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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/13/2018 in all areas

  1. 21 points
    Ok, home from the show. What a show it was!!!! Despite the line up not being as strong this year, I still believe Mile High Stadium is one of the best venues for drum corps there is....crystal clear skies, GORGEOUS stadium, excellent acoustics, a fantastic breeze...just perfection. Battalion started the show strongly. Definitely a corps that is totally present in the exact spot where they should be in their growth trajectory, if that makes any sense. Not too ambitious, not too easy; just right for their corps right now in terms of achievement and tour capabilities. I truly look forward to seeing the future of this corps! I was very happy to see Scades rebounding strongly after last year's odd dip at the end of the season really seemed to place a step backwards in their solid growth upwards. It will be a battle between Surf, Spartans, Legends, Genesis (in my opinion), and now apparently Guardians, Gold, Louisiana Stars, & Southwind (whew that's a crowded tier) to take the last three spots for Semis. They're solidly in the thick of that group, and a well-designed show, which is always Cascades' strength, will keep them towards the top of that pack. Just clean clean clean it, please. Guard quality seems to be a noticeable step up from last year. I really would love to see this group prove last year as just a one-off backwards step as a result of some end-of-season mishaps & sicknesses. The show is there, it just needs to be cleaned. Frankly, I expected them to pop around a 64 or so tonight --- I was a bit surprised at their stagnant number. Nothing in the show really grabs you and sticks out like the previous few years, but I must say it's all quite interesting and engaging. Definite commitment to the "around" theme. A professional group with a mature design. Oregon Crusaders...I want to love this show so bad, but it did disappoint a bit. I adore everything about this corps every year, so I really wanted to like the show more. A ton of potential, but it honestly didn't get as deeply into The Shining with references as I would have liked....seemed a bit half in-half out with the theme, and if you're doing The Shining (or any literary reference), I need balls to the wall literal references peppered throughout...otherwise the show occupies a vague space between hinting at a design based on a book/movie and being a design based on a book/movie. It was a weird nebulous space that I didn't like the show occupying; I definitely found myself wanting much more and not getting it. The Uninvited ballad right now has a ton of potential (see The Woodlands HS 2011) but just flat out isn't written well, it's a bit of a train wreck with a too-soon, imperfect, and messy climax (and no one wants any climax described by those words), which is sad, because the Danse Macabre & Copland Organ Symphony sections are written WONDERFULLY. It's all good, I'm just not as in love as I was with Hunted, nevermore, Encompass, etc. Gloriously dark in parts and clearly not as thought out in others. And one thing I'm used to from Oregon Crusaders --- 600% commitment to whatever theme they do! I look forward to being fleshed out throughout the season. Unfortunately, there's a ton of cleaning to be done as well, and I don't know if there's a ton of time left for both in the season. Pacific Crest was a real pleasure tonight, and I expect they'll stay above OC the rest of the season, happily occupying an island in 18th place (World Class, BDB & SCVC not counted) the rest of the season. I don't think the corps will touch the Finalist potentials of 17th on down, nor do I think OC, Genesis, Music City, etc will be able to catch them. I loved PC last year, and this year is yet another step up quality-wise, both in terms of design and performance level. Just a ton to love in this show. Incredibly well done from a design standpoint, and very well-executed by the corps. Just a great show. I legitimately loved Troop, and I haven't in the last few years. This is by far the best marriage of Troop tradition and audience-friendly meat that the corps has had since Magnificent 11. Terrific, terrific performance that I truly believe is underrated and has every business hanging with Colts, Scouts (especially Scouts), & Spirit. Sure, Welcome to the Black Parade is an excellent opener, and I love it just as much as everyone else, but the rest of the show is no slouch either --- they're playing the snot out of that Danielpour piece. What I think I love the most is the refreshingly seamless visual transitions from a corps that has given us stilted & forced visuals the last two years. This design is sleek, smooth, and absolutely perfect --- the slow ebbing & flowing of the drill from one side of the field to the other over the course of the show, the transitions of the jackets, the guard integration, it's all just perfect. The mms of Troop this year are dripping