This post is from the JMBzine Blog Vault, which means it is a very old blog post that I wrote at a very different time of my life. My views on religion (I’m now a Humanistic Jew), politics (today I’m a democratic socialist), and many other subjects (LGBTQ+ inclusion, abortion rights, etc.) have drastically changed over the years, so please bear this in mind when reading this post.
Editor’s note (2022): My times attending the Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, Illinois were hugely influential in my journey and in time were major influences that shaped my thinking on many topics, which is why I decided to resurrect these reviews (from a Christian music e-zine that some friends of mine ran during these days called Exitzine).
I’m largely leaving the text and pictures of my original review in place, but I am adding some additional links, video clips, etc. As for new verbiage, it will all be in red text to make it easy to spot. I also opted to leave the order of the text in its original form (moving forward chronologically) rather than the typical blog chronology (moving backward chronologically, which is how most of the rest of this website is organized). Speaking of links, many of the websites mentioned in this article are now gone, so when possible I changed out the links to archived versions of the websites.
I should give some thanks to a few sources I used in fact-checking some elements of my old review including:
A journal of one person’s experience of the closest thing to “Heaven on Earth”
This is a combination festival review / journal of my experience at Cornerstone. One word of warning is in order, though–in many cases, I caught only bits and pieces of a particular show (due to time conflicts for a number of shows). So if you don’t like my review of a certain band, keep in mind that I might have seen only the best/worst aspect of the performance.
One more warning–my musical tastes lean more towards the acoustic/folk/tribal/world/roots music side of things (along with plenty of rock, core, ska, etc.). But there are many other genres that I am not very familiar with and/or am not very crazy about (I.E.–most metal and hardcore). I did my best to be fair, but my tastes will undoubtedly skew what I have to say.
As to my numerical ratings, they range from 5.0 (“Magical, I’ll never forget the night!”) to 0.5 (“Only their mothers liked that band’s show!”)
Tuesday, July 4, 2000 – Day One – (Tooth & Nail Day)
Fine China (4.0) – I heard people dogging this band and telling me to skip this show, but after I heard them live, I was impressed.
Two things stood out most to me: great keyboards (which reminded me of Joy Electric or the newer SF59 albums) and the bassist. I wasn’t overly impressed with the vocals, but maybe the mike levels weren’t set well. [http://www.finechina.cc]
Earthsuit (3.5) – a reggae/ska/funk outfit with psychedelic 60’s organs. They featured a remarkably full sound and a driving, driving beat (the trap set was accentuated by a crazily frantic hand drummer). This New Orleans-based band described itself as “representing the dirty, dirty south.”
I wished I could have heard their whole set, but of the songs I did get to hear, “Schizophrenia” was the best.
Overall, Earthsuit is a high, high, super high-energy band. I really want to see them again. [http://www.earthsuit.com]
The Deadlines (3.5) – These guys are hard rock with definite punk influences. Their show was very dramatic with fires burning on the stage and horror movie organs. The crowd loved their high energy set. [http://www.thedeadlines.com]
Further Seems Forever (3.5) – Old school rock & roll played with passion. Very well done. [http://www.furtherseemsforever.com]
(2022): This band had more longevity than most of this era (see wikipedia article, but sadly Jon Bunch, the front man of the band died in 2016.Also here’s a recording of the band at Cornerstone 2000.
The Huntingtons (3.0) – were not as good as I had hoped. The vocals were pretty muddy. (I thought this about several bands in the encore tents on T&N day.) However, I heard lots of folks say they thought this show was good, so maybe I didn’t hear things very well from where I was listening backstage. [http://www.huntingtonsusa.com]
(2022):Here’s a recording of a show by the band at Cornerstone 2000 (but I think it was from a different day of the festival)
Journal Entry – In between shows, I dropped by the merchandise tent and ended up buying a drum from Lionbird Drums. (Lionbird is owned by Jason and Erin from Madison Greene.) I am already having so much fun with my drum (and my baby brothers totally dig it, too!). [http://www.lionbird.net]
(2022): I still own this drum… and my “baby” brothers are now 21 years old! These days Erin Zindle can be found in her band Erin Zindle and the Ragbirds
Monk (4.5) – This was an evening show at the Gallery Stage, which provided a very intimate setting for a smaller, older crowd. It was a welcome contrast, sitting in this more relaxed venue, after a day of T&N bands playing in overcrowded tents.
