Sometime around late 2001, P.O.D. burst on the scene and songs like “Youth of the Nation” and “Alive” got pretty heavy radio-airplay and songs like “Boom” were played over and over on PA’s at football games. Before that, P.O.D. had already become a fixture at Cornerstone Festival for years. In 2004, the band played Main Stage with the (somewhat terrifying) addition of flames that shot up from the back of the stage.
I watched this show from the top of the hill. Even in 2004, I was smart enough to know not to get in that crowd. Stay safe kids. Don’t kill each other down there in the pit.
Some time in the mid 90’s, ska music became the IT thing. Ska bands started to appear out of nowhere… and they all pretty much sounded like copies of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. As the fad started to fade, Five Iron Frenzy continued to stick around, tinkering with their sound and mixing their lyrics with silly stupid songs and deeper ponderous thoughts. Their self-effacing humor and stage presence always made for a fun show. I was never really a huge Five Iron Frenzy fan, but I always found their concerts entertaining.
Cornerstone Festival celebrated their 20th Festival in 2003 with a big birthday party at the mainstage featuring several acts that had played many of the years at the festival. The birthday party concluded with bringing veteran Steve Taylor out of retirement for a short set and then following his show, Five Iron Frenzy took the stage for the last time at Cornerstone.
Something about the dancing miner during “You Probably Shouldn’t Move Here” cracks me up, I don’t know why.
I had never heard of Ghoti Hook, but apparently they must have been a big deal, because on the last night of Cornerstone 2002, they were the only band playing at the end of the festival in the midnight slot. They had played at Cornerstone regularly, but this was to be their last show before disbanding.
If you’re going to go out, why not go out dressed as skeletons with R.I.P. signs surrounding your stage…. and why not play “I Love Rock and Roll” as your encore before shuffling off of this musical coil?
The band was recording the whole show for a CD to be sold later. I thought it was pretty funny that the band asked the crowd to boo them so they could make sure to put that on the CD somewhere.
At 2002, Stavesacre made it to the Main Stage and absolutely killed it. The show was amazing and the crowd was into it. I remember watching the show from the top of the hill and at the end of the show I almost felt like my face was burning from radiation. I don’t generally go for music this hard anymore in my old age, but this was amazing.
Mike Roe tells a humorous story about trying to do an acoustic show next door to them one year at Cornerstone. The overwhelming noise rendered Roe’s show just about useless. “I almost lost my religion that night.”, Roe quipped. He later told Mark Solomon, “it sounded like you were lifting the lid of Hell up over there.” Strong praise from a man that knows a thing or two about playing the electric guitar.
In 2001, Larry Norman surprised everyone during Randy Stonehill’s show at the Gallery stage by coming onto the stage and singing “Good News” with him. Norman and Stonehill had been close friends in the 70’s, but due to personal and professional reasons had been estranged for nearly 20 years. Norman and Stonehill’s duet on stage that night was a “once in a lifetime” moment at Cornerstone Festival.
Norman also played on the Main Stage at Cornerstone Festival 2001, backed up by John and Michelle Thompson of The Wayside and also Dan Michaels (seen here on the saxophone) of The Choir.
Norman’s health deteriorated in the years following this appearance and he passed away in 2008. An enigmatic person and performer he was also a pioneer and I’m glad I got a chance to see him at least once at Cornerstone Festival.