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  1. 38 points
    ...you get a first good look at your kid in action. He's the one in the center-back. He put a lot of years of dreaming into being out there. Couldn't be happier for him!
  2. 35 points
    Sorry at how scatter brained/off the cuff this is. Wanna get it done while it's still fresh on my mind but I'm pretty wiped right now. I was in Broken Arrow, Belton, and San Antonio. Got to see all 23 WC at least once, most twice, and Carolina Crown three times. Every single show that I thought I hated was way better live, can't say there are any shows I have distaste for. Certainly some personal preference but there isn't anything scoring wise that has me ripping my hair out. Interacted with a ton of amazing friends, fans, a few MMs, and people. Even got to meet @Terri Schehr and @Jim Schehr! If they're at a show you're at go talk to them.......so approachable and friendly! The community of this activity is what keeps me coming back, it's an amazing group of people. Every single performer did an amazing job out there, there is something memorable in every single show I thought. Was incredibly impressed from top to bottom. I'm gonna keep this thing mostly positive with a few small things. I'll do a more refined/focused one at the end of the season. But for now....... Sound Sport First time I've seen some Sound Sport ensembles live and I was really impressed, Horizon especially. Such a professionally designed and fantastically performed for the size of the ensemble show from them. Arsenal and Bayou City Blues were a blast. Guardians - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy I was not sure at all what to expect from this show but ####, I was so incredibly impressed especially from a design perspective. This is leaps and bounds better than last years show and that was great too. The use of that ramp prop was World Class level stuff. Brass had some great power moments, with time they're gonna be great. Percussion was fantastic, great playing and they have an incredible presence. And that guard.......wow. They were so fun to watch, the featured performer (or it might have been more than one) stole the show. She owned it. Oh, and the uniforms looked awesome on the field. Loved the leg colorings. Great stuff. @MikeN, hope you had a great time seeing your daughter perform. You should be VERY proud. Pioneer - Irish on Broadway That singer is incredible, sad her mic cut out in San Antonio but I got to hear her in Belton too and she is phenomenal. I Love what they do with the barricade props towards the end in terms of staging/playing through them. And finally, just a show with music I love I can just sit back and enjoy. Jersey Surf - Make it Our Own First of all, I felt so bad in Belton, the props got pretty wrecked by the wind, it seemed like the performance was REALLY shaky. But in San Antonio they blew the house down, don't think I've ever seen a reaction like that to the second World Class corps performing. Beautiful use of color including the newly fleshed out props, and in the guard as well. Some BIG sounds coming out of that hornline, especially in the ballad and closer. And that plume change, that kind of stuff never gets old. Just need to clean clean clean but this is the most mature/enjoyable show I have seen out of them in years. Seattle Cascades - Set Free I don't care what the scores say, this is their best corps in years. Such an energetic and accessible program from beginning to end. Love the entire visual aesthetic of this show, so pleasing to look at. And the Sia/Shostakovich layover in the closer is about as awesome as that "Black Hole Sun"/"Jupiter" mashup in 2015. Amazing arranging Mr. Norfleet. And wow.......I had just assumed the voice was a sample. She is LIVE??? AWESOME! She sounds amazing, awesome job to her. They should try to find a way to stage her so that's more obvious because she deserves it. Great to see the color guard growing, the stuff with the wings was fantastic. Brass was very solid and percussion was great. All in all very entertaining and their best corps in years IMO. Genesis - The Other Side of Now They really brought the house down, they seemed twice as loud in the dome as they did in Belton. That brass sounds so...so...so good. No shocker with Jason Buckingham at the helm. So many awesome BIG moments throughout the show like the first big Hide and Seek hit in the opener and the one in the Both Sides Now ballad. And I never get tired of a good ole charge the stands ending getting right up in the audiences faces. Great stuff. The show is pretty familiar territory thematically but they sell it incredibly well. Oregon Crusaders - EnCompass This show with a few more weeks could be super dangerous, incredibly mature and difficult programming for this bracket in all captions. Brass and percussion are as good as ever, and the color guard is the best I think I've ever seen it from them. Love the usage of the U2/Enya to really enhance the Elgar stuff, it brings another layer that gave the show a very ethereal and beautiful vibe. The ballad was a musical highlight of the whole week for me, just letting a piece breathe and develop can do amazing things, loved it. And the guard work during it is fantastic, love the paired stuff. Dang, new ending since I saw it last. VERY cool stuff, can't wait to see that cleaned. Really enjoyed them. Pacific Crest - Golden State of Mind Brass has some serious punch in this show, way more presence than last years show. Alfonso Muskedunder is so so so much fun, love it when corps let their hair down like that. Also really liked their treatment of the Lost Soundtrack in the ballad, very nice breather from the rest of the show. And love the full circle approach of the reprise of "California Dreaming" at the end. Percussion is very solid as always, and I love the use of color in the guard throughout, the gold at the end is very striking. Just a very fun, easy to watch, and well performed show. Spirit of Atlanta - Crossroads: We Are Here This show is an eclectic blast musically, so many different styles and textures they use. It's old Spirit of Atlanta with some new direction. I loved the Vienna Teng ballad, her music is amazing and I'm glad to see more of it being used. And their arrangement of Shofukan is off the hook fun. First brass impact was GREAT, they can really push the volume. TONS of color in the guard, interested in what all the different costuming/props represent. Percussion is very solid as well. Visual performance not as strong as music, still lots of time left though. Very enjoyable show. Colts - Both Sides Now I really enjoy this show, it has a beautiful understated quality to it. Love that build in the opener, very pretty. Highlight of the show for me is the ballad, that drum major/trombone soloist is easily one of my favorite soloists this year. Absolutely beautiful tone and musicality. Love the guard as well in this, that unison work at the climax is gorgeous. Brass and percussion really shine in the latter half of the show, those last big chords before the soft ending really have some punch to them. Not much else to say other than beautiful show. Troopers - Duels and Duets I have always enjoyed Troopers drum majors back to my infancy as a fan in the late 2000s, but Gabe man, you're on another level. I had a freaking blast watching you conduct. The transition into the Puccini ballad and the ballad itself are what I love most about drum corps. Loud, beautiful, emotional, and BIG music. And the percussion.........so so so tasty in writing and teaching. The front ensemble kinda Latin sounding stuff is to die for. Wish it was as strong visually as it was musically, if it was I think they'd be punching higher than they are but they made some improvements throughout the show. I see myself listening to this one a lot over the winter this coming year. The Academy - By a Hare I am so glad to see them really start to buy into this show, it's starting to really sell. So many recognizable and fantastic musical moments, the Anvil Chorus one in the closer is especially great. Some incredibly tasty percussion playing throughout the show, they're great this year. And they sound absolutely beautiful in terms of music ensemble sound. Guard antics got pretty good reactions at the two shows I attended, they're starting to be a lot more convincing. I think some of the changes/rewrites maybe put them a little bit behind in terms of performance but it's getting there. I think this is a show that has gotten a bit more grief that I'd expect it to, I think part of that is coming off of last year. Regardless, I'm excited to see where they take it. Madison Scouts - Last Man Standing Man, of all the corps I saw more than once these guys were the most improved the week of San Antonio. I wasn't a huge fan in Belton but something clicked in San Antonio. I don't think you can watch this the way you would a traditional show, now that it's sunk in it's actually incredibly intriguing. The brass sounds HUGE in that first big entrance, absolutely love the usage of trombones there and throughout. Really like the quirky darkness of the Bartok, the big moment in the ballad is GREAT, and "Music for Prague" really brings to life the angst and intensity of this show. O2 drum feature is really starting to sell. Color guard had some really great moments, love that flag feature in the ballad. Just keep selling and keep digging in with the theme and I think this show will really start to sparkle. Mandarins - Inside the Ink Oh man. This is a show from the second they enter the field to the second they exit. So many amazing moments to pick from, the ballad is definitely a highlight but I think this drum feature might be my favorite drum feature of the year. It's just so.........bad ### in every single way. It has Ike Jackson written all over it. Love the tone of the brass and how much of the low brass comes through. And that guard........