Monk’s laidback and comfortable stage presence fit especially well in this setting. This was my first time to hear the band (live or otherwise), but I would generally describe them as indie rock. There were several sweet, sweet guitar solos that at times seemed almost a-la 80’s. However, about the time I thought I had them figured out, they threw in this beat sample and then launched into this sort-of spoken word/rap thing.
Overall, a tremendous amount of artistry, particularly in Ric Hordinski’s guitar solos. He literally made it sing. [http://www.monkmusic.com]
Flight 180 (3.0) – I caught just a couple of songs at the end of their set. They sounded more diverse and less syrupy sweet than in the past, but the vocals were muddied and the harmonies weren’t that tight. [http://www.becrecordings.com/bands/flight180]
Juliana Theory (4.5) – My initial reaction: what a bunch of arrogant guys! After just one song, I had seen enough of their wanna-be rock star attitudes. A certain amount of showmanship and confidence is acceptable, but this band crossed the line. It just seemed too real, as if they actually believed their own hype.**
Despite the attitudes, though, I did stick around. And I’m glad I did, because the music was smokin’. These guys were wired like speed freaks and played with amazing passion and super-charged energy.
Of the songs that stood out live, “musicbox superhero” really grabbed me, and then flowed straight into “737.” In “737,” the whole audience was singing along, belting out the lyrics. One of the interesting things about these two songs was that they pulled the sudden stop in “737,” but omitted the one in “musicbox” (the reverse of what they did on the album).
Sonically, their performance was like rolling thunder. With up to 3 guitars, the sound was full and in-your-face.
By the end of the performance, their cocky attitude aside, Juliana Theory was impressive. [http://www.thejulianatheory.com]
Joy electric (4.5) – They started up the show with “monosynth,” then busted into “sugar rush,” then “I hear you?” and “children of the Lord,” and then… I lost track after that, because I was busting into my crazy, abandoned HAPPY DANCE!
From there on out, the uncontrollable urge to dance like a crazy fool took over (despite the amused looks from my fellow music journalists backstage). That was definitely a sweet moment of worship.
OK, what can I say objectively about their performance? Well, the main difference from times I have heard them in the past was the addition of a trap set to the mix. Other that that change, the show was classic Joy E.
One of the other cool things about the show was hearing Ronnie Martin tell the crowd a little bit about why the band does what they do, how much they love the fans, and how much they love Jesus Christ. [http://www.joyelectric.com]
Living Sacrifice (4.0)– I was pretty worn out by the time this show came along, so I didn’t stay for long. I wish I had more energy to stay, though, because if you dig massively heavy, LS does it like no one else. [http://www.livingsacrifice.com]
July 5, 2000 – Day 2 – Wednesday
Journal Entry – I caught a few minutes of the opening ceremony at the Gallery stage, but the stifling heat did me in. As I sought refuge in the less crowded Cornerstone Magazine tent, I ran into Treble (the editor at Bandoppler.) We had a good conversation about the Christian music scene (and whether there should be a separate Christian music scene or not). [http://www.bandoppler.com]
But I had to bail on the conversation midstream, as it was time for the seminar on West African Drum Rhythms at the Wycliffe World Music Tent. I got to play my new drum some, but when they opened the floor to dancers, I had to give it a whirl. The funny thing was, I was the only guy who was man enough to get up there and dance. I had so much fun and was drenched with sweat by the end of the seminar. As I quickly found out, West African dancing is pretty exhausting. [http://www.wycliffe.org]
Later that day I caught these shows…
Stretch Armstrong (4.0) – Hard and heavy, old school rock & roll. Their masterful performance drove the crown wild.
