cornerstone, music

CORNERSTONE 2009 – JULY 4 (SAT)

There are no photographs from Saturday. Saturday was not good to us. Saturday was very, very mean to us. Saturday had been chasing us all week, and when she finally caught up with us, we felt the full force of her relentless wrath.

Saturday, as I mentioned at the end of the Friday note, began with rain. The midnight drizzle accelerated into a steady downpour, and I awoke to the merciless, rhythmless, constant patter of raindrops upon our tent fabric. John and I were still dry inside, but we were elements of a very small set. The canopy and everything under it were soaked – including what remained of our food.

Saturday had struck, and she calmly drenched us while awaiting our response. We analyzed the situation and quickly proposed an escape route. We forsook the pancake mix and launched a campaign to meet up with reinforcements at the Hardee’s in Bushnell.

But Saturday must have anticipated such a move. Her comrade, Thursday, had already killed the battery in Tim’s SUV. Our only remaining transportation vehicle was John’s car. We grimly stepped inside and commenced our retreat, but we were only playing into Saturday’s cruel hands.

The soaked tents and spires of Cornerstone Farm were scarcely fading from view when John’s car began to shift. John queried his fellow hardened warriors. “Does the ride feel more bumpy all of a sudden?”

We pulled to a stop and investigated the condition of the tires. “Here it is!” Tim called from the back right. The tire was flatter than the pitch of a mainstream hip-hop artist without his AutoTune. Saturday had felled us with one swift shot from her deadly bow.

John had a spare, but not the tool with which to apply it. We had happened to halt near a house, surrounded by cornfields. Saturday must have been so intent on defeating our transportation that she never learned to mind her surroundings! We exploited this flaw and approached the dwelling.

We were greeted by a kindly elderly woman and her visiting son, and they lent us the proper tool to remove the lifeless wheel. Stephen, Ryan, and I rested in the garage’s lawn chairs and engaged in conversation with the kind natives while John and Tim endured the downpour and performed the surgery.

Saturday watched smugly, and the merciless attack of the clouds did not relent for a moment. The warriors endured, however, and finally the hearty steed was on all fours again. We again thanked our benefactors, and John contacted Wal-Mart in Macomb before pressing on.

“Hi, can I speak to the automotive department?…..We had a flat tire just outside of Cornerstone and I want to know if you have a replacement…… What?….. No, Red already played….”

After receiving a satisfactory answer, we compiled a new strategy. We would continue to Hardee’s for our refreshment, and then go to Wal-Mart to replace the spare tire. By the time our shadows darkened the doors of the eating establishment, the breakfast menu had been replaced by the lunch menu. For only the second time in my life, I purchased a 2/3 lb. Monster Thickburger and devoured it entirely.

Saturday’s weapons, aside from the continuing rain, seemed to have been spent, and we arrived at Wal-Mart undeterred. But all she could do now was slow us down – or so we thought. We strolled the aisles of the small town for nearly two hours before John’s vehicle passed through the queue and back onto the lot.

An innocuous trip for breakfast had turned into a six-hour debacle. It was nearly 2:30 by the time our muddy tires rolled to a stop outside our campsite. The rain was finally dripping to a conclusion, but the clouded, pale afternoon light revealed the destruction that had been wreaked during our absence. After determining that we could not be stopped in our mission, Saturday had retreated, content to turn her furor upon the festival. Sixteen solid hours of rain had replaced the beautiful grounds with a muddy wasteland.

The concert atmosphere had been suddenly shattered, but I didn’t care how miserable it was. I was angry at Saturday for her destruction and I was determined to spite her. We had arrived in time for the Classic Crime and the Classic Crime I was going to see. As John and I stumbled slowly through the marshes to the Encore tent, we learned that Main Stage and its surroundings had been rendered uninhabitable, and the most popular acts of the entire week had been rescheduled to the largest tents to close out the evening.

There is little else to recount. I finally reconnected with Emily. John and I had originally been planning to relax and pack leisurely the following morning, but Saturday had rendered leisure and relaxing utterly impossible. We packed. We charged our phones. Emily and I serendipitously caught another round of Brooke Waggoner. And we said goodbye.

I had really wanted to see Underoath, because I really enjoyed their music and live show, and they would probably never again play in a tent at Cornerstone. But the tent was crowded. The day was miserable. John was tired. And, truth be told, I was tired, too. So, with a heavy heart, I let it go and ceded to Saturday a final victory.

Advertisements