Cornerstone 1998: Jason’s Diary, July 4

Today’s concerts included Roadside Monument, Morella’s Forest, Velour 100, and Over the Rhine.

July 4 was an incredible way to end the festival. Like all of the other days, I woke up as the sun began to bake me inside my tent. I spent a little time walking around and hanging out at The Asylum. Then it was off to Encore 1 to check out Brandston, with Stephanie and Josalyn (who ended up at another show).

I had heard a lot of good stuff about Brandston, from several reliable sources. For some reason, however, their set seemed like it was lacking something. I can’t put my finger on it. I was reminded of Swervedriver somewhat, listening to them. However, I want to give them a second chance, just because of all of the good stuff I’ve heard about them. They did have some bright moments in their set, but like I said, it felt like something was lacking.

Next up was Roadside Monument, another one of the bands that I had to see. As I have said before, Roadside is one of the most underappreciated and undervalued bands in Christian music. I’ve seen them twice, and both times their live sets have been incredible.

Roadside was spot on, playing their music with clock-like precision. Their music is often labelled as emo, and I’ll be honest that any emo band I hear immediately gets weighed against Roadside. Roadside’s music appears on the verge of constantly coming apart at the seems, the dissonance and chaos tearing it apart at the seems. It’s that very tension that makes their music so challenging and invigorating to listen to.

In other words, I thought they were neat.

After Roadside, I headed over to Encore 2 to catch Morella’s Forest and Velour 100. I was somewhat disappointed by Morella’s Forest. Their set was too short, and it just didn’t seem to have the same energy as their other shows I’ve seen. My guess is that they were just tired from touring and whatnot. Sydney’s voice has always seemed to quiet for their live sets, and at this one, it was even more so.

Velour 100 was slightly better, playing mostly stuff from their debut album Fall Sounds. That was fine with me, because I didn’t care too much for their latest release, Of Colour Bright. Their new vocalist did a pretty good job, thought she seemed very shy and withdrawn on stage. Of the 3 Velour 100 performances I’ve seen, I’d have to say that the one last year was the best. It was just Trey and Amon with an acoustic guitar and no amp, mics, or PA system. However, it was one of the most intimate sets I’ve ever been to.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for B movies. Maybe that’s why I love Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and Plan 9 From Outer Space so much. I was very excited to see that the Imaginarium (Cornerstone’s science fiction and fantasy emporium) was showing come great movies. I was even more delighted to see that they were showing Creature From The Black Lagoon in 3-D.

We headed over there at around 8:00 or so to find… a sockhop. So I decided to impress people with my dancing skills. However, when time for the movie came around, it was a mad dash to get seats for it, which meant that my friends and I ended up in the back. But it turned out alright, because the 3-D was so freakin’ cool.

After we had our fun with Creature, it was time for the last show of the festival, Over the Rhine. I managed to catch several songs of their set, and I’m not sure it was a good thing for them to be playing so late. Their music is very seductive and dreamy, with Karen’s langorous vocals and the mellow music just caressing my eyelids shut. Over the Rhine is one of those band for which the word “artsy” is not a bad word. Their music, a mixture of folk, blues, and lounge, mixed with some incredibly poetic lyrics, makes for a quite enchanting and illuminating listen at times. But not when I’ve been staying up to 2 or 3 in the morning every night for the past week.

I knew that I needed strength, because tonight was also the last night of the Asylum. Hanging out there was a great time, even though it meant saying good-bye to some great friends.

Well, to make a long story short… we made it back to Lincoln safe and sound and I’m now back at my real life. But needless to say, Cornerstone 1998 was an incredible time and I’d like to thank everyone who made it that way.

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