When I told my work colleagues here at SuperbreakTowers that I was off to see Meat Loaf at London’s O2 Arena last week, I was met by a lot of surprised faces. The fact that I’m 25, a shop-a-holic and beauty addict is perhaps why they were confused. But the truth is, behind this primped girly exterior lies a dormant ‘rock chick’. Only a small hole beneath my bottom lip where a piercing once glittered gives me away these days. Having been raised by a mother who is a secret ex-punk (now a sensible secondary school teacher) rock music has been something I’ve grown up with; Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album was the soundtrack to my childhood.
So when I heard that Meat’s latest tour was to be his ‘farewell’ string of concerts I knew I had to go, having never seen him perform live. Best of all, I found out that his Last at Bat tour would feature a live performance of the Bat out of Hell album, in full, in the original album line up. Now, I’m a strong believer that Bat out of Hell is one of the greatest rock anthems of all time (who can resist an air-guitar ‘sesh when the riff kicks in?) so the prospect of seeing it performed live left me rather excited.
Luckily, my excitement and nostalgia meant that I wasn’t at all phased by the fact that Meat could hardly keep up with his own lyrics, sounded like he was about to pass out and couldn’t hit the legendary notes he used to belt out. He is a 65 year old man after all. The years of piling on the pounds and pounding the stages of venues around the globe throughout his 40 year career had clearly taken their toll. Thankfully, he was accompanied by some amazing backing vocalists and a sublime band who did the original tracks justice.
My favourite performances were ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’, where the audience all clapped along on cue, and the moving and somewhat poignant rendition of ‘Heaven can Wait’. I had to wipe a tear from my eye when at the end of the song Meat thanked the audience for being such loyal fans and keeping him going for all these years. He was genuinely emotional and it really did feel like he was saying goodbye for the last time.
Heading back to my London hotel after the show, it really felt like the end of an era and made me wonder what music I’d pass down to my future children. Perhaps the popularity of Bat out of Hell will last beyond Meat Loaf himself. It has, after all, never left the UK album chart and just last week reached number nine ahead of Rihanna and One Direction. Maybe my future kids will be rocking out to the sound of Meat’s classic tracks after all – here’s hoping.