There were circle pits going on, along with crowd surfing and the throwing of water bottles and mud. Overall, a great rock & roll show.
(Exit’s staff photographer, Tim, said of the show, “excessive sandal throwing and stage diving.”) [http://www.stretcharmstrong.net]
(2022): Here’s a video of the show from youtube
Poor Claires of Uptown (4.0) – I left Stretch Armstrong a little bit early to catch this performance from a JPUSA band at the Acoustic stage. The Poor Claires play very nice, acoustic bluegrass music, with a great fiddle and sweet harmonies (though they diverge from the traditional bluegrass sound through their lack of a banjo player).
Another interesting feature was the addition of Scott (from Seeds) playing hand drum. Hand drum isn’t normally a component of bluegrass music, but it worked here.
The most memorable of their songs was the rendition of “Softly & Tenderly.” [http://www.jpusa.org]
(2022): I found very little online about the Poor Claires of Uptown. I wonder what happened to them?
Mark Townsend (3.5) – Mark is the current guitarist for Jennifer Knapp. (If you saw Knapp on her recent tour, Mark was the guitarist with bleached hair.) In the past, he’s played for many other big names, including DC Talk.
But at this show, Mark was going solo, playing some stuff off of the Zilch album, along with covers of Relient K’s stupid Marilyn Manson song (Click here -link to my review – to find out why I think so poorly of that song) and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” (I never expected to hear a Queen song at C-stone, but it was loads of fun, nevertheless.)
Journal Entry – After Mark’s performance, I got to attend Miranda Stone & The Grassroots Army’s “gentle-folk-punk concert and vegetarian dinner.” It was a lot of fun, and the food was pretty good. (I’m normally quite carnivorous, but I enjoyed this meal.) Props go to Miranda for organizing this community event.
While the eating was going on, I took a break for a few minutes to head to the Underground stage to catch a Punk Rock Wedding.
You heard right, a genuine wedding held on the stage. (My understanding is it was the first wedding held on-stage at C-stone.)
The groom sported green hair and black shiny jeans, while the bride had bright red hair, a spiked collar, and a matching shiny black dress. The minister wore a Viking hat (think Hagar the Horrible).
It was the first wedding I ever attended where the crowd cheered after each person said his/her vows. At the end, the crowd yelled, “Kiss the Bride!” The only thing I would say negative about the wedding is that they should have had some music, maybe an electric guitar playing the wedding march or something.
Miranda Stone (5.0) – About the time the wedding was over, I heard Miranda Stone starting up at the Acoustic stage so I made my back way over.
Wow! Miranda, for those who don’t know, is an aggressive folk singer with a punk rock attitude. For this performance, she was joined on drums by Jason from Madison Greene.
Miranda’s performance was priceless. She had such an innocent-yet-knowing presence about her. This was especially apparent in her song, “The 7 Deadly Sins,” in which she sings of innocence and its loss. This song (and others) almost remind me of an acoustic set by Alanis Morrissette that I once caught on TV. Though Miranda’s music is very different from Alanis’, the vulnerability and openness of the two singers seem very similar.
I also must add that Miranda is really funny! I don’t think she means to be, but her talking between songs is a riot. I think it is just that she is so real!
After hearing her last song, “rest,” I was just stunned by her amazing performance. I really want to see her live again. [http://www.auyos.com/earthdress/]
(2022): I enjoyed looking at Miranda’s Stone’s website again (http://www.mirandastone.com), a relic of a more visually engaging and thoughtfully designed internet.
Journal Entry – For probably the tenth time this week, I ran into the C-Stone guy that rides his bike all of the time. (He was there last year, too.) His bike riding isn’t especially noteworthy, except for two facts. One–he never wears a shirt. And Two–as he rides, he carries a very loud boom box (usually playing something like Petra or Carman)
For the first time, though, I got to I got to talk to him for a few minutes. He is a really nice guy (kinda different, but aren’t we all?). What’s cool is that he is able to be himself at a place like Cornerstone. As we walked, he showed me his latest addition to his bike–battery powered Christmas lights that he were rigged up with Radio Shack’s help.
