Futurist Theatre, Scarborough

24 Nov 2007 – Steve Rudd – Scarborough

Despite the fact that the tour was inexorably drawing to a close, the cast of ‘Vampires Rock’ still thrust their absolute all into their Scarborough show.

Oh yes – it might have been a bitterly cold November night outside, but Steve Steinman & Co. instantaneously set the Futurist on fire, the distinctive guitar riff of the Guns ‘n’ Roses classic ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ heralding the beginning of the show. First up on the stage was ace guitarist Eddie Ojeda, kindly taking time out from his commitments with Twisted Sister to perform at select shows on the tour. From his elevated vantage point he threw a killer rock star pose, hiding behind his shaggy mop of jet-black hair as a strategically positioned smoke machine added to the spectacular effect.

Given his consistently stunning performances as Baron Von Rockula, Steve Steinman is just as much a Rock God as Ojeda. Steve might be singing other people’s songs, but he sure breathes new life into each and every one. And when he takes on Meatloaf anthems, you really can close your eyes and be fooled into thinking that Steve is Meatloaf. ‘Vampires Rock,’ for those unfortunate souls not in the know, is a thrilling concert fantasy set in the ‘Live & Let Die’ club in a decadent New York of the future, populated primarily by the undead. Baron Von Rockula, the club’s owner, is searching for a new bride, and as soon as he sees naive singer Pandora Rosie Box (played superbly by Emily Clark), he’s instantly smitten, and with the help of his sidekick Stringfellow he sets out to seduce her, to wed her, and to ultimately bite her, therefore satisfying his craving for blood whilst introducing the innocent Pandora to the devilish world of rock ‘n’ roll.

So, it’s a show of two halves. The first follows Rockula’s desperate attempts to seduce his bride-to-be, before the second half of the show sees the freshly vamped up and inhibitionless Pandora let loose: once bitten, but far from being twice shy. From the off, the scene is set for a swaggering set-list of classic rock anthems. Where else could you hear Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ Bon Jovi’s ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ and Suzi Quatro’s ‘Devil Gate Drive’ belted out in one show? Steve’s wry tongue-in-cheek humour also goes down a storm, as he cracks jokes whenever a suitable opportunity arises. Gaggles of kids might have been in attendance with their parents, but any risque jokes and double entendres are destined to whizz through one ear and out the other in a flash without the true meaning of any lewd puns registering. Given that the energetic cast of ‘Vampires Rock’ is decked out in flamboyantly Glam-tastic garb that befits the immortal, kids love the look of the show just as much as adults. The design of the set itself is magnificent, with the interior of the ‘Live & Let Die’ club providing the backdrop to affairs.

Both Steve and Emily dominate centre-stage, sometimes courtesy of a duet, at other times by singing solo. A precociously talented backing band, meanwhile, adds musical flesh to the spirited vocal performances, providing perfect note-for-note renditions of every classic rock anthem tackled, culminating in a breathtaking version of ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ – Steve Steinman’s favourite song of all to perform in a live setting and before a captive audience. Still, with the audience clamouring for me, Eddie Ojeda bolted to centre-stage for the very last song of the night. Although the Twisted Sister anthem ‘Burn In Hell’ had been played in the first half of the show, the band’s most well-known song soon got the full ‘Vampires’ treatment. And so it came to pass that ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ polished off the most entertaining show imaginable, provoking the crowd to bustle out of the venue with a collective grin of unadulterated contentment plastered at large.

Unfortunately – as with all great things – the latest tour of ‘Vampires Rock’ has almost wound up for the winter. However, Steve Steinman will be back on the road come springtime when he throws himself back into his equally-as-exhilarating ‘Bat Trilogy’ tour, a show devoted to all three of Meatloaf’s ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ masterpieces. Thankfully, tickets are already on sale. Thus, if you’re at a loose end at what to buy for your loved ones this Christmas, why not treat them? For more information, all you’ve gotta do is click… www.themeatloaftrilogy.com

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