Help Men As Trees Walking Make A New Record

Progressive/tribal/worship band Men as Trees Walking have started a Kickstarter campaign to help with the costs of mastering and manufacturing their next CD. Men As Trees Walking are part of the Come&Live! family, and as such much of their income from the band comes in the form of donations and love offerings. We had a chance to see these guys at Cornerstone this year, and it is obvious that God speaks through their music and their ministry. As a Body, these are the kinds of things that we need to rally around, because all of us are not called to do what Men As Trees Walking. Right now, you can support them and their ministry, so watch the video below and follow the link to their Kickstarter to see what all of this is about.

Support Men As Trees Walking on their Kickstarter campaign

Cornerstone Festival Day 3: Musical Heaven

Day 3 at Cornerstone Festival 2010 was the first official day for the majority of those in attendance, but our staff had already taken two full days of amazing music. Day 3 ended up being my heaviest day for shows, and it was also my day of “heavy hitters”. I didn’t get back to my tent until 1:45 AM, but I loved every minute of it!

Bradley Hathaway Cornerstone festival 2010 3
My first real show was the great Bradley Hathaway on the main stage. While I would have preferred a more intimate setting for his performance, Bradley was flawless on stage. He played a good mix from last year’s A Mouth Full of Dust, and his latest EP A Thousand Angry Panthers. It was indie folk at it’s best, with Bradley and the band bringing us story after story of pain, searching, redemption, and Christ. A note for all reading, Bradley Hathaway‘s new EP is phenomenal! Its only four songs, and its at the top of the best of the year list already. During the show, he shared with the crowd that this performance was the first in a year, and it seems like this year on main stage may have been a rare sighting to an incredible artist.
Bradley Hathaway Cornerstone Festival 2010 7

Next up, Rebecca and I headed over to one of the generator stages to catch some ranted poetry with Levi The Poet. he doesn’t use music, and rarely uses a microphone to perform his emotionally draining and spiritually deep poems. He makes himself very vulnerable as he reveals his struggles with depression, pornography, and doubting God. At all times he brings the focus back to God, and shows that no soul is unworthy of Christ’s love. It was beyond moving….
Levi The Poet Cornerstone Festival 2010 2 Levi 1

Then we saw Listener Project again. They were awesome……again.

mewithoutyou cornerstone 2010 festival 4
My next show of the day was one i was a little worried about. I first experienced mewithoutYou at the very first Cornerstone Festival I attended in 2002. I remember very distinctly that they were this very bizarre yet captivating band that wore layers of winter clothes in the 95 degree heat. i feel in love with their music, and they have been my favorite band ever since. This past year has shaken my affection for them with what i feel is their least genuine album to date, and they have seemingly embrace some spiritual practices that make us wonder if they even belong on this site anymore.
All this to say that what made mewithoutYou incredible was their passion. This performance, while great by any other band’s standards seemed uncomfortable, and a little messy. I still love this band, and they will always be one of my highlights of this festival, but it seems like this once great band may not really have their heart in it anymore.

mewithoutyou cornerstone festival 2010 1
We took a break, hung out with the people from Anchor Fellowship, Come&Live!, Ascend The Hill, and The Ember Days. Great fellowship with some amazing people for sure. I cant stress again how much this group of people reached out to our staff during the week, and they really encouraged us in a way that felt heart-felt and honest. Love those guys

We then made our way across the grounds and arrived at a nearly full tent waiting to see Blessed By A Broken Heart. They put on a really fun show, but we were there witness the mighty Sleeping Giant do their thing. Somehow, my wife and were able to slip up to the front of the crowd and made our stand at the edge of the stage.

The show itself was unlike anything I have really ever experienced. While band was setting up, vocalist and pastor Tommy Greene came out and spoke to the crowd about his expectations for the evening, and that he and the rest of the band truly wanted to create a place of worship for not only us in attendance, but also for the musicians playing. He then began to pray over the crowd, and even lead the Body in pray for the wife of one of the bands whose wife had just been rushed to the hospital. By the time the band actually started playing, the crowd was completely consumed by the presence of God.

Their set was a mixture or their two albums, with Tommy talking in between. Most of the guys in this band are pastors at some level, so while on the outside, Sleeping Giant may seem like just a hardcore band, they are in truth a worship band that plays hardcore. To any parents reading this right now who are concerned that hardcore and metal can only bring about negative atmospheres, I beg you to watch the video below. This is worship if I ever saw it!