####. Blew me away. They REALLY sell the insanity aspect of them theme so well. Love the new ending, the tarps are really cool and I love the added velocity in the drill. This show is just textbook good design in every way. Top 12 or not, what an incredible season so far for them and their future is incredibly bright. Blue Stars - Star Crossed/Belton Encore I really don't care what the recap says, this brass section is otherworldly awesome. The high brass is especially good, the clarity in those HUGE mellophone chords in the opener in that high brass feature right after the ballad is incredible. The tricks and things this guard attempts year after year never lose their shock value, there are very few color guards that entertain me that much. And the percussion is as bad ###/intense/fun to watch as ever. They are HOT. Show is really starting to come together, I think it'd be stupid to count this one out of moving up. There are so many great moments throughout, the opening few minutes are especially strong and I love the ballad and closer as well. Drum feature is the only part where I'm thinking they could finalize some layering and change a few things. Regardless, I think it has a ton of potential for growth. If this show is 11th, it's only because there are 10 amazing corps above them. Also, that encore in Belton was AMAZING. Getting to hear them play La Vie en Rose and Shofukan up close and personal was easily one of my favorite moments of the week. They sounded incredible. Crossmen - The Enigma They grab you by the balls from the get go with that soloist/drum feature start and do not let go. That first hit is EXPLOSIVE. Ballad soloist is fantastic and when the whole brassline comes in that was.......oof. Awesome. And the clarity of the articulations of the brass throughout but especially the closer was amazing, you could drive a truck through the space in those notes in the featured articulated passages. They were HOT HOT HOT in San Antonio. I'm really starting to get the show overall and I'm glad they're using the props a lot more, or I just had noticed before. I am interested in how much further they can take this because it comes off as super complete and very clean to me. Blue Knights - i The Beck and Schwantner........oh man. That's some of the freshest percussion and brass writing I've heard in a long time. Those drums are absolutely insane, and the brass side to side passages were INCREDIBLE from a timing standpoint. Wow. Loving the guard changes in the percussion concerto, the flags are WAY more effective than the discs ever were or were going to be. Incredible control and contrast in the closer, it's some of the most musically interesting stuff I heard all week from a dynamic standpoint. I'm really starting to come around to this show overall, kinda shocked at where they finished, because the brass and percussion are top tier. Phantom Regiment - Phantasm This show has come such a long way and still has so much room to grow, I give them credit for attempting such a difficult show. Brass is getting there, still some intonation and tone things throughout but I attribute that more to what they're having to do drill wise while playing. Very solid percussion stuff, some cool writing in the Jarre section. Color guard improved a ton from Broken Arrow to San Antonio, they had a WAY better run on Saturday. And it obviously showed in the recap, not sure about 4th but I'm no guard expert. Loving the new flags at the end, very impactful paired with the white skirts. They're starting to sell me overall, more so visually than on the musical/overall concept side of things. Not huge on the SUPER Broken Arrow voiceovers saying fantasy, invasion, madness, and whatever else ten billion times but I'll not let that ruin a show for me. They have limitless potential this year, interested in how far they take this thing. The Cadets - The Faithful, The Fallen, The Forgiven I have to give them credit for having one of the most unique shows from a pacing standpoint I've ever seen, don't think I've experienced anything like it. Simple Song in the opener is beautiful. Agnus Dei is straight up Cadets with some singers thrown on top, great job to them by the way throughout. The middle portion of the show does feel really long, but it has some incredibly fun moments, especially towards the end of it. New closer definitely has more punch than the old one did. The two big things that turn me off some are still the narrated/dialogue bits and the last uniform change. The rest of the show is what it is and it's incredibly clear without it being told to us. But overall, it's starting to come together and kudos to those members for attacking so many changes/additions head on. They're beasts being able to tackle that stuff. This show has a pretty high ceiling, they're in a potentially good place depending on how they move from here. Boston Crusaders - Wicked Games I don't think I have a single negative thing to say about this show; I think this was my favorite of the week. It's 12 minutes of perfectly spaced amazing moments and being sold by 150 incredible performers. Musical construction as I've said before is amazing, the pacing, layering of voice overs into the music, use of voice in the texture of the brass in the ballad, and use of the front ensemble as a thread to weave together the whole show is just absolutely masterful. Visually it's the same thing. Your eye is guided so well to every single big event and moment and is sold by what I thought was easily one of the best guards on the field at both shows that I saw. They grab you by the throat and do not let go for the whole show. I was so blown away by them, the work and performance quality selling the characterization of this show is amazing. The singer in the ballad, she looks and sounds like she's part of a high end theatrical production and her voice is incredible. She sounds like she is singing with a purpose. Brass and percussion are fantastic, the control and clarity in that opening statement from the brass is so tasteful, and the percussion throughout is text book McNutt/Moyer. Those rim shots going into "Grohg" are so tasteful and their features in that section and the Ginastera are absolutely fantastic. The usage of themes in the front ensemble throughout again is so good; I love how "Moonlight Sonata" kept finding its way back in throughout the show. The ending........screw historical accuracy. That is one of the most enthralling things I have ever experienced at a drum corps show. The little addition of that smoke just puts the cherry on top, but that chord in the brass at the end..........wow. Had me on my feet well before the end at both shows; this is one of the most entertaining experiences I've had the pleasure of experiencing as a drum corps fan. Finally, I love the fact they're not shying away from such dark material and selling it in a way that's appealing. That's hard to do. And as I told the souvenir lady in Belton, those members are kicking ###. The Cavaliers - Men Are From Mars Man. Texas loves them some Cavaliers. And so do I. Easily one of my top three favorites from the last week. Like Bluecoats their confidence/performance quality/personality/etc. when they perform is so so so fun. Lets start with the obvious. That guard. Incredible. The athleticism and level of performance of this incredibly hard program is absolutely enthralling to watch. That 20 yard flag exchange near the end of "Little Green Men" is jaw dropping. A breeze caught that thing in Broken Arrow and almost sent it into the stands which added a whole other level of oh ####. lol Love the rifle stuff in "Mars"/"My Way" as well. Percussion is old school awesome in your face cool splits and tricks POWER playing, the stuff at the end is so awesome. I sat in front of a tenor (I think) grandma in San Antonio, and told she should be very proud. As should our resident @PopcornEater1963. Brass has made TONS of progress and they're really starting to hang with the big boys. Technical passages are starting to sound tight and that ballad is really starting to reminisce of their mid 2000s ones. I love the theme and its underlying messages. TONS of emotions and tones in this show, I still think the middle section is absolutely hilarious. I wonder what the joke was in San Antonio......his mic cut out as he was telling it. BUT we did get to hear some super tasty bass splits. They were one of the crowd favorites in San Antonio easily, there is just a aura about them that makes them hard not to love. Last thing, that section leading into the ballad with the flag exchange and whiplash drill and insane keyboard stuff and all that is some of the coolest run and gun stuff I've seen in recent memory. This show is a blast. Bluecoats - Jagged Line It's a pretty freaking good year when a show like this is sitting in 4th. I still think they're a change/cleaning away from easily fighting for a medal but we shall see. Opener timing seemed pretty solid, maybe a bit more so in Broken Arrow. No guard expert but I still love that opening flag feature right up front, it's incredibly exciting to watch. "Psychopomp" is a ton of fun, some incredibly cool time signature/timing stuff they do. That 20 yard tenor feature still blows my mind. And that snake drill REALLY got that crowd hyped up at both shows I went to. I personally really like the ballad live, I think the contrast of what you see/expect to happen when they turn around and what actually happens is pretty cool. But to each their own. Soloist was great. Psathas is really starting to cook for me, no one ever seems to talk about the absolutely ridiculous keyboard stuff that goes on in this. FANTASTIC stuff. Aggressiveness of the drums is new for me, usually their writing is much more laid into the texture/relaxed but this is a fun change. Zappa is where the fun really begins for me. In Broken Arrow especially, the clarity of the hornline reaches its greatest point here, some incredibly complex time/rhythmic stuff that might not be your traditional technical run but it's just as impressive to me. But above all else it's just a fun, let their hair down, and entertaining piece of music. Ending is still....wow. When they hit that snake with the two soloists (the one on the right using a pedal is SO cool!) the crowd went nuclear, especially when it hits that reprise. The low brass sprinting down that ramp is still as terrifying and awesome as ever, and those ear splitting power shots and the end are everything. They are easily a crowd favorite and was encouraging to see them inch closer on Saturday. The season really has just begun, and I can't wait to see this thing clean/enhance. The way those performers look like they're enjoying the show is so infectious, I have a blast watching them perform. Carolina Crown - It Is I came into this week REALLY thinking I was going to really dislike this show. They're starting to sell me. I'll work backwards. That closer is so so so dependent and features the percussion HEAVILY. That was incredibly bold move on their part and man. They pull it off. After years of people (IMO in most cases unfairly) using the percussion as the scapegoat for their scoring shortcomings, they are undeniably good. It's an incredibly agressive and in your face book with some absolutely ear splitting stuff in the closer. It's a blast. And that Carolina Crown bass 5 solo built into the closer is fantastic. Love it. Ballad is really nice, still is a pretty stark contrast to the rest of the show but in itself it's really started to work. Brass sounds gorgeous underneath it. The Giannini/Ives/etc. section is a ton of fun, like the play with the props and deconstructing the field (just hope no one ever catches one of those boards and bites it). And the Bach opener. As soon as they play the first note you know this hornline is incredible. The restraint and builds/falls volume wise display their incredible musicality right from the get go. Overall I think the show is super obvious myself, and I don't mean that in a bad way just that I definitely get it. They always have a trick up their sleeve in terms of late season additions so I'm excited to see those. Color guard is getting the same kind of grief percussion did in recent years which IMO isn't fair. I think for a staff change and what seem like an incredible amount of amazing guards they're doing fine. Just need some time to get more confident and a lot of issues will fix themselves. Enjoyment grew with each consecutive viewing. Santa Clara Vanguard - Ouroboros Oh my God. This show is one of the most seamless, coordinated, detailed, freshest, and enthralling shows I've ever seen live. Even up close where I could see a lot of corps tricks/equipment changes/etc. coming I could not with SCV. The way they use the props to hide members, equipment changes, etc. is just all a masterful game of "WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM???". Every little thing is effective. So elephant in the room is the featured performers vs. the rest of the hornline. I really don't mind it, they're not trying to hide this with some mics hidden in the corps and playing a trick on us, they're obviously featured throughout and I like the uniform change to highlight that. They're absolute virtuosic animals. The rest of the hornline is not backup to them, they have PLENTY of very intricate and hard passages and they're hauling ### doing it most of the time. IF they can match the featured performers in performance it'll really be amazing and they're getting there. Other sections, the percussion is as amazing as always. I didn't really enjoy the book on its own (this was VERY early in the season) but the way it's woven into the horn book is MASTERFUL, it's so organic and plays so well with the brass stuff from Shaw. And of course they perform it at the highest of levels, loved the basses spinning on the prop right after the ballad is over. Color guard seems like their best in.......a long time? They're amazing, the featured male performer is amazing. And that flag work in the closer is to die for. The highlight of this show is the ballad for me, incredible use of velocity in atypical ways and some incredible restraint and use of tension/release. I think this show simply comes down to performance. I think the risk/reward balance of this show is pretty extreme on both ends. If it gets clean enough..........this is gonna get really interesting. Regardless of that, easily one of my and both audiences I saw it with favorites. It's the IT show this year. Blue Devils - Metamorph I'm going to get my one major personal complaint out of the way. WAY...TOO...MUCH...BASS. Like Oh my God. I thought that was gonna reach brown note frequency from South Park levels, it's LOUD. Might be better up top but where I was it was a good few times louder than anyone elses. Ok. That's done. And I think they had some soloist mics out in San Antonio but they still projected very well where I was. On to the show. The way they perform is just second to none in confidence/professionalism/and clarity. Everything they do is done at the highest of levels. I love how from the get go of this show they put everything on super high exposure. 16 member snare feature is INCREDIBLY exposed and risky, that kind of writing and playing has to be nailed perfectly to sound clean and they're getting there with every show. And the rifle work and file marching across the field have to be impeccable too or it won't work. Love the added drill towards the end of the opening statement. Bumblebee is starting to sound really good, they've rewritten some ends of phrases and added some landing points that give it more accuracy and clarity. Starting to really cook. And man, I don't know much about guard but their rifles throughout, but especially this part were otherworldly awesome to watch. The ease they toss some of those INSANELY high tosses with blows my drummer mind. "Everything Must Change" is a ball buster, that's about as old school park and bark (I USE THAT IN A GOOD WAY HERE) ear shattering straight up music as it gets and people are still complaining about it. Oh well, I loved it. And the level of talent in those soloists is just insane, they all sound incredible. Trumpet feature immaculate. Closer still isn't my favorite thing in the world but I just apply my own personal preference to that, I will say that it is incredibly dense in terms of simultaneous events going on and I could probably find something new for years now which I have come to expect/love from them. Sitting down low I sure never thought hmm.........they sure are not moving any. They might not be marching 4 - 5 220 or whatever but it's smart. It's allowing them to max out. And if they max out too early I'm sure they'll add something else. All in all, they perform at a level that is their own and they really sold me on this thing, it's mind blowing how good they are.
  3. 31 points
  4. 30 points
    Can I get this off my chest? I love Crown. I'm a brass player and they make my socks roll up and down. But that singer...Bless your heart darlin' and I know you're trying but...
  5. 28 points
    Or maybe, just maybe, because it IS their 60th and 50th year anniversaries respectively, that they took even greater care to choose their staff, corps, and show design even more carefully than they usually do, so as to put out the best product they possibly could to celebrate their illustrious histories? Nah, that couldn't be it.
