02/26/2001 at 01:00 AM EST
Jaron Lowenstein, half of the brother act Evan and Jaron, stands amid a horde of cheering teens in the Manhattan studio of MTV's Total Request Live, where the duo has just performed "Crazy for This Girl." "It's a little overwhelming," he says animatedly, "to hear 100 or so girls in a room singing every lyric to a song that you wrote on Martha's Vineyard with a friend like...forever ago."
But Jaron and his 26-year-old identical twin, Evan, shouldn't be like...surprised. "Crazy," a Top 20 song, has been a radio staple for the past seven months. And it's not just kids who are tuning in. "They have the good looks of a boy band, but their music is much more geared to adults," says Melinda Newman, Billboard's West Coast bureau chief.
Growing up in a family of amateur musicians—their father, Chuck, 58, is a retired businessman; mother Leslie, 56, is a homemaker—Evan and Jaron, both solid students at Atlanta's Yeshiva High School, first aspired to play baseball. But at 17 Evan taught himself the guitar. Soon, Jaron was joining him in local coffeehouse gigs—though never on Friday nights. The Lowensteins, signed by Columbia Records in 1999, observe the Jewish Sabbath. "Religion has kept us focused," says Jaron, who also gets support from steady Lind-say Bryan. (Evan and wife Kassini were married in November.)
Up next? "We can't wait to tour," says Evan. "Opening for U2 would be great. Hey, Bono, call me."