Back to reality it is time to reflect over Wednesdays events.
I am not a professional concert reviewer. But having read the reviews (not sure if I dare call them that) of the Meat Loaf concert in Sweden, I feel I need to clarify a couple of things.
It's very obvious to me, that the audience at this concert is way over their middel age. I am probably the second youngest in the audience, Miss Winty is the youngest. It's also very obvious to me, that it was quite many years ago (if ever) the majority of the audience visited a rock concert. Which means that they don't really understand the concept of rock concerts.
Unfortunately neither do the reviewers of the Swedish Press, but that does not surprise me at all. I already experienced that after the latest Marilyn Manson concert in Stockholm, and the problem seems to be that the reviewer might have listened to a song with the artist, understood that the artist is able to sing and that the artist might have a message. However, that doesn't necessarily means that the reviewer de facto understands the message, the theme or the show. Which then, in their own opinion, seems to give reviewers some sort of right to insult not only the artist, but also the audience.
Apart from this, it seems to be the reviewers opinion, that what you hear whenever you listen to the artists album also is what you will hear live. And that is exactly what you can expect if you go to a pop concert with Backstreet Boys (just an example, no offense). Because that is pop and in the world of pop playback is normality. - However, we are now at a rock concert gentlemen, and the playback piano is therefore out of order!
I agree, there is something wrong with the sound. The soundtechnician who is in charge of the show shouldn't have had this job. Miss Winty points out and explains all the mistakes. - It is almost a relief for me that she didn't bother to invite her soundtechnician boyfriend Freddie Ant as well. - On the other hand that might have given the news media something else to write about.
The concert hall is way too oversized for the number of people being present. There ought to have been proper embowerment. Not to mention the parquett floor!!!! that should have been covered as well. The sound ends up in the empty space and it is impossible to separate lead guitars from song. Big mistake! And such a shame, because the musicians on stage are superb. Noone in the audience (not to mention the reviewers) seems to realise who Kasim Sultan is. He's just one of the greatest bass guitarists there is. Even Patti Russo faces difficulties getting through. It's not supposed to be like this!
The soundtechnician ought to have done something about this. And he had time to fix it. At least during the afternoon soundcheck, he ought to have discovered the problems with the concert hall and solved these problems. That's what he gets paid for. Too bad that he chose to put this on his to be ignored list.
But nevermind. Inside the restroom area downstairs it sounds very well. That's where I choose to be during the song You took the words right out of my mouth.
There really is something wrong with Meat Loafs voice. Last year he had a cyst removed from his vocal cord. - At his age it is adviceable to rest and relax for a longer period that he obviously chose to do. But this is clearly unknown information to the majority of the reviewers and to the audience.
Members of the audience have also reached the age - or they are un-experienced - where they don't understand that artists sometimes drinks before they enter stage. Meat Loaf is no exception. He is not really sober / or he is under the influence of some sort of painkilling medicine.
However some alarmbell ought to have gone off inside the head of the majority when Meat Loafs entourage moments before he is supposed to enter stage, is taping the setlist and list of lyrics at the stage floor. All the reviewers seem to have missed this, which indicates to me that reviewers might not be aware of basic facts. But Miss Winty notifies it. "Yes", she says "Metalica does the same thing, but their singer is not really well in his head either". - It's all about not being able to remember. And it's not very good when a professional artist doesn't remember his own music, either because he is intoxicated, which I think he is, or because he overall isn't at his good health.
Anyway, all these minor details causes difficulties for Mr. Meat Loaf himself. He is unable to remember the lyrics. And we can't hear him. Though he does manage to perform Bat out of Hell I reasonably well. But surely his voice is no longer the powerfull strong voice that he used to have.
The band tries to cover up for this by giving us a very entertaining show. Patti Russo and Meat Loaf works fine together. Patti Russo is tolerant and demonstrates empathi for an artist who wants to perform but no longer has his former strong ability to do so. She chooses to handle it with a good sense of humor and Meat Loaf decides to play along with her.
The reviewer from the tabloid Expressen indicates that a man at the age of 60 shouldn't be allowed to perform the song Anything for love. - That is in a nutshell exactly why I think that Expressen should get themselves a new reviewer. What is the problem? Does life end at the age of 40?
Overall the band works as a band. The show works. Patti Russos voice compensates for Meat Loafs rusty voice. She gives us the fabulous Bible and a beer solo. WOW! - The musicians are fantastic. I mean Dave Luther, Mark Alexander, John Micelli and Kasim Sultan are great! - A pitty though that the mistakes of the soundtechnician is preventing me from actually hearing how good they are at what they do.
Miss Winty demonstrates how dedicated she is to the concert concept. She doesn't complaint just because the leading singer of the band might be a bit drunk, or because he has a problem with his voice or his memory. Miss Winty is tolerant. Her favorite band Bullets for my Valentine has a lead singer who can't sing. Basicly because he only has one lung, which makes live performances with that band to an interesting experience. But it doesn't matter, because that's not what a rock concert is about. It is about the whole. And both she and I are overall satisfied with the whole.
I give 1 star for the musicians and for Patti Russo and 1 star for the show.
I think it is a shame that Meat Loaf decided to do this tour. Somebody ought to have talked him out of it, because he isn't at a good health, and good health is what an artist need for this type of job. I would have liked not to see such a star fail. Having said that, because I feel in my heart that this is the end of touring for Meat Loaf, I am happy that I was there. I wouldn't have been without it.