I only wish that I had asked the name of this eccentric Cornerstone legend.
(2022): And why didn’t I take a picture? — Oh wait, picture taking required actual cameras back then…
EDL (4.0) – was probably the biggest show at the HM stage. (This was the first EDL appearance at C-stone in 5 years.) The word for this show: intense.
The highlight of it was when MC Ill C took over during the last few minutes. His rapping skills were unbelievable, and to top it off, at the very end he jumped out into the crowd and finished singing with the crowd. [http://www.cstonemusic.com/artists/bio.cfm?ID=545]
Journal Entry – After EDL, I dropped by the merchandise tent, where I ran into Will from Relient K. I talked to him for a moment, and he confirmed what the “Marilyn Manson Ate my Girlfriend” song was about. (I really hate that song if you haven’t guessed by now!) After talking to him, I am slightly more sympathetic as to why the song was written, but I still feel like it was a poor choice for their album. (Exit Album Review of: Relient K, Relient K) [http://www.relientk.com]
Fine China (4.0) – I heard a few more minutes of them. I am really digging their sound. [http://www.finechina.cc]
Starflyer 59 (5.0) – started off simply by saying “This is Starflyer 59,” and then launched right into “new kinda story.”
This was my first time to experience SF59 live–and man, what an experience it was! The dreamy guitars were a sonic wall continually pushing through my subconscious.
Their song selections were varied and taken from a cross-section of albums. Tim says he thinks they played “Blue Collar Love” and “housewife love song,” among others. (I really dig SF59, but I don’t really know their song titles.)
Jason Martin was very humble in his attitude and seemed almost shy with his quick “thank you” after every thunderous round of applause. (It reminded me of Elvis’ “thank you, thank you very much.”)
My only complaint? Too short. They should have been given a lot more time. [http://www.toothandnail.com/starflyer59]
July 6, 2000 – Day 3 – Thursday
Journal Entry – I started off the day by visiting the rec.music.christian newsgroup get-together at the Phantom Tollbooth tent. At the get-together, I met tons of folks, including Linda (one of the publishers of Tollbooth), Masaki (the amazing producer of FIF and Brave Saint Saturn albums, among others), and Aaron (a freelance writer from Dallas).
After the get-together, I headed back to the Wycliffe World Music tent for more West African drumming and dancing.
An unknown band (4.0) – I always try to catch at least one campsite concert each year, but this one was much better than any I had previously heard. These guys are a punk rock band, very aggressive. My favorite song they played was “My girlfriend is a communist.” One of the best punk shows I’ve seen so far at C-stone.
Unfortunately, I have no idea who these guys are.
I tried asking lots of folks there what the name of the band was, but the only thing I could hear over the music was “they used to be called ‘No Compromise.'” If anyone knows this band’s name, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can give’em the good press they deserve.
Journal Entry – I then took off to get to the Madison Greene press conference. (Look for a story on MG coming soon!) Much fun was had by the band in their first press conference, and it must have been contagious. This was the first time that I’ve been to a press conference that was actually fun to attend. (Believe me, most press conferences are pretty dull.)
After the conference, I had a pleasant meeting with Melissa from MG before heading over to the Decapolis stage to catch Reese Roper (lead singer/songwriter for Five Iron Frenzy and Brave Saint Saturn) speaking. He really preached an excellent, non-preachy sermon on Jacob (taken from Genesis). I know Roper claims he’s not a preacher, but I thought he did a great job teaching all of us more about the scriptures. One quote that stuck out from his talk was, “The most worthwhile thing we can do in this life is to find out who God is.” [http://www.decapolis.com]
(2022): Decapolis was a fairly prominent website of that time that (if I recall right) discussed theology and Christian music. Today it has envolved into a website/podcast called FastGOdStuff.com
At this point, I was getting pretty run down, so I went back to camp to veg for a while. Tim (Exit photographer) was there, and we hung out for a while, talking about Tim’s repeated use of the word “stellar.” (Another favorite word of his is “tweaked.”) It was in this conversation that Tim uttered the EXITZINE.COM QUOTE OF THE WEEK – “I go through vocabulary words like most people go through toothbrushes.”