  6. 28 points
    I was on the side two 45 yardline about 5 rows up. EVERYONE was WAY better live. I didn't hate anyone, and actually found something in each show I loved. That said, lots to......discuss. Blue Devils - I really feel like sitting low killed this show for me. It was 12 minutes of getting screamed at through speakers, the bass thunderous goo and the solos were bone shattering loud where I was. Their whole show sounded synthetic. And on top of that there was no dynamic variance to me, it was either kinda loud or REALLY LOUD. Ballad was awesome but everything after that still seems incredibly schizophrenic and I didn't know what to look for or listen to. Front half was fine. Percussion has bitten off A LOT. That book is nearly impossible. Being up close I was shocked at what seemed like a lack of attention to details in terms of props, uniform changes, equipment changes, etc. Feel like I need to see it again which I do in San Antonio. Was incredibly impressed by how good they are but was expecting more with the numbers they're putting up. Santa Clara Vanguard - Juxtaposed against BD........this show is immaculately designed down to every detail. Equipment changes were SEAMLESS, members were popping in and out of nowhere, it just felt like every single little thing was planned. Featured performers are OBVIOUSLY the featured performers and the brass line has PLENTY to work with, so the myth of all of hard stuff being handed off to the 12 is just that.......a myth. Percussion took my breath away as always and the guard was mesmerizing. That said, it's all gonna come down to achievement. Out of all the corps tonight this show felt like the biggest risk/reward payoff or downfall potential this year. If it gets clean......they're gonna soar. If not. Well. Getting beat by about .5 happens. Bluecoats - Well. I know which show I wanna see again. I thought the ballad was awesome live, when they turn around and you expect that sound to die away and echo and suddenly BOOM it's right in front of you was super effective to me in terms of playing with what you see and hear. Lets talk about ZAPPA. Zomby Woof was probably the single most fun thing I've ever seen at a live drum corps show, and that Psychopomp reprise to the end was fantastic. I enjoyed this WAY more than last years show live in Denton and I loved that. The members look like they 100% believe in and enjoy this show which IMO translated to the audience, it was infectious. Dirtier than the 3 that placed above them? Yes. That much dirtier? I don't know. But who the hell cares. I want more ZAPPA. The Cadets - Some amazing highs in the opener/Agnus Dei and the Fallen section and some incredible lows in the narration and heavy handedness and what is one of the worst uniform changes I've ever seen on the football field in the closer. I was hoping that was gonna go away but they managed to make it worse and enhance it by bringing out a cross tarp and throwing their discarded uniforms on them as they stand in the same area for a minute killing any visual momentum this show has into a pretty stock and expected ending. This show feels like the polar opposite of last year. Awakening was very difficult to follow and interpret and way too vague. This year is 12 minutes of getting beat with a cross and a bible. The corps was stronger than I was expecting, still LOTS to clean visually though. Blue Knights - They sound like a top tier corps, but don't look like one. I understand everything they're doing with the unconventional guard equipment but it still has nowhere near the effect or presence of when they're on traditional equipment. LOVE the Beck and Schwartner. When they got done with the Schwartner I was drooling at this show. And then Bjork went on.......and on.......and on.......and on......and not a huge change of tone in Hide And Seek. Not sure about the arrangement of the closer......I REALLY appreciate the dynamic contrast which the hornline pulled off MASTERFULLY, but it felt chunky. I did really enjoy it overall though, and that percussion......man. They're AMAZING. Phantom Regiment - Hornline sounded better live than I was expecting but definitely a noticeable level below everyone else tonight to my ear. They start to sell me........and then Broken Arrow voiceover lady shows up with fantasy.......fantasy......invasion.......fantasy.......fantasy.......invasion........madness........fantasy.........ugh. Not sure if this show is the cliche of all cliches dark to light show or if it's something else but I didn't follow. Loved the use of color and they play about as many notes and march as intensely as anyone else. Just question if they're gonna be able to get clean enough. This show (design) just feels like it belongs on the field at a BOA show in the fall. It's incredibly mimic-y of Wes Cartwright's high school shows to the point it just feels like another one. Carolina Crown - Very clean. Hornline is amazing. They march VERY well. Singer is very talented. But.........if you're trying to sell your show as an evolution of what drum corps was to what they think drum corps is/is going to be a bunch of gimmicks I've seen before, don't really sell me on that. This show feels like it would have worked five - ten years ago though obviously the judges disagree with me on that. It just feels a bit......pretentious. That said, they do sound amazing and are very clean. The Cavaliers - Fun fun FUN. Loved it, incredibly entertaining and I thought their hornline followed up Carolina Crown GREATLY tonight, I wasn't expecting nearly as much sound as they gave me on the first big turn around. Percussion was off the charts awesome, and the color guard REALLY stole the show. This show is exceptional visually, so much exciting stuff to watch. They really play to their strengths and it works incredibly well for them. Like last year........the members made it impossible for me to not love this show, they're so engaging and incredibly fun to watch. Really enjoyed it.
  7. 28 points
    Parent of a first year DCI MM this year. And just wondering if the whole notion of "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" has ever been introduced to this community. I really don't mind at all reading constructive criticism of all the corps as long as that's what it is. But when it turns mean, rude, vitriolic, and just crusty, I have to wonder what joy people get out of trashing 17-22 year old kids who are busting their ### for 16 hours a day to make themselves better. My kid marched 2 years of DCA so I stayed mainly in the DCA section of Drum Corps Planet. And for the most part, that seems to be a fairly polite community that encourages all the corps in the activity. In one month of posting here, ( and now 4 days of shows rolling out), I've seen things posted about the shows, the corps, the staffs, etc. that simply make my heart hurt. Criticism? Sure... "I think XYZ Corps could improve by doing ABC"...for sure...bring it on. Nastiness? No..."This show is an absolute trainwreck. The whole staff should be fired and the kids sent home tomorrow." Nope. Not appropriate. Rant over.
  8. 27 points
    Overheard some kids from Crown talking as I was walking about and one kids said "man I just really want people to like our show this year". I stopped and told them I love the show and to please tell the singer she is doing a wonderful job. Their faces lit up and they said thank you so much. Remember these kids / young adults are giving it all they've got every day to put in a show for us and I appreciate that a lot! Have a great show tonight Crown!
  9. 27 points
    or alternatively, we could wait to see the shows first before drawing judgements and conclusions on its messaging values to us. But maybe thats asking to much, and instead we should make judgements and assessments on the unknowable at the moment. That certainly would seem to be far more quicker to do at the moment anyway. And making snap judgments on things IS faster and quicker, if faster and quicker is valued more highly than measured and patient reflection on something yet unseen would be.
  10. 24 points
    I don't like the trend of any disagreement with anything being labeled as "hating". There are legitimate haters out there, but criticism is not hate, as long as it isn't overly and excessively negative. Just my opinion though
  11. 24 points
    I never marched. Back in the late 70's, I remember my band director saying that he wanted to take us to a drum corps show. I had no idea what it was, just knew it had something to do with marching. I fell in love with DCI that night. I played clarinet and was incredibly uncoordinated so auditioning for a corps never occurred to me. I regret that somewhat. I had a few years when I wasn't as involved although I loved the PBS and ESPN years. Where ever I taught, I always introduced my students to corps through championship videos. Most of them had never heard of it. Now, many years later, I have a former student marching his first year. He is like a son but is also a friend. Tomorrow, I get to sit in the stands and watch him and his corps take their home field in Rockford after a very emotional and exhausting week. I'll watch him march on the field, and pursue his dream of marching in DCI, all the while remembering when I first introduced him to the activity and when I took him to his first show. I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry like a baby. Sorry this is so long and emotional. I just needed to share with people who might 'get' it. Thank you!
  12. 24 points
    Saw this come through the Cavalier's newsfeed on FB. That's MY young man busting it for the Cavaliers!
