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Meat Loaf Review and Set List Wellington New Zealand

26 October 2011

Venue: TSB Arena, Queens Wharf

Opening act: The under rated Luga Boa

Fresh from a stint in Australia where our Peter Pan fan Meat Loaf learnt aussie rules fans just don't fucking get him, Meat Loaf and his band of truly talented players hit Wellington for a one night only show.

Meat is 64 years old and in ill health with a voice that's had better days. And he knows it so he plays with that and makes it a part of his set to good effect with fun humour - his band thus has to carry him a fair way but the Neverland Express is a great ride.

The ever sexy Patti Russo (now at Cougar status) shone brightly as his foil for so many of the vocals - and as when I saw Meat Loaf in the same venue in 1997 (?) the highlight was her efforts during Paradise By The Dashboard Light. For some strange reason I liked it when she kicked Meat Loaf in the nuts.

Generally speaking, fans go to see Meat Loaf play classics from Bat Out of Hell and the odd hit from his comback years in the late 90s. So we got a rocking Bat out of Hell that featured some absolutely dire vocals, an excellent Rock and Roll Dreams and a pretty damn good Two Out Of Three Aint Bad.

Three songs from Hang Cool Teddy Bear were played all in a row to good effect - and as they were recently recorded Meat Loaf's live vocals filled those songs well.

To counter Meat's fragile health, the band plays loud and does plenty of musical interludes to let the big fella rest up a little (kind of reminds of what Axl Rose does these days!) - the violin and piano duel during Aint Bad was a great example and a fine piece of musicianship.

Meat Loaf was brilliant as he played up to the crowd, cracking jokes and rambling through a story about acid and teletubbies which made no sense until the end of the show when we were visited by actual Teletubbies and Alice in Wonderland characters. It only makes sense if you don't want peace on Earth and were actually there.

A fine night out was had by the crowd - their sing-alongs showed it and despite the shortcomings, the mighty Meat Loaf proved once again he is a great showman and entertainer.

Hang Cool, Teddy Bears.

Meat Loaf Wellington Set List:

Hot Patootie/Time Warp (from Rocky Horror Picture Show)

If It Ain't Broke, Break It

Bat Out Of Hell

Peace On Earth

Living On The Outside

Los Angeloser

You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)

Acoustic guitar solo (by Paul ‘Full Metal Jacket’ Crook)

Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through

Stand in the Storm

I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)

Acoustic guitar solo (Randy ‘Nashville’ Flowers)

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Paradise By The Dashboard Light

Set Encore 1

Let it Roll  (The Doors cover) / Free Bird instrumental

All Revved Up With No Place To Go

Set List Encore 2:

Mercury Blues

Meat Loaf heads to Tauranga next and then on to Auckland.

JJ: Thinks about Gears of War

Gears of War 3 Wrap Up 

There's been a lot to think about with the release of Gears of War 3 late last month - with no apologies to Richard Prebble here's what I've been thinking.

My review of Gears of War 3 - it's as good as you imagine it is.
What should Gears of 4 be like? - it should be as good as you can imagine.
Does Carmine Live? - what's the fate of the third Carmine brother?
What about Adam Fenix? - how will Marcus fare when he finds his father?
How Karen Travis turned her Gears over - how Travis enrolled with the COG
Multiplayer tips for playing Gears of War 3 - get your wingman on.

And let's have a look at the Gears of War 4 campaign reviews.

Gears of War Three Review

This conclusion to the Gears of War trilogy has been a long time coming. Three red rings of death a marriage and a mortgage later, I've had the absolute pleasure to play and now review Gears of War 3.

I orignally purchased GOW1 as a filler game waiting for Halo 3 to arrive as I'd heard good things about it and that game sure delivered a fun filled kill fest and despite the nonsensical plot, ending General Raam's grubby run was a sweet deal. GOW3 has proven to be a sweet a deal as was the delight that was Halo 3 and dare I say it, a more enjoyable game to play than Halo Reach.

I thought I'd divvy this review up into the Acts of the game and give my thoughts as the game progressed.

Big ass spoilers follow.

