Live review: Gavin Degraw with honeyhoney

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Gavin Degraw with honeyhoney

Neighborhood Theatre

May 3, 2009

The Deal: Gavin Degraw performs a sold-out show at Neighborhood Theatre with honeyhoney opening.

The Good: The California-based, two-piece band honeyhoney - comprised of Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe - started the show with a short set of jamming tunes, which combined elements of folk, jazz and bluegrass. On most of the songs, Santo played the fiddle, but towards the end of the set she picked up the banjo, while Jaffe played electric and acoustic guitars and the bass drum. Highlights included “Not For Long,” “Bouncing Ball,” and “Little Toy Guns,” as well as a surprising cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979.”

Gavin Degraw took the stage next, kicking off with the song “Glass” off of his newest album, Free. He went on to play a number of songs from all three of his albums, including 2003’s Chariot (“Nice To Meet You,” “Follow Through,” “Chariot,” “Chemical Party,” “I Don’t Want To Be”) 2008’s self-titled album (“Cheated On Me,” “Untamed,” “Let It Go,” “I Have You To Thank,” “Next To Me”) and 2009’s Free ( “Free,” “Glass,” “Indian Summer,” “Lover Be Strong,” “Stay”). The set was energetic and extra elements were added to many of the songs to give them more of a rock feel than on the album versions. Degraw made a comment about seeing a Bob Marley shrine in NoDa, before going on to play a reggae-tinged version of “Next To Me.” He also played a cover of Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman.” All in all, it was an awesome show. Degraw gave the fans a performance well worth both the ticket price and body heat of the packed venue.

The Bad: Hardcore fans of Degraw kept screaming that they loved him between songs. It was ok the first few times, but it got kind of annoying after a while.

The Verdict: A show worth seeing. honeyhoney is definitely a band to keep on the music radar. Gavin Degraw played a long, rocking set of favorites, newbies and surprises. Be sure to check him out when he performs at the Food Lion Speed Street 600 Festival in Charlotte on Sat., May 23. For more information, click here.

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