When their four-hour concert at Universal Amphitheatre was concluded, it was the diminutive Cyndi's Lauper's spirited and emotional performance that supplied the evening's heft while Meat Loaf's musical dish was served cold.

When their four-hour concert at Universal Amphitheatre was concluded, it was the diminutive Cyndi’s Lauper’s spirited and emotional performance that supplied the evening’s heft while Meat Loaf’s musical dish was served cold.

Meat Loaf’s musical existence all comes down to one seminal album: 1978’s “Bat Out of Hell,” which has sold an astonishing 13 million units. And therein lies the problem, besides the single “Anything for Love” — which was the hit single from the “Bat II” sequel — Loaf has no other numbers that even come close to making headway with concertgoers.

Loaf’s current show seems more theatrical than necessary. Numbers from the first “Bat” album — “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — didn’t have the sense of urgency they’ve had in tours past. So if the “Bat” singles aren’t working, nobody’s going to get excited about “I Want My Money Back,” which may have understandably gone through the minds of some.

Backed by an uptempo, five-piece band, Lauper, who turned 50 last month, came out with all high energy although her most touching moments would come on ballads, specifically “True Colors.” She quickly won the crowd over with “She-Bop,” showing off her pipes with a compelling “Drive All Night.”

Meat Loaf; Cyndi Lauper

Universal Amphitheatre; 6,353 seats; $57.50 top

Production

Presented by House of Blues Concerts. Reviewed July 25, 2003.

Cast

Bands: (ML)Meat Loaf, Mark Alexander, Paul Crook, Randy Flowers, John Miceli, Kasim Sultan, Patti Russo, Renee Cologne; (CL) Cyndi Lauper, Deni Bonet, Kat Dyson, Steve Gaboury, Sammy Merendino, Bill Whittman.
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