser / The Giving Tree / Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are / Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire) // Bat Out of Hell / You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) / Heaven Can Wait / All Revved Up With No Place To Go / Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad / Paradise by the Dashboard Light / For Crying Out Loud // I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) / Boneyard » Freebird Jam » Band Introductions » All Revved Up (reprise)