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MikeN last won the day on March 2

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  1. The only thing I really didn't like about The Ring was that they decided to go with a starkly minimal visual package. No color, no "big-ness" to it. If anything has ever called for over the top, expansive moves, color and emotion, it's Wagner, you know? The brass were spectacular, though! Mike
  2. Cadets 2018

    Best of both worlds - Cheesus? Mike
  3. I totally agree! The first half of the '07 show is brilliant - minimalist and driving. Then it pivots to more conventional and, while not bad, doesn't have quite the same oomph. And '05 - holy cow that show is awesome. Lighthearted Regment shouldn't work, especially with clichéd pieces, but man they managed to make delicious lemonade from some pretty old lemons! Mike
  4. Oh wow - that's a pretty good excuse, I'd think! Mike
  5. Hah - thanks! Fixed that. Mike
  6. I've been waiting for this one! Seeing the broadcast in '89 is what introduced me to drum corps, and Regiment hooked me immediately. Favorites Spartacus (2008) - I give this one the edge over Defiant Heart because of the story. Defiant Heart generated its GE through music, Spartacus did perhaps the best job ever in DCI in adapting an honest-to-goodness narrative story into a 12 minute show. Past that, the music was incredibly sophisticated - being honest, the brass book was much more technically demanding than Phantom typically does - and they pulled it off with a bang. This year was my first and only live Finals weekend, and one thing that stood out was how they kept cranking the tempos up ever so slightly each show. On the last night it felt like they must be on the edge of it just falling apart, but it never even came close. And yes, the crowd reaction on video - it was that crazy live. Defiant Heart (1996 2006) - One of the more unconventional - but most effective - music books they've ever done. Not many corps are brave enough to start with the ballad (such as it was), but the payoff was well worth it. The poles in the drum feature were awesome live (less so on video), and of course the closer brought the house down. Not much else I can say about it - just brilliant. And the black on black was a masterstroke. Harmonic Journey (2003) - yes, yes, yes, Libera's Sanctus and the reprise. But the rest of the show is mega-awesome, too. They managed to make some pretty complex modern pieces work with a very traditional-sounding ballad. Musically, this show had a little bit of everything, and it totally should have been a blueprint for what they could have done moving forward. Honestly, if they're looking for inspiration now, they could do worse than maybe watching this show again. 1989 - scores were <a bit> inflated that Finals, and I don't think it was actually a 98.4, but Phantom did a brilliant job of adapting a pretty lengthy work, with a lot of great melodies, into a fighting-trim package. I don't care what Jeff Ream says, the drum riff in the ballad was fine. The corps had a very mature, very dark sound, and some amazing drill moves in there as well. All in all, it felt like a group comfortably at the top of their game. Phantom Voices (1991) - Not the cleanest show ever, but one of my favorites because it wears its heart on its sleeve. No needing to deconstruct what they're going for - it's pretty much front and center. Absolutely brilliant musical choices that all fit together nicely, and I would love to see them figuratively let their hair down like they did with Pagliacci, which is still one of my all time favorite charts. Their second stab at Bacchanale was much tighter, and the battery much improved from the year before. All in call, it's "classic" Phantom, and if you had to show a new fan one show that represents all that Phantom Regiment is, this one wouldn't be a bad choice! Not-so-favorites Songs from the Eternal City (1998) - After the title in '96 and such a strong brass program in '97, this show kind of felt like falling off a cliff. It was a musical and visual mess. I blame the staff - there was an obvious lack of clarity as to what they were going for here. The Red Violin (2009) - I get what they were going for, but it didn't connect. The story wasn't as interesting, and the music was... well... boring. And the new uniform jackets were awful. Swan Lake (2014) - Felt like another corps trying to program like Phantom Regiment. And the uniforms... yeah. Phantasm (2017) - I'm not sure where this one came from, but they should have put it back. The voiceovers added nothing, and distracted greatly, and for all of the years waiting on Finlandia to appear in a show, they sure didn't do much with it. Mike
  7. All time shows: Troopers

    When the corps spends literally decades out of Finals, they tend to drop out of people's minds. Especially in the late 80's - early 2000's, if you weren't top 12, there wasn't much, if any, in the way of media exposure. It was two years after I first saw DCI on PBS that I got to read a program from Finals and found out there was even 25 corps, much less the ones that weren't included. That's one great thing about social media for drum corps - today everyone's able to see (and have an opinion) on every corps in the circuit. Mike
  8. All time shows: Troopers

    So while the Bluecoats (last poll) had so many shows you couldn't go wrong with, for me the Troopers are about so many missed opportunities. Favorites - Hero (2016) - for the music. Not the uniforms. Which were by far the worst the corps has ever looked. But man, they played *really* well, and to some pretty aggressive charts. Wild Horses (2015) - for the visual. Not so much the music, which aside from Wild Horses, was kind of meh. But they sucked me in with the drill and the guard. Southwestern Sketches (1994) - doesn't hold up so well today, but for the bugle days, this corps came out of nowhere with a *very* strong brass line playing a definite upgrade in difficulty. Felt like kind of a one-year wonder though, as they were near the bottom of D1 before that and went back to near the bottom of D1 after. Not-so-Favorites - Magnificent 11 (2013) - I know the Troopers kind of have their schtick built in, but it's a pretty big sandbox with lots of room to play. You don't have to sit in the center of it and build the same sand castle each year. This Was the Future (2012) - so disappointing, only because they *were* trying to expand the sandbox, and retreated right when it could have been so, so much more. As annoying as the "Hero" part of Hero was, they were moving out of their comfort zone a bit. I *really* hope the 2018 repertoire turns out to be true; I think it will be great if they manage to figure out that tightrope between Western and modern. Mike
  9. Cadets 2018

    Wasn't the full title of 2007's show "This I Believe: Truth, Value and the Personal Experience Called Drum Corps"? That one turned out okay for them. Mike
  10. Cadets 2018

    Spartans did a great bit with Siri last year in their show. Got cut from the CD I think due to licensing, but still... Mike
  11. Crossmen 2018

    Funeral for a Friend - Elton John Upside Down - Andrew Markworth Symphony No. 6 - Tchaikovsky Sweetness Follows - REM Mike
  12. Crossmen 2018

    Based on their description, isn't that technically "The Now"? Mike
  13. Boston Crusaders 2018

    It would be hugely ironically funny that if, after all of these years of Cadets saying they're doing Pearl Harbor and changing it, Boston just went and did it first... Mike
  14. All time shows: Bluecoats

    THIS. That opener was awesome! Mike