Day 3 Wrap Up

So much good stuff was packed into this evening that I was all over the place.  I saw a ton of shows and I only hope I can remember half of what I saw and heard.

I started the afternoon off seeing Terry Taylor at the Gallery Stage.  The front man of so many famous bands, Daniel Amos, Swirling Eddies, Lost Dogs, etc. brought some of his friends, such as Mike Roe and Steve Hindalong on the stage and also his own son to play bass guitar.  The group reinterpreted many old classic songs to the delight of the crowd, many who have been fans for decades.

I hadn’t gotten a chance to get down to Main Stage at all this week, so I knew if I didn’t go tonight I wouldn’t get to.   I’ve gotten spoiled by having all my shows a short trek away.  So, I made the long walk down the hill and around the lake.  Just as I reached the lake I heard mewithoutyou finishing up “In A Sweater Poorly Knit” and crested the top of the hill above the stage to see a massive crowd at the show. The band was obviously a crowd favorite for many this year.  Following them was Shiny Toy Guns which brought a unique mix of dance and rock music to Main Stage.  After a couple songs, though, the rain began to fall and I, having expensive gadgetry and stuff to cover them back up the hill decided I should probably head back.

Fortunately, this gave me enough time to get back for Lost Dogs at the Gallery Stage.  Mike Roe, Terry Taylor, Steve Hindalong, and Derri Daugherty took a trip on Route 66 last summer, documenting the journey on video.  The show featured some nice rope twirling that Steve learned on the trip.  I had leave after a couple of songs, though, because there was one show at Cornerstone that I couldn’t miss.  When the best man in your wedding plays a show at Cornerstone, that trumps everything else.  Dave Richards was pumping out beats at the After Hours dance club.  I’ve said before that you can only go to Cornerstone so many times before you are driven to create also while you are there, whether it be playing music, painting, photography, or writing.   Indeed, there we were, Dave behind the turntables and me photographing him.

The rain started to fall a little harder, but it didn’t slow things down.  Cool Hand Luke played what many believe to be their last show at Cornerstone.  Mark Nicks played alone on keyboards while his wife joined him on a couple of songs and shared his heart about his many past years at Cornerstone and how much it meant to him as he played a couple of songs, both old and new.

I did a loop around the grounds to catch as much as I can at midnight.  The Gallery Stage featured music sponsored by To Write Love On Her Arms.  Zac Williams played a smoky set of soulful rock and blues.  Stephen Christian, fresh off of what I hear was an epic set by Anberlin (sad I missed it, but there’s only so much you can see), played some new music from his new project, Anchor and Braille.  Following them, Jamie Tworkowski came on stage and shared about TWLOHA.  He made an interesting comparsion about the life of the recently departed Micheal Jackson and how his life was a stark contrast of childlike wonder and deep, darkness from being wounded and wounding others and that many of us are the same.  His organization is doing a lot of good for people suffering from depression and self-mutilation, I would encourage you to check it out.

Meanwhile, The Crucified played a reunion show at Cornerstone for what must be the first time in many, many years.  This was a special moment for long-time veterans of the festival and the band delivered a hot set of punk/thrash music contrast with Mark Solomon’s sense of humor.  Nearly twenty years ago, people would be stage diving of the stage left and right and crowd surfing and moshing all around, but as he laughed, we’re all too old for that.

On the way back, I passed White Collar Sideshow, a drum and bass theatrical act at the Underground Stage.  The frontman and his wife were speaking a powerful message about pornography, fidelity, and living life for God instead of getting trapped in the American Dream.  I couldn’t stay for long, but I reflected on their words compared to the speaking going on at the same time for TWLOHA.  I hope Cornerstone is doing at least a small part to help beat back the hurts of the world in many of the people here and gives them hope and renewed faith in God, because once the festival ends, the reality of life hits back hard.

I’m uploading photos to my Flickr site as the week goes along.  Check them out and there should be more to come once I get home and give some of them a little Photoshop love!

The other side of Cornerstone

For my Friday report, I’m going to leave the band comments to the guys (we wound up seeing a lot of the same shows yesterday and they’re better able to describe them!). I’d like, instead, to focus on the other side of Cornerstone. While we talk mostly about music here, there’s a lot else that the festival has to offer. I took in several things on the other side yesterday.

Seminars:

As the emcee at the Stavesacre show said on Thursday, “If you’ve been coming to Cornerstone for more than 4 years and haven’t seen a seminar, you’re missing out.” This year’s seminar lineup was first-rate, featuring authors of popular books and thought-provoking topics.

Tony Jones & Phyllis Tickle brought seminars about the Emerging Church (or whatever you want to call that these days). Tickle also offered a short seminar on Friday about fixed-hour prayer, where she outlined the 7 practices or disciples brought into Christianity from Judaism: tithing, fasting, sacred meal (3 practices to disciple the physical), fixed hour prayer, sabbath, liturgical year, and pilgrimage (4 practices to discipline time).

