Written By: Mark Armstrong
Format: Music Show
Genre: Rock ‘n’ Roll
Date: November 10 2018
Location: Auditorium At Echo Arena, Liverpool
Like a Bat Out Of Hell, The Meat Loaf Story hit the stage at Echo Arena Auditorium with a bang this past Saturday.
Steve Steinman has been entertaining audiences across the UK and beyond for more than 22 years through the music of Meat Loaf, the artist that he played during a famous appearance on Stars In Their Eyes back in the 1990s. And as you would expect, all of the great, well-known Meat Loaf songs are performed live, from the loud to the quiet, from the fast to the slow, from the emotional to the comedic. The soundtrack, covering multiple Meat Loaf albums (including every entry from his most famous album, Bat Out Of Hell), has something for everybody.
What differentiates this show from other “tributes”, though, are the attempts to integrate comedy between songs. Indeed, the interplay between Steinman and local vocalist Charlotte Gallagher is amusing, partially as they try to incorporate Meat Loaf song titles into their back-and-forth discussions, which at the very beginning especially, led to some ad-libbing and humorous moments where the duo couldn’t hold back their laughter. There are also great background settings (with the use of a very well-designed artistic backdrop), authentic costumes, and additional props such as a snazzy motor with the registration MEATY.
The crux of the show, though, is the singing, and that’s where this evening really succeeds. As you may imagine, Steinman is superb in the role of Meat Loaf, but he isn’t afraid to add his own touches to some of the tunes, as well as acknowledging that we, the audience, are here for his voice rather than his looks, as evidenced by him admitting that he was ditching the Meat Loaf wig towards the end of the first half. I also have to mention Charlotte Gallagher again, because she is outstanding. Her main contributions come when performing alongside Steinman, but she truly shines when singing alone, and based on this showing, I expect great things for her in the future.
The run-time was logical, with an hour for each half surrounding a 25-minute interval, and the tone of the show is of such high energy that there is never a dull moment. The backing artists, on drums and piano especially, also add their own flair to the music, and at times the spotlight shines solely on them, to which they respond with suitably strong performances. The only confusion I had concerned the attempts to tell a story between Meat Loaf and Peggy Sue; between the first few songs, it feels like a tongue-in-cheek plotline is developing, but it then seems to be dropped, with only occasional references as the second half progresses. The show also had some members of the audience wanting to make things all about them, which is amusing the first time but not when they keep shouting out at inappropriate moments.
As a whole, though, I had a great time. The Meat Loaf Story is the ideal homage to an unforgettable musician, and all involved put on quite the spectacle. If you’re a Meat Loaf fan, I would highly recommend you check out Steinman’s production when it returns to Liverpool.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent