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About bayareafan

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  1. bayareafan

    Blue Devils 2018

    To me, I trace what BD is doing today in their approach to show design back to 2012 and Cabaret Voltaire. That show was controversial at the time. I recall not enjoying it at all the first time I saw it because they just had a lot of problems putting it together early season. But by the end of the season I loved that show. They broke the norms with their approach to uniforms, hats, staging, movement/marching, they sync'd the show to prerecorded audio, etc. They simply ignored the norms and to me that was the first year that a corps did a show that just didn't look in any way like a traditional drum corps show. They simply threw the old book out that year and have continued that way ever since. I remember at the time (there's a post out here in somewhere from me that year) saying that this would be the future of drum corps and I would argue that today many of the corps followed the lead of BD. The Bluecoats have completely embraced this approach and oh BTW they seem to ranked #1 right now. This years Vanguard show throws the old book out in a lot of the same ways BD did and they seem to be about #2. I would argue (someone may get upset) that Vanguard is having newfound success by doing what BD and Bluecoats started doing a few years ago. Some people don't like this new approach and I have to say that I still love listening to and watching older traditional shows. Vanguard's Phantom and Madison's A Day in the Life of a Bull Fighter are two shows I can't listen to enough. But progress is inevitable and it's a huge treat to me to watch how these modern designers create shows in this very organic way - much the way choreographers choreograph modern dance - and manage to do it for 154 people. It gives each performer a story line and the performers these days are doing so many more things than they had to do in say the 80's. We sometimes hear this knock that BD doesn't march so much. Well, I've watched this show and it's ridiculously difficult by any standard. All three of these top corps are doing less old style marching and a whole ton of other stuff. I enjoy it and by all measures the corps members seem to love it. So, I see a lot of innovation over the past few years and the entire activity has benefited from it IMHO.
  2. bayareafan

    Blue Devils 2018

    This is a great year for those of us that live in the Bay Area and happen to be fans of both BD and Vanguard. I believe they are the two best corps on the field this year and I'm enjoying both shows. There were a few years there where Blue Devils were a bit too esoteric and fans had trouble appreciating the shows. But the last several years BD has hit it out of the park in terms of design. They've been innovative - more so than any other corps IMO - and yet have produced shows that are accessible and entertaining for anyone to watch. This years show is no exception. The choice of music is fantastic from beginning to end. It fits the theme and the horn arrangements are more lush than anything else on the field. It's a great musical book - the kind you want to listen to over and over again. And the design is fascinating. So much going on and a huge amount of thought given to how each corps member creates a character of their own. Great show. However they place this year (I'm sure it'll be top 3) the show is already one of my all time favorites. This is a BD thread so I'll say less about Vanguard. I'll just say that in over 20 years of watching Vanguard live this is without question the strongest corps they've ever fielded. Their show is awesome and those of us here in the Bay Area should be proud to have two corps of this caliber in our area. No other part of the country has such bragging rights.
  3. To me, being all-male is a part of the Madison Scouts identity. If there were not many co-ed corps then I would advocate for them to change and become co-ed. However, as there are only two all-male corps and every other corps is co-ed I think it is safe to say that there are a lot of opportunities for both men and women in the drum corps activity. So I think it's good for Madison to stay all-male. Now, with regards to trans-gendered members, I would say that a trans man would fit the all-male masculine identity of the Scouts, so I think accepting trans males would make sense. Overall, an identity is in many ways the most important aspect of a drum corps. In the case of Madison being masculine is a big part of that identity and guides the design of their shows, etc. Other corps get their identity in different ways. None of these corps should give up their identities, in fact I think all them should accentuate what makes them unique.
  4. bayareafan

    Cadets 2017

    The Cadets were great tonight. For me, every time I watched The Mass I liked it more. Good choice of music, good design. I liked the choir. And the corps members were really committed to it. Great job and looking forward to seeing what the Cadets will bring to the field next year.
  5. bayareafan

