Admit it – we’ve all felt like the guy in the picture from time to time at Cornerstone. Although not usually at the first band on the first day of the fest – dude, you’ve got to pace yourself! It’s amazing to see what people (including myself) can manage to sleep through. Brain-thumping dance music? Check. Two hardcore bands at the same time? No problem. I once saw a guy sleeping on the ground in the crowd outside a Flatfoot 56 show. Everybody deftly avoided him, somehow – I almost felt like I should go kick him in the head (lovingly) just to get the inevitable over with. Anyway, remember – Cornerstone is a marathon, not a sprint.
(Seriously, though, if the forecast that I’ve been seeing holds, it’s going to be hotter for the next couple of days than it’s been for several years at the fest, with a heat index of 110 on Saturday. Wear sunscreen, get into some shade when you can, and drink more water than you think you need – if you’re not visiting the Little Blue Room a few times a day, you’re probably not drinking enough. Take care of each other!)
“Day 0” of the festival is in the books. I spent a lot of time catching up with friends (including some folks I wasn’t expecting to see, like Mark from Scotland, who came all the way from, well, Scotland for his second Cornerstone in a row). Musically, the day was heavy on bands playing the generator stages, along with some unexpected surprises. Some bands worth mentioning:
- Tim Serdynski – Some nice acoustic music to kick off Cornerstone 2011. Very pleasant stuff – if you’re looking for something to chill out to, he’s playing a ton of generator sets through the week. There’s a trio playing similarly acoustic-driven worship music that usually plays before or after him (sorry, I didn’t catch the name) that’s also worth a listen.
- Belair, Stone Throw Second, and Adelaine – Honestly, there’s a bit of a dearth of melodic but rocking bands at the festival this year if you’re not into the screaming. Anberlin on Main Stage is going to be great, but a lot of other bands in that vein either aren’t here this year or have broken up. All of these new-to-me bands filled that niche admirably, though. They’re all playing several more generator sets this week, so if non-screamy melodic rock is your thing, check them out.
- Rodent Emporium – OK, so the music (bizarre and occasionally indescribable Scottish punk) isn’t necessarily my thing, but this is still a must-see band. They’re outrageously fun. Just watching the crowd dance and enjoy themselves with reckless abandon is totally worth it.
- Resurrection Band – So the on-again, off-again “open rehearsal” by Daniel Amos on the Gallery last night fell through (there are still rumblings of efforts to secure them another slot besides their all-too-brief Main Stage slot today, so keep your ear to the ground), but that meant we got an extra-long rehearsal set from REZ. I admit that I’m a total fanboy for REZ – I only ever saw them once during their heyday, back in 1991, so every chance to see them is exciting. Wendi, Glenn, and crew are parents and grandparents at this point, but they can still kick some butt when given the chance.
Today gives us some new bands worth checking out (Dead American Radio, Milano), some legendary artists that laid the foundation for literally all of the music that we’re listening to this week (Stonehill, Keaggy, DA, REZ, Petra), an agonizing choice (Paper Route versus Keaggy and Petra), and a Flatfoot 56 people-watching extravaganza to top it all off. Should be great!