Well I mean, just look at the fans reaction during BD's recent shows vs. say Madisons show last year. While I will not discredit BD for being where they are for a reason, and they are of course the cleanest, arent the new sheets suppose to juxtapose the audiences reactions more. My point is, BD shows dont pull at anyones heart strings, nor make you wanna throw any babys. No matter how good they have been, they arent exactly trying to connect with the audience.
Let's keep things in perspective:
1) when you say stuff like
BD shows dont pull at anyones heart strings
you are incorrect to imply that Blue Devils show appeals to no one. Their shows, from what I've seen, appeal to many people. All of them? No. The majority of fans? Hard to say for sure. Many people? I think that's a fair stipulation.
2) I get what you're saying making a difference between audience reaction vs quality of design/performance. In my experience, the mainstream in general are morons. I don't mean that in relations to mainstream drum corps fans, per say, but taste is relative and in general audiences like to be pandered to. Often "artists" who mix art with commerce often try to appeal to the lowest common denominator, which often delivers a watered-down product devoid of most artistic merit.
For example, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is the 4th highest grossing film of all time. It made a heap of money, which can be correlated with popularity. However, you will be hard pressed to find any film scholar that would even entertain the notion that film is anything other than bad. It appealed to the mainstream, but has little artistic value. In contrast, Citizen Kane is often considered one of (if not the) greatest film ever produced. It revolutionized special effects and cinematography, and is often at the top of "best of" type lists. Citizen Kane, however, didn't even rank in the Top 5 grossing films the year of its release!
Mainstream audiences don't like to be challenged, which is why many artistic films only make modest amounts at the box office.
But you want to know what's beautiful? We can have our cake and eat it too. People who love robots blowing up other robots can see Transformers, while people who like deep, challenging films can watch Citizen Kane. Heck people who like to be challenged on Thursday and watch explosions on Friday can see both films.
Same with drum corps.
Madison Scouts can deliver crowd friendly shows that appeal to the masses; Blue Devils can deliver shows that appeal to people who appreciate deeper concepts. Why would anyone want to homogenize the activity and force every corps to design shows the same?