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Madison Drums On Parade

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#1 recketscience


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Posted 23 June 2012 - 11:30 PM

First off, it was great to hear a professional announcer do the show. These guys can really make a difference in the excitement level and overall experience. Chuck Henson has a great voice, and is a Madison alumni!

I had a great time seeing old friends and enjoying a show that seems to have an old school drum corps evening feel to it.

They were much improved over last year. I think they were not this good in late July last season. There are still too many drums versus horns affecting balance and overall GE. The guard works hard to perform to the audience, but needs to keep working those fundamentals. The show seems very Pioneer, which is not a bad thing. I hope the members have a great summer. Go Pioneer.

There was a big jump in quality in the line up once these guys started their show. The show theme is kind of evident, but it seems they could do a lot more to get it to come across. All sections of the corps seem pretty even, with a slight nudge going to the brass line. There were several good GE moments, but nothing too original or creative. I like the train sounds and thought the drum major was awesome. I am not sure that I kept noticing him was a good or bad thing. They are a very solid corps, but not better than last year or 2010. That is perfectly fine and I hope they push forward and max the show out. There is definitely a Troop vibe to the show, and the crowd is always on their side. I did enjoy it overall. The troop 11 cross sabre moment toward the end is cool. Best of luck this summer Troop.

The Glassmen's show was pretty good, but like Troop, it did not have any real stick out moments. They were better than Troopers, but not by much and not in all captions. I felt Trooper's brass were clearly better. The glass theme of their show is not evident at all. There is a lot of electronic stuff and a lot of drum breaks. Their guard seems to be a bit behind the rest of the corps and much of their work seemed disjunct with the music. I did like some of their flags and the rifles were pretty solid at times. The drum line seems pretty aggressive and at times very musical as well. The uniform changes over 2011 are subtle but good. Like everyone before them, there are no real stand out moments for effect. The horn line seems a lot weaker than previous years. Someone at the show told me the horn line was very very young. The ending seemed to be building to something cool, but never really delivered. Overall I thought the show better than last season. I am not sure they can come close to pulling off a finals spot, but I wish them the best.

Blue Stars:
The Dvorak is an interesting theme idea. I am not sure how it fits the nautical theme, something I feel they need to work on. There was a big jump imo over Glassmen. All sections of the corps are pretty evenly talented with the percussion being somewhat the stand outs of the corps. The brass sound good standing still, but there is a big change when they are on the move with lots of feet in bell sounds and lots of pitch issues. The pier, or boat deck is a cool idea, but seems to get lost in the mix. The drill is extremely challenging, but I am not sure the work has pay off visually. I do like several of the standing sets and like the body work and foot work. The guard is talented but maybe a few notches under the past few years. They make a big sound at times and seem pretty comfortable performing, all though there were several crashes tonight, including a contra pile up. After last year's show, I am glad they have made a big change in programming. It just did not grab me tonight. I am eager to see it again and hope some of the bugs are worked out. Good luck Stars.

Spirit of Atlanta:
Talk about big jumps. This was a whole nother level over Stars, Glassmen, and Troop. The opening statement was breath taking and so well done. The crowd lost it and I caught myself screaming like a 12 year old girl. Talk about a shock. I knew that they had the potential to up their game over last year, but was not ready for this. The brass section is so loud and controlled. They were much cleaner than the previous corps and I was entertained the entire time, no question. All sections are great and the theme is so obvious and in your face you can't help but applaud the vibe they create. The soloists throughout were stellar and all the musical variety just can't be beat. They have some cleaning and adding to do, but what can one say but welcome to Vegas baby. The drums and guard are equally terrific and the show girl is stunning. Love the cool gambler man thing and the Luck be a Lady latin treatment is too cool for school. Regardless of placement, this is a finalist everyone will love. I thought they out did Madison, but I am no judge. I CANNOT wait to see them again. The entertainment value and energy level was electrifying. REAL DRUM CORPS at last!

After two years in the 10th place spot, I was eager to see what progress they had made and what the new staffers had brought to the table. Madison is clearly talented and entertaining. I like the presentation of "Pictures" mixed with nostalgic Scouts. The arrangements were clever, but I kept waiting for more in the overall musical presentation.
I am not sure they can keep going back to the reunion show well. The drums are better as is the drill over 2011, though it seems pretty functional and less artistic than other corps tonight. The corps' energy and commitment to entertain certainly makes up for any design flaws at this point. The guard uni seems a little flat. The brass play well, but soloists need work. Good stock ending of the closer and good use standard drum corps devices. I thoroughly enjoyed Madison, but thought Spirit had pulled out the upset tonight. Also eager to see this develop over the summer. Best to ya Scouts.

Though on a level higher than Spirit and Scouts, it wasn't by much. I am eager to see them in a bigger stadium. Despite all the winter time woes over staff changes, they seem to be off to better start in 2012 than 2011. I liked the brass a lot. They are very strong, though maybe not playing the demand of Scouts or Spirit. Not sure how much that weighs in to scores. The first half is very enjoyable and well performed. The second half almost as good. The guard seemed to have had an off show and they seem to have very low drill demand. I do like some of the silks and guard uniform a lot. Like last year, I am not sure any real theme is super evident other than the few recognizable melodies and the mask that the corps is wearing. They have a good confidence about them and they crowd always responds well to Blooooing. Don't think this is top four or five, but we will see. They seem to have the talent for it. Go Bloooo.

Edited by recketscience, 24 June 2012 - 08:09 AM.

#2 jwillis35


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Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:58 AM

Thanks for your review! Well done!

The Summer is good for 3 things: a) golf, b) working out, and c) drum & bugle corps.  All 3 of those things add up to what I call VACATION!!  :cool:

#3 DCfan76


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Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:06 AM

Good review. Thanks for posting!

#4 mingusmonk


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:39 AM


... I am not sure they can keep going back to the reunion show well.

And next year is their 75th anniversary, right? So count on at least one more year.

Thanks for the review.

Edited by mingusmonk, 25 June 2012 - 08:40 AM.

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