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Meat Loaf - 'Guilty Pleasure Tour' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     January 30, 2013    
 
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Only worth picking up because of the bonus documentary.

Judging from the response Meat Loaf has received from ardent fans in recent years (including this particular reviewer) Meat Loaf should “have a done a Steve Perry” and retired from the live stage after the 2003-04 ‘Couldn’t Have Said It Better’ tour, which was then dubbed ‘The Last Tour’. Sadly, it wasn’t. His voice is in very poor shape now and despite the expertise of his band he sounds feeble on this DVD; his first live DVD release since 2007s ‘Three Bats Live’ and similarly to said release, ‘Guilty Pleasure Tour’ is only worth picking up because of the bonus documentary. The last time I saw Meat Loaf was at the Liverpool Echo Arena in 2008 and he was appalling. Half the venue was empty and some fans were leaving after just a few songs. Years before Meat Loaf would have sold out venues on multiple nights in the UK’s biggest venues but unfortunately he has ruined his live reputation. At the height of his live appeal, which was probably in the mid 1990s on the back of the second ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ album, Meat Loaf was tremendous and live footage on YouTube proves that, but now he’s old and worn out.

To his credit he’s not a rock singer like Steven Tyler where the odd note can be missed and fans wouldn’t tell the difference, plus Meat’s songs are very long and tough to sing live. He has been far too inconsistent in recent years, which is probably why the ‘Guilty Pleasure Tour’ of 2011-2012 was said to be his last live jaunt of Australia and New Zealand. His lowest point came at the 2011 Australian Football League Final where he sang a twelve minute medley. It was so poorly received that many fans called it the worst performance in the Grand Final’s 34 year history.

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This DVD features Meat Loaf’s performance at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on October 12, 2011. Unfortunately his voice is beat. He mumbles and staggers through almost every song, relying mostly on his wonderful band which still includes Patti Russo who never seems to age. The setlist is much shorter than his previous shows having been told for health reasons to slow down. Much of the new material is from ‘Hang Cool Teddy Bear’ such as ‘Los Angeloser’ although oddly there is nothing from his current album, ‘Hell In A Handbasket’. There are some old faves in there too like ‘Hot Patootie’ from The Rocky Horror Picture Show and ‘Rock And Roll Dreams’ from ‘Bat II’. The DVD also contains an entertaining documentary about the making of a Meat Loaf gig which has interviews with the band. The CD features ten of the concert’s thirteen songs but given his weak voice it’s doubtful I’d ever listen to it again. In truth, as a lifelong fan (Meat is one of my childhood rock idols) I can only say that the best way for Meat to go forward is by going backwards and that’s to finish his career with one last complete album with Jim Steinman - but with no tour!

Neil Daniels

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