Review: Meat Loaf brings explosive finish to Newmarket Nights

Meat Loaf at Newmarket Nights August 16
Meat Loaf at Newmarket Nights August 16

On Friday, this year’s Adnams Newmarket Nights line-up was brought to an explosive finish with a concert by American rock legend Meat Loaf.

The performance - which included many of his hit songs - was edgy, entertaining and a great last hurrah for the star who is, apparently, bidding farewell to his fans.

I had feared the iconic singer, who is approaching 66 years of age, would lack stage presence and fail to deliver the powerful vocals fans would expect.

And while there was no denying his aged stagger and voice, Meat Loaf’s love of performing ensured a memorable and enthusiastic delivery.

His ability to poke fun at himself - exaggerating his age as ‘closer to 80 than 30’ - made for an entertaining night, as did his staged conversational leads into songs like You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, which the audience got heavily involved in by clapping and singing along.

I didn’t go much on seeing him spit on stage but his unapologetic approach to performing - including the gum-chewing which, although he’s done ‘every time’ he’s walked on stage, he says now helps with his older, drier throat - made him, strangely, more endearing.

His band and sassy backing singers offered a lot of assistance and, undoubtedly, made the show more enjoyable for all.

The keyboard and saxophone solos were particularly impressive and the attractive backing singers’ skimpy outfits and powerful vocals - especially during Paradise By The Dashboard Light and I Would Do Anything for Love - were real crowd-pleasers.

Although Meat Loaf’s critics have argued that his retirement is overdue, I for one was grateful for this opportunity to say goodbye properly.

(And to the man himself, who requests only five star or one star reviews, for the fun nostalgia alone, you’d get the five.)

By Laura Smith