For those wondering, the woman singing and the dude in the pig mask are Veronica and Phil from White Collar Sideshow, who lended their talents to the performance of this brand new song that Sleeping Giant was playing for the first time at Cornerstone. later on in the set they were joined by Men As Trees Walking as members of White Collar Sideshow and Brian Welch looked on. We left the tent close to 12:45 and were completely taken away by the spirit in the room.
Sleeping Giant Cornerstone festival 2010 2

Luckly for us, the tent that The Chariot was playing inwas right on the way back to our tent. Also lucky was that they hadnt begun their set on time. We werent able to get very close, but it was a Chariot show to the tenth degree. If you are confused by what this means, the video is of the final few minuts of the show. Pretty awesome.

Worship At Cornerstone 2010

Yes there is music at Cornerstone.  There is art and seminars and commerce.  There is so much going on at Cornerstone that it is easy to lose sight that all of us at Cornerstone share a common bond through Christ.  It is easy to get swept up in the excitement, so it is vital that we touch base with our faith and Cornerstone makes that easy.

Each morning there are at least four organized worship services, their is a prayer tent and spontaneous worship gatherings sprout throughout the grounds.  All of that in addition to the hundreds of Christians, who make music in the secular world on a daily basis, flexing their freedom to express their love for Christ from stage.

Come & Live, Anchor Fellowship

Ian captured the full day majesty of Cornerstone 2010′s Come & Live day at the Anchor Fellowship tent.  We did see the majestic music of Preson Phillips and took our first steps into the world of Men Without Trees, but I was disappointed I missed some of the other high points like so long forgotten and Ascend The Hill.

We did experience a special moment as one of the Anchor Fellowship worship groups, We Are Creation, took us deep into the spirit with this eight minutes of worship.

Cornerstone 2010 Worship by We Are Creation

As I filmed this special moment I fought the desire throw my camera down and engage in the worship.  When I left the tent there was prayer all around and Debbie , who was sitting outside at the back of the tent was sobbing i our golf cart.

Preson Phillips and his musical friends then took us deep into spiritual, acoustic music.

Cornerstone 2010 Worship with Preson Philips

Mickey, the drummer told us “I just remove my shoes and I am standing on Holy Ground. I just have fun, joyful in that Holy place of worship.”

Breakaway

Cornerstone 2010 simulated youth camp each morning at the Gallery Stage. The Gallery Stage is the second most popular stage at Cornerstone. It traditionally features big name performers who prefer a more intimate musical setting. At Cornerstone 2010 the Gallery featured Seabird, Iona, Paper Route, Brooke Waggoner and Over The Rhine.

Breakaway shot with Alive

But the largest crowds we saw all week was at the Gallery Stage as the Alive Band led worhsip through music and drama and different speakers shared their hearts each morning.  We had a beautiful video of Alive Band but I erased it.

Adam Dorband, the youth pastor at Metro South Church in Trenton, Michigan discussed with us the concept of passionately pursuing God by alternatively seeking Him and serving Him.  Adam made the point if you spend all of your time seeking God, you become a soft Christian.  If you spend all of your time trying to serve God you become dry and brittle.

In addition to our experiences of worship at Cornerstone 2010, the Main Stage featured morning worship and devotionals each day at 9:00 a.m. The Raging Storm Stage held a Church service every morning from 10:00 to noon.  Anchor Fellowship hosted two hours of “Anchor Monastery”, a period of quiet contemplative meditation and prayer from 10:00 to noon each day.

Cornerstone 2010 Jesus VillageThe Jesus Village Flying Circus Dinner Theater and Fish Camp hosted Children’s Worship everyday from noon to 1:oo p.m.  Starting at 1:00 each day the Jesus Village hosted an hour of testimony and discussion with artist such as Aaron Weiss of mewithoutyou, Mark Nicks of Cool Hand Luke and Jeremy Siegrist of Illalogical Spoon, Naphtail Marshall of Photoside Cafe and Edie Goodwin of Headnoise. We did not make it to these sessions in 2010 but in prior visits to Cornerstones we watched in amazement as amazing artists and musicians, such as these, poured their hearts onto the stage for everyone to share.