Act 1. A big boat collides with the cole Train

So Chairman Prescott wasn't such a prick after all and may have the key to ending this whole nightmare? Such is the set up of the game - the new stranded onna boat must face new lambent horde who have no rhyme or reason for their actions, just killing. So that's what Marcus and his team of soldiers and secretaries get up to - if it's not taking down a giant Leviathan a la a Gears 2, it's the player taking the role of the Cole Train touching down on the face of some angry b'arch. At this point you begin to remember how corny GOW is but how fun the game is to actually play. It's time to find Adam Fenix!

Act 2. Like a band of hobbits, we're off to a Big Gate

Grist for the mill this level, a long journey to find Hoffman who may hold the key to finding Adam Fenix, the father of this game's hero Marcus. This leg is a bit of a slog but has a few novel features such as new guns that are quite kick ass. Baird, though always annoying, is given his dues as a true COG soldier and appears to be getting a bit more love and screen time than the prior games.

Act 3. Drop it like it's Hoff or 'meet me at the front gate'

It's often in the third act of a play where the shit hits the fan. As we all know, the Gears universe is a Mad World - so it's no surprise when in the most epic moment in Gears of War history, Marcus' brother till end end, Dominic sacrifices himself so Marcus and Anya can carry on to find Hoffman. It's possibly the finest gaming moment Gears of War has delivered thus far - how can the ending top this moment? This moment makes Seargeant Johnson dying in Halo 3 seem like a goldfish dying.

Act 4. Dom is dead, there's a dude that think's he's Ving Rhames or Simon Phoenix or something.

Marcus is a bit grumpy, his brother is dead and now he has to get some oil for a dude that's taken Dizzie hostage. The dude is some kind of cross between a pissed of Ving Rhames (the real life version) and Simon Phonix from Stallone's Demolition Man - it's epic cheese and one were GOW is let down by it's faux 'fuck you all, in your face attitudes' - it works for 12 year old gamers but not this player.

The Locust Queen turns up, flys around and pisses off - which leaves our heroes to fight their way to Dizzie's rescue - it's a good sequence and with the gnasher shotgun a fun chance to take on some Queen's guards at close quarters.

Act 5 or 6 (I'm Lost). We take the Sub Way

We'll it's more of a way to a Sub. Our heroes need to get to Azure. I've already forgotten why - but luckily Gears of War has always worked well without a comprehensive plot so I'm happy to run around dodging big electric centipedes while I get fuel for the submarine and some parts so Dizzy can take us to wherever.

The gun battles are fun, a boss battle against some heavily armoured Priests or whatever is a amusing - but as per the Arbiter in Halo 3, I can step back and let my team take some close quarters damage while I sit back from afar taking pot shots. I do however have a strong feeling this approach won't work when I get to a run through on Insane mode... revive me!

The Final Actions....

We battle through Azure's 'Malestrom' and after all these years we finally meet the father of Marcus, Adam Fenix - this should be of no surprise to any one who's played Gears before - the prior games have built to this moment and frankly it's a bit of an anti climax. This leads me to believe he's gonna die at the end of the game somehow, but not just before he faces Marcus and they hug it out.

So we battle through some kind of luxury hotel, where people b'arch about Prescott living it up large while the cities burn. I get the feeling this anger is misplaced.

There's some great set pieces throughout these final stages - they are going to really challenging on the Insane difficulty level.

You've read this far, so let's cut to the chase - the final act is a battle versus the Queen of the Locust Horde flying around on some kind of winged horse (if memory serves correct, we first saw it at the end of the first game). The game's final conclusion is obvious if you think about it - Marcus vs the Queen - it nearly happened in the second Gears game and when it happens, it's a fairly straight forward exercise in picking your moments with the Hammer of Dawn weapon.

And the story's conclusion? Well let's just say after 13 odd years of not seeing his father, Marcus gets to face his Dad for 13 seconds before he gives his life to save everyone else and make amends for the sins he believed he had committed.

Overall this was an extremely Gears of War game. If I've been snarky in places during this review it's because I expect great things from great games. Cheesey moments aside, Gears 3 has delivered a polished, bug free (??!) game with a semi coherent plot that answered a few things but created a few questions. The game features an excellent colour palate, interesting new monsters and a couple of good twists and turns. Definitely the best game of the series, my hat of the to the game's designers - they've earnt their pay this year!

