In Closing

Things that are a little more difficult to write about are the great conversations I had with the people I camped with, the feelings I experienced while seeing some of the bands, etc.  Jason is a much better Cornerstone commentator than I am, that’s for sure.  But I’m new at this I suppose.

This was one of my favorite years at Cornerstone mostly because of the people I camped with.  I really feel like God brought us all together to camp together because there was definitely a certain dynamic to the group.  I think the shows that stood out to me the most were Unwed Sailor, Danielson Famile, Over The Rhine, and Anathallo, just for the spiritual side of things.  I’m honestly not sure what else to say.

This was my 6th Cornerstone Festival, and every year I’m realizing more and more that Cornerstone is less and less about the music, and more and more about the overall experience, heat included.  So, how about a “shout-out” to the people I camped with, and some of the other people I met.

To my fellow-campers, Melissa, Kevin, Mark & Anji, Shane, Charisse, Jaime, Nick, Danny, and Kirk, you guys are the best.  Thanks for making this one of my best Cornerstone Festivals.  Thanks to “Dude”, “hair guy”, Jeff (shirtless fat guy), and “make-out couple”, for supplying us with lots of material for jokes.  Thanks to Peter from Detroit for the hamburgers, the company, and for introducing me to Anathallo.  Thanks to Michael J. Pritzl for the dialogue, and for the free CD.  Thanks to the Massage-for-Donation lady for making Kevin squirm more than I’ve seen anyone squirm in a long time.

And finally, thanks to Jason Morehead.  Thanks, Jason. =)

Liz’s Diary: July 5, 2003

Sorry if I kind of slack off on Saturday, but it was the last day, and so it was just kind of awkward because I knew I was leaving that night at midnight.  I caught the band Anathallo at the New Band Stage, and they were really great.  They’re one of the bands on Selah Records.  They’re an 8-piece band—four of the guys play horns, and when they’re not playing horns, they’re playing percussive things, like metal pipes.

One thing I liked about them is that they were very worshipful, and I liked what their singer had to say about various things.  It was nice to hear worshipful music that was original and talented, as opposed to most of the crap being played in most churches these days.

Other July 5th Shows

Pedro The Lion (Main Stage) - Pedro the Lion is one of my favorite bands, and so it’s always a pleasure to see them.  They played a really great show, even with the computer-bass player. Dave Bazan always has Question & Answer time between songs, and even at the main stage it was no different.  Also, he shared some political information before they played the last song, a new one called “Backwoods Nation”.  At the end of “Backwoods Nation”, they broke out into Radiohead’s “2+2=5” (“Hail to the Thief”) singing the lines “you have not been paying attention.”

Questions In Dialect (Some small tent between the Encore 2 stage and the Impromptu stage) - Unwed Sailor had a flyer for this show on their table, and Nic Tse highly recommended that I go see this band.  Since I think Nic has great taste in music, I decided to check it out.  I was not disappointed.  This was by far one of the best shows I saw all week.

The music was instrumental, and while they played, they had a digital projector and screen set up playing film clips of time-lapse cloud formations, or of a man running.  Okay, so it’s pretty difficult to explain, but it was a cool thing to experience.  It was very cinematic music, and just gave me that satisfied feeling, even though it was kind of a bittersweet moment because I knew I’d have to leave Cornerstone in just a few hours.

Joy Electric (Rock For Life Stage, acoustic set) - I actually didn’t see much of this, but the little I did, I enjoyed.  It’s nice to see Ronnie Martin play the acoustic guitar, though it’s a little strange hearing “Sugar Rush” on nothing but the guitar.

After Joy Electric, it was back to the campsite to finish packing, and to leave Cornerstone.  So sad. =(

A few goodbyes, and Melissa and I were on our way back to Omaha.  We had to drive through some rain, and not to mention it was at night, so we had to switch driving about every hour or so.  But we made it back safely, though I think I almost fell asleep a few times.  I dropped Melissa off at the airport around 7 a.m., and got home and went straight to sleep.  Cornerstone was over.

Liz’s Diary: July 4, 2003

Happy 4th of July!

The day began with Kevin and Bubba (“Bubby” as Kevin likes to call him) doing some freestyle rapping from within the tent.  It was one of those, “you had to be there” things.  Friday was also the day I wore the mini-skirt, because it was JUST THAT HOT.  Around 1:00 p.m. I think, we went into Macomb for some ice cream at McDonald’s.

After enjoying the air conditioning and ice cream, we made a quick stop to the Dollar Tree, where we bought some American flags and a “Happy 4th Of July” banner.  Upon returning to the campsite, I secretly stuck the American flags on Danny’s car (one of the Newfies), and put the banner up inside their tent. =)

Friday afternoon we just kinda sat around the campsite, fanning ourselves (because we’re “so dainty”), and talking about why girls love brooding rock-stars so much (“Brooding + Brooding = Breeding”).

Continue reading…

Liz’s Diary: July 3, 2003

Thursday I ended up hanging out with Peter of Selah Records.  I’d met him at the Alliance World Coffee tent the night before, while I got my hundredth iced americano of the week.  He made hamburgers at his campsite, where I met some people.  They’re all from Michigan I guess.  Peter’s from Detroit and was a really cool guy to hang out with.  Plus, he likes Cursive. =)  So, Peter… if you’re reading this, hello!

