Oh how good this could have been. Having grown up with parents who were big rock fans throughout the 70’s and 80’s, the likes of Queen, David Bowie and, particularly in my mum’s case, Meat Loaf were all regulars on our stereo system. As is so often the case with children and their parents, things start to rub off on them – like my dad’s rubbish sense of humour has rubbed off on my brother – and for me it was the music. When I got my first car, the first CD I had blaring out of the pathetic little speakers was Bat Out of Hell. I loved that album. Unfortunately listening to the title track would later result in a speeding ticket, but YOLO as the kids say.
Anyway, when it was announced that the legend that is Meat Loaf would be coming to the UK and would be playing at Broadlands in Romsey, a brief ten minute drive from home, Mum and I went straight online and snapped up a couple of rather expensive tickets.
So July came around and the two of us were buzzing to see one of the most successful artists ever perform on our front doorstep. Bat Out of Hell is the fifth best selling album of all time, having sold over 43 million copies worldwide, so this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me (considering his age) to get to see the man himself perform tracks from that iconic album live in front of my very eyes. Unfortunately for Meat Loaf this was not going to be a night to remember, or at least not for the right reasons.
The sound quality on the day was simply dreadful. The Broadlands staff clearly hadn’t anticipated a windy evening as that was all you could hear, with a faint sound of Meat Loaf in the background. But it could have been worse, I could have been listening to Meat Loaf clearly – this was not one of his finer performances. The then 60-year-old was more than likely intoxicated throughout the entire performance and didn’t seem to really value those that had turned out in the unfavourable weather conditions. He trudged his way through all the classics such as ‘Dead Ringer For Love’, ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’, ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’, and of course his arguably most notable track, ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ without much enthusiasm or oomph. Even covers like ‘I Want You So Hard’, originally by Eagles of Death Metal, and ‘Roadhouse Blues’ by The Doors did nothing to enhance proceedings.
To say this show was a let down would be the understatement of the century. I can’t explain how much I was looking forward to watching one of my all-time favourite artists perform. Luckily it hasn’t put me off listening to his music, as has happened in the past when I’ve been to a bad gig; I still pump ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ through the car stereo every now and again. So it looks like I’ll just have to ignore the memory of the Broadlands show and stick to the tired CD in the car.