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Anything For Love - The Meatloaf Story. Embassy Theatre Skegness 30.04.22

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

Anything For Love – The Meatloaf Story

Steve Steinman Productions

Embassy Theatre Skegness

In January of this year, the music industry lost one of its greatest stars when Meatloaf died. This production is no cheap attempt to cash in quickly on the death of the man who spent 522 weeks on the UK albums chart as of 2019. Steve Steinman is a fan who has taken his ability to sing like the big man and turned it into a mini-industry of celebration, and has been doing so for almost thirty years. Prior to lockdown, Anything For Love was just a few shows into a new tour and suddenly Steinman and his amazingly talented team lost their ability to earn from their live work. But now they are back with a bang and loving life, as are his legion of fans all in evidence at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness this evening.

The stage set with its stairs and multiple levels, was adorned with a shiny chopper as you might expect and just behind the drum riser was a projection screen with giant sized renditions of Meatloaf’s album artwork flanking it.

The smoke and the lighting combined to create an appropriately gothic atmosphere as the crowd waited with bated breath, for the start of the how and so it began as the band came on and took up their positions playing a virtual overture of Jim Steinman’s music before Steve Steinman’s entrance to the strains of the eponymous them tune Anything For Love. In 1993, the trained chef and restaurateur appeared as his idol on Stars in Their Eyes and a new career path was born. He has been touring and performing ever since in one guise or another. He was soon joined by the other star of the show, Lorraine Crosby, who sang the female vocal on the title track for the musical on Meatloaf’s original hit single and had been managed by Jim Steinman himself.

The show is really mis-titled as The Story of Meatloaf because it is a deeply affectionate tribute to the man’s music. Instead, this is a tribute concert that attempts and manages to produce convincing cover versions of the music everyone knows from the seventies onwards. There is no “story” as such, but that should not take away from a fantastic show which caters sharply for its intended audience many of whom were wearing the relevant tour merchandise, presumably having watched the other show produced by Steinman (Vampires Rock) which was staged at the same venue the night before.

The show features vocal pyrotechnics from the principal performers, but also features some rather impressive actual pyrotechnics too as flames rise at either side of the stage and along the drum riser. All the hits are here. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, Dead Ringer for Love (featuring some outrageous wig work for Steinman and Crosby as Meatloaf and Cher), Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, All Revved Up With No Place To Go and You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth. We were also treated to Holding Out For a Hero and Total Eclipse of the Heart among others before the wonderfully performed and truly operatic, climax - Bat Out of Hell.

Apart from the principal singers the band features some incredible musicians. I got a little confused though, as the musicians listed in the tour brochure were not those performing on this tour. The hardworking backing dancers/vocalists were however Trixabelle Bold, Emily Cook and John Evans and all three were equal to the task providing energy, enthusiasm and “banter” during the show. They were like a perpetual motion machine always providing something for the audience to watch as the lead singers tore through their set “like a bat out of hell” (I hope you can excuse me that).

As the show reached its climax, Steve Steinman announced that he will be returning to Skegness more or less the same time next year to wild cheers and rapturous applause. Once the show ended, the ensemble returned to perform Steinman’s new single, written by 80s legend John Parr, Everything They Said Was True. This song was originally written with and for Meatloaf to perform but he never recorded it so instead Par offered it to Steve Steinman to produce and you can hear the over-the-top excess so familiar to Meatloaf’s fans in the delivery of the song as Steinman closes the show and you wish you could hear the big man sing it for you himself. Nevertheless, the show leaves fans satisfied that they have heard the closest thing to Meatloaf deliver the song with passion and pride.

This is a tribute for Meatloaf’s fans and Steinman deserves credit for bringing together such a lavish touring show and doing him justice. Next year, I hope I get to review Vampires Rock at the same venue, and I eagerly look forward to it.

Vampires Rock and Anything For Love are touring nationally and dates can be found on the website

Andy Evans 1 May 2022

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