So what's next for the Gears of War universe? GOW4?

P.S I was delighted to see the Carmine character live!

U2 songs you should have a second listen to

U2 is a band full of Irish lads (and an Englishman of sorts) well known for its big singles. Songs like Where the Streets Have No NameBeautiful Day and Desire all popular the world over. Some U2 songs sometimes get over looked by the casual fan. Here's we a list of U2 songs that I think are worthy of a second listen.

Please, from the album Pop.

Pop is probably Bono’s best effort lyrically across an album. With word plays on Michael Jackson being history over Jackson’s own HIStory pun, the blind leading the blonde and the line from Please, “Your Catholic blues, your convent shoes” pretty much summing up Bono’s eternal search for his place and pace in the world - this song was depressing yet uplifting at the same time. Overall, it was a question being asked of Ireland's political leaders.

Dirty DayZooropa

“These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill” being sung over and over at the end always remind me that I never have enough time to do what ever it is I wanted do. This song did make me go see a documentary on the guy it was dedicated to, the author Charles Bukowski and read some of his books.

Van Dieman’s Land, from Rattle and Hum.

This song has the Edge singing about the life of the John Boyle O'Reilly, who was deported to Australia for writing bad poetry. The song's sentiments reflect the hard life that immigrants faced when they arrived in Van Dieman's Land.

Unchained Melody

Clearly not an original U2 song but when you hear Bono sing it, it has the emotion that all their big hits have. Released as a B-side to With Or Without You, it has been a favourite amongst the U2 hardcore for years.

MLKThe Unforgettable Fire album.

While the fire is a reference to atomic bombs being dropped in Japan (an early portent of How to dismantle an Atomic Bomb maybe?) the album seemed dedicated to two Kings – Elvis and Martin Luther King. MLK is sung like a lullaby. While Bono’s politic rants and beseeches and besmirches of The Man might put the more jaded and cynical amongst us to sleep, you can’t complain that this song does the same in a nice under the covers on a rainy day kind of way.

Beat on the Brat, cover of The Ramones, from the We’re a Happy Family Ramones Tribute Album.

Beat on the brat with a baseball bat. Yeah punk. U2 started out playing Ramone’s covers trying to pass them off as their own. Which is pretty much the music industry down pat these days. What can you do?

Original of the Species.

Coming from their popular How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb album, Original of the Species is almost like a classic father to daughter message, 'Don't Grow Up Too Fast, Baby'.

What are your favourite U2 songs you think are worthy of a second listen?

Chris Cornell Set List Wellington New Zealand

Chris Cornell Set List Wellington New Zealand

2 October 2010

Micheal Fowler Centre, Wellington

A rather chirpy Chris Cornell kicked of the first night of his solo acoustic tour 'Songbook Volume 1' with a set list full of classic Soundgarden songs, hit singles in his own right and a few of Audioslave numbers - these songs were  packaged with 6 cover songs as well, including the very popular, Bille Jean.

Chris took requests every so often - Like a Stone was one of the first. He had some good crowd banter, talked about the Rugby World Cup and not drinking and then cooking and burning the house down.

At one stage he gave the audience a choice between Like Suicide or Billie Jean - he thought the vote was pretty even and said he could do both.

Chris seemed genuinely pleased to be in Wellington and the crowd was very receptive to his mentioning that he'd be back with his band Soundgarden next year.

Cornell Set List:

Dark Globe (Pink Floyd - Syd Barret Cover)

Wide Awake

Can't Change Me

As Hope And Promise Fade

Call Me a Dog


Fell on Black Days

Hunger Strike

Like a Stone

State Trooper (Springsteen's song from Nebraska)

When I'm Down


Blow Up The Outside World

I am the Highway

A Day in the Life (Beatles Cover)

Like Suicide

Doesn't Remind Me

Set List Encore

Redemption Song (Bob Marley song)

Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)

Blackhole Sun

Imagine (John Lennon)

Check out 7 Concerts Worth Travelling To