with pride & grit in their performance of the show, and I was 100% on board the entire performance with an often-not-favorite corps for me. They really had the audience in the palm of their hands; there's just something magical about this show that we haven't seen since Magnificent 11, a really unique blend of tradition and modern, all wrapped up in an easy to appreciate package. Totally on board with this underrated, under discussed show this season. Speaking of glowing reviews, The Academy will not surprise me in the slightest if they land back in Finals this season. This show is quietly building steam at a rapid pace and doesn't seem to be slowing down --- the design is unquestionably top 12, and the always-talented members of this corps are being given what last year never was: a vehicle that can be perfected instead of constantly rewritten. With a strong show to clean and nothing holding them back, watch out --- The Academy could absolutely edge out any number of last year's bottom 5 finalists. Certainly, their design is superior to Blue Stars or Phantom. What Lindsey Vento seems to have brought to The Academy this year is an unrelenting eye for detail. Everything just WORKS, and every transition is flawless and well though out. The show is just clean, crisp, and classy as hell from top to bottom. If this is the direction the corps is headed, it's hard for me to imagine them not securing a Saturday night spot year after year --- they're just that good, and the design is matching. Smart, mature, detailed, and moving. BK was lovely. Bizarre, but lovely. Hey, isn't that what we love them for? I have to say, this is probably the truest-to-the-original arrangement of various sections of Rite of Spring I've ever heard on the field, marching band or drum corps. And NO ONE does color like BK does. I do wish the visual demand was ramped up a few notches, and I'm afraid visual content will again be their weakness when August rolls around. Color guard is a step up from last year, but still not quite to 2014-2015 levels. I want to rag on the visual design a bit more, but honestly, I'm still trying to figure out if it's actually problematic or if it's merely so far outside of the box that it's jarring me, which would be fine. It's easily the most stripped down and "nude" visual book of anyone in the top 15, and that certainly carves out a unique niche for the corps, and one that they've earned. The brass line is insanely great. SCV, what to even say? Perfection. I would have left happy having only seen SCV tonight and no one else.They're the real deal this year, and that's all I have to say. Totally spellbinding for 15 minutes. I do have a difficult time imagining this corps being bested at the season's end.
  2. 20 points
    Great thing about a show close to home? Visiting the practice site so my daughter can spend time with her cats posted from the DrumScorps app
  3. 17 points
    Lord help me. Screaming high school girls every single time a catch is made. If only I’d gotten this kind of validation every time I played the right note.
  4. 12 points
    Omg it's been like years and you all are STILL complaining about vocals??
  5. 10 points
    When I saw Bluecoats live in Clifton, I was just angry that the marching members all had more comfortable seats than I did.
  6. 10 points
    This year is starting to have a 2015 feel to it. Ink had multiple characters in that show and it took the whole season for that show to come together. BD sorta flew under the radar that year, then owned it at Finals. I love how SCV and Bloo is getting all the attention and as they should. Amazing corps! I actually prefer BD being overlooked. Makes it better at finals when and if BD wins and the shatter of boos and broken hearts that will rain down upon Indy! Do it up Devils!
  7. 9 points
    If all corps did singing like Bloo is doing this year, I’d welcome it with open arms
  8. 9 points
    That was another great performance by Boston! Decided to post the love on here since there seems to be a lot of negativity on the show thread. I love the additions to the show and the amount of movement these members do is just stunning!! Keep it up Boston, you're amazing!!
  9. 9 points
    It's too bad that this absolutely fantastic & memorable Crossmen program is falling on a year stacked with a ton of other incredible designs in their tier. It's really not getting the recognition it deserves, mostly because everyone else in the tier is so good as well. "The In Between" is light years better than the safe-but-ultimately-forgettable vanilla shows they've brought to the table the past two years. I really, *really* appreciate the corps stepping out of its design comfort zone this year, and I do hope they'll find reward for it by the season's end. What a terrifically flavorful & unique show this is turning out to be, with both visual and ESPECIALLY brass demand stepped up greatly from the past few seasons. I applaud Crossmen for taking a big step out of their comfort zone this year.
