Now It Feels Like Cornerstone

Up until the early evening, I’ve felt like I’m at bizarro Cornerstone.  The weather has been cold and windy.  The crowd has been scattered across the festival at generator stages so everything felt sparse.  REIGINITE Day introduced me to a lot of bands I had never heard before (Stephen Petree was great with his “Telekeyster” and Down From Up brought shredding goodness with covers of Micheal Jackson and Gn’R’s “Sweet Child Of Mine”), but I hadn’t seen anyone I knew all day.  I had yet to experience that “hot, crowded tent” show until I walked over to the Indie Community Stage.  Deas Vail had the small place packed out and when I walked in and the crowd was buzzing, I finally felt like I was at Cornerstone.  The band did not fail to deliver with ethereal high-pitched vocals, keyboards, guitars, and a bass player who took pictures of the crowd as he played.

After the show was over, I strolled over to the Gallery Stage where Los Lonely Boys were playing before an overflowing crowd.  I didn’t feel like trying to wade in and try to find an open spot to sit, so I enjoyed just hanging out in the courtyard and listening to the music.  With all the people milling about and the music blasting, now it feels like Cornerstone is underway.

Mid Afternoon REIGNITE Day

The fantastic weather took a turn a little bit and the wind started coming in. I have been to many Cornerstones now and I’m used to brain-broiling heat, rain, mud, humidity and more, but I’ve never shivered cold in the middle of the day in July. There’s always a first isn’t there?

The windy weather didn’t slow things down on the generator stages, though. Scooby-Doo (or at least someone dressed up like him) made his debut at Cornerstone with the baind Audio Strobelight that played a high energy show that had people dancing in the street. A husband-wive duo called Carolina Story just returned from their honeymoon and traveled here to Cornerstone to play. Their acoustic music was a nice break from he audio assault coming from all the generator stages and they were charming and personal.

Many of the bands on REIGNITE day are here at Cornerstone for the first time. There’s a lot of new acts and on the upside, they bring a lot of new youth and energy. Many of these bands are still rough around the edges and will only improve as they tour and perform more. As I took a dinner break at the Gallery Stage, I was reminded just what a group of experienced musicans can do. Maron brought several JPUSA Cornerstone veterans on the stage and wowed me with soulful show that started with “We Are Finding Who We Are” by King’s X and kept up the quality throughout the show. I hadn’t even planned on seeing them, I just wanted a place to sit down and eat, but I’m glad I stopped by.

With the wind calming down and some food in my belly, I’m renewed for the evening and ready to go.

REIGNITE Day ignites Cornerstone

We’re underway at Cornerstone 2009! Hello kids, my name is Jeff and I’ll be bringing you updates as the festival goes on. The weather is incredible so far with a cool breeze and big clouds moving across the sky. Today is REIGNITE day and many bands are making the debut at the festival. I don’t recognize many of the names on the schedule, but I’m having fun discovering new bands. Crimson Refuge started the day out well and Divided By Friday followed it up with a fun show featuring a cover the Temptations “My Girl.”

After a brief lunch, I headed back over to the Encore stages to see Darcy. They were a fun, hooky, catchy band dressed to the nines in vests and ties. Like many of the bands here, this is their first time on the stage here.

On the streets at the entrance of the festival, there are several ad hoc stages put together and powered by generators. These “generator stages” give a lot of bands the chance to play even if they aren’t on the official stages or give the crowd a chance to preview the band before they play their show. Shows on these stages can be totally unpredictable, it can be a noisy mess or a taste of something great. While walking down the street, I stopped to hear a performance by Astellaway. I’ll have to catch them again on their Encore Stage later in the week.

Everything is under way! The generator stages are cranking and kids are rocking. The fun has just begun.

Let’s get started!

Hey everybody, and welcome to this year’s Cornerstone blog!  My name is Jerry, and I’m one the bloggers here to give you a taste of what’s going on at the fest this week.  This is my 12th Cornerstone (all in a row – since 1998), and this year is shaping up to be a lot of fun.  The weather looks great (sunny and low 80s in the day, with nice, cool 60s at night), and the band lineup is absolutely massive!

Today is the unofficial first day of the fest proper, with several stages up and running with tons of bands.  I’m going to see a bunch of them, but I’ve picked out a few that I’m particularly interested in:

  • Quiet Science – This band from Florida is playing a bunch of shows at the fest, including 2 generator stage appearances today.  From what I’ve heard, they’re pretty much dead center in the zone of stuff I like – very melodic, with plenty of rock.  I’m really looking forward to seeing them play.
  • Los Lonely Boys – A Texas band that had a pretty big hit a few years back with their song “Heaven,” they’re one of the surprise bookings at the fest this year, because they seem to come from a little outside of the Christian music industry (however broadly you define the term).  It’s also unusual for a “name” band to play a show on the Gallery Stage on Tuesday, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of a crowd they draw this early in the fest.
  • Stephen Petree – A singer with a strong voice and an interesting mix of styles in the samples on his MySpace page.  I’m curious to see what he sounds like live.

Check back for updates, and in the meantime, let’s get some comments going!  What bands are you looking forward to most?  Who should I be sure not to miss?