Grand Opera House York Friday 25th January 2019
Reviewed by Michelle Richardson
Steve Steinman once again hit the Grand Opera House York, with his rocktastic musical concert, Vampires Rock on Friday, as part of his spring tour. For the past 15 years this show has been touring, with the promise of guitar Gods and sexy vampettes, playing to over a million people. Attracting an army of loyal fans he must be doing something right.
I have previously seen Vampires Rock, so I knew what to expect, well sort of. This version tells the tale of Baron von Rockula, fed up, after 300 years, with his Vampire Queen (special guest star, former X Factor winner Sam Bailey). He’s on the hunt to find a new virginial wife and as usual, it is up to his ever faithful sidekick Bosley (John Evans) to deliver the victim. Innocent Roxy Honeybox (Hayley Russell) is the prey, set upon by the Baron and his loyal group of sexy vampires. Obviously where there are vampires there has got to be Van Halensing (great 80’s reference there), hunting the Baron down.
The band, The Lost Boys, were excellent again, with local boy Henry Bird getting a bit of attention from the audience, enjoying the York guitarist strutting his stuff. All the musicians (Bird, Jamie Hiscox, Zoe Parr, Pete Dean and Andy Preston) are outstanding, playing and singing with such passion throughout the whole show. They played some great, classic rock anthems from the 80’s, including tracks from Joan Jett, Queen, Journey, Guns n Roses, and of course Meatloaf. Meatloaf is where it all started with Steinman, after an appearance on Stars in Their Eyes. I’ve just had a look on YouTube to see if I could find the appearance, and yes I did, a bit grainy but it’s there, great vocals, not sure about that dodgy ponytail though. I’m glad to say that the hair has now all gone and it’s a vast improvement.
Evans as Bosley, is the perfect foil for Steinman, they share great chemistry. I was glad to see that he was still strutting his stuff in his zebra print leggings with blue pvc pants on top, whilst rocking The Final Countdown.
Dancers and vocalists Russell, Trixi Bold and Victoria Jenkins do a terrific job, dripping with sex appeal. Sam Bailey is really the icing on the cake, her powerhouse vocals and interaction with Steinman is a wonderful addition to this tour. Her portrayal as Queen Vampire is a match for the Baron that is for sure.
There was quite a bit of audience interaction with Steinman delivering one liners outside the supposed script, and by the end of the night all of us were up on our feet dancing and singing away, though I did refrain from jumping to Van Halen. It was great to see all the variation in ages, the youngest that I saw must have only been about 7, complete with headphones, though it didn’t stop him boogying away with his massive red foam hand, and all the different costumes scattered around the theatre.
This vampire pantomime rock concert is still barking mad, but that is why it is so good. It really is corny and cheesy, with a panto feel to it, but it is more than that, it’s a musical extravaganza, packed with exhilarating energy. This is the second time that I’ve seen Vampires Rock, slightly re-vamped, and it is still as fresh, cheesy and thoroughly entertaining as I remembered, even more so with Sam Bailey’s vocals. This is a real fun night out and, as my plus one said, they should prescribe this show on the NHS, it really makes you feel so good, you forget about your worries, aches and pains.
Steinman will be coming back to the Grand Opera House York in May with his brand new show, Anything for Love, the Meatloaf story, so make a date in your diary and get booking, we definitely will!