  10. 9 points
    Finally had time on a long flight to type up my thoughts on the show last night in Denver. I posted this in the Review section, but from the looks of it, that section has really died. Great show overall - surpassed my expectations entirely based on the lineup. (I don't mean that in a negative way like I'm sure it's going to sound! LOL) Yesterday I got to start my Drum Corps season with one of my favorite shows – in absolutely my favorite venue for a show. Mile High is the perfect venue for drum corps - a stellar stadium with great acoustics and always enthusiastic crowds. Despite the warmer than usual weather and a lineup without only one top 6 corps it was a great night and I enjoyed nearly every performance. As I’ve said many times, first viewings can be very tricky – I can’t count the number of times my initial impressions changed dramatically for shows by the time championships have come around. I went into the show “cold” not having seen or heard any corps online this year even, and in many cases not even knowing programming or show themes ahead of time. I had a great friend with me who has come to this show with me many times, and also another friend who was seeing their first ever show. The Battalion – So great to see this new corps continue to grow and mature. While the youthfulness of the corps is apparent in execution, they seem to be growing more confident and competent each year. The horn line seems to be their strength so far – both in numbers and performance. I’m excited to see where this corps goes – hopefully to ultimately include rising to the World Class Ranks in a few years. Glad to see they are taking the correct approach with building a foundation and gradual growth Cascades – Alright! I really liked Cascades show. The horn line is again large and continuing to mature year over year. There is good solid demand in the book and the ensemble sound is a times very nice. They show seems well-written to their age levels. Both brass & percussion seem to be above the guard at this time. There is some really nice use of rotating props with soloists on them that fit the theme of the show quite well. Very enjoyable show – can’t wait to see where they take it. Oregon Crusaders – While there are strong visual references to “The Shining” program theme (and a few tasty voice-overs that I hope they have licensing for) with the guard costumes, the horn line costumes, etc, this show just didn’t connect with me. Yes, the music needs to be dark given the program, but there is very little that drew me into the show. The book is clearly challenging and it seems as if they are still focused on the basic execution issues. Hopefully the staff can help the members embrace and emote or communicate the show as the season progresses. One cool thing I didn’t’ realize until the very end – there is a cool abstract likeness of Nicholson on the black side of the uniform jacket. Either there was a change made right before the end, or I was just very slow to catch it. This was the least favorite show – by far – for both myself and both of my friends. At this point in the season it doesn’t come close to the quality of design or performance from that wonderful “Nevermore” show from a few season ago – I hope they get there! Pacific Crest – I liked this show, but I also felt it’s missing something. Perhaps part of it is tempos that are under where they could be in the first parts of the show? The ideas are cute and well relayed, and as usual there is a very competent horn line with a nice ensemble sound. The music is very melodic and recognizable. It’s hard to put a finger on what’s missing for me at this point. I will enjoy seeing it several more times, though! Troopers – Whoa! Yes, that’s a show that feels like World Class Drum Corps to me. While my newbie friend was enjoying the show prior to Troopers a great deal – he was almost giddy with how much Troopers blew him away with their emotion, performance levels, music & visual books. I leaned over and told him, welcome to what drum corps can do when they have that combination. This is already my favorite Troopers show since Wild Horses. It’s always a challenge for the design staff to capture the right direction for a show on a big Anniversary year with a traditional corps with a strong alumni base. I thought Troopers absolutely nailed it with nods to tradition and nods to modern and current drum corps. The music book was extremely enjoyable, and the corps has the makings of another strong brass line yet again. On the downside, while I think their material could make a run to edge of top 12, they have a ton of cleaning to do visually, and the visual issues impact the music towards the last 3rd of the show. Clean, Clean, Clean