Meat Loaf

He’s smaller, but the gut-busting voice hasn’t shrunk. Meat Loaf’s still touring for 2006’s Bat Out of Hell III, a bombastic effort of operatic anthems (“Seize the Night”) and rock-out, cock-out exertions (“The Monster is Loose,” “What About Love?”) that bleed in well enough with his greatest hits. Karaoke kids will pack in to pump their fists to “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”—the proposition, by the way, is threesomes—but will get steamrollered and schooled by Mr. Loaf’s dedicated fan base, all of whom will burst into tears at the tremble in his throat during “For Crying Out Loud,” his pared-down piano ballad that builds into an epic collision of violins, bells, and crashing drums. His tour has been selling enough tickets that it’s outlasted the production, release, and memory of at least one documentary, Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise, which tracked the early Canadian shows where critics were uncomfortable that during “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” Meat Loaf dry-humped a barely-clad backup singer one-third his age. (His solution wasn’t putting her in clothes, but putting himself in a younger Meat Loaf’s wig.) At 61 with 70 million albums sales under his broad belt, Meat Loaf has nothing to prove. But what makes his concerts so damned great is that he never stops trying.

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