  13. 22 points
    These are MY reviews and MY opinions. You don't have to agree or like them, this is just how I felt about these shows last night. Music City - Dang this group is good!!! Comparing them now to where they were last year is night and day better. I've heard rumors of them going to world class next year, and I support it. If they improve that much again in a year, look out. Whole show had an amazing energy. Guard was really good, emotion and weapon work was outstanding for them. Brass and percussion were sounding very world class level, and I dig it! This was probably the biggest good surprise of the night, awesome job! Crown - BRASS BRASS BRASS!!!!!!!! The opening hit was by far the best one of the night, and got an amazing crowd response. They had a wonderful run and honestly I love the show everytime I see it even more. Guard was spot on too, I know and understand that that aren't at last year's level, but they don't seem like a 5th or 6th place. Their execution seemed really strong tonight. Percussion is the most improved section from last season. Such a great sound and technique. Was expecting more changes given the past 2 days, but oh well. The singing certainly isn't as bad as I expected live. Seems pretty well integrated, but still too much of it to me. But I enjoy her voice. Bluecoats - Opening thing under the prop is genius, and it sounded wonderful. This show seems geared towards trumpets and seems very trumpet heavy. Not really my style as a horn player but it's not bad, they play REALLY well. I could only hear the tuba in their opener feature, somewhat in the ballad, and the closer soloist. That's it. They are the 2nd worst about having too much synth bass to me. It wouldn't bother me so much if you could still at least hear the Tuba. Also there were times the synth bass was playing and the tubas weren't. And as someone said around me, "why not just leave them out all together?" It's true to me, and it's kinda sad. They have so much talent! It's obvious in their feature, so why not leave all the bass parts to them? Other than that, the show itself is really cool. The guard was magnificent, such high execution. Amazing drumline. LOVED the hat stuff, cool visual effects!!! Closer was also great, favorite moment for me. I also like the turn back around in the ballad. Much better than all turned around. Ending hat toss was a great moment with attitude. Well done! Blue Knights - Weirdest show to me over the last 2 days. I love the uniforms from the stands, they make the show a lot better visually. The guard is good, but clearly the weakest link. The drumline was an absolute treat. Brass was also very good, especially the ballad, but not so much in the closer to me. I don't get the pool noodles, kinda distracting. Overall a great program, just weird. Cavaliers - this show was top 3 for entertainment tonight. They had a great run and the crowd loved it. I don't really see how the guard got 1st last week, they didn't seem as good as SCV or BD. They certainly aren't bad, just not as good as I expected. Brass was louder than I expected in a good way. Mars sounded absolutely great! Spinning drums were freaking awesome too. Favorite Cavies show since 2011, and I started out hating it on the preseason viewing. Really great things happening, but I think Boston may be able to catch them in the home stretch. SCV - This show is SOOOOOO much better live than on flo! The small ensemble surpringly added more to the program than I thought, and they sounded fantastic! I can see why they are dominating percussion. The drumline and pit are top notch and have wonderful writing. Guard was super good, not as clean as BD, but I would have them higher in content. The brass as a whole was so great and enjoyable to listen to. Probably most incorporation of props tonight. Bluecoats used the stage well, and was used throughout the show, but SCV's work with theirs was masterful. Ballad is my favorite moment of the show and probably was my 2nd favorite moment of the night (after Crown's opening hit). Everything about it was graceful and impactful. Wonderfully done. I am rooting for them to win it all this season. GREAT show! BD - same issues I had with Bluecoats, synth levels were wayyy too loud. Not good at all. I don't really understand how the staff thinks it's good or cool. People around me were mouthing "too much" or just shaking their heads, and I agree with them. Tubas may as well just do guard in this show. Didn't seem like they had their horns up for 1/4 of the show, and there were parts synth played and they didn't. That aside, the show itself is championship quality. I love how it starts out with the old announcement of the corps and then ends with their name, it's a nice touch. The brass (what I could hear of it) is very good. I enjoyed crown's brass more, but I understand how they won it last night. Flight of the bumblebee was REALLY good, they killed it. Percussion didn't really grab my attention at all in this show, but they have improved. Guard was certainly a highlight, favorite moment from them was ballad flag work, absolutely stunning. I surprisingly really enjoyed the jazz section, and I'm not usually one to listen to jazz for fun. Closer definitely still feels unfinished, but a spectacular performance. I won't be mad if they win it in Indy. The Cadets - yes, I am a fan of this group. The show is really good and executed well too. The amount of progress they've made is astounding, and the brass sounds great. The guard is a huge asset, they perform great and the rifle line in the opener was absolutely wonderful. Percussion was really good in the fallen movement. There were quite a few moments of applause from the audience around me, and a few people down were on their feet before the last chord ended. The ending is better than it has been all season. Now the one prop not turning was kinda sad to see, but it didn't ruin the whole performance or anything. The robes were a little weird, but drill was still effective. You can see the gold shoes very well from the stands. The transition of outfits in the closer is still awkward and needs tweaking. The incorporation of the pews is also a nice effect, the snake drill through them was clean. They are getting more hate then they deserve, and the show is easy to understand and is straight forward. I don't understand how some people can praise the Blue Knight's show for being wonderful and great designed, but yet the Cadets have a simple church theme and it's a trash bag in design quality? No. The crowd stood and applauded louder this year here than in Atlanta last year. Keep going Cadets, love this show. Phantom Regiment - The guard is the standout section, they were very good and staged nicely. I think this is another show really designed around the guard, as they keep taking my attention away from the marchers. The show does seem very high school, but I really don't mind. They did a really good job with it. The ballad and ending were the 2 big moments of the show for me. I think the guard flags at the end are beautiful and add a nice touch. Brass surprisingly wasn't as quiet as I thought, they can project very well. Percussion was good, but really listen to them so much. Favorite Phantom show since 2012. Another group I feel is getting more hate then they deserve. They are so much better than they were on the west coast on video. Keep the momentum up, Phantom!
  14. 22 points
    What a night. It was fun to hear people talking as the show progressed, because there was a general consensus that this lineup of shows was shockingly great. Just one heavyweight after another. Attendance was virtually sold out. There wasn't a single empty seat on the west side of the stadium. I would guess. 18k to 20k tonight. I was sitting in the eighth row so I got to see the kids' faces when they got set and looked into the sea of faces...some nerves tonight! Heres how I had the night: 1. SCV. They had the second largest crowd reaction and their brass took your head off. The show design is just so smart, very similar to Bluecoats last year. Amplification issues at times. But SCV had the best musicianship and performance from beginning to end, and it wasn't even close. How they didn't win tonight is beyond me, and I guarantee you most everyone else at this show. Standing ovation before they finished. 2. Bluecoats. Again the clear crowd favorite. The first ensemble run on the stage, wow! Changes in Zombie had a big impact, changes to the ballad less so but still effective. Ending does not yet have the impact of SCV. Musicianship was off the charts, and the kids just poured their guts into it. Lots of happy faces at the end. Heard more than one person state that the show was too amplified. I agree. But clearly the crowd loves Bloo. 3. Blue Devils. Their show just doesn't have the magic or complexity of SCV or Bluecoats, but their high brass is as amazing as usual. The ballad remains my favorite moment of the year, and it was definitely the high point of the night musically. There is a lot going on all the time but it's largely lost on the viewer because it lacks visual focus. Low end synth was absurdly loud, esp in the first half. It was so bad that people were cringing and once it actually overmodulated. Why would BD push so much synth? Was very noticeable. 4. Crown. This show received a tepid response, which I think surprised everyone. Nashville loves Crown, obviously, but this show didn't really deliver. The big brass hits are there and are awesome, but the second half of the show lags. This show is very clean...but almost too clean. It feels sterile. Didn't get the crown ending from where I sat. Props on the hash lines made no sense live. But when Crown delivers a singular ensemble hit, no one can match it. Just so level and powerful. But imo this is not one of the three best shows this season, and I might even put it behind Cavaliers and Boston. Guard had at least six drops tonight. 5. Cavaliers. Guard is crazy skilled. Just shocking how much those guys pull off in this show. Lots of ooooohs and aaaaaahs from the crowd! Their high brass is still no match for SCV, Bluecoats, BD or Crown, but sell this show hard and the crowd loves it. This was a high point of the night. They have come a very long way this season. 6. Blue Knights. Thought they had the biggest sound without amplification of all the corps. Show drags at times, and of course there is some navel gazing. But I would see this show again, really talented group. Percussion is crazy good. Surprised at how poorly this show was scored, but the guard book is just killing this show. 7. Cadets. Percussion was on fire tonight. Guard was terrific. Brass is great but poorly staged. Awful awful amplification issues, bad feedback four separate times. WTF? Someone didn't flip one of the stained glass windows at the end, in my mind I could hear Hopkins cursing on the sidelines! The kids play the heck out of this show, but it is such a head scratcher conceptually. Way way too loud on the choir, and again the narration is abrasive. The middle section was oversold and folks around me were actually laughing. But I really love the robes and the guard uniforms. Just not easy to follow Blue Devils with Mass. 8. Phantom. Much better ensemble sound than I had anticipated but just not a very cohesive show. The constant whispering of words was silly and got a lot of giggles from the audience. Someone said they felt like they were in a perfume commercial. Uniforms didn't come off well but the guard had a strong night. Music City had a great night, their guard was very impressive, which shocked me. Obviously they lack the ensemble sound, and parents of a guard member sat next to me and said that's because they had 80% turnover from last year. They need a three act show design. This is the third year in a row in which they basically had one idea the whole show and it got monotonous. Still, they clearly put a lot of money and time into this season and it showed.
