What I'm Watching: Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell Tour

"It was long ago and it was far away
and it was so much better than it is today"
--Paradise By the Dashboard Lights

I just received this in the mail yesterday. It's Meat Loaf in concert on a German television show called Rockpalast in 1978 when he was doing the BAT OUT OF HELL tour.

I've always wanted to see an uncut Meat Loaf concert from back in the day when he was young and his voice was really in it's prime. So far, this dvd is as close to that as I've gotten.

It's a bit disappointing in that the audio cuts out in a few places or the singing overloads the mic in a spot or two. I guess I'm just spoiled by modern sound systems and sound engineering. At one point Meat tosses his mic and fills the auditorium with his unaided voice. I would have loved to been in the audience for that! The crowd really went wild. Unfortunately for viewers of this dvd Meat's voice couldn't overcome the limits of television recording. Another disappointment was that the concert was truncated. That really ticked me off. Three or four songs are completely missing. Why? C'mon! I bought the dvd for the whole DAMN concert! Jeeze. The video is pristine VHS quality-which is fine with me since we're talking about something thats 30 years old. Ok, that's the bad. I had to blurt out all of the bad first. Now on to the GOOD!

Well, it's vintage MEAT LOAF performing BAT OUT OF HELL. That's about as awesome worthy as you can get right there. Meat's voice is in it's prime and it comes through loud and clear despite the audio glitches.

Meat delivers all of the tracks with his usual flair for high drama. That's why I love that guy so much. He gets it about rock music. The thing about rock music is that it's at its best when it's theatrical and feverish. Remember when you were 16 years old and you had a big fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend and you were sure the whole world was going to stop spinning??? That's rock music! It's boisterous, it's young, it's operatic! Everything is cataclysmic and earth shaking and over dramatic. That's the way it was to be 16. Meat and Jim Steinman really seize this concept in their music-and that's what (I believe) has made BAT OUT OF HELL the 3rd biggest selling album of all time. Those fevered lyrics awakens the sleeping 16 year old in all of us.

I couldn't really recommend this dvd to casual fans though. To the casual fan I would say get Meat Loaf and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra or his 3 Bat's concert. They have all of his big songs on it and it looks and sounds awesome. The people who are gonna be interested in this particular concert are either Meat Loaf fanatics (like me!) or people who really dig rock n roll history and don't mind sub-par audio and video concert dvds.

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