BOARDMAN Better than a stereo
By VERONICA GORLEY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Two hot pop musicians. Ten excited teens. One private concert.
Evan and Jaron performed for Christy Patton, her sister and eight of her friends Wednesday at her home in Boardman, her prize for winning WHOT-FM 101 radio's "Evan and Jaron's Crib Crash" contest.
"I'm excited that they came," said Patton, 18.
Patton, a senior at Boardman High School, was randomly selected. Disc jockeys at HOT 101 instructed listeners to call when they heard an Evan and Jaron song played on the station.
The 25th caller won the folk-pop duo's latest CD and qualified for the contest. Among the prizes was a private mini-concert. Callers had just over two weeks to qualify.
"We were just driving around on Friday night and my friends told me to call," Patton said. "They didn't think I'd actually win."
She was the 25th caller on her first attempt, which qualified her for the "Crib Crash." Three days later, she was stunned to hear she had won.
"She was babbling on like an idiot for 10 minutes," said Heather Maronen, 18.
Carly Susor, 17, re-enacted Patton's enthusiasm.
"She's like, 'They're coming to my house. Evan and Jaron are coming to my house."
The show: The identical twins, distinguishable because Evan wore a hat, began the concert with their most recent hit, "From My Head to My Heart," now on the weekly top 40 list, followed by last year's single, "Crazy for This Girl."
"Probably 'Crazy For This Girl' is my favorite," Patton said.
Afterward, Evan and Jaron signed autographs and posed for photos with the girls.
"They were so nice," gushed Amber Hallaman, 18.
Nikki Conti, 18, was especially pleased with the attention she got from Jaron. "Guys, I got to hug him," she said.
Patton's mother, Nancy Kirk, thought it was great. "It's good PR for them, and it's wonderful for these girls," she said.
Patton's sister Jen, 23, was also delighted Evan and Jaron came to the house.
"I think it's a really nice idea," she said. "A lot of bands get off track because they don't take the time to be like this."
Jaron said he enjoys performing mini-concerts and meeting fans.
"I love the intimate environment," Jaron said. "You learn so much about what you do from your fans."
Getting started: Evan and Jaron Lowenstein, who appeared this year in People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World," first played in clubs in their hometown of Atlanta in 1993. They have since relocated to Los Angeles.
The duo released their first album, "Live at KaLo's Coffeehouse," in 1994. Two years later, they released, "Not From Concentrate."
The twins signed with Island Records and released their first major label album, "We've Never Heard of You Either," in 1998. Columbia Records produced their self-titled followup last year.
The album "Evan and Jaron" features the duo's guitar music and harmonies. The brothers wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs, which feature drummer Mick Fleetwood and jazz keyboardist John Medeski.
"I just thought it would be unique to have a concert with one winner," said WHOT program director Tom Pappas, who organized the contest.
"We had a lot of listeners, and a lot of listeners listening for a long time," Pappas said. "We took qualifiers two or three times a day."
Colleen Hackett, 18, was especially glad Patton won the contest.
"My sister started listening to them a couple of months ago," Hackett said. "I'd steal her CD and listen to it a lot."
Patton said she enjoyed the concert and she likes Evan and Jaron "much, much more in person."
Hackett agreed. "I like them so much better live than how they sound on the radio," she said.
Patton said students at her high school were interested in the concert when they found out she won the contest.
"Everyone said they were going to come to the front yard," she said.
Busy girl: Patton is involved with her high school's speech team and arts clubs, and she works at Babies "R" Us. She plans on attending Youngstown State University in the fall and majoring in telecommunications.
Evan and Jaron performed Tuesday at the Odeon in Cleveland. After Patton's private concert, they played in Pittsburgh at the Rosebud. Evan and Jaron's manager gave Patton and her friends tickets to the concert.
"For us, this is what we love to do," Jaron said. "For them, it means so much."