  15. 22 points
    Well! I never! I never... have gone this long without getting hate mail in my private messages and, honestly, I'm starting to feel a little neglected. A man has needs! And so, I present to you, with absolutely no apologies to Carnac the Magnificent, the 2017 DCI World Championships Finals scores, a full MONTH before they happen!! For starters, no, The Mandarins will not make finals. That's still no blemish on their best season ever as they finish 13th, ahead of The Academy (14th), Colts (15th), Blue Devils B (16th), Spirit of Atlanta (17th), and Troopers (18th). But they get edged out for the final Saturday spot by... In 12th place, with a score of 86.575... The Madison Scouts Look, the Scouts easily could have made Finals last year until they let it slip away. This show is better, but I'm not sure it has the juice to crack the Top 10. Despite the wild uniforms, this show concept just doesn't feel that fresh or novel, you know? In 11th place, with a score of 88.775... The Blue Stars I like the IDEA behind this show (even if the Blue Devils did it 19 years ago *cough*) but from the videos I've seen it hasn't quite gelled yet. That said, the two corps above them are far from invulnerable and if LaCrosse can keep jacking that performance level up... In 10th place, with a score of 89.325... The Blue Knights What the what? I've really like BK's past three shows, but this one has me scratching my head a bit. Perhaps they will grow a lot over the course of the summer, but considering they've already been passed by Messy Regiment... I'm not sure that's a good harbinger. In 9th place, with a score of 90.600... The Crossmen Bones is really playing the heck out of this show, the pink and orange works far better than I thought it would... and yet, I just don't see them going higher than 8th in a best case scenario. I think there is a pretty low ceiling for this show compared to the corps around them. In 8th place, with a score of 90.825... Phantom Regiment Optimistic? Maybe. And yeah, I fully admit to being a Phantom homer. Unlike the past two years, this doesn't feel like Generic Drum Corps Show #14. There is a distinct Phantom identity to this show. I also like that the staff is writing stuff that, frankly, is beyond the corps' abilities at this moment. I would rather see Phantom go for the gusto and fall short than be content with an 8th, 9th, 10th place show design. That said, the difficulty is eating Phantom alive right now. I watched their Oceanside performance, and they were gawd-awful dirty. They have SO MUCH cleaning to do in the next month. But the vehicle is there. The ceiling is high. In 7th place, with a score of 92.400... The Boston Crusaders When I heard their performance in the park, I was AMPED. I was really hoping they would crash the Top 6. But man, no one ahead of them is letting up even a little! Of all the placements, this feels the most secure to me. Boston is noticeably better than every corps below them, but there's still a gap between them and the Top 6. Still, the new staff obviously has big goals for this corps. In 6th place, with a score of 94.300... The Cadets There's another really hot thread right now, "Can The Cadets Medal?" Yeah, I'm just not buying it. They are better than I think we all expected, but to me this is another low ceiling show. I just don't know how they keep pace with the corps above them as those corps continue to clean and improve. In 5th place, with a score of 95.050... The Cavaliers THIS SHOW IS... well, really cheesy, not to put too fine of a point on it. Oh come on, you know you're thinking it too. This is the drum corps equivalent of an eye-rolling Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liner in a special effects laden action spectacular. And I'm not thinking "I'll be back" from Terminator 2, more along the lines of shooting alligators and saying "You're luggage" in Eraser. Sure, they're performing great. But I mean seriously. Yes, you're an all-male corps, we GET IT already. In 4th place, with a score of 96.050... Carolina Crown Every year I think, "man, there's no way that a corps who plays THIS WELL can not medal." And yet, almost 50% of the time (four of the past nine seasons) Crown has finished just out of the medals. Crown is starting to remind me of early 2000s Blue Devils, though: they're SO CLEAN, SO EARLY... where do they go from here? Also, are they going to fix that show-flow disaster of a closer? New drum corps or old drum corps, bigger faster louder closer or slower and emotional closer, I'm still of the old-fashioned opinion that a show design should build up, build towards the finale. This show really feels like it kind of decays and falls backward into the last minute of the show. Receiving the bronze medal, in 3rd place, with a score of 96.925... The Blue Devils Concord has medalled in 22 of the past 23 years. They have been Top 4 in 41 of the past 42 years. I'd bet on the SUN NOT RISING before I'd bet on the Blue Devils falling out of the Top 5. They always finish at or near the top... even with a poorly designed, poorly performed show (cough). Look, by THEIR standards, okay? They have been Top 2 for an amazing ten years in a row, but I look back and I don't really see a show with the (small, but noticeable) question marks this one has. Also... is no one going to comment on how much park and bark they do this year? Oh sure, you can add all the hip shimmies or rocking on your feet like superhuman autistic drum corps savants you want, whatever the trend is this year, it's STILL park and bark. Receiving the silver medal, in 2nd place, with a score of 97.350... The Santa Clara Vanguard If anyone is going to catch the defending champs, I think it will be Gail Royer's legacy from the south bay. Brass, percussion, guard, visual... they have it all. The double-tonguing they do in the finale is unreal. The new uniforms (like 80-90% of the new uniforms, to be honest) might be non-traditional, but they work with the show. They have a lot of ensemble cleaning to do, and some fine tuning of the musical effect flow in the second half of the show, but they COULD win it all. Receiving the Gold medal, your 2017 Drum Corps International World Champions, with a score of 97.925... The Bluecoats My first viewing was their stadium run-through in Texas before the season, and all I could do was marvel at the amount of effect they were cranking out of a show that was still so, so dirty. I mean, the sky's the limit here. The show design is the best in DCI this summer, both musically and visually. Their staff is amazing. Doug Thrower might be the most underrated arranger in DCI HISTORY, much less working today. Successive viewings of regular season shows hasn't changed my initial opinion at all. This is still their championship to lose, no one else can catch them if they get this show to its full potential.
