DCW On-Line: Carmel IN Review

| |

No weather problems for Bluecoats in Indiana contest

July 13, 2010 – Carmel, IN . . . Rain from the afternoon cleared out and made way for a wonderful night of drum corps. Eric Humbert Story, drum major for Bluecoats, said it best: “Some good things are happening for us right now.” Nothing more true can be said. “Metropolis” is giving the Bluecoats the best season ever.

The opening flag ensemble on the 50 yard line forming a triangle is my “guard moment of the year.” The precision and technique is amazing, for this has to be one of the best guards Bluecoats has produced the past several seasons.

Brass and percussion are performing like seasoned veterans.  As they continue to clean and get even better, they will dominate the last few weeks of the season.  The drill is crisp to match the crisp notes played by the horn line.  The percussion is technically superb in all areas, just coming in behind Phantom Regiment tonight. 

The “Asphalt Cocktail” closer just leaves one wanting more — as the Bluecoats’ fans screamed “Blooooooo” while they exited the field.
Phantom Regiment is continuing to grow with this show and they displayed this tonight in their performance of “Into the Light.”  Strong brass is supported by a dynamic percussion, once again taking high marks in that caption.  The drill is becoming more and more marched to perfection, adding little nuances in areas each week. 

The brass was on fire, hitting those famous high notes with such clarity.  The guard is much improved since my last viewing, really helping to portray the storyline.  Once again, the solo brass player dressed in variations of gold was in top form.  One can imagine he is the “light” in the show.  What makes the sound so perfect is when they are playing softly; the emotion is just as exhilarating as when they are blasting out a loud company front.  This shows true musicianship.

Dustin Everitt, color guard director from Scottsburg, IN, absolutely loved Phantom’s show this evening.  He saw them at the Louisville competition and was left wanting more.  He got that “more” this evening.

Boston’s show begins with a huge throne set just right of the 40 yard line, close to the front sideline.  This is to be the focus of the show, “Thy Kingdom Come.”  The design team has done an excellent job weaving members of all areas in and out of the staging area.  Sometimes a guard member uses the throne to perform, while drummers and brass members use it as well. 

Jay Kennedy has arranged some great musical moments in this show, especially during “Power Shift.”  Once again, the throne shows a guard member being pushed off the throne by a snare drummer who performs a solo that transition into a drum feature by the entire drum section. 

“Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini” is the beautifully-done ending piece performed loudly and almost chaotic to show the turmoil of who is to acquire the throne next.  Well done!

Michael Shapiro, Blue Stars’ guard caption head and on the visual team, has once again taken a theme and presented it so well that the audience is left amazed at the end of the performance.

“Houdini” is the story of a troubled man who strived to show the world his expertise in escape tricks.  The show starts with the guard and horn line interacting, with the guard members going in to boxes in straight-jackets, only to emerge and begin performing, handicapped with hands bound.  The guard is amazing how they can maneuver with limited motion. 

Blue Stars
Drum Corps World photo by Ron Walloch

The brass is constantly amazing the crowd with their fast runs that end with a solid, long sustained note that just keeps on going.  The drill added much GE tonight because of their continually cleaning a very difficult book.  At one point the percussion is featured on the 50 in the front, weaving in and out of each other, turning around and still managing to play an incredible feature that got the audience to their feet.

The show ended with the horn line playing with one hand, slowing going to their knees, swaying back and then finally falling to the ground.  A very emotional show, to say the least!.

Spirit’s production is titled “Forging an Icon.”  This was my first view of this show and I had not heard very good reviews up to this point.  I can now say that the reviews had been bogus.  This show was engaging from beginning to end. 

It begins with huge black and gray scrims in the center of the field that are pushed aside to form a staging area for performers.  The theme is reminiscent of an industry or factory with the sounds of such coming from the pit throughout the show.  The new uniforms are nicely done and the guard is on top of their game right now, making sure the audience gets the idea of the show. 

At one point step stools are used by the trumpets to give texture to the picture and the texture of the music is brought out here as well with the sounds of industry underlying the score.  The finish was fantastic.  The strong performers did not leave one section with a weak spot.

Pioneer is doing a great job fine-tuning their show, “Corps Prayer.”  The pre show warm-up is basically the same with the guard in choir robes moving around the field, but now the horn line is hidden behind the front sideline barricades.  Once the announcement is made, they appear and blast out an opening statement that took all by surprise.  The guard is now in their new tangerine-colored outfits that add such nice contrast with the color of the horn line. 

“Make His Praise Glorious” is becoming more dynamic with the speed at which they are now performing it.  This is truly the highlight of the show, as it is tagged on toward the end as well.  The drum line once again does not disappoint, for this is one of their strongest sections of the show.  Pioneer has taken a major leap in World Class this season.

The only Open Class participant this evening was Legends from Kalamazoo, MI.  Only in existence as a drum corps since 2006, this group is becoming a definite interest in their division.  The show this year is called “Ruins.”  “Vesuvius” is the opening selection which immediately portrays their confidence in marching style and grace.  Horns were a bit out of tune in the soft moments of the music, but once they hit the loud brassy parts, they were in tune all the way. 

The guard still has some work to complete and some of the work looked new, for the ensemble work was lacking a bit.  They looked well-trained, though, so I’m sure in the next few weeks they will be in fine form.

Carmel High School was a perfect venue with great spectator seating and parking.  People were friendly and helpful.   My friend and I opted to buy the press box seating and we were impressed by what we were offered: full catered meal with many other amenities that was well worth the price.  More venues need to offer something like this.  I will definitely go that route again if offered next year.

You may discuss this review on the DCP Forums. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Publisher’s Note:
These articles are provided to Drum Corps Planet from Drum Corps World staff members who regularly contribute show reports and feature material for the monthly newspaper. The content is exclusive to Drum Corps Planet and will not appear in issues of DCW. For information about subscribing or to learn about the historic DVDs and CDs that are available, visit the Web site — www.drumcorpsworld.com."

The Madison, WI-based Drum Corps World has been published continously since October 1971 — 37 years of service! The tabloid newspaper is mailed monthly and contains articles on competitions and concerts, worldwide event calendars, scores, photography, features, regular columns and advertising from the companies that support the publication and the activity. Our staff of 75 writers and 12 photographers have extensive experience and many have been with us for 10 years or more. In addition, you will also find historic material in the store including: 136 historic CDs originally recorded between 1950 and 1980, vintage DVD content, videotapes, record albums, history books, back issues of DCW and feature articles from past issues posted on the front page twice each week.

Visit www.drumcorpsworld.com. For more information, call toll free 1-800-554-9630.

Posted by on Saturday, August 7th, 2010. Filed under DCW On-Line.