last night in Des Moines was like being in the twilight zone. I was playing in a coffeeshop/ice cream parlor. It looked like it was going to be a fun first show ever in Iowa. The staff was helpful and friendly and they had a nice PA system for me to use. There were also a lot of people in there hanging out and having coffee or ice cream.
I got everything set up and began playing. It didn’t matter what I played original, covers, loud, soft, rowdy or reserved. There was nothing I could do to get any kind of reaction out of anyone. No clapping and no one looking up from their conversations. There was one friendly guy who said he was from out of town and just there visiting family who bought a cd from me. There was one girl who stared off into space while singing the song lyrics to a cover I was singing but she never looked at me and in the middle of it got up and left. Then there was a girl who told me she liked my tights while she walked out the door as if to say your music is horrible but I should say something while walking by.
Eventually two elderly black women approached me with a two dollar tip and their two cents on life. The first woman gripped my hand with vigor and intensity and looked me straight in the eye with a huge cult like smile and said “you should be a gospel singer”, I said thank you, she gripped my hand harder and pulled me close and added “for Jesus”, I again said thank you and she repeated one last time with divinity, “FOR JESUS”, then she released my hand. The second woman said just the usual “God Bless” and added that she will be praying for me.
The employees working seemed to enjoy the music enough to feed us dinner on the house and thank us for coming. Today I play in Overland, Kansas.