and build up endurance and this will be a much appreciated show in Indy. Academy – Another corps I thoroughly enjoyed! THIS feels like the show that should have followed their Drum Corpse Bride Top 12 breakthrough. Mature, demanding and emotionally impactful design performed by what I think are easily their best guard and brass sections yet. The Keating piece from the end of Dead Poets Society is very moving and makes me wonder what took so long for someone to pull it into a show. While no expert, I think the percussion session has work to do to rise to the level of the guard. I also really hope they cut down on the # of Oh Captain, My Captain vocals at the end of the show. It almost feels like they are trying to recreate a “I am Spartacus” crowd engagement that is just not going to happen, as it doesn’t fit the beautiful, moving music like the adrenaline pump at the end of that show. From costumes to music & visual book to already impressive performance levels, I’m excited to see where Academy takes this show. An A-minus for early July – that’s fantastic! My 2 friends loved Academy. Blue Knights – Not the easiest year to go last at their home show after Vanguard sucked all the already thin oxygen out of mile high, but I was pleasantly surprised by BK & their show. Great to hear the rich and powerful brass sound continuing after the brass caption change for sure. Also, I loved that this show has more drill and more visual definition than last year. The music book is enjoyable, and the ending is strong. It will take another listen or two for me to decide just how much I like this arrangement of Rite of Spring, but it has it’s moments. Also, they do a great job with props that they use different sides & colors to enhance different moods with quite well. Cadets & Phantom better be careful or BK will once again knock people off – despite the fact that many absurdly count them out year after year. Great organization here is not missing a beat. Vanguard – Holy @$%@. WOW. Vanguard is on fire. This is one hell of an intense, passionate, powerful show that is vintage Vanguard. The hornline, drumline & guard are the best I’ve seen from Vanguard since 1999. Searing music performed exceptionally well. Both friends totally blown away. This show seemed like it was over in 5 mins. That good. It’s also a bit of a blur, and I can’t wait to see it again. So many layers, and done incredibly well. The props are done in just a fantastic way. The expansion, contraction and changes to them fit the show well and were done in a very seamless way (one first viewing). The white unis look fantastic, and finally, a corps that demonstrated a great understanding of how to contract color with the guard, with the rich reds & orangs in the guard uni. Such a great show on every level. I never fully felt Vanguard last year was ready to grab the ring. Not so this year. My only quibble would be a lack of field coverage and drill at this point, but with current adjudication (ala Bluecoats 2016), that may or may not matter. I wanted to see this show again moments after it was over. Go Vanguard!
  11. 9 points
    Similar experience a week ago, but with dogs.
  12. 9 points
    I just know walking off the field seeing their faces and knowing I am playing a role in that, however small it may be, is an incredible feeling and one of the most rewarding moments in my life so far.
  13. 9 points
    How can anyone not love the Rite of Spring?
  14. 9 points
    Great job tonight Crown! The BEAST released a high percussion, high brass, high music night. Visual gap that had been big has tightened. Hoping to see GE tighten some more tomorrow. Good luck in St. Louis!
  15. 9 points
    Chronology of Cadets' show themes in 2016: 1) Stoned 2) Awakening 3) Statues Awakening 4) It Sure looked Good On Paper 5) What The #### Are We Doing Out Here???
  16. 8 points
    Could the Crusader's win the Gold Medal by simulating the effect of having been rescued from their island by not showing up for the finals, claim it as a performance, and score the first perfect score in the history of D.C.I.?
  17. 8 points
    I'm gonna stick my neck out and predict the Blue Devils will win tonight.
  18. 8 points
    So at the beginning of the slow movement I started welling up. It was just so beautiful. Then during Ballet Sacra I just lost it! I hope I wasn't sobbing. Show is so wonderful. 2nd standing O of the day (Mandarins were first). Guard has done an incredible amount of cleaning. I love it. I've got nothing else.
  19. 8 points
    Made my heart sing to seeThe Cadets with so much fire in them.
  20. 8 points
    Now I see why you have a negative rating. Geez...
  21. 8 points
    And here I thought you were their biggest fan.
