meatloaf1.jpg
Meatloaf delivered more than a handful of classic tunes at the Snoqualmie Casino.

Meat Loaf

Snoqualmie Casino

Sunday, August 15

Meat Loaf has had an

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Meat Loaf Cooks at the Snoqualmie Casino

meatloaf1.jpg
Meatloaf delivered more than a handful of classic tunes at the Snoqualmie Casino.

Meat Loaf

Snoqualmie Casino

Sunday, August 15

Meat Loaf has had an incomparably strange career. Until I was writing the preview for this show, I hadn't really pieced together the man's career trajectory, but it's a doozy. From Broadway to Motown to the Rocky Horror Picture Show to Bat Out of Hell to a string of terrible luck in the '80s (bankruptcy, poor album sales) to winning a Grammy in 1994 and being embraced by Hollywood yet again, Meat Loaf has seen some of the highest highs (like it or not, the man has sold over 40 million copies of Bat Out of Hell) and lowest lows, and lived to tell about it.

Sunday night's show at the Snoqualmie Casino was a total trip down memory lane for everyone involved (Bat Out of Hell is almost 33 years old now), and what a wild ride it was. Ambling out to the front of the stage with a pink Stratocaster strapped to him, Meat Loaf was ready to rock. Trying to kick out the first giant windmilled guitar riff of the night, the tiny pink Marshall amp that Meat Loaf was playing through started smoking and cutting out, as Meat Loaf stomped and fumed around the stage trying to remedy the situation; as if you didn't know Mr. Loaf was theatrical, this was the first of many gags for the evening, and got the audience giggling and paying attention to every move the band made.

Giving up the Strat, Meat Loaf grabbed the mike and rambled into "Hot Patootie" with Rocky Horror Picture Show clips playing on the giant back screen behind him and his impressive backing band, the Neverland Express. The stage was full of ridiculously campy props, including giant foam skulls and some weird castle/metal texture that draped over the band's amplifiers, and a triple-tiered metal-plated group of risers to showcase the backup singers (tier 2) and the keyboard/sax player (the astounding David Luther), drummer, and piano player (tier 3). However, when the strobes settled down and the billowing smoke started to clear before "Bat Out Of Hell", a giant inflatable bat had taken up the entire back area of the stage. It was over-the-top cheesy and awesome, and the crowd (which had been sitting and somewhat reserved until this point in time) got on their feet, jumping around like hyperactive teens and singing every word. After the song, Mr. Loaf caught his breath, confessing to the audience, "When you do that song as the third song of the night, it'll make you feel 62," joking with backup singer Patricia Russo that he had come out on stage as a 47-year-old. Following that up with "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth", Meat Loaf had the crowd in the palm of his hand, stalking the stage back and forth during instrumental breaks, looking like a prize fighter with nothing to lose. Stopping the song midway through, Mr. Loaf singled out one particular audience member that wasn't singing, and playfully (we hope) threatened to come out and kick his ass if he didn't see him singing, which only served to get the crowd laughing and singing along even more.

Decked in an untucked black shirt and black satin vest bedazzled in skulls, Meat Loaf played for over two hours, playing a perfect blend of his most recent record (Hang Cool Teddy Bear) and the Bat Out Of Hell hits. The songs from Teddy Bear pulsed with a bit more punk rock meets '50s greaser feel, and were backed by well-synced video animations, while songs like "Los Angeloser" had the crowd singing along even without 30 years of patina on them (no small feat for any artist with that much history). However, you had to know that the crowd was likely there for the hits, and the end of the set was decked with a triple shot of classic Meat Loaf.

While he can't really hit the notes as well as he once could, the crowd was more than helpful during an inspired runthrough of "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)," and backup singer Patricia Russo stepped off of her platform to come to the front and join Meat Loaf in the now-classic duet. Her voice was pitch perfect, full of just the right amount of gravelly roughness and soulful vibrance, and helped balance out that Loaf wasn't really hitting the notes as well. Honestly, Meat Loaf could've sat the entire song out and just made goofy faces and the crowd would have eaten it up. Following that up with a warm "sit-down-at-your-family's-kitchen-table/you're all a part of my family" spiel as the sun went down, Meat Loaf seemed genuinely thankful and touched for having such an awesome group of fans, and wanted to let us all know before playing "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad."

The climax of the evening (and the end of any sort of air of classiness whatsoever) was a seemingly 20-minute version of "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," featuring some great interplay between Russo and Meat Loaf as they revved up the already vampy gender dialogue of the song, with Meat Loaf motorboating Russo's cleavage and Russo giving Loaf a knee to the groin. To the right of the stage, a giant blow-up of an *ahem* rather ample-chested lady getting a reacharound from a man behind her seemed to appear magically. Behind the band, vintage home movies of couples making out (and some random old Meat Loaf performance footage) played as the band blew through the campy classic. At one point in time, Meat Loaf brought out a gigantic phallic cannon to toy with Russo, having her touch it before shooting his load (in this case, a Meat Loaf souvenir T-shirt) into the crowd. Couples were hugging and playfully pushing off of each other, women were weeping openly, men weren't wearing sleeves, and I unfortunately just missed out on the opportunity to say that I totally caught Meat Loaf's load (you're welcome, lady who I didn't fight for the T-shirt).

The crowd: Median age seemed to be mid-50s. Compared to the crowd at the Yes/Peter Frampton show, this group was quite a bit rowdier (read: There were a LOT of folks having trouble standing up by the end of the night) and more willing to stand than the more reserved Yes crowd. To the drunk fellow holding himself up against the wall by the men's bathroom post-show with his shorts covered in some wet, chunky substance? I hope you found your friend and made it home safe, and I hope your friend had a towel in the car.

Overheard in the crowd: People who had memorized every spoken word bit of Bat Out of Hell and recited it with fervor. Also, the guy packing his cigarettes against his arm brace, tapping the claps out on "You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth" was a welcome addition to the show.

Random notebook dump: Seeing Meat Loaf is apparently a rare enough experience (no meat pun intended) that it has made people's bucket list, as evidenced by a woman's sign in the second row of the audience. BUCKET LIST #14: SEE MEAT LOAF.

 
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