The best art/entertainment gives to you what you bring to it. I have been a huge fan of Meat Loaf for over twenty years, owning various albums and seeing the big man in concert multiple times. Therefore, I brought expectations and trepidation to Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical, all of them Louder Than Everything Else. Would the show be Paradise By The Dashboard Light or best left At The Lost and Found? Would I Want My Money Back or would there be Not A Dry Eye In The House?
The answers turned out to be yes, no, no and certainly not in my case, as over the course of slightly under three hours Rock and Roll Dreams came Through as I was taken Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire, knowing that Heaven Can Wait for this Bat Out Of Hell. I heard songs I know by heart performed in new and exciting ways – especially when solos became duets or even chorus medleys – well as songs new to me that were moving and thrilling. All these songs only previously connected by their composer were integrated into a compelling and moving multimedia experience that plays as a dystopian West Side Story by way of Escape From New York.
I rarely say this but I would have happily gone back the following day for another exhilarating experience that is a Dead Ringer For Love. I sang along, I clapped, I cheered, I laughed, I cried. Meat Loaf is and remains by far my favourite musical artist, because the sheer, extraordinary, unrestrained passion of his work reaches into my soul and wrenches it out into the world, raw and exposed For Crying Out Loud but without a hint of self-consciousness. With a thrill of beautiful agony, Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical did as much as any Meat Loaf album or concert has ever done, while also loosing The Monster to strange new places.
Although Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, I will not say it is a perfect musical, as some of the songs felt a little forced into the narrative while there were some slightly jarring plot jumps. Furthermore, I will not pretend objectivity (which I think is a fallacy in aesthetic appreciation anyway) because my reaction is profoundly personal and A Kiss Is A Terrible Thing To Waste. Meat Loaf means something incredibly special to me, and while I would not expect this music to mean the same to anyone else, I sincerely hope, dear reader, that you have similar Objects In The Rear View Mirror that bring you equivalent exhilaration, passion, awe, wonder and unadulterated love that you Would Do Anything For…