Singer Eddie Rabbitt is not just a commercial performer, he is also is a performer of commercial -- he has recently been featured in a highly visible beer ad. The ad is slick, smooth and eminently entertaining. His concerts would perhaps be the same, if they, too, lasted only 30 seconds.
Rabbitt's show last night at Wolf Trap was a somnambulant affair that was consistently lacking in gusto. He and his seven-piece backup group chugged their way through a series of pop-country concoctions that were melodically palatable yet monotonously predictable.
Swaggering about the stage in the current macho man, urban cowboy fashion, Rabbitt displayed a vocal range that resided somewhere between a horse holler and a down-home moan. At times he was a bluesy rocker while at others he was a citified country crooner. Yet each of his vocal styles seemed forced and formulaic. His hits "Driving My Life Away" and "I Love a Rainy Night" were well received, but the rest of the songs met with a somewhat apathetic response that mirrored the performance itself.
Eddie Rabbitt could have been a refreshing elixir for a warm, muggy night. Instead, his performance never really came to a head.