Cornerstone is many things.  During a visit you can make it about one thing or another.  At Cornerstone 2010 you could spend significant amounts of each day experiencing these wonderful worship opportunities.  While our Cornerstone 2010 was a full and rich experience for us, in writing this article I am feeling a bit of regret that I did not participate more fully in these worship experiences.  Even with all of the noise and all of the commerce God was fully present at Cornerstone 2010.

Cornerstone Festival 2010: Day Two- COME&LIVE!

On our second day at Cornerstone Festival 2010, we decided to spend the majority of the day at the Anchor Fellowship/Come&Live! stage, and it ended up probably one of my favorite favorite days of the entire fest.

Typically this day (sometimes referred to as Day 0) in Cornerstone was called Tooth & Nail Day, in which Tooth & Nail/Solid State/BEC Recordings artists took over the whole festival and did their thing. This was a day to see almost the entire catalog of artists on the labels’ rosters, and maybe even some new up and comers. In 2003, Chuck and I watched a wild, unsigned and unknown, screamo band called Emery who signed with Tooth & Nail shortly after and are one of the label’s biggest artists. As of 2007, however, Tooth & Nail Day is no more, but I have to say I would take Come&Live! Day over it any year.

I feel like I need to say that the people of The Anchor Fellowship church out of Nashville were amazing. They stayed close to the tent the whole day and loved on everybody there. My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting several of them personally, including their pastor Joshua who was camped not to far from where we were. They prayed with us several times throughout the week, and we felt like we were part of the family even though they hardly knew us. Please check out their website, and maybe if you live in Nashville, TN go spend some time with them. The Anchor Fellowship.

We started with our buddy Preson Phillips! We have featured Preson‘s music on the site several times and he was even one of our Voices Of The Underground. The band and Mr. Phillips played all of my personal favorites, and really impressed all of us with their blend of folk, worship, and indie rock. On top of that Preson seemed right at home on stage, joking with the crowd, and charming everyone in the room. I could not have picked a more perfect way to start the day off.
Preson Phillips Cornerstone 2010

Then , after a year of hearing about them, we finally experienced the reggae hippie worship music of Men As Trees Walking. The stage seemed a little too small for their elaborate set up and 8 members, but they quickly entered into their set while in the middle of their sound check. I really still need some time to digest their music, even though I really liked it, but their show is really interesting.  On another cool note, in the middle of the set my wife and I realized that we actually knew their drummer Jason from our college days. It was good to catch up and find out that God had really been at work in his life since last we saw him. Men As Trees Walking is always on tour, if they come through your town, defiantly check them out and say hi.

I Am Alpha & Omega simply tore the stage apart! They brought a ton of energy with their brand of melodic hardcore, and in the ended up being the only heavy band of the day. Voaclist Donnie attacked every song like it was his last as the rest of the band never stopped moving from moment one! I had never seen these guys before, but I know now it wont be my last. They were awesome. Later on in the day we were able to talk with Donnie a little more and really got to know the guy’s heart. This is a band truely seeking God’s face, and are some really genuine people. Love that band!
I Am A and O 3~

So Long Forgotten was one of my must see bands for the festival, and they lived up to every expectation I had for them. Below is a video we shot of the band performing a very old song, and then a brand new one, hopefully it conveys the passion and creativity that filled the tent as we watched this amazing band perform their beautiful music.

We took a break for a while to go get some food, and returned later that night to witness our good friends, White Collar Sideshow perform their amazing show once again. TD and the gang have been busy since last we spoke to them a year ago. They have tweaked and refined the Sideshow, but the core of their show is the breath-taking presentation of an amazing testimony. It was great to see the show after so long, especially since listening to their music this past year gave me more of an appreciation of they do. We will talk about them more later on as we saw them again later in the week ( one of the only two artists we saw more than once). By the end of their show everyone in the room was speechless, no joke.
White Collar Sideshow Pig Cornerstone 2010

We ended our very long day with worship from Ascend The Hill, at 1:30 AM. They keep the energy high, and the passion even higher.  This kind of music is what will make you forget about time, and just sink into the sound.  Hey when God is moving through incrediable music, you dont leave.

The 2nd day filled me with so much joy about our Cornerstone experience, I can hardly express it here. We witnessed masterful music from just a wide range of sounds, that all were being made for Christ’s glory. This is what this festival was all about.

The one thing I took away from all the artists that we saw was a sense of genuine abandon.  Nobody preforming that day was rich, but they were fully committed to their ministry first and their music and their passion was a reflection of that.