  16. 22 points
    Davis(this morning via text) : "Dad, I can't find my wallet anywhere". Me: "Please call home as soon as you can". FOUR HOURS later ( on the phone): Davis:"Dad, the last time I remember seeing it was at the laundromat in Kokomo, Indiana. I've called them but I'm not hopeful they have it and even if they did, not sure how I would get it. I'm in Wisconsin!" Me: "Well, we need to cancel your debit card if it's really lost...have you looked in the creases of the bus seat, checked every pocket of your book bag?.. Davis: "Yes" Me: "Could it be somewhere in the gym you're sleeping in?" Davis: "Yes...I've looked everywhere". Me: "Okay son, we'll figure it out before you're at Disney on Saturday..." Davis: " Oh no...is Disney BEFORE we come to Powder Springs" ? Me: "Yes...and you know what's going to happen don't you? As soon as we cancel your debit card you're going to find it..." Davis( laughing); "Probably". Me to Laurie (my wife and CFO of the household) : "Okay, go ahead and cancel his debit card". THIRTY SECONDS later ( on phone) Davis : "DAD! HAVE YOU CANCELLED MY CARD? I JUST FOUND IT! I forgot that I hid it in one of my Sperrys in my suitcase! About 10 seconds before Laurie was going to hit "Enter" to cancel his card. Crisis averted. Carry on, my wayward son! ( I've never heard such relief in his voice...and the young man sounds like he's having the time of his life on the road with the Cavaliers! )
  17. 22 points
    So first of all, as of hitting submit on this post I haven't read any thoughts, seen any recaps, or really talked to anyone in detail since I left for the theater two and a half hours before the show. I'm forming my own opinions and insights without any outside influence. I'm interested to see if I agree! Sorry @Lance, it's pretty long again this year. Hehe. Disclaimer, there were two shows I feel like I kind of unloaded on......these are just my opinions. I'm not stating my thoughts as fact, and I think a lot of it has to do with personal taste. I'm not taking away from the INCREDIBLE performers performing these shows. You're all awesome! I had a two hour car ride home to really think about shows and what stuck with me as opposed to me coming home within twenty minutes the last 7 years and immediately typing away. Anyways, my way too long review of the first show of the season. Crossmen - The Enigma Five Things I Liked Opener was super fun. Love the percussion writing, incredibly fun to listen to. GREAT guard. Great brass. This Radiohead ballad is fantastic. Five Things to Wait and See On: …...not sold on the visual program. Especially… …the props. They get in the way, are IN FRONT of sections when they’re being featured multiple times, and are hardly utilized beyond the guard just kinda stretching around in them. Took a good few minutes before anything was done with them. The “A Beautiful Mind”/”Miranda” section doesn’t really do a ton for me musically or visually. Nothing really connects or evolves. It has its moments but as a whole it just doesn’t have the cohesion/energy that last years show did yet. This is obviously a finalist level corps. But I’m not sure the show is. Overall Thoughts - So last year I saw their show the first time and was blown away. Incredibly energetic music, fast drill, a million colors and excitement from the guard, fantastic brass and percussion, and it was all packaged with a simple but easily accessible theme that was maxed out by finals week and they really made a statement. I’m getting the great guard, great brass, and great percussion again, but not any of those other things yet. I really question the props in this show. They are not really utilized a ton and when they are not in many ways. Guard stretches in and out of them a few times, brass plays in them, and they stage moments. But a lot of the time they just felt in the way. There were times with guard/percussion that highlighted moments were happening behind them or as a prop was moving in front of a featured section. Ballad was the highlight of the show, very cool arrangement of a great Radiohead song, but on the two hour car ride home I had a hard time placing my finger on anything else musically or honestly as a whole. Question marks were also about the only thing I could pick up thematically. This is a corps full of fantastic brass, percussion, and guard talent. Fantastic instruction going on. Just not sure this design is firing on the level of the performers. Maybe they have more planned and it just isn’t clicking for me yet. As always I’m open to getting my mind changed. Reaction - FANTASTIC corps. Just don’t know about the show. Blue Stars - Star Crossed Five Things I Liked: Brass has a fantastic ensemble sound already. Especially… …the mellophones. They get their own bullet. The HUGE notes in the opener, the soaring lines over the arrival in the ballad, and the sustains in the closer that sounded sublime. Wow. First 2/3rds is pretty strong. Ballad is already one of my favorite musical selections of the year. Uniforms and costuming are phenomenal. Five Things to Wait and See On: The last 1/3rd of the show kinda meanders around. Lots of empty moments and filler sounding stuff. Have a feeling it’s just not layered/finalized like the rest yet. Wondering what else they’re gonna do with the tables. Story line/lines aren’t SUPER noticeable yet, but I can see guard staged for moments that will probably come later. Shapiro guard book is insane once again. Needs the whole season to mature. SUPER difficult visual program, needs lots of time to clean. Overall Thoughts - I can safely say this is the best Blue Stars corps in terms of performance I’ve seen early on in a good while. Brass especially has a lush, full, tight, and just beautifully balanced sound. LOVE it! Percussion is solid and guard has another beast of a show to tackle all season long. This show is once again not an easy mountain to climb but it feels more attainable than a lot of their previous offerings which IMO is a good thing. I think this one can REALLY be maxed out. First two numbers were fantastic, tons of HUGE musical moments and that ballad…….wow. That arrival gave me some serious chills. Last 1/3rd is definitely not as solid/finished in terms of body/guard moments/story arc so it remains to be seen how good it’s gonna finish but I have faith. They know how to layer a show over a season. I think this has more potential down the road in terms of proficiency than they’ve had in awhile, just needs the right design choices to highlight that and allow them to score in the bracket I think they are EASILY performing in. I thought they were way under scored tonight. Reaction - Best start in awhile from them, just needs the right layering and finishings to use that talent. Brass is taking my breath away! The Cadets - The Faithful, The Fallen, The Forgiven Five Things I Liked: Great drum writing and performance. Already SO much more cohesion than last years show. Shockingly enough, the look with the skirts was my favorite. Boy they sure dedicated to the shows visual aesthetic. Loved the first “Simple Song” impact. Beautiful! Five Things to Wait and See On: Drill design……hmm. The way, times, and just how they used uniforms and changes seemed SUPER clunky and not super effective or done in spots that made sense. I noticed the singers, but not a ton. Balance of the three sections feels really off, lots of time for the first, about as much for the second, and the final one doesn’t get a ton of time to develop, even with an extra minute I still feel like the balance is pretty front heavy. It’s a super literal show, and doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. They cross every t and dot every i. They say every amen. By the end where we have someone literally telling us they sinned and want to be forgiven…….it just felt like they were literally beating me in the head with a bible at that point. I get it. I more than get it. And by the end I feel over saturated with all the symbolism, props, narration, EVERYTHING. I cringed a lot to be honest. Overall Thoughts - So I think this show is already WAY ahead of last year in the conceptual department. Lots of faith/believing in the first part of the show, we sin a TON in the middle, and we are forgiven in the end. Boom. TONS of set pieces this year. None of them get in the way and they all look decently well made, already a step above shows like 2013, 2015, 2016 in that regard. Uniforms. Wow. The aesthetic of this show changes a TON. And the changes happen all over the place and not very gracefully, the corps just kinda peeling out of them kinda singing going into the closer felt super awkward. My big issue tonight was the polar opposite of 2016. They spoon feed you every. Single. Thing. and you don’t really get to think or interpret it at all on your own. It lacks any kind of finesse/restraint. I feel like they’re going to opposite of last year where it was super vague/not easy to follow and going the polar opposite by beating you over the head with pews, prayer, crosses and fishes, choirs, and the list goes on and on and on. Performance wise it's maybe not as solid as the last few years but they're fine. Brass has a great ensemble sound, percussion is very solid, and the guard seemed like a HUGE step up this year. Great performers, I'm just feeling pretty overwhelmed by this show already. Reaction - Polar opposite of 2016. I get it, but then they beat me over the head with it. The Cavaliers - Men are from Mars Five Things I Liked: Once again this corps has members that are totally buying into their show already, and it made this performance electric, entertaining, exciting, and I’m sure many other good words that start with the letter E. The color guard staging, usage, and performance to my untrained eye seemed INCREDIBLE. This is the best the Cavaliers brass have sounded early on in a long time. The closer……this might have been my favorite moment of the night…….so fun. SO FUN. This show felt complete but with still a TON of room for growth. Five Things I Will Wait and See On: There is so much going on in this show I think I need to see it about ten more times to take it all in. Balance of electronics, I don’t know about live but in the theater they were QUITE loud. But I still enjoyed their usage. Refining/clarifying/layering certain moments of the show, especially in the middle sections. The ballad felt short. I wanna see them milk the ending even more come finals. Overall Thoughts - I knew it. I knew that performance on Tuesday was not a good representation of how good this corps and show is. HOLY CRAP they blew me away!!! I think performance wise this is the best Cavaliers corps I’ve seen out the gate since 2011. This is a corps that believes in their show and is already performing it at an incredibly high level in terms of energy/confidence. Proficiency will come, but the brass and percussion are off to a fantastic start. I’m not a guard expert. Maybe I’m nuts? But the color guard blew me away. The 20 yard flag exchange in the circle surrounding the brass right before the ballad actually made me gasp. As a show this is pretty clear to me even if the guy hadn’t explained it. It’s evolution of man. I think it’s an incredibly hilarious, entertaining, and interesting commentary on what we think a man is/was/will be. It might need some refining but I thought the DUDE section was HILARIOUS. This part of the show isn’t taking itself super seriously and is just trying to be funny and be entertaining, I loved it. The Steve Irwin-esque narration complete with a CRIKEY was a hit in my theater. Visual and music design is great, I thought the closer was a phenomenal mashup of “Mars” and “My Way”…….Cavaliers sold me on a singer. I don’t know if he was live but leading into that final bras push I loved the usage…….When it comes down to it this felt like a Cavaliers show. Incredibly athletic, ridiculous drill (kudos to Mr. Hinshaw!), insane guard, great percussion, and a super masculine and entertaining vibe the members sell in spades. Brass deserves some recognition, I think they’ve made incredible progress. I’m getting long winded on this one……..but that’s cause I loved it. I cannot wait to see where this show goes. Reaction - INCREDIBLY high energy, entertaining, and complex show that I think I am in absolute love with. Excited to see how they adjust/refine/balance/etc. throughout the season. Carolina Crown - It Is... Five Things I Liked: Fantastic brass performance. Percussion is very solid. LOVE the first guard look and corps uniform. "No One to Know One" quote before the ballad is a very cool moment. Some nice Sacktig drill moments. Five Things to Wait and See On: As a whole it feels......a bit empty despite there being SO much to it. Cohesion.....feels like I'm watching three different shows that don't quite fit together. Singer usage, not ability. Closer is pretty.......schizophrenic? So much going on, being pulled onto the field, etc. to the point it just seems messy. There wasn’t a ton of focus anywhere. The show feels like it is leading up to something/tries to say something and it never says it. And not just because it’s obviously not done at the end. Overall Thoughts - So I definitely get this show. They deconstruct the field/what they think of as normal drum corps and build it into something they think is new. But.......hmm. It's the beginning of the year so I think an "I feel like something big is missing" reaction is probably okay and/or normal. I can't put my finger on what, it's just leaving me REALLY cold right now. Proficiency wise the brass is bonkers as always, percussion was solid pleasant surprise, and guard doesn't seem quite as strong as the beginning of the year last year but they'll be fine. Singer is great in ability, not sure if I like the usage/overabundance of it in the latter part of the show. The closer is.......a lot. I know it’s the nature of the deconstructed part but it was so chaotic it just felt unfocused. Maybe it’s just not my cup of tea this year, usually I have an INCREDIBLY emotional response to Carolina Crown, even in 2015 I loved “Organ Symphony” early on and saw that it was really empty and they were gonna layer it. I’m not sure how much more stuff they can throw into this one besides finishing it. I dunno. I’m certainly open to having my mind changed, this is of course an incredibly talented group of kids that are absolute animals being able to perform such a hard show. Reaction - Wait and see. Fantastic corps, just maybe not for me. Bluecoats - Jagged Line Five Things I Liked: No. Weaknesses. This could very well be the most enjoyable musical show I've ever heard from them. Best I've ever seen their color guard in June. I think this is the best drill they've ever had. Their performance value and energy is ELECTRIC. Five Things to Wait and See On: I think I like the uniform in context, it's pretty dang simple. Will wait and see how I feel about it. The choreography/show aesthetic is very interesting to say the least, feel like I need to see it from the box and different angles. I definitely get the show and prop usage, just feel like there is a lot more to come...... ......but where do they go? Every year in June I feel like the show is done and then they layer the crap out of it in ways that never crossed my mind. Excited to see where they take it. I need to see and hear the ballad live. I can't form an opinion on tonight on that part of the show. They did it again......every year since 2009 whether it's the whole show or just a moment, they find a way to blow me away. I really couldn't care less if they win again or not......when they give me full body shivers like this show did multiple times I don't care. People are gonna say it's too similar to the last few years......it's gonna peak......blah blah blah. So what. This is a corps with no weaknesses, a show that is both SUPER complete but with tons of room for growth, and performers that bring it to life in a way that is unique to them. They are Bluecoats. This is them through and through. Musically.......holy crap. This is their most straight forward music program since gosh.......2013? Electronics are more laid back this year and they just let the full corps shine. There were many times tonight where corps felt like they had obligatory brass moments thrown in.......Doug Thrower once again totally respects the source material and just simply adapts it to the field. He doesn't over writer it but there is still TONS of content. "Psychopomp" and "Zomby Woof" are especially fantastic......just two pieces of music given a few minutes to be what they are. "One Study" was a fantastic percussion feature as well, and those drums.......(Zomby) WOOF. (that's a good thing). Brass was fantastic and seemed to get a TON more full ensemble time this year. Color guard to my untrained eye again looked incredible, I think this is the best their guard has ever looked out the gate and the way Vanderkloff stages them is sublime. This is the best drill program I think they've had too......lots of modern stuff but also just tons of super hard stuff that they play super hard stuff while doing, for example that SUPER fast follow the leader near the end of "Psychopomp". So kudos to Vanderkolff. I am going to wait on "Grow Til Tall" until I see it live. I feel like I didn't get a good read tonight solely because of how the mics were picking it up for the broadcast. That's not on the corps. Prop is cool, that first brass moment with them on top of it was really cool, they use vertical space again this year but in a different way. The drill cutting under the prop and not letting it be a hindrance was SUPER cool. I bet they have more planned for it. All in all......bravo. You have me again. Win or lose this show hits every single tick mark of what I love about the activity. Over the last three seasons they have completely re-instilled my enjoyment in the activity, I feel like a little HS kid seeing his first show again every single year. When that "Psychopomp" reprise happened at the end I thought I was gonna need to be resuscitated. Reaction - They take my breath away year after year after year after year. I don't care where they end up when they make me feel this way. One moment from every corps I loved: Bluecoats "Psychopomp" reprise in the closer. Carolina Crowns "No One to Know One" quote going into the ballad. The Cavaliers final "My Way" push. The Cadets first "Simple Song" impact. Blue Stars "Young and Beautiful" ballad arrival. Crossmens "Exit Music" ballad arrival. Overall I LOVED two shows, liked one more, and need to wait and see on the other three. I love that I can pick six moments that were all musical moments. No show tonight felt too far gone/like it was gonna peak. These will all grow. I totally agreed with placements, not necessarily spreads though. But who cares. AWESOME shows. I think we're in for a fantastic season!
  18. 21 points
    Bluecoats set up their audio in three minutes ... Flo had all day
  19. 21 points
    When you have the best brass line on Planet Earth, why would you ruin it by using it to back up a pitchy singer?!?!?
  20. 20 points
    My boy just called. They are not performing tonight. Academy is taking care of them. They are in shock and emotionally drained right now but will be okay. I can't tell you how good it was to hear his voice. He also shared that SCV may play Elsa's at tonight's show in honor of them.
  21. 20 points
    With all due respect, when most people see a big block of text like that with no breaks in between, their inclination is to not read it lol
  22. 19 points
  23. 19 points
    Quick update: Legends hit their $100,000 goal! They will finish their season! (There was A $5000 matching grant announced at their show tonight!)
  24. 19 points
    Fans in the stands seem to like what they are seeing and hearing. A small minority are complaining.
  25. 19 points
    I'm wearing a bowler LOLOL posted from the DrumScorps app
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