Early in the day, the band The Kicks started things off on the Underground Stage. From Nashville, the band is firmly rooted in good old classic Southern rock and roll. They had a little bit of a sheen of professionalism sometimes lacking in new bands at Cornerstone. Currently, their new single is available for download from their myspace site and their first album can be downloaded for free from thekicksrock.com
If the Main Stage move is somewhat drastic, the Gallery move seems almost imperceptible. Oh sure, the tent has moved, but it’s almost as if it was teleported, complete with fans and bands to the new location. The stage is the same. The arrangement of chairs and tables is the same. The coffee shop is still there. Even many of the same people that frequent the crowd from year to year seem to have found their way to the new location.
The afternoon set of artists reinforced that familiarity. Mike Roe performed solo and then joined Terry Taylor for an acoustic set. Later, Roe performed a duet with Derri Daugherty with all sorts of cover songs. While Taylor’s set was a little disappointing, the setlist was nearly identical to his previous show at Cornerstone last year, the duet with Roe and Daugherty was surprisingly fun as they mostly did covers.
Gallery Stage guitar tech Jeff Elbel brought his band Ping on the stage and even brought children of the band on stage for a song. Family is a strong theme at Cornerstone and for many of the artists and patrons of the Gallery stage, this is their family at the festival.
After a short dinner break, it was time for the evening set of shows at Cornerstone. On any given night at Cornerstone Festival, there are a dizzying variety of choices to make for who to see in concert. The choices are as across the board as can be, too. I started my evening out with mewithoutyou on the Main Stage. They commanded a big crowd and hit through many of their more popular songs while adding in a few from their new album. I can’t really accurately describe their sound, but they have a pretty big following here at the festival and they all showed up for the show. The fine video crew at Cornerstone captured their last song of the concert.
I could’ve stayed for Red and TobyMac (who I did hear while walking back and forth on the grounds, it’s just about impossible to miss whoever is playing on Main Stage), but I headed to the Gallery tent where two longstanding acts performed once again. The Lost Dogs are a yearly favorite and this year they finally had their newest album, Old Angel, a travelogue about their trip on Route 66 for sale. Mike Roe wailed on guitar during “Bullet Train” and “Eleanor It’s Raining” and Steve Hindalong twirled a rope to the crowd’s delight. After their show, Iona brought their Celtic progressive rock back to Cornerstone after an absence of nearly 15 years. The band performed some old favorites from their albums in the 90?s, a couple longer progressive pieces, and even an Irish jig or two. The Iona show was reminescent of their shows that I’ve heard about at Cornerstone in the 90′s as it stretched deep past 1:00 AM…. and it was cold… and I was tired. We bailed after a while, but I’m glad I got to see this band at least once now.