Scandal and John Waite have a number of things in common. Both have singles in the Top 10; both are fairly new bands owing much of their exposure to rock video and the physical charms of their lead singers, and, judging from their performances at the DAR last night, both are far more effective on the tube than on stage.
Scandal, or to be more precise, singer Patty Smyth, was immensely engaging nonetheless. A singer with a powerful voice and irrepressible sense of showmanship, Smyth immediately seized the audience's attention, and didn't let go until she had sung her final note. Remarkably, she was able to invest even the flimsiest melodies with palpable excitement and genuine enthusiasm. Unfortunately, that was a talent she had to exercise far too often. There were exceptions, though, among them "Love's Got a Line on You," "All I Want" and the group's current hit, "The Warrior," but these were in the distinct minority.
John Waite opened the show with an amiable imitation of hard rock that never quite managed to find its focus. Waite made much of his buoyant melodies and boyish smile, but aside from his hit, "Missing You," they did little to alleviate the tedium of his set.