(2022): 21+ years later, Tim today is tattoo artist. I still stay in touch and am proud to have two tattoos made by him.
Finally, after this little bit of R & R, the great moment had arrived–The Madison Greene show! (woohoo!)
Madison Greene (5.5 – they broke the scale) – I had been looking forward to this show all week, and what a show it was! I was too busy dancing and savoring the moments of this performance to write much in the way of coherent notes, so these are rather random notes jotted down in the few moments when I was too out of breath to dance.
Erin – She played the fiddle (and drums) amazingly well, even jumping and dancing while playing!
Jason – amazing, passionate drumming
Bone – great on the bass, especially on the last few songs. He also wore a skirt!
Melissa – passionate vocals, along with crazy hippie dancing
Michael – He played guitar and chipped in lots of vocals. I think he sounded better in this performance than he did on either of the two albums.
“Tribal Call” – wow, a total free-for-all
Dancing, oh the dancing! Glory to God!
I also should add that one of the most powerful things about their performance was really beforehand, when I was standing backstage. (I love those press passes.) Right after they set everything up and before they started their show, the band formed a huddle and prayed. This wasn’t a short prayer, either, and it seemed from a distance to be a heartfelt prayer to our God. I was very impressed, as I have been to a lot of shows at C-stone, but have never seen a band that was willing to sacrifice their precious stage time to pray like that. All in all, this was a very intense and incredible time of worship and celebration where the “Tribe” came together in incredible harmony. [http://www.madisongreene.com]
(Unknown to me until the next day, it was during this show–at about 8:30 p.m.–that my grandmother died and went home to Heaven. When I first found out the time she died, it seemed strange that I was in such an ecstatic sense of joy and celebratory worship at that moment. Later on, though, as I thought about it more, it seemed fitting to be praising God at the very moment that He was welcoming my Grandma into Heaven.)
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, some dear person has shared 12 minutes of a recording of this concert on youtube!
Rez Band (4.0) – Due to scheduling conflicts, I only got to see part of this show. But I was very excited to catch even a part of their performance, as I had heard so much about them from Christian music old-timers.
REZ put on a straight-up rock & roll show with full lights, smoke, and everything. Their sound is hard with some blues thrown in, reminding me of Austin blues legend, Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Of their songs, my favorite was the rendition of “Don’t You Want Somebody to Love?” Wendi Kaiser really belted out the lyrics on this one. [http://www.grrrrecords.com/grrr/rez.html]
Seeds (4.0) – It must have been hard for this band to follow a show like Madison Greene’s, but they definitely stood their ground with a more bluesy, rock-oriented hippie vibe. (You can definitely hear the REZ band influences.) They also have some neat musical additions, like the flute and djigeridoo (played by Jason of Madison Greene).
Of their songs, my favorite from that night was “Pearl of Great Price.” [http://www.grrrrecords.com/seeds]
Journal Entry – Right after the Seeds show, I walked back to camp to get my drum for the drum circle happening later that night. After retrieving it, I started walking back to catch the Waterdeep show.
As I was walking, a thought hit me–what if my Grandma died while I was at C-stone? I even felt like I should call home to check messages, but then I thought, “No, the line is too long. And my family knows I’m with the press, so they should be able to get in touch with me at the press tent.” In retrospect, I really believe that God was preparing me that night for the news I would get the next day.
(2022): This was still in the mostly pre-cell phone days. I can’t imagine going on a cross-country road trip now without a cellphone.
