Reigniting my search for good new music

It’s hard to say when Cornerstone really starts. Is it Monday when a lot of campers arrive? Is it Tuesday with “pre-fest” shows? Is it Wednesday with the first full day of music at all stages (including Main Stage)? However you decide, the music seemed to really get going on Tuesday, with bands playing for REIGNITE day (sponsored by Ryot Entertainment), generator stages, a solid evening line up at the Gallery, and more.

When I previwed Tuesday’s schedule, there were maybe 5 acts I’d heard of, so naturally I ran into a lot of new music yesterday. Almost every band I saw said that this was either their first time at Cornerstone at all, or their first time playing the fest.

  • Crimson Refuge, hailing from North Carolina, started the day for me with a light version of the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” – before making the classic switch from acoustic to rock & roll.
  • As mentioned by Jeff in an earlier post, Darcy showed up in vests & ties. I think this was their first Cornerstone – and they should be thankful that yesterday was cool and not blast-furnace hot as we often see here! It looks like these guys come from the University of North Texas, a school with a good reputation for their music program – it wouldn’t surprise me if the guys in Darcy were trained that way; it was apparent they knew how to play & sing.
  • Twentyfour64 brought an interesting mix of rocking instrumentals and pop-ish lyrics (sorry I don’t know any better way to describe it – it was kind of a mash-up of two styles). These guys, originally from Oahu, Hawaii and now living in Los Angeles, advertised “Free Hawaiian Hugs.” Not sure how many people took them up on that offer, but at least it was cute.
  • Among all the REIGNITE bands, Stephen Petree impressed me most. Sporting what looked like a homemade instrument he called a “Telekeyster” (keyboard fused to electric guitar), Stephen and his colleagues had me bouncing in my chair. Stephen said he had some past connection to Shiny Toy Guns (playing main stage on Friday night). They’ve got a new album coming out in August, which can be pre-ordered at their myspace page.
  • Los Lonely Boys headlined a full lineup at the Gallery, bringing their energetic latin-infused blues-rock to Cornerstone for the first time. I, along with most of the crowd at the Gallery, was probably familiar with only one of their songs: “Heaven” (which actually is sung at worship services at my church – mixed together with the classic hymn “Soon and Very Soon”). I’m not sure this show will go down in history as one of the bests at the Gallery, but it was definitely a great end to my first full day of music.

I don’t know that I found any bands on Tuesday that will get heavy rotation on my iPod. But, a day of almost entirley new-to-me music inspired me for the future. So many bands had their first taste of Cornerstone yesterday; I wonder if any will look back on that show when they first play Main Stage in a few years.