Review: Anything for Love at St George’s Hall, October 9

LEATHER-clad backing singers, a motorbike on stage and a flame decorated piano, accompany the opening titular track “Anything for Love”. An audience clearly made up of long-time Steve Steinman fans loudly cheer as the 1993 Stars in Their Eyes winner makes his entrance.

Having toured with The Meatloaf Story for the last 19 years, Anything for Love is the latest iteration of Steinman’s show, combining Meatloaf songs with those loosely linked to his story, such as numerous tracks from American composer Jim Steinman’s back catalogue.

Steinman’s flame-lit stage is busy with a large backing band, including three guitarists; three female backing singers and one male; a pianist; a drummer and the pièce de résistance, Lorraine Crosby, who originally sang with Meatloaf in 1993 on his Grammy Award winning number one song “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”.

The promotional poster used as the first half’s backdrop misleadingly states the show is “The Meatloaf Story: Full injected Magic!” The reality is although Steinman claims to be telling Meatloaf’s story through song, there is no actual story in the show and instead it is more of a fun and high energy Meatloaf tribute act without the look-a-like (despite Steinman donning a wig for one number and unfortunately more closely resembling Gerard Depardieu than Meatloaf). The sheer number of tenuously linked songs, including Crosby singing “Hero”, a spot-lit drum solo from Pete Jean and a piano instrumental from Andy Preston at times make the show feel more like a slightly odd but lively Meatloaf Variety Show.

Self-indulgent at times, sexualised but always charismatic, Steinman delights fans by cramming his show with Meatloaf’s greatest hits (“Dead Ringer for Love”, “Bat Out of Hell”, “Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)”…) plenty of costume changes, audience interaction, cheeky tongue-in-cheek skits and sing-alongs. Tonight’s faithful audience were certainly charmed by Steinman’s ongoing magic.

by Leo Owen