Waterdeep (4.0) – I got there very, very late, but what I heard was very good, especially “My God Will Save Me” (a song off their next worship album).
The electric version of “Psalm 18” was very good, as well. I still like the acoustic version from the album better, but this was nice for a change. [http://www.waterdeep.com]
Seeds (and friends) drum circle – What fun! Intense Spirit-filled worship! Probably some of the best stuff happened after the official thing ended, and all of the drummers stayed around (until they kicked us out of the tent at 3:30 a.m.!).
Day 4 – Friday
Journal Entry – Though I was exhausted from the previous night’s drumming, I managed to drag myself to the showers and then to the Tollbooth tent for the Zine Unity Get-together. [http://tollbooth.org/]
When I arrived at the tent, though, Linda from Tollbooth gave me a message from the C-stone info desk. In my heart, I already knew what the news was.
Linda drove me on her golf cart to the C-stone information center, and they kindly let me use to phone to call home. My little brother Daniel was the only one home, so he told me that my Grandma had died. After I got off the phone with him, I started calling airlines to make flight reservations, in order to get back home for the funeral the next day. With my Dad’s secretary’s help (and most definitely God’s), I was able to book a flight leaving St. Louis at 8 a.m. the next day. (Thanks also go to the wonderful JPUSA folks who let me use their phone to make the arrangements.)
I was somewhat shook up about the news, but at the same time I felt like Grandma would want me to enjoy my last few hours at C-stone.
So I walked back to camp and told Tim the news. He was very gracious and agreed that we would leave for St. Louis that night after the P.O.D. show. Our one hurdle was a flat tire on our van, but thankfully, with God’s help (and our neighbors), we were able to get the tire changed that afternoon.
Brave Saint Saturn (4.0) – Why, oh why did they stick BSS in the tiny Acoustic tent? They should have had them in a much bigger venue.
Overall, the show was pretty rough, but was certainly memorable, as it was their first show. It was great hearing them live, but the sound effects and some of the harmonies didn’t seemed well-timed together. (I’m also not sure what to the think of the new girl’s BGVs.)
Their most memorable songs were “Gloria” and “Under Bridges.” (I should add that Reese gave a great explanation of the meaning of “Under Bridges.”) [http://www.bravesaintsaturn.com]
Madison Greene, show #2 (5.0) – Right after BSS, I went to the Wycliffe World Music tent to see Madison Greene again. There were so many people there that the band had to stop the show mid-way through to let a truck pass by on the road. This performance was equally phenomenal, and despite the scorching, oppressive heat, many (including myself) had a blast dancing with Tribe. [http://www.madisongreene.com]
Urban Hillbilly Quartet (4.5) – I arrived at this show very late, but I loved what I saw. Sena Thompson’s vocals were extraordinary, and her fiddle playing was equally worthy of praise. She definitely has an interesting stage presence, marked by a sort of sly facial expression.
Erik Brandt (lead singer, guitars) seemed very comfortable on stage and looked as if he was enjoying every moment of playing in the relaxed vibe of the Acoustic stage. It was a very different show than their performance last year, but it was still very, very good. This go-round, the fiddles were much more prominent, and there were bongos added to the mix.
Also, you can’t forget about the skat/rapping parts, and the stellar accordion thrown in for extra mid-range sounds. [http://www.urbanhillbillyquartet.com]
Journal Entry – After savoring UHQ (and getting a copy of lanky, but macho – look for a review in the next few weeks), I took a few minutes to visit this year’s C-stone art gallery. It was very powerful, especially the exhibit on religious persecution.
