I am not even slightly within the target demographic of the typical hardcore band. I fully admit that I usually just don’t get it, and my friends & I go to great lengths to figure out what bands playing Cornerstone fit this genre, so we can let others enjoy these shows without us being in the way (yeah, that’s the nice way of saying it…). Yet, Sleeping Giant is becoming a must-see show for me at Cornerstone. People who know me and who hear their intense music may find that shocking… until I explain why.
These guys consistently lead the audience into amazingly authentic and passionate worship of God. The music isn’t even remotely what you hear on Sunday mornings across America. The lyrics (after I put in earplugs and train my ears to decipher them) seem very solid and manage to rise far above the emotionally-driven or me-centered lyrics too often found in the modern worship scene.
Listen, and you may hear things like this:
You are worthy Oh Jesus you paid with your blood,
You redeemed us a people that live in the flood of your grace Lord.
Oh Praise Him. He is Holy. He Is Worthy.
(from “Oh Praise Him”)
Oh we exalt Your name Oh God
We exalt You now Lord
You will reign forevermore
Take my life and make it Yours
You will reign forevermore
(from “He Will Reign”)
I made my way to the Underground Stage on Sunday night after one of the videographers on the coverage team told me that Tommy Green of Sleeping Giant had just laid out a phenomenal testimony (read about his story here – the paragraph under the first bold title gives you the basics), then led the men in the audience in mass confession of ultra-personal sins (think pornography & the like) and the women to pray for their brothers in Christ.
So, instead of staying at Main Stage to see the worship set that was likely intended more for my demographic (Gungor), I put in my earplugs and stood in back at the Underground. The barn-like odor became the last thing on my mind as I joined the sweaty crowds lifting our hands and singing “You are holy… You are holy…” I was physically exhausted, and couldn’t stand for the whole show, but I stayed long enough to encounter God breaking through to people who need Him (the band even baptized a few people during the show!) and being praised passionately by people who love Him. Once again, as with the 2 Sleeping Giant shows I’ve visited previously at Cornerstone, I was reminded that God is a whole lot bigger than a particular genre of music. And, I realized again that we humans are a whole lot more alike than our music, fashion, and tattoo choices may imply.
I’m glad that Sleeping Giant and Cornerstone exist to introduce me (again & again) to people authentically worshiping the one true God.
As often happens at Cornerstone, I not only saw a great rock show, but I got a new view of hope. Thanks.
(BTW, thanks to Megan Sontag, fest-photographer, for a) liking other people despite the fact that we don’t love the same music, and b) inspiring me to go to my first Sleeping Giant show a few years ago. The band photo included here is one she took for the Cornerstone coverage site.)