Dec. 6, 1999
Story and Photo by Phil Bonyata
Meat Loaf exposed his comedic side last night at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. Sam Kinison would have been proud.
Looking fit with closely cropped hair, about 150 pounds lighter than in his heyday in the '70's and sporting a loose fitting black silk outfit Meat Loaf came hot out of the oven and whetted the collective appetites of the merrymakers in the audience. With a strange brew of court jester antics, speedy one liners, audience interaction, hard to the bone rock and sweet and introspective melodies Meat Loaf entertained his faithful for over 2 1/2 hours.
His biting and sardonic humor hit everyone who dared to standout - from a very drunk woman in her 40's to a man in a wheelchair with advanced cancer. His Don Rickles influenced barbs stuck like a day old tick in bedded on your butt.
On the musical side Meat Loaf and his ace band, including one of his daughters, knocked the roof off with "Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back." The raw power of the song begged the question why doesn't he go hard more often? Even after the 10,000th retelling of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" the chorus is still so much fun that you can't help catching yourself belting out the chorus almost as loud as Meat Loaf himself! On his comeback hit "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" from 1993's Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell Meat Loaf sang with the thankfulness of OJ's not guilty verdict.
Bottom line is Meat Loaf is exactly what he's always tried to be - a funny guy who happens to have a great voice and poetic pop smarts that makes his unique and honest brand of schtick work.
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