Meat Loaf joined the cast of the Bat Out of Hell musical on Tuesday evening for “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night).” The New York performance marked the singer’s first time onstage in over two years — he last appeared at the Bat Out of Hell‘s Toronto launch in May 2017.
“OK, you guys have been wanting to do this long ago, so we’re going to do it now,” Meat Loaf told the crowd after seizing the mic from cast member Andrew Polec. “Give me a little, ‘You took the words right out of my mouth!'” The cast takes turns singing each verse, with Loaf joining in for the chorus.
The singer has been plagued by severe back problems and vocal damage, leaving him unable to tour, much less perform. Onstage in Canada in June 2016, he collapsed while singing his 1993 hit “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).” “I was sick and when you get older you get dehydrated,” he told Rolling Stone a month later. “I hit the high note on that song and I got really, really dizzy. I went, ‘Oh, my God, I’m gonna pass out.’ I didn’t want to fall forward and break my neck going off the stage, so I started to go down easily and halfway down I went out. I didn’t wake up until we got to the hospital.”
In a Rolling Stone feature last year however, Meat Loaf denied rumors that he can no longer sing. “Morons!” he said. “I’m going, ‘Before you make a comment, learn something about music. Learn something about tone.’ People saying, ‘You can’t sing anymore.’ I mean, OK, I can’t get up to the B’s anymore, but I can still hit the high C’s, and A is a really strong note, too.”
Polec, Lena Hall, Christina Bennington, Danielle Steers and Tyrick Wiltez Jones have been impressing fans with their vocal powers — even if Jim Steinman’s musical is not going to satisfy everyone. Bat Out of Hell runs through September 8th.