I don't give a clam about scores and placements.
Every member of every corps is amazing, and all staff members intend nothing but the best for their kids.
Here's my super concise review of what I saw:
Hornline has an amazing sound when they play as an ensemble, wow! I'm blown away by the musicianship from all of these corps. For Bones, Percussion writing seems very strong to me, but I feel like the brass writing is kind of inert as invoking any type of emotion. It's technically impressive, though! I have ideas about how they could get the audience hooked more easily on the idea of "Enigma" in the first 30 seconds, but I'm sure their excellent staff are on top of that already. The French Horn soloist gets many, many thumbs up. Beautiful.
Mellophones have an amazing clear and centered sound. They sound like one super powerful, laserlike mello. This corps has had one of my favorite brass sounds for a few years, and I feel like this is the best they've ever been. Brass writing in the opener is inspired....but it loses steam for me after that, mostly because I don't think the transitions between storylines quite work yet. Guard = WOW. Visually, I really like the drill with the two vertical lines where there's a bunch of rotation going on in the opener....made me think of pages turning, which fit for me. Unis looked like they had patches from BD's Ink show sewn on from a distance, but when I saw it was Shakespeare, that was pretty neat.
Battery sounded great, but there were places where the pit playing made my jaw drop. Mind blowing. Same with the guard. I feel like they've stepped it up in every caption this year, including brass. The spinning toms were neat. I like that they poke humor at men throughout the show because we're actually pretty ridiculous. Sky's the limit for this corps now and in the future. Easily my favorite show from them in a decade, which is the same thing I said about them last year. I smell a ramp up to the top over the next few years. Because Cavaliers. My Way and Mars don't work right now for me at all, btw. The crazy sound issues didn't help.
I think the camera work was bad in this show because I had no idea what was holding the show together visually. I assume there's a bunch of subtlety that'll be developed over the season. Every show felt incomplete to me tonight, but the Cadets felt the most incomplete. What are they going to do with the stained glass panels that sat backfield the whole time? I don't feel like I can give a review of what I saw visually is my point, I guess. Percussion sounds great! I'm not sure about the brass. It just all felt very incomplete, even for early season.
Brass is special, as always. That fugue beginning is already glorious, and it'll be divine by August. The whole show will be musically. Is the percussion stronger or weaker than usual this year? Somebody needs to include info about that in a review because I don't know. Until we find out exactly what's going on with the yard line manipulation,I feel like I"m going to be lost about what's going on visually. It's supposed to be chaos because the field is fragmenting in the beginning. I got it with the whole London Bridge is Falling Down deconstruction. Captions feel strong, so it's all going to be about whether or not Sacktig's vision gets fully realized. I'm confident it will.
2014/2015 were two of my favorite shows of the past couple of decades for DCI. The music was what got me both years. Last year's didn't, but I think they absolutely deserved the win even though it's not a show I was into.
This year...I'm back to where I was in 2014/15. LOVE this show and this brass book. It feels rougher at this point than it did last year on opening night, which is a good thing. I think they're going to really get this book cooking by mid July. I'm assuming percussion is very strong, but I'll leave that to others.
Guard work was amazing, right?
I feel like the megaprop they have on the field is so graphic and pronounced, they should treat it more like a permanent drill form on the field, and build off of that idea more. There's so many great things drill wise they could do with shapes that could both complement and contrast the giant zigzag. Right now, the way they use the prop feel super repetitive, both with what's going on above and below. Can't wait to see what they have planned.
That's it. Sorry if I offended anybody. I just say what I think based on my own weird aesthetics.
This year is going to be wild, and I mean that in every positive way the word can be used.