By Shawn Raymundo

When the Neverland Express, the official band of legendary rock artist Meat Loaf, takes the stage at The Coach House on Sunday, March 17, fans should expect to get “punched in the face with melody and lyrics,” said guitarist Paul Crook.

The show, “Meat Loaf presents BAT,” will feature the Neverland Express alongside 2014 “American Idol” winner Caleb Johnson as they perform Meat Loaf’s hit album, Bat Out of Hell, in its entirety.

“It’s just going to be a high energy, rock-and-roll show … very theatrical,” said Johnson, who will be fronting the band while Meat Loaf recovers from back surgery.

During a phone conference with The Capistrano Dispatch, both Crook and Johnson stressed that no one can ever replace Meat Loaf, a Grammy Award-winning vocalist.

Photo: Courtesy of BAT
Photo: Courtesy of BAT

Acknowledging that Meat Loaf’s operatic stage presence is “very physically demanding,” Johnson said “it’s an incredibly daunting task” to fill in for the rock star.

“He’s just such an amazing singer,” Johnson said. “The vocal performances on those albums is incredible. I’m incredibly honored to be asked to be part of this, because first and foremost I’m a fan.”

Johnson also noted that as a fan he intends to perform from a fan’s perspective and without dressing like Meat Loaf.

“It’s 100 percent me singing these songs,” Johnson said. “It’s 100 percent of the emotions that I had when I first heard (them).”

Crook boasted that there’s a lot of talent at the BAT shows.

“The talent coming off the stage is pretty staggering. Caleb is obviously one of the greatest singers in the world; I’m not blowing smoke … the band is unbelievable,” he said, later adding, “We’re so lucky to have these songs to play.”

Tickets to see the Neverland Express featuring Caleb Johnson at The Coach House are $38. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the concert starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.

The Coach House is located at 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. For tickets or more information, call 949.496.8930 or visit thecoachhouse.com.

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