The Best of Cornerstone 2011

It has been a week, almost to the hour, since the final decibels of Cornerstone 2011 went silent. I personally saw 63 shows at Cornerstone 2011 and lost 9 shows to power outages.  That many shows, plus maintaining a camp site and developing new relationships, all book-ended by 20 hour drives, takes a little time to process. A week later three shows stand out.

Gungor Brings Cornerstone 2011 to Tears

EMI executive and lifelong music entrepreneur John Thompson was telling us all week that Gungor was one of the most brilliant musical acts on the music scene today. We had listened to their cds for over a year but we did not share John’s enthusiasm. Boy, were we wrong. Over a course of an hour, Gungor closed out the Cornerstone 2011 main stage with one of the most beautiful, artistic sets of music I have ever scene in my life of over 1,000 shows. A five piece rock band, augmented by a chamber ensemble, the show also included video enhancement of just about every song. The music was complex, daring, intricate and breathtakingly beautiful. At one point I looked at Debbie and saw tears running down her cheeks. There was one song where Michael Gungor took the band from chamber pop to bluegrass to slamming electric blues, and it worked. The highlight of the show was “Glory Is Here” which was lifted to a new level with the spoken word performance of Amena Brown.

Gungor shows are mixed-media shows that go beyond the idea of a concert, blending music, artwork, poetry and spoken word, lights and video into an overall inspirational event.  You need to go out of your way to see this band live.

Josh Garrels Brings Love & War & The Sea In Between to Cornerstone 2011

Josh Garrels was discovered at Cornerstone a decade ago when he worked the food court coffee shop and performed street shows on his breaks. Cornerstone leaders took noet of this talent and began to nurture one of the greatest musicians playing Christian or secular music today. His brilliant new release Love & War & The Seas In Between is a masterpiece. If anyone makes a better record in 2011, it will be a good year for music. Josh Garrels‘ Saturday night show included most of his backing band from the record and he spent most of the hour singing “Ulyses”, “Farther Along”, The Resistance”, “Beyond The Blue” and more from this new release. To watch Josh Garrels fully express his deep, challenging, joyous theology with his combination of folk and hip hop was a thrill for the entire audience.

Follow the link to download a free copy of Love & War & The Sea In Between. Do it, you will be happier.

Campbell The Band Create A Buzz at Cornerstone 2011

We loved Campbell The Band at the Cornerstone 2010 new band showcase. These guys charge the stage in all white and start an enthusiastic onslaught of joyous progressive rock that could seamlessly fill a Cornerstone tent, an arena or even a stadium. A huge crowd filled the Cornerstone 2011 Underground tent and the stage was filled with photographers trying to catch Campbell The Band on their ascent to national stardom. This band makes really good records which come to life with a stage show of boundless energy.

In addition to these high points we saw great sets from Sean Michel, Phil Keaggy and Bare Branches. Look for future articles about new bands such as Songs for Water, Pauw and Kye Kye.

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