As of Tuesday, the opening night of Meat Loaf’s U.S. comeback tour, “Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell,” his debut album on MCA, had sold more than 2 million copies in just eight weeks. “I’d Do Anything for Love (but I Won’t Do That),” the album’s first single, has reached No. 1 in several countries. The captivating concert received a similar welcome, selling out in just 28 minutes.
The show’s distinctive opera-meets-rock tenor displayed his experience in theater, film and television — he’s performed in “Hair,””Rocky Horror Picture Show,””Tales From the Crypt,””Leap of Faith,””Roadie” and more — in a meticulously crafted extravaganza. Every element — lights, decor, performances — fit perfectly with the songs.
Meat Loaf, now 43, led audiences from angst and anger to laughter, and he looked better than ever, having lost nearly 100 pounds over the past four years. His every entrance was flamboyant, his every motion melodramatic, as he portrayed the characters in his songs.
Musicians played with precision, following Meat Loaf’s lead to the radical ends of the musical spectrum. Each band member also sang throughout choruses, creating a choirlike effect.
Meat Loaf’s concert may have approached overkill occasionally, but ultimately he proved to be a master of the odd, hybrid genre he has carved out for himself.