Also on Friday, Andrew Marin continued his Love is An Orientation series. I didn’t hang around for it (went to another seminar instead) but he was definitely drawing large crowds for this talk, presumably related to the book by the same name.

The Music Professionals Series provided an accessible way for industry folks and up-and-coming bands to learn more about radio. That tent was packed with people asking questions of how to get their songs to break thru into radio.

The seminars are done for 2009 (other than the general session this afternoon), but there’s no doubt next year will offer another round of inspiring & challenging talks.

Art:

Burning Brush, the visual arts wing of the fest, presented the Parables of Jesus as the theme for their 2009 pilgrimage art installation. The pilgrimage, which runs from the Merch Tent to the Footbridge, features maybe 20 different art pieces of all kinds of media. A gorgeous batik and large mosaic of flowers anchor one end of the pilgrimage (the mosac shows great ingenuity by the artist, since it uses recycled bottle caps – from soda bottles, hershey’s syrup bottles, and more).

Breakaway:

Breakaway is held each morning in the Gallery, with worship & speakers relevant to high school students & those who work with them. I chaperoned a youth group several years ago, and though I don’t do so anymore, I still remember what a powerful experience Cornerstone can be for students. Breakaway is an excellent thing to include alongside seeing your favorite bands and hanging out with friends.

And many more…

Cornerstone is so diverse; it’s impossible to experience all of it. Try as I might, I never quite get around to seeing films at Flickerings (though maybe tonight for The Wizard of Oz or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – both old favorites of mine). I don’t have kids, so I don’t make use of Creation Station – though every time I walk by, I can’ t help but smile. Then there’s the volleyball torunament, skateboard ramp, soccer fields, prom at the Asylum, impromptu rounds of buck-buck on the main stage hill, swimming in the lake, etc. Way too much to possibly take in!

Two things on everyone’s mind

1. Oh no! It’s the last day!

2. Oh no! It’s still raining!

The weather forecast calls for pretty solid rain thru 2pm, lesser chances after that. The festival forecast calls for it to be relatively calm this morning, then a strong wind will bring new bands & speakers to the stage this afternoon, finally culminating in a rock-your-face-off night at Main Stage.

Saturday evening should bring about a great end to the fest with favorites Living Sacrifice, The Devil Wears Prada, and Underoath rocking the mud at main stage. (Please, God, send some sun this afternoon to make it less messy down there!) Up at the midway area, it looks like Alethian wasn’t able to make the trip for their 10th Cornerstone, but other bands will certainly rock the Sanctuary. Other venues will feature the sweet modern sounds of bands like Seabird and Nightengale, or the great musicianship of bands like The Wayside or Glen Clark.

The rain may dampen our tents, but let’s not let it dampen our spirits for one final day of great music, great ideas, great friends, and great worship.

Friday’s Youth Group of the Day

Friday Group of the DayComing to us from Cedar Rapids, IA is Echo Hill Presbyterian, joining us for the first time at Cornerstone.

This group loves the music, but says the food is another favorite.

They love grabbing a sandwich from the food court but no meal is complete without the sugary goodness of an elephant ear.

The guys say they really liked Family Force 5 and they are excited to see The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath and Shiny Toy Guns.

Lots of youth groups make Cornerstone part of their summer plans. In addition to the great music and seminars, there’s Breakaway, our youth program with its own speaker and worship band. If you haven’t brought a group, think about doing what Echo Hill did and bring your youth group to Cornerstone!

Cornerstone Life in Photos

Feel like you’re missing out on Cornerstone since you couldn’t make it to the farm this year?

Wondering what your kids are up to this week?

Wanting to know what there is beyond music?

Here’s a little of what you could be experiencing (all links take you to the photo gallery):

Next year, just outside Bushnell!

Thursday’s Youth Group of the Day

Thursday Group of the Day

Youth Group of the Day
Crosspoint Community Church
Nashville, TN

“I love it. It’s absolutely amazing.” 10th grader Lane Hinchliffe sums
up the feelings from Crosspoint Community Church as they make their
first trip to Cornerstone as a group. Youth leader Bret Pemelton is a
Cornerstone veteran, and this time brought 17 people nine hours to the
festival.

Lane said his favorite shows are War of Ages, Red, Family Force 5, and
the worship at Breakaway.

Emily Fernandez will also be a 10th grader this fall. She said there’s
one reason she came to Cornerstone, “The bands. The music.”

Her favorites include Owl City and Anberlin. She said the festival’s
been really cool and would tell her friends they should come next
year.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Cornerstone Festvial 2009 Live Coverage blog. Check back soon for all the latest news and everything Cornerstone starting June 29th. Don’t have your tickets yet? It’s not too late. Buy today for the best possible price.