The backstage vibe was cozy and mellow with Sheryl Crow, David Spade, Sean Penn, and more

Normally, you’d never use the word cozy to describe events at Universal City’s mammoth Universal Amphitheatre, but that was the vibe backstage at the April 10 VH1 Honors, where the stars were more mellow than a Jewel tune. Between many trips to the down-home buffet of short ribs, bread pudding, and pecan pie, presenter Sean Penn (with wife Robin Wright) shot the breeze with Sheryl Crow and Andy Garcia. Nearby, Ellen DeGeneres sipped beer and smoked cigarettes with Volcano‘s Anne Heche. ”I don’t leave my house usually,” admitted DeGeneres, who’d decided to accept a last-minute invitation from George Michael. Even somber-faced Jakob Dylan thawed a little, gamely agreeing to speak to a 14-year-old Wallflowers fan via her party-going dad’s cell phone. She wasn’t the only one impressed with the rock sex symbol of the moment. Said David Spade of Bob’s little boy, ”I think it’s safe to say that he’s going to do all right with the girls tonight.”