One of the great rocker chicks, Patty Smyth always used to chew gum when she performed, as I reminded her before she sang Scandal’s classic “The Warrior” in honor of its songwriter Holly Knight’s 2013 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Now I eat apples,” she said. She ate a lot of them at the Cutting Room Dec. 20 when she sang with her current Scandal lineup, sounding and looking perfectly healthy 30 years after “The Warrior” hit.
They did all the great Scandal hits, of course, including set opener “Beat of a Heart” and closer “Goodbye to You.” Smyth also sang her solo hits: “Downtown Train,” “Isn’t It Enough,” “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough.”
But the covers also stood out: “Ode to Billy Joe,” which Smyth recorded for Tom Scott’s 1999 album Smokin’ Section, and Neil Young’s “Old Man” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” the latter featuring her husband John McEnroe on guitar and lead vocals.
“Great solo, dude,” she commended him, imitating his jerky guitar movements; after the show she said she’s considering doing an entire album of Young songs.
As for her own movements, Smyth was graceful and unrestrained as ever, spinning around, jumping around, rolling around the floor singing. As she sang in “Heartache Heard Round the World,” from her 1987 solo album Never Enough, “I’m not crazy, well, maybe I am/’Cause I just wanna sing like Bobby Blue Bland.”
Let others decide if Patty Smyth achieved her goal. Unquestionably, she’s lived up to the song’s “I wanna be a rock ‘n’ roll girl” line as very few others.