The second or third day is when the “Cornerstone Burn” kicks in. You aren’t used to this kind of sleeping schedule. You aren’t used to this kind of noise all day. You aren’t used to walking this much. This is when you start to wear down. All of this combined with my lingering illness meant I was dragging this day, but I had to keep pressing on, because there was some good music to be heard on this day.
I started out the day with some newer bands at the festival. The Clutter played first today for me with some instrumental songs mixed with some rock music. Over on the Label Showcase stage, News From Verona and Don’t Wake Aislin got a great reaction from the kids. News From Verona leaned towards the power-pop side mirroring while bands like Taking Back Sunday and New Found Glory while Don’t Wake Aislin delivered powerful driving rock with female-led vocals. They have a heavier sound sort of like Flyleaf but with a much brighter sound, not quite so morose.
Continuing the theme of women bringing great music, Brooke Waggoner, joined by harpist Timbre, played a fantastic set at the Gallery stage. She’s so fun to watch play as she shifts tempos mid-stream in songs and goes from lush ballad to bouncy ragtime all in the same song. From there, I finished the afternoon with a very loose and very fun second set by Jeff Elbel and Ping, consisting mostly of covers.
I spent the early evening taking a break by sitting out in the back of the Main Stage, eating dinner and listening to The Almost I’m not a hardcore kid, so naturally I gravitate more to this music by Aaron Gillespie than Underoath. The Tom Petty cover was pretty weak, but otherwise the set was enjoyable. Once I finally regained my strength, I headed over to the Afterhours tent where my friend David was starting off the night of dance music. The crowd slowly started to trickle in as I arrived and as I was leaving the numbers were starting to swell and I suspect once Skillet (who were unbelievably loud) finished up on Main Stage, things really started to get going at the dance tent.
The final show of the night was the long-awaited return of The Choir to the midnight slot on the Gallery stage. The Choir had last played at Cornerstone in 2005 and hadn’t played the festival with noisy bass guitarist Tim Chandler since 2002 so it was wonderful to have the band back, with a new album in tow even. Of course, being a Choir show, there was lyric and tuning flubs and some missed notes that come from a band that no longer tours anymore, but those are small prices to pay to see these guys play music once again. It’s always a treat to watch Steve Hindalong and his quirky expressions on drums.
By the end of the night, the “Cornerstone burn” was in full effect and I was ready for sleep. I needed to get some sleep too, because the next Friday, was looking to be epic.