Some Sort Of A Homecoming

On Ben Kieffer’s legendary radio performance series, Live From The Java House, Jason described performing for 17,000 screaming fans at the Wells Fargo Arena thusly.

“You know how you feel when you standing on the edge of a tall building or a cliff?” he said. “You’re head is spinning, your stomach feels kind of swimmy, and maybe you feel like you’re gonna throw up? It felt like that. For a half an hour.”

The Hoyt Sherman Auditorium, though sold out for Nada Silent Night III, seats 1200 patrons — far less than 17,000 fans. But that didn’t diminish my anxiety. My head was spinning. My stomach felt swimmy. And I felt like I was going to throw up.

But a miraculous thing happened when I took the stage. Standing there in front of the red curtain, batherd in the blazing white spotlight, I felt like I was a mighty oak tree with huge, strong roots digging deep into the great Iowa soil.

Not that I have any idea what happened, exactly. I performed for just seventeen minutes. My voice was strong. My playing clean. I talked more than I’d planned. And in the last moments of my set, Josh and Jerry joined me for “Do It Again.” We sang three part harmony on the choruses, the second-to-last a capella, before finishing big. I fell to my knees, strumming furiously, drowning in a tidal wave of applause.

Stepping back into the wings, my head was clear, my stomach was settled, my nausia was quelled.

It was a sweet homecoming.

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