"The mighty voice rip-roars through the songs from the Bat trilogy with all the power of a jumbo-jet tearing down a runaway and blasting into a hell-raising takeoff. Here is another Meat Loaf performance that goes far enough to make the original studio recordings sound timid (listen out for "Objects In The Rear View Mirror", "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" and "Bat Out Of Hell").
"Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through", "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth" and "Blind As A Bat" are amongst the songs to have segments missed out - pity that these songs are 'incomplete' when they are sounding this good. It doesn't really matter that Meat Loaf doesn't always hit the notes like he once did or that he survives the chorus of "Blind As A Bat" with the help of a backing track because what he does sing, when he really goes for it, is all there.
I saw this show when the tour arrived in London, England by which point "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" had found a few great gags and "I'd Do Anything For Love" had a franticly awesome new opening arrangement (all of which are not present for this show). John Miceli's drum beats are pure rock, delivered like an earth quake bulging through an intravenous drip. The cover songs at the end are fine, but if Meat had the energy (and he does) it would be nice to hear him perform his own classics, after all, he has plenty more of those that aren't included on here. The show is superbly filmed and includes plenty of sweeping camera angles and a feeling that you're up on the stage next to him. It's this intimacy that helps give this DVD an edge over the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra DVD.
Where the show flounders is where the lead female vocals come into play, and they come into play frequently. Sure the girl can sing, but she isn't Patti Russo who, after 13 years, Meat Loaf appears to have unforgivably replaced in favour of a 'newer model', prior to the release of Bat Out Of Hell III, and a mistake that no amount of on-stage pyrotechnics can compensate for. Maybe Patti Russo was just too good. Russo is why I'll favour the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra DVD, and her absence here is my main reason for giving this DVD four stars and not five.
The bonus DVD is a fly on the wall documentary of the few weeks leading up to the show in London, Ontario and compliments Disk One perfectly. We see Meat rehearsing, driving his car, packing his suitcase, preparing for shows and collapsing from exhaustion after them. You might be disappointed to see this towering rock legend reveal enough of himself to make us realise how 'un-star' like the man behind the Meat Loaf character is: quiet, reclusive and fragile. It is a documentary that is in essence about the road leading up to the show on Disk One, and as for Meat Loaf himself - we are left little the wiser. Even his autobiography was told in glimpses. It does leave you realising that perhaps the on-stage and off-stage personas couldn't be flung any further apart.
The king of rock crown isn't leaving Meat Loaf's head (even if the king is missing his queen). Frankenstein has no hope of ever recovering this overweening creation."
3 Bats Live: Great Band...Struggling Meat Loaf
Sidney L. Vaught | Roanoke, VA United States | 04/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a Meat Loaf fan for a very long time. I too am a performer, and I have even played Eddie and Dr. Scott in "The Rocky Horror Show" which Meat Loaf played in the original Roxie cast. I just want to make it clear I have a deep love and respect for this artist before I continue.
This DVD is not Meat Loaf at his best, but his band and back up vocalists are totally awesome. I had to overlook many aspects of Meat Loaf's performance on this DVD because he is mostly flat, has problems with tempo and he is obviously struggling with some of the higher notes. He is however; solid on lyrics.
It about broke my heart to see Meat Loaf struggling through the repertoire. It is very obvious his support band are helping him all they can. All the band members are extremely young and have more energy to perform these songs.
As an afterthought, I am not sure if Meat Loaf was having problems singing or he was having problems hearing. I know a faulty monitoring system will throw off a performance. Plus when I record, I only listen to the playback with one ear piece and not two. Trying to listen to yourself over a system can direct you to sing flat. It's good to have one ear open so you can hear yourself as you actually sound. Meat Loaf on this DVD has two ear pieces. He sometimes uses only one. He sounds better when he does this. Meat Loaf does fiddle with an ear piece a bit which led me to believe he may have been having a technical difficulty. I still feel external monitors are best...call me old fashioned.
The "Bat Out of Hell" songs are extremely difficult to perform and listening to the albums is a much better way of enjoying these challenging songs.
This DVD is good to keep as a perspective piece but not as a keepsake of great performances. It almost should have been billed as "Meat Loaf's Band and Meat Loaf". I'm surprised it was released in this condition.
The producers/directors should have had Meat Loaf dub himself afterwards to correct the vocal flaws before the DVD was released.
Meat Loaf at his best
Boston Angel | Boston, MA | 11/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This version that was released in the US is only one disc and unfortunately does not contain the bonus documentary, In Search of Paradise. The documentary gives an amazing and informative look at his creative process. I would recommend buy the European version for the documentary This concert video is excellent. It is clear to see from this DVD why he is selling out shows after 30 years. He is an amazing singer and performer. He puts his heart and soul into every song that he sings. He performs all of his greatest hits from the Bat Trilogy albums. The entire band, Neverland Express rocks. This is definitely a must have for any fan of his music. Anyone who loves rock and roll performed at its best would also love this DVD."
Gabriel H. Vermund | IA | 11/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"But the US release is significantly worse than the UK release. I say this because the UK release comes with a bonus disc with the movie "in search of paradise" which is an excellent movie. However people from the US can't see it unless they buy the UK release and get a multi-regional DVD player. But the concert itself was INCREDIBLE. Meat Loaf sounds so much better than he does on many different youtube videos that I've seen, and he is for the most part, in tune. Sometimes he's a little off, but most singers are. The performance of I'd Do Anything for Love is the best I've ever seen. Better than Melbourne or any other performance he's done. I do wish In the Land of the Pigs was played, but I got to see him perform it so I'm not upset. I'd suggest getting this CD. I have a feeling that In Search of Paradise is coming out in theaters in the US which is maybe why it wasn't released on this DVD."
Coming soon to US
Charles Scherker | Fla | 10/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a UK release. The US Version is scheduled for release on November 20th... Why it's not listed on Amazon US yet for pre-sale is suprising.
I've heard recordings of this tour and got to see him locally in FLA which was cancelled after 3 songs (Meat was sick) and couldn't make the rescheduled make up date (Bummer!) When healthy, the fat guy can really bring it on. Anyway, this should be a great DVD when it's released. I'm giving it 4 stars and will save full judgement till then."