Maybe it happens to you as often as it happens to me. You discover that a much-beloved musician is finally touring in your area, you mark the date on your calendar months in advance, you spend the weeks leading up to the show getting more and more excited. And then, once the concert finally rolls around, you just can’t get into it. Your mind drifts, your feet hurt. You start thinking about the people you wish were enjoying the concert with you, the long list of things you need to do before you go to bed, how eating a chocolate frozen custard immediately before a tuna salad was a terrible, terrible life decision.
But at Wednesday night’s free concert in Madison Square Park, The Roches had a captive audience. Many were clearly familiar with the family of folk troubadours — the audience sang along, clapped, and occasionally got up to dance to their favorite songs.The overall vibe was comfortable and intimate, like a concert in a friend’s living room. The Roches’ casual banter with the crowd between songs didn’t seem forced or rambling; they are clearly pros at connecting with crowds. Between shout-outs to old fans and cheeky acknowledgement of the new generation, everyone there felt welcome. At one point, The Roches called out, “We don’t even know each other, but in a sense it’s like we’ve grown up together.” This was soon followed by the gleeful exclamation, “Oh my God! There’s blue in the sky!”