Top positive review
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Paradise almost found
on 18 October 2007
The mighty voice rip-roars through the songs from the Bat trilogy with all the power of a jumbo-jet tearing down a runaway and blasting into a hell-raising takeoff. Here is another Meat Loaf performance that goes far enough to make the original studio recordings sound timid (listen out for "Objects In The Rear View Mirror", "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" and "Bat Out Of Hell").
"Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through", "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth" and "Blind As A Bat" are amongst the songs to be missing segments - pity that they should be somewhat 'incomplete' when they are sounding this good. It doesn't really matter that Meat Loaf doesn't always hit the notes like he once did or that he survives the chorus of "Blind As A Bat" with the help of a backing track because what he does sing, when he really goes for it, is all there.
I saw this show when the tour arrived in London, England by which point "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" had found a few great gags and "I'd Do Anything For Love" had a franticly awesome new opening arrangement (all of which are not present for this show). John Miceli's drum beats are pure rock, delivered like an earth quake bulging through an intravenous drip. The cover songs at the end are fine, but if Meat had the energy (and he does) it would be nice to hear him perform his own classics, after all, he has plenty more of those that aren't included on here. The show is superbly filmed and includes plenty of sweeping camera angles and a feeling that you're up on the stage next to him. It's this intimacy that helps give this DVD an edge over the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra DVD.
Where the show flounders is where the lead female vocals come into play, and they come into play frequently. Sure the girl can sing, but she isn't Patti Russo who, after 13 years, Meat Loaf appears to have unforgivably replaced in favour of a 'newer model', prior to the release of Bat Out Of Hell III, and a mistake that no amount of on-stage pyrotechnics can compensate for. Maybe Patti Russo was just too good. Russo is why I'll favour the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra DVD, and her absence here is my main reason for giving this DVD four stars and not five.
The bonus DVD is a fly on the wall documentary of the few weeks leading up to the show in London, Ontario and compliments Disk One perfectly. We see Meat rehearsing, driving his car, packing his suitcase, preparing for shows and collapsing from exhaustion after them. You might be disappointed to see this towering rock legend reveal enough of himself to make us realise how 'un-star' like the man behind the Meat Loaf character is: quiet, reclusive and fragile. It is a documentary that is in essence about the road leading up to the show on Disk One, and as for Meat Loaf himself - we are left little the wiser. Even his autobiography was told in glimpses. It does leave you realising that perhaps the on-stage and off-stage personas couldn't be flung any further apart.
The king of rock crown isn't leaving Meat Loaf's head (even if the king is missing his queen). Frankenstein has no hope of ever recovering this overweening creation.