Only at Cornerstone do you have to make the choice between seeing one of the most popular bands at the festival, Flatfoot 56, and one of the most legendary bands at the festival, Stavesacre, which is playing only a couple hundred of yards away. I did my best to try and catch a little of both.
Flatfoot 56 had the Underground Stage decorated as a Mexican village and took the stage dressed in sombreros for a “Fiesta Night.” The crowd, which had arrived early and anxiously waited during a long soundcheck whirled into motion as soon the band began. The effect was a chaotic, but somehow orderly mass of kids that wheeled around the tent in a giant circle pit as bagpipes, guitars, and mandolin played from the stage. It’s really quite a visual that I don’t think I can describe accurately. I’m sure there were more flags, but I saw two flags for Scotland, an American flag, and a flag for the City of Chicago making its way around the crowd (and of course, a lawn ormanent Santa Claus making his rounds also.) When I get back to the grounds today, I will be totally surprised if the tent is still standing.
I managed to catch a couple of songs and then quickly made my way over to the Encore tent where Stavesacre had returned to the festival. I believe this is their first trip back to the festival in about five years. The crowd was composed of fans who all had fond memories of their shows in years past here at Cornerstone. The band, aware of the crowd’s sentimentalism, played mostly a set of old favorites, plus a couple new songs off of their EP. Many of the songs had special meaning to different people in the crowd and got strong reactions when they started them. It was a different, less rowdy kind of crowd (all of the excitable kids were at Flatfoot 56 or The Chariot, I guess), but still a very appreciative kind of crowd. Mark Solomon returns tonight with another one of his memorable bands, The Crucified. Maybe some of those kids at the Flatfoot 56 show will stop by and see where their roots come from.