July 3rd Shows

Starflyer 59 (Indoor Stage) - Um… I dunno, everybody just loooooves Starflyer 59, and I like their CDs, but I’ve never been a crazy huge fan, just due to the fact that there is simply too much music out there to get into, and it seems Starflyer is putting out a new CD every week.  So I felt kind of intimidated trying to get into their stuff.  However, I think they put on a fine show, though everybody knows they’re not exactly known for stage presence.

Over the Rhine (Acoustic set at the Grassroots Stage) - You just really can’t go wrong with Over the Rhine.  They played some new stuff that sounds really amazing, and I like the acoustic sets because they have that homey feel to them, like a good friend is just sitting in your living room on the couch playing the guitar quietly in the background.

Bellador (Rock For Life Stage) - I actually don’t remember much about this band, but I remember thinking it was pretty good I guess.  (Convincing, huh?)  I remember liking the music, but thinking the guy’s voice was a little hot, but you can’t really blame anybody for that when you’re working with mid 90-degree temperatures.

Danielson Famile (Cornerstone Magazine Stage) - Well, it was just Dan Smith and his brother, and not the whole famile, but it was one of my favorite shows of the week.  Dan was in the famous tree for the whole set, and had a projector with the lyrics to the songs so everybody could sing along.  It was a lighthearted show, and just made me feel happy inside, as cheesy as that sounds.

Denison Witmer (Cornerstone Magazine Stage) - Also one of my favorite shows of the week.  He sounded really good, and everybody sat down in chairs, and it just felt like he was playing to a small room of people instead of a huge tent.

Later on Thursday night, Melissa, Anji, Kevin and I were sitting at a picnic table in the food court near the volleyball area, and a woman was there giving full-body massages for donation only.  I’d seen her flyers here and there throughout the fest.  The thing was that only men were getting the massages.  Also, the woman was really attractive.  Also, you should have seen the looks on these guys’ faces.  It was quite disturbing, but somewhat amusing.

Liz’s Diary: July 2, 2003

First official day of the festival.  Melissa and I went to the Alliance World Coffee tent, next to the Subway.  They had some seating and tables and magazines with shade, and a fan… so we spent a couple of hours there just reading and drinking coffee.  Michael Pritzl stopped for some coffee and saw us and asked me again if I had any beer.  Nope, still no beer, Michael.

I went to a poetry seminar that afternoon, too.  It was pretty interesting, but it was mostly about Blues poetry, which I’m not particularly interested in, so I appreciated it, but I didn’t go to any more of the poetry seminars that week.

After that, I took a stroll through the merchandise tents, ran into some more people I know, and Michael Pritzl gave me a free copy of the new Violet Burning CD.  I then checked out the art gallery, which had some decent stuff.  Only a few things really stood out to me, though.

July 2nd Shows

The Cornerstone Magazine Stage was where it was at Wednesday night.  I basically just stayed at that tent the entire night, where I saw the following bands:

The Party People - A solid rock band comprised of Jeff Cloud, the lead singer from Denison Marrs, the drummer from Ghoti Hook, and some other guy I don’t know.  They played really well; I’m looking forward to hearing more of their stuff.

The Billions - I saw these guys a few years ago on the New Band Stage, and let me tell you, they’ve come a long way.  They sounded really great and looked like they were really enjoying themselves up there.  I’m not too familiar with their music, but after their show, I was definitely persuaded to get some of their stuff.  And everyone else who went said the same thing, pretty much.

Havalina Rail Co. - I actually didn’t stay at this show for very long, which I know is kind of a sacrilegious thing to say.  I enjoy them and all, but I’ve never really gotten into them, or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood, who knows.  So I went over to the Rock for Life stage to catch some of Michael Pritzl’s acoustic set, which was really good.  Then it was back to the C-stone Mag stage for my favorite Cornerstone band ever…

Unwed Sailor - “Dear Unwed Sailor, please come live in my house, and surround me with beautiful music constantly.  Love, Liz.”  If there is one band that’s an absolute must-see at Cornerstone, it’s Unwed Sailor.  They played an absolutely beautiful set, a mix of their older songs, as well as stuff off of their new album The Marionette and the Music Box.

Let me side-track here a minute to mention this album.  If you don’t have it, and even if you don’t like Unwed Sailor, get it purely for the artwork.  They printed a book along with the CD with some of the most amazing artwork I’ve ever seen.  They had artist Jamie Hunt do the artwork, gave him a storyline, and trusted him completely.  If you look through the book at the same time as listening to the album, you get even more out of the book and the music.

My interpretation is that it’s about searching after your heart’s desire… finding it for awhile, getting distracted, chasing after what you think you want, but isn’t really what you want, and then finding your way back to your true heart’s desire.  It might be a simple theme, but I think it’s one that speaks to most of us, and one that Unwed Sailor found a way to put to music with beautiful illustrations.

Ester Drang - I love Ester Drang, so I was really excited to see them play.  I kind of wish they hadn’t played at midnight though, because people were getting tired, and leaving the tent early.  Also, I guess the sound went kind of bad halfway through their set, so they didn’t play as long as they intended to play.  So, even with all that… I still think they sounded great, and I really love their new album more and more every time I listen to it.