    SCV 2017 - 50 Years of Class

    Congrats SCV. IMO you were the best corps tonight. That show was just so fascinating to watch. Couldn't take my eyes off it. SCVC was awesome as well and the Alumni was a real treat. Got to see them at semis as well as at the SoundSport exhibition. They were. To me SCV is definition of class. You sure proved it this year. Now I can't wait for next season!
  6. bayareafan

    Cadets 2017

    I'm from the Bay Area and and support primarily our Bay Area corps (SCV, BD). But reading this and seeing the angst that some alumni are expressing made me think that a reply to this topic might be in order. From my perspective, The Cadets are absolutely awesome this year. I know the judges aren't giving them a lot of love, but the audience sure is. I think of all the shows this year the mass that the Cadets are doing is the show I will remember the most from this season. It is really good IMO and I hope that the judges will come to the same conclusion on Saturday. So don't get too worried on this stuff. Your corps is really incredible this year. Nothing you can do to force the judges to change their mind.
  7. bayareafan

    Santa Clara Alumni Corps

    Agree. SCV alumni corps was really great tonight. A super special treat. Thanks to everyone that that participated. We really enjoyed your performance.
  8. Just wanted to start a thread for us out here in California to say "thanks" to the corps that traveled so far to entertain us. All the corps travel a lot, but it's particularly challenging for the Blue Knights and Phantom Regiment to travel all the way to the West Coast and then make their way back across the country for July and August touring season. Phantom and BK - Thanks for making the trip! You guys both have great shows and it's a treat for us out here in California to see you perform. Good luck on the rest of your season.
  9. bayareafan


    Well I hope and assume that some of the current corps members see this thread from time to time. I'm writing this post to say "Thank You" to Madison for traveling all the way out west to entertain us this year. Saw both the Sacramento and Stanford shows. Great job at both. Love the show this year. It really fits Madison well. Great music, lots's of demand, but very accessible as well. And the Scouts are performing with a lot confidence and enthusiasm. It's a real treat to watch and we appreciate their joining the west coast tour this year. Good to luck this season.
  10. I think that part of why people may think the BD score was too high is because of the way they did cameras angles during the BD show. I've seen the show live a couple of times and I've watched it online a couple of times along with a lot of the other shows. Tonight almost all of the coverage of BD was close-up camera shots. Even when they weren't in close most of the shots were still low and at an odd angle. With the other corps they tended to use high cameras more and you got a good overall sense of the show design. The way they covered BD tonight you basically couldn't get any sense of the show design at all. It was really, really terrible. If the only time I had ever seen BD was at the theater tonight I too would have though the judges were nuts. But go watch it on the Fan Network and compare it with the other corps and I think you get a much more favorable opinion of it. When it comes to brass though I think Crown is in an entirely different league than any of the others. The brass scoring should have reflected that. I was also blown away by Bluecoats and SCV. For me, the Cadets show is the one I don't get. I think the rest of the top 6 all have much more engaging show designs than the Cadets this year. But then I'm not an expert, just a fan of the activity.
  11. Anyone that sat in front of BD during their warmup back when they were on G bugles knows the difference in power that you get from those horns versus the B-flat horns of today. Just listening to BD tune on the old G bugles was honestly worth the price of admission to a show. You'd literally feel the stands shaking from the sound. The flip side is that the horn lines today are a little cleaner and are more in-tune thanks to the B-flat instruments. I also think that moving to B-flat has helped the lower tier corps perform better. The top tier corps always had such phenomenal talent that they could make the G horns sound good. But the lower tier corps would have a hard time playing them. Today when you go to a show the lower tier corps perform way better than they used to and the overall effect of the change has been to narrow the difference in quality between the lower tier and upper tier corps. From a volume perspective corps today are compensating in a variety of ways - most notably with all the electronic goo they use during loud section to support the horn lines. I don't personally like all that goo, but alas it seems we will have it from now on.
  12. bayareafan

    Santa Clara Vanguard 2013

    Just watched the show again on the FN. I only got to see SCV live early season and can't go to finals this year. Now watching it on the FN it's just amazing to see how much this show has developed. It's a beautiful engaging show and they are performing it so well now. I love it. This is the best SCV has been since '99 IIMO. They are by far the "best looking" corps out there this year. This is slightly different than saying they have