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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Cornerstone Festival 2007
Silverado CA, September 28th - 29th 2007 -
Author: Amanda Aguila
Photos by Bernard Delmundo
This article is reprinted with permission from www.bandnation.com
I arrived at the Cornerstone Festival Friday night and was surprised by its middle of nowhere location, but thought it was a perfect place to hold such an event. The music was allowed to flow freely around the festival grounds, as did the ticket holders. There was more than enough room to walk between the different stages or to go inside the huge merchandise tent that held both band merch and goods from clothing companies with religious messages. I arrived at sunset to an atmosphere full of excitement and screaming fans singing along with Disciple and others waiting in anticipation for the on stage arrival of Emery.
Above the chatter of the crowd, some of the members from Emery were on stage, doing their own sound check and waving at fans that were screaming to get their attention. As soon as Disciple ended their high energy performance on the Air Main Stage, the crowd at the C28 Main Stage grew full of fans waiting for Emery's set. An uproar came through the crowd as soon as Emery took the stage. Their front man greeted the fans with a hearty "How you doing Cornerstone!?" and Emery broke out into a well known tune – "Studying Politics" - off of their second full length album The Question. Their set was full of older songs as well as songs from their upcoming album, I'm Only a Man . Emery never failed to keep their energy high and their fans just as involved. This was especially true during their final song, "Walls," where keyboardist Josh Head jumped into the crowd and balanced on the hands of fans to scream out the last verse. Their set felt too short but overall, it was well worth the wait.
Before watching Thousand Foot Krutch, I was able to walk around a bit and make my way to the merchandise tent. It was full of religious based clothing lines accompanied by a few tables selling band merchandise as well. Thousand Foot Krutch played a very exciting set to a well established fan base that has shown strong support throughout the years. They kept the attention of the crowd with a few old favorites alongside a new single that is currently getting airtime on the radio.
One thing that was apparent that night was the bond among all of the performers through their faith and beliefs. Most of the bands took a little time out of their set to let their faith shine through and share it with the audience as one of the main reasons they all came to perform. Whatever their beliefs were, it was definitely visible and heard from bands such as Disciple, Emery and Thousand Foot Krutch, all of whom I had the pleasure of watching. It kept everyone's spirits up and energy high. Even if some of the audience members did not share a band's particular views, the entire Cornerstone Festival's love for music and live performances brought us all together.
Demon Hunter closed out the main stages on Friday night. After a warning to be careful on the unlit roads that lead to the nearest city, Demon Hunter came on stage to the screams of fans extremely anxious to see them. A yell of "We waited all day for you!" came from the audience side of the barrier and Demon Hunter was quick to show everyone why. Without having to move all over the stage, the band demonstrated stage presence necessary to captivate the crowd. One of the coolest things about their set was a young fan that got to watch from the front edge of the stage. He was so amazed at their playing that all he could do was look up at them with a big smile.
After traveling along the same road to nowhere, I found myself once again in the middle of the Cornerstone Festival crowds. I had arrived just in time to watch Maylene and the Sons of Disaster take to one of the main stages. These boys, lead by former UnderOath front man Dallas Taylor, put on one of the most entertaining performances I've ever seen. Taylor would continuously toss the microphone into the audience to let the fans sing while his band mates ran around behind him to kick each other in the behind or toss shirts into the crowd. Members of UnderOath watched from backstage and joined in on the fun by grabbing a microphone to sing along or just crack jokes with the guys on stage. The onstage antics coupled with the band's Southern flare made me feel like I was in the middle of some wild family reunion where everyone had a great time.
Later on that night, I stood in front of the same stage waiting for Project 86. I had never heard their music before that night so I was eager to see why hundreds of fans were packed like sardines against the barrier behind me. After the lights on stage went dark, a pre-recorded intro played over the speakers and the band walked out into position. They were only a few notes into their first song when the sea of bodies behind me came to life with cheers and movement. Project 86 took command of every pair of eyes and ears with an amazing performance of both old and new songs.
Project 86 finished up and I watched the crowds run from one stage to the next to watch another highly anticipated band, Anberlin. Like many of the bands, Anberlin played to the anticipated requests of their fans by performing songs from all of their releases. With each familiar introduction or song title, the crowd showed their approval of a song by singing along or moving with every ounce of energy in their bodies. Anberlin obviously fed off of this energy by performing to the highest of their abilities. I had seen them perform twice before this night and their Cornerstone performance definitely did not disappoint me or anyone else that joined the huge crowd in front of their stage.
Closing out the main stages for the festival was UnderOath. Everyone in the crowd was waiting for them to take the stage. As before, people ran from one stage to the next to try and get a good viewing position. The energy in the atmosphere was almost unbearable, as though we were all inside of a jar ready to explode from the inside. Then the lights went out and the crowd erupted with cheers. UnderOath's stage setup was of the highest level, complete with customized lighting and a projector. The visual aspect of UnderOath's set was undoubtedly amazing but their playing was unparalleled. It was like popping in a CD and having people pantomime along to the tracks. A sensory overload is the best way to describe UnderOath's performance. Their set consisted mostly of songs from their latest release, Define the Great Line, but no one seemed to mind too much since they also performed fan favorites from previously released They're Only Chasing Safety. Each song was greeted with endless crowd movement and singing. It was an epic performance and I'm glad that I got to experience it.
Overall, the first Cornerstone California Festival went quite well. With the stage set up and location you could easily sample bands that you've never heard of, or fully enjoy the ones that you have. Being pegged as a Christian festival has its positive and negatives, as many of the bands stated that weekend, but despite any differences in faith or beliefs, the music provided a bond between every person in attendance.
Check out photos from the
show here: Festival