HoneyHoney
"April 3, 2008"

Despite the fact that it was a wet, dreary Thursday night, spirits were high at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA, as fans waited restlessly for the evening's festivities to begin. Headlining the show was Lifehouse ("Hanging by a Moment," "First Time"), with openers HoneyHoney ("Little Toy Gun") and Matt Nathanson ("Car Crash," "Come on Get Higher"). HoneyHoney took the stage punctually at 8:30 PM, starting out with the catchy "Little Toy Gun." Despite a majority of the audience never having heard of HoneyHoney, everyone seemed to be enjoying their songs and especially Suzanne Santo's playful banter with the crowd as she and Ben Jaffe cracked jokes. Flashes started popping as cameras clicked away when Santo, without missing a beat, started to play along on her violin to upbeat, fast-paced tunes. It was hard not to be captivated by her entrancing, soulful voice or the group's constant energy and joy in performing.

After their set, Santo and Jaffe ran to the back of the venue to their merchandise table where a small line slowly formed: fans quickly exchanged cash for a copy of HoneyHoney's first EP, "Loose Boots" and then waited patiently as the smiling, laughing duo personally signed each CD jacket. This wasn't a quick scribble and a wave before shouting "NEXT!" fiasco. Instead, they greeted each person with a smile and a handshake as they introduced themselves, thanking each fan for coming to see them, and were more than happy to pose for pictures as lighthearted small talk was exchanged. As their time quickly ran short, Santo and Jaffe apologized for having to sign-and-dash, but explained that they were required to go backstage as Nathanson got ready to start his set.

Refreshingly, there was no narcissism there; they were not trying to beat the other acts in a popularity contest. They were there to perform and get their name out -- and perhaps gain a few new fans in the meantime. HoneyHoney's music was more folksy and jazz-influenced in contrast to the popular made-for-radio hits of Lifehouse (and may not play repeatedly in your head as readily as "Hanging by a Moment"), but with Nathanson as a bridge between the two styles, the entire show flowed smoothly from one sound to another.