Meat Loaf's Mad, Mad World tour live performance on Sunday at the Seneca Allegany Casino Events Center will include a number of his past hits, a few songs off his new album "Hell In A Handbasket" and some surprises that, according to him, are worth the price of the ticket.
"I'm not a typical rock band because I'm an actor and I've studied stage, movement and improv," said Meat Loaf, whose birth-given name is Marvin Lee Aday. "I don't believe the audience is responsible for my show, and I don't believe it's their response that carries my show. The audience probably had to pay for parking, gave their youngest child for a beer and they paid money for a ticket that's all they're responsible for. If they respond or react, it comes from what's happening to them. It's my job to make them believe their moment, and come into mine."
According to Meat Loaf, his tour band Neverland Express is not a group of superstars, but, the piano player and drummer may be the best at what they do.
"(We offer) the most incredible band you've ever seen in your life," said Meat Loaf. "It may sound like I have an enormous ego, but it's not; it's the truth. John Miceli may be the best rock drummer that's playing right now. And, Justin Avery may be the best piano player alive. The rest of them are all incredible musicians as well. If you put together a football team of superstars, then they don't win anything. But, when you put together a team of players who are really good and are like family, it leads to something incredible."
Meat Loaf's tour band isn't the only work he is doing with incredible musicians. For "Hell In A Handbasket" Meat Loaf enlisted the talents of a number of other successful artists such as: Public Enemy's Chuck D, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, Big & Rich's John Rich, Lil Jon, Trace Adkins, Taylor Swift's fiddle player Caitlin Evanson, Glen Duncan on mandolin, Ginny Luke on violin and Bruce Bowden on pedal steel guitar. However, fans shouldn't expect to see Meat Loaf play the new record, or any of his records in a live capacity.
"I don't go to the school of you play the record the way it was recorded," said Meat Loaf. "If you want to listen to the record, then listen to the record. If you're coming to hear the record live stay home. We play the hits, the classics, but we integrate them with the new stuff. And, people don't always anticipate the new stuff holding up to the old stuff, but they're wrong, and they know it when they see it live."
Some of the classics that Meat Loaf usually incorporates into the show include "Bat Out of Hell," "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" and "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth." Among the new songs, "The Giving Tree" is one of Meat Loaf's favorite songs to play live.
Meat Loaf, who has been a musician now for 47 years, has seen many changes to the music industry and to the world throughout his life. According to him, one of the themes that "Hell In A Handbasket" touches on is that the entire world has gone to an attitude of entitlement. Which is illustrated on the album's skull-world cover art.
"It's about fear and the attitude of entitlement," said Meat Loaf. "We had three different covers, one for Australia, one for Europe and one for America. Because I didn't want to say just America was going to hell in a handbasket."
Although Meat Loaf is now in his 60's, he finds that he still manages to garner support from people of all ages.
"When you come to my show you're going to see people 15 to older than me," said Meat Loaf. "I was recently looking at the audience after a show, and I saw families with kids, groups of teenagers and people who were easily in their 60s. And, I was thinking to myself that I hope they enjoyed the show. Because, people who've never seen me before, I don't know if they understand what they are getting themselves into. It's different than what they'd expect to see. They might be used to going to concerts with people my age that are laid back, but we are not laid back. We are a full force to be reckoned with and it is non-stop. You won't catch me stopping to chit-chat and drink Earl Grey tea with the audience."
According to Meat Loaf, the experience is perfect for friends and families who want to enjoy a rock 'n' roll show together.
"It's not like anything; that's what makes it different and special," said Meat Loaf.
The show is scheduled at the Seneca Allegany Casino Events Center for 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets start at $65. All ages are welcome but, those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The Seneca Allegany Casino Events Center is located at 777 Seneca Allegany Boulevard in Salamanca. For more information visit senecaalleganycasino.com or call 888-913-3377.