  22. 8 points
  23. 8 points
    small hint.....there's still far more males participating in drum corps than females. And if you create shows and hire people that kids want to be a part of....talent comes. gender aside, Madison's leadership is echoing many of the things people complained about for cadets the last several years
  24. 8 points
    1. Bluecoats - 88.45 (GE, Perc., Brass) 2. Boston Crusaders - 86.2 (Guard) SHOCK THE WORLD 3. The Cavaliers - 86.0 4. Blue Devils - 85.85 5. Carolina Crown - 85.1 6. The Cadets - 82.6 7. Phantom Regiment - 80.0 8. Mandarins - 79.5 9. Blue Stars - 79.35 10. Crossmen - 78.75 11. Spirit of Atlanta - 75.4 12. Colts - 75.2 13. Madison Scouts -73.9 14. Genesis - 69.5 15. Music City - 68.25 16. Jersey Surf - 66.2 17. Legends - 63.1 18. Pioneer - 51.25 19. Colt Cadets - 50.5 20. Shadow - 49.5 Who knows... we're all just spitballin' here...
  25. 8 points
    Not sure you really answered the question about "inadequate". Honestly that word choice seems more of an insult than design term. But..whatever. Most of your commentary seems to center around a few themes: First, you don't think the production fits your expectation of a show title "Beast". This is completely fair. I agree that it's not clear at all what Crown is going for (and that's entirely their fault). I believe you're off-track when you're trying to find a story or plot. I don't think it's there at all. In my view this is an abstract show about the nature of the beast (maybe even the "beast" nature inside each of us). I have no doubt the judges have a clear understanding of the designers intent. But the designers have a duty to take the audience on the journey - not just the judges. This same criticiism can be leveled at many DCI shows (eg. the BD show is incomprehensible if you're not aware of the painting. Once you have that knowledge its all makes far more sense). Now to the details you mentioned: The bone yard. Not sure where anyone is picking up teeth or claws. Those comments seem deliberately obscure. I saw it and thought bones. When you see lots of bones lying around, somethings been doing a lot killing. Appropriateness of music. Well I think you're applying your beast story to the music and it's not fitting. OTOH the question of "why does this piece of music" is a perfectly valid question that Crown leaves unanswered. Certainly there is plenty of powerful, aggressive music but how does its take us on a journey through the show? The ballad shows a tender side to the beast aspect and certainly suggests that nature of beast is not entirely about strength and aggression. And while the ending has a sense of conclusion, not being able to say what that conclusion is certainly can leave you wanting. Reliance on the horn line. Well I have to admit this made me laugh. Last year we heard from you and many others: "Why make that wonderful horn line a backup band for the vocalist?" Now we hear "Oh you're featuring the horn line too much". Make up your mind! As for the brass being the only section featured, I'd disagree. This is as percussion-heavy a show as Crown has ever done. And the guard is frequently the center of attention. The beast prop. I disagree that it's treated as an obstacle. It's just there like any other "flat" you'd see in a show. While constantly pushing props around the field is a choice, so is just putting a picture on the field. Crowns production relies far more on drill and staging than rolling props around ; the props just set the atmosphere. If you haven't seen the show before, do you wonder what the nessie prop is? Does it's purpose create a sense of intrigue? Are you surprised when it becomes active? Certainly once you've seen it, it's no mystery. Being able to put that aside and react on the merits is why judges get paid the big bucks. I think you missed a few things like color palette and costuming. The guard is really well integrated but their costuming doesn't give them a great deal of contrast with the brass/battery; they get a bit lost. The overall picture is just a little too busy. The dangles under the arms of the brass are really creepy -- they look like another set of arms. But they don't help with form clarity or individual marching. Given that dark, busy stage the flag designs also sometimes just get lost. We'll see what happens here. It's not like flags are so expensive you can't ditch them and reload. Just to summarize, your main point seems to be "I don't get it". I think every single Crown fan is right with you; we don't quite get it yet either. But -- as fans -- we're hoping things become clearer as they season progresses. Look at what just adding a little girl did to Ink; things suddenly crystallized. Of course there's also the technical strength of the performers and the program to consider. We'll see what happens. As fans we're working like to crazy to see the glass half-full! But thanks for taking the time to actually respond. Your long response was far better than your "inadequate" quip. Perhaps finding a happy medium might lead to better discussions in the future.
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