John Roderick, the talky Long Winters singer who with his new bushy beard and long greasy locks resembles no one so much as Jeffrey Lebowski — the Dude, that is — introduced the song “Honest” last evening at Castle Clinton by saying, “This is how it feels to be a young woman facing some difficult decisions.” From where we were sitting alongside the stage, we noticed two girls in center front row, perhaps 13 and 16, perk up at this. And then Roderick, who is conspicuously missing a front tooth and later claimed to weigh in at “234, 235” (“But I can still fit into my junior-prom costume. I was 240 in high school” — big, big laughs), delivered, in his winsome way, the first line: “She loves the singer, every song can bring her close to tears…” Shock dawned on these girls’ faces. Him … singing … that?
And it’s difficult to explain if you haven’t heard it, but “Honest” is such a lovely and in a weird way genuine tune that we couldn’t help thinking that those girls — and, certainly, others in attendance — probably were moved by the story of a young woman warned by her mother never to fall in love with a lead singer, “whatever you do, whatever you do.” At the same time that they were, of course, bemused to bask in the presence of this man, who paired a white shirt with off-white, or perhaps just dirty, Carhartt denims, and looked like he might’ve, shit, probably, wandered into the Castle and onstage after spending a few nights on a bench in Battery Park. So for the purposes of this story, we cast aside the mother’s moral and say, yes, we came to love him there — and in our memory, at least, forged under that glorious sky, we will for evermore. —Nick Catucci