The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Mission Creek: S.G. Goodman Tells Us What Awaits on the Other Side of the Rainbow

Upon dusk of a vibrant Saturday night, where lots else is going on within the streets of downtown Iowa City, S.G. Goodman found herself within the warm confines of The Englert Theater for Mission Creek. Here, she serenades the crowd with hymns, both rustic and enchanting. Her set tore away from the rest of that night’s shows, as the set was posed as more calm, relaxed, and laid-back, like how a candle would only slowly chip away at its flame. She played songs mostly off her album Old Time Feeling, such as the tracks “Space and Time” and “Supertramp”. These were next to a few more songs from her earlier album Teeth Marks.

Goodman was organically acoustic and crisp in rhythmic melody. The audience watched and listened intently to her endearingly heartfelt set, ripe with tenderness and genuine sincerity. In her performance, what a person is able to recognize is the power of using one’s own voice to amplify others, by telling stories that can be applied to many who share the same narrative. Within her set, one acknowledges this strength of collective catharsis, as the crowd conjointly participates in releasing bottled-up emotions and feelings.

While the discography of Goodman is reposed and serene, there is a potent intensity that drives the effects of the music into something more passionate. In the flecks of her embers, golden and tinsel, we come across a horizon, abundant with fields of ambition to beckon toward the other side, where things are much more sanguine. In this, we breach the secrets that may lead to the answers of questions asked about this messy, frenzied world. We ask the question, “Why are things this way?” Goodman answers with, “Because of the possibility of changing how things are, for the better of our self expression.”

Image via Cat Dooley

As Goodman’s compassionate voice echoed through The Englert atrium, glimmers of meaningful introspection came as a queer woman recounted her experiences from a rural area that initially had not been the most welcoming of arms. To the messages that linger within her lyrics, as listeners, we find that we picked up a few things from her songs that we could connect and share a rapport with. At least once in our lives, we have experienced the feeling of being left out or being out of place in an area we lived in. Within the extent of Goodman’s discography the audience is grasped by a sense of belonging and acceptance that might not have been found in the places that had once refused us for who we are. What she creates is a safe space for one to settle within their own body, being done honestly and truthfully.

During the set, Goodman occasionally looked out to the audience, as well as the light that beamed upon her. While performing, she reflects on how far she has gone, finally being one with herself. By the end of the set, the crowd exited the venue with a newly born appreciation for themselves. Goodman’s set was able to whisk everyone into a dimension at which all are free to be who they are with no apparent hesitancy to embrace the candid self.