at the Cannery Ballroom 5/12/12
at the Cannery Ballroom 5/12/12
I had been waiting for this night for quite a while. There aren’t many bands I’ll immediately buy tickets for without checking for previous commitments, but honeyhoney is one of them. So yeah, I bought two tickets (always the optimist) as soon as they went on sale. I didn’t realize until about two weeks later that it was the same day as my son’s First Communion. But the festivities for that ended shortly after lunch, and the kids’ mother had them for the rest of the weekend, so nope, no conflicts!
My sister was my “plus one” for this shindig. She was lucky enough to see Ben Jaffe and Suzanne Santo (the duo who make up honeyhoney) in 2008 and has been a fan since then. She also enjoyed James Morrison, who they were opening for. I had heard of the guy, but for the life of me I couldn’t recall ever hearing any of his music, so I looked him up on Spotify. Meh. Pleasant music, but nothing I’d go crazy for. I had my fill of Gavin DeGraw a handful of years ago, and this guy sounded very similar.
The show started at 9:00 p.m. and the doors opened at 8:00. We got there just after 7:30 and had to wait in the rain until the doors finally opened, only a smidge late. We made our way inside, grabbed a couple of drinks (shot of Corsair gin and a Yeungling Lager for me, a gin and tonic for the lady), and we staked out a decent spot a few bodies back from the stage, stage left near some speakers. We witnessed the end of honeyhoney’s mic check, and I liked that they did it themselves.
There are three things I’m kicking myself for that I DIDN’T do that night. One of them is that I didn’t keep up with the set list. Last year when I saw Biffy Clyro and Foo Fighters, I made sure to note on my phone each bands set list. I LOVE those bands but I still made it a priority. I was just so drawn into to honeyhoney’s show, though, that I never even thought about it. Hell, I had to break away just to take two videos and a handful of pictures.
It’s amazing to watch Santo perform, whether she’s singing or playing the banjo or fiddle. It doesn’t matter what she’s doing, but you can see that she’s not just performing the music, she’s feeling it, she’s living it, she’s letting it flow through her into the audience. As a fan, that helps me get into the concert experience so much more. If I can tell that a performer isn’t just going through the motions, isn’t just playing the hits and saying the city’s name to get a reaction from the audience, then I enjoy the show more.
I’ve watched a few of the duo’s “candid” videos on their website, and I’ve even posted them here on the blog, and in those videos Suzanne is the cut-up, the smart ass with a witty tongue. But tonight I noticed that Ben was a bit more vocal between songs. He ended up getting a few genuine laughs from the audience, me included.
Of the songs I can remember, honeyhoney played “Little Toy Gun,” “Ohio,” “Glad I’ve Done What I Did,” an unknown song that they opened with (and I’ve Googled the hell out it and can only find a mention here, so I’m assuming it’s a new original song and not a cover, and I hope to hell that it appears on the next album because it was incredible), and they closed with an incredible performance of “Come on Home” from their first album First Rodeo. I wish to God I had recorded that (second kicking-myself moment); it was amazing.
My sister and I hit the merchandise table as soon as the show was over (after getting another beer and G&T), sacrificing our spots to some James Morrison fans who would appreciate them more. I purchased digital copies of First Rodeo and Billy Jack from Amazon (and you can, too), but I picked up a physical copy of Billy Jack anyways and a copy of their EP Loose Boots. My sister did the same, and we both got our copies of Billy Jack signed. Ben and Suzanne were incredibly nice, and it wasn’t until after we left the table and were waiting around for Morrison to take the stage that I realized they would have totally taken a picture with me. That was my final kicking-myself moment, and the one that’s least forgivable in my eyes. We waiting around through about half of Morrison’s set, hoping they would come back out to the table, but no joy.
We ended up leaving early in order to beat the rush out of the cramped little parking lot, and we stopped at a food truck, Squeals on Wheels, on our way to the car. It was quite tasty.
I guess I should at least say something about James Morrison since it was technically his show. I don’t know if it was where we were standing or just him in general, but I couldn’t make out many of the lyrics in his songs, and I couldn’t understand him all that great when he was talking. It was all British mumbling. I felt like I got more than my money’s worth just by seeing honeyhoney, and even my sister, who was somewhat of a fan, was A-OK with leaving early.
I will see honeyhoney the next time they come to Nashville. I promise. They are on my list with Biffy Clyro and Foo Fighters (stellar company indeed). My biggest hope is that, the next time they’re here, they’re big enough to carry their own show. The set they played at the Cannery Ballroom, while fantastic, was just too short. For a fan, it was just a tease. I want a full-length, main attraction set. I want more banter. I want covers and encores.
And next time, I want my picture taken with Suzanne. Fine, Ben can be in it, too.
Also, I'm a horrible photographer, so please excuse the quality of the photos.
Also also, if anyone can identify the song in this first video, I’d really appreciate it.