MEAT LOAF, O2 Arena – Evening Standard, 11 April 2013

“I will give you everything I got even if it kills me.” A worrying thing for Meat Loaf to claim before what he insists is his last ever London show, given that he needed heart surgery after abandoning a Wembley Arena concert in 2003.

Retirement at 65 seems sensible, assuming it isn’t a sales ploy. He seemed weary and emotional throughout.

His technique of shaking his microphone arm to achieve a trembling vocal sound made him look more like a jittery pensioner.

Meat sweated and limped and burst into tears while thanking the fans who have helped his legendary 35-year-old Bat Out Of Hell album to match its best ever UK chart position this week — re-entering at number nine.

That album was the focus of this tour, performed in full in the second half, initially beneath a giant inflatable red-eyed rodent.

Clips from a “making of” film confirmed its uniqueness, from the piano devastation of Heaven Can Wait to the hilarious tale of frustrated teen sex, Paradise By The Dashboard Light.

Meat screwed his eyes tight and still summoned a mighty roar. Then he was gone — not like a bat out of hell, more like a shattered man who has earned a long lie-down.