DCW On-Line: Louisville Review

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Cavaliers remain undefeated through Louisville show

July 7, 2008 – Louisville, KY . . . After raining most of the day and many corps shortening their rehearsal schedules, the rain subsided about two hours before show time. Papa John’s Stadium hosted yet another fine contest with The Cavaliers continuing their reign over most the other Midwestern corps.

“Samurai” continues to dazzles audiences with its intriguing drill and music. The Cavaliers have always had kaleidoscope drill and wonderful orchestral sound from the horns, but this year the eerie sound of the Japanese warriors is presented in a display of aggression mixed with poise and confidence that only the Cavaliers can attain.

The guard is outstanding and so athletic, but the horn line is put to the test with some gymnastic moves and turns as well. They are up and down off the ground many times throughout the show.

The opening flag used by the guard is new within the last few days. Ronnie Bynum, guard caption head, states that by Denver more flags will be added to the show. Mike Schaefer from Evansville, IN, was sitting with me and was mesmerized by the cleanliness of the drill and the wonderful blend of the music with only being in the first few weeks of the tour. I agree.

I can’t wait to see what is in store for The Cavaliers in the next few weeks, especially in Denver this weekend when they first meet up with the Blue Devils, also undefeated so far this season.

Bluecoats were over four points behind The Cavaliers, but I think the spread might have been a bit too much. David Adams, Indianapolis, helps sponsor one of the trumpet players in the corps and agreed that the gap should have been closer. The boxing theme of this show is so tastefully done. Music from “On the Waterfront” is beautifully presented in their opener and again brought back as a snippet in the closer.

The guard does an excellent job itelling the story and the “contender” acts out his part so well that you are really pulling for him each time by the end of the show. The Simon and Garfunkel piece at the end of the ballad has to be one of the strongest musical statements of the season by any corps. Word has it that the drill in the ballad is going to be changed over the next few days. A new ending with some new music is also going to be added this week. I look for this corps to be fighting for a spot in the top five by the end of the season.

Bluecoats – Canton, OH
DCW On-Line Photo by Harry Heidelmark

“Kar-ne-val” is the title of the Glassmen’s show. They begin with a very carnival look with the guard outfits and the 12 trunks spread out over the field. In the opening segment, a little girl emerges from one of the trunks to view the spectacle of the carnival with awe.

It’s a shame, one of the guard had trouble with one of the trunks as it turned over spilling out some of the contents on the field. He quickly picked up the paraphernalia and continued with the show. The horn line is powerful and the drill is crisp and clean. The guard seemed a bit dirty tonight, but they shone brightly with the closer flags of balloons. A beautiful end to a pretty show.

The Colts’ “Night and Day” show probably has some of the most beautiful flags and guard outfits of the season. Michael Cesario has designed something great here. The quarter-moon flag in the ballad wins my vote for the best of the season. Peter LePage has designed some great guard work to go along with it.

T horn line left the audience with a great wall of sound by which to remember them. They played with so much emotion tonight. The music and ambiance reminds you of a 1940s cabaret club. The percussion had a great run this evening as well. One cannot forget to mention the young man twirling the baton. He is great! It just shows that another element of bygone days can still work in the right element.

Tim Lawson is a tuba player with the Blue Stars. He had marched with Southwind for two years until they decided to take the year off. He is having a great time with his new corps and their show, “Le Tour”. Michael Shapiro is the mastermind behind this show. He was going to use it as a winter guard show, but decided that the big field of drum corps would better suit the theme.

Again, a story is told, this time about a bicycle race in France. Some French tunes by French composers tell the story. The horns are powerful and the percussion is clean. The drill is exciting and with them spending the next few days redoing and adding more to the end, this show has all the possibilities of making it into the elite 12 next month in Bloomington. Best of luck to Tim and his new corps.

Madison sure knows how to belt out a tune. This has always been their strong suit. The show, “La Noche de la Iguana”, just sounds like a Madison production. The guard is much better this year, but still needs to work on timing, especially in the opening set where they are just standing still.

The sophistication of the Scouts is shown by the little nuances throughout the show . . . like the straightening of the tie and the different leg positions of the horn players when they come to a stop. The guard uses a wonderful serpent flag during the drum break, but while the percussion is playing great, the drill just leaves you wanting so much more. Instead of the drill looking like the serpent on the flag, curving and snaking around the back of the field, the horn line is just marching from one yard line to another, then back again. Hopefully some attention will be given to this and make the visual so much more meaningful.

Madison Scouts – Madison, WI
DCW On-Line Photo by Ron Walloch

Pioneer once again has the Irish feel about their show. It is titled “Celtic Reflections”. Right away the reflection idea is represented by the five ladders with guard members on top and mirrors on the sides. The ladders are maneuvered around the field during the show and are utilized from time to time with corps members on top.

The guard is very expressive, the percussion is solid and the horn line belts out some strong notes to make this show very enjoyable to watch. Pioneer displayed tonight why they are still in the World Class.

The only participant from the Open Class tonight was Revolution from San Antonio, TX. They won the Division III crown in 2002 and are well on their way to make a statement in the Open Class. The show is called “e.le.va.tion” and begins with a tune called “The Gravel Road.” The drill begins on one side of the field and “travels” across the field to make a great opening statement once they reach the center.

The percussion and guard seemed much better prepared than when I saw them a week ago. With that much improvement in just one week, and with a horn line that is already playing well, Revolution is on their way to the top of the playing field in Open Class.

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Posted by on Friday, July 11th, 2008. Filed under DCW On-Line.