Meat Loaf played at the first concert I ever went to.
That little fact isn’t something I typically share with people. and certainly not on a first date. It’s not that I regret going — the concert was a blast, and certainly the best one I’d ever seen at that point. No, it’s not regret that drives me to secrecy, it’s that — despite the flamboyant singer’s penchant for flying motorcycles and leopard-print vests — people for some reason don’t think Meat Loaf is cool.
It wasn’t always that way. Back in 1977, the husky performer shot to fame with his debut album, Bat Out of Hell. That album was more than a hit — it was a phenomenon. Bat has sold 43 million albums to date, making it the fifth bestselling album of all time. Even now, it still sells 200,000 copies each year.
Despite his early success, the next fifteen years weren’t kind to Meat Loaf. He released a string of increasingly awful albums, wrestled with personal problems, and eventually went bankrupt. But, to the surprise of pretty much everybody, he returned to his former glory in 1992 with the release of Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. Propelled by its lead single, “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” the album was a colossal hit, and put Meat Loaf back on the map.
It was during the Bat Out of Hell II heyday that I saw him play. Soaked in sweat and clutching his trademark handkerchief, Meat Loaf gave every song his all, his powerful vocals ripping through the heavy piano and squealing guitars. Loaf has since returned to semi-obscurity, but I never forgot the energy and passion with which the middle-aged singer tackled every belted, grandiose note.
I won’t have to rely on memories for much longer, though — on August 18, Meat Loaf will perform at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.
The singer is touring in support of his newest album, Hang Cool Teddy Bear, which features guest performances by Jack Black and House M.D. star/pianist Hugh Laurie. Joining Meat Loaf on stage will be his daughter, the vocalist known as Pearl. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Sure, it may not be the coolest event in town, but it is guaranteed to be a high-octane show from one of rock and roll’s hardest-working performers. I’ll be there, and I’m not afraid to admit it.