Ballydowse (3.5) – I only got to hear a few minutes of their show. From what little I heard, I think they were better last year. Nevertheless, the crowd was massive and very enthusiastic. (I loved the giant Ballydowse flag one guy was flying.) [http://www.grrrrecords.com/grrr/bally/bally.html]
I also really appreciated Andrew Mandell’s comments on the brutality of the US sanctions on Iraq. (If you are not aware of what the US is doing to the children of Iraq, read Andrew’s stories in Cornerstone Magazine or visit http://www.nonviolence.org/vitw)
(2022): Andrew Mandell ended up playing a really big part in influencing the trajecory of my life through both his remarks on this day, but even more so the following year with the program of speakers he organized for Cstone 2001, where I would end up meeting Kathy Kelly (of Voices in the Wilderness) which hardened my resolve to find a way to work for peace. I have always wondered what Andrew ended up doing after his days at JPSUA, but I’ve found very little written by/about him online, other than the following few stories (Andrew, if you ever read this, please email me as I would love to chat.)
- Islamicity.org: Am-bushed-on-Oprah (Sept. 20, 2000) – an amazing story when Andrew got to confront George Bush on the Oprah show (of course that didn’t make it on the show) Also, another account of this story can be found here: Counter PunchWhen Oprah says no to war
- McCarthyism Watch: If You Don’t Want American Flag Stamps, Watch Out! (Dec. 8, 2001)
- In the land of the living #5 (several poems by Andrew are in this issue)
Journal Entry – After Ballydowse, I grabbed my last two rib-eye sandwiches from the “Bushnell Locker Service II” booth (courtesy the local butcher shop). If you like beef, I highly recommend their sandwiches and their beef jerky. (I am biased, though, because the owner gave me a ball cap as a souvenir.)
Bill Mallonnee & The Vigilantes of Love (4.0) – I only heard a few minutes of their show, but I was very psyched to hear “resplendent.”
As the show went on, I could tell that the band was brilliant, but I was having problems getting into it. I think everything from my Grandma’s death, to my tiredness, to where I was at with God was all hitting me at once, so I took a walk down by the lake.
After some time to think and pray, I headed down to the Main stage to catch my last two shows. [http://www.billandvol.com]
(2022): And here’s a video of the show from youtube!
Living Sacrifice (4.0) – I am not a metal fan, but my, oh my! There was such incredible ministry and musical intensity in LS’ performance. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again. [http://www.livingsacrifice.com]
P.O.D. (4.5) – The Main stage amphitheater was packed for this show, and the crowd’s anticipation filled the air as P.O.D. kicked off their set with an operatic opening that then EXPLODED into “Outkast.”
From that point forward, this show was rocking the house. When they got to “Southtown,” I mustered the last of my energy reserves and jumped out in the middle of the action for one final burst of dancing.
After the energy was running out, I started walking back to camp to catch a few minutes of sleep before we departed. As I was walking away, I did catch a few minutes of “Ridiculous,” a new song that really makes me excited to hear their next album.
(After I left the P.O.D. show, I found out the show was stopped because several kids were hurt in the pit. From what I hear, Sonny was really cool in keeping an eye out on the crowd and seeing what was going on, so they slowed things down a bit closed with some Praise & Worship songs.) [http://www.payableondeath.com]
Journal Entry – Sadly, it was time to go. After Tim came back from the P.O.D. show, we made our way off the grounds.
Overall, despite the mud, the foul-mouthed teenyboppers, and the unexpected early departure, I was immensely blessed to be there. I am already missing my week of tasting Heaven on earth, but I know (Lord willing) that next year I will be there.
** So that there will be no confusion, despite their playing Cornerstone, The Juliana Theory is not a “Christian” band. This is an excerpt from the band’s website:
“We have no spiritual agenda as a band though. We are often asked if we are a religious band, or a Christian band, and honestly, we are not. Individual members of the band have different spiritual beliefs. The band has no stand in this area. Our goal is just to have a great time creating and performing the music we love and taking it to the highest level we possibly can.”
(Editorial Note – By the way, this note is not in any way meant as judgment toward the members of The Juliana Theory. It is simply a statement to prevent confusion, since they were performing at a Christian festival.)
(2022): I was really obsessed with this issue of whether bands were Christian or secular in those days. It seems kinda silly in hindsight but it was a really big deal to me then.