So here are some more specific suggestions I have for good ol' Phantom Regiment:
Take an even crazier approach to your uniform. 2017 was a good start, but I can see them doing even more, especially with regards to the helmet. I think a silver reflective helmet would look bad### on the Regiment. It would make for some more varied takes on the plume as well. And it would be nice if the look of the uniform could fit the theme even more. Too often, I feel like PR misses the mark when it comes to show-specific uniforms.
Speaking of costumes, some slightly less lewd colorguard uniforms would be nice.
A slightly smaller guard would be nice. I love that they're trying to make the Phantomettes relevant again, but it's coming at the cost of the hornline, whose sound is a bit too empty for my tastes. (Then again, it might be the youth of the hornline, but it could be a combination of the two.)
Since 2013, I feel like Phantom has often taken the "easy way out" with regards to show design and construction. They have used generic storylines, minimal props, and poorly thought out design choices that ruin audience enjoyment. That simply doesn't work in DCI, or any part of the marching arts, really. I want to see Phantom Regiment take more realistic programming risks. Think about some of their greatest shows: 1989, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, etc. All of these took reasonable risks: Choosing music and elements that fit their identity, experimenting with new music, plots, and visual ideas that we may not expect, and making sure there is are enough great musical or visual moments that add to the show. THAT kind of thought-out programming is what's been missing since 2013. It all starts with thinking about something like a music selection or thematic motif that doesn't sound quite like Phantom at first but is reasonable enough for them to take on.
And now for my musical and thematic suggestions for Phantom Regiment in 2018:
Any show theme that closes with "The Frozen Cathedral" by John Mackey (one of his better pieces, IMO), or "Feierlicher Einzug" by Richard Strauss. Either piece would have the crowd on their feet before the show ends.
More Mahler! Symphony No. 5 especially. Or you can program some Ola Gjeilo; I love his "Serenity (O Magnum Mysterium)" and "The Ground." "Serenity" (or "The Mission/How Great Thou Art" by The Piano Guys) would be a great opportunity to introduce the first electric cello in DCI.
As a side note, I'd love to see more use of French horns and trombones from Phantom.
A New World Symphony revival. Yes, I'm being completely serious, but it has to be done in a modern context. Outer space comes to mind. You could call it "To Discover New Worlds" or something like that. And you can mix tons of other space-esque pieces into the three main movements, such as Holst's Planets, Bhatia's Interstellar Suite, Zimmer's soundtrack to Interstellar, etc. It's like what Cadets did with Bernstein's Mass this year: It would help connect your future to the past again and help bring back the Phantom "swagger."
In general, explore more various concert band literature, brass band literature, choral literature, never-before-done composers, etc. that would fit your identity to a T. The whole playing orchestral and piano music by tried-and-true composers thing is getting very tired for my tastes. I'd like to see a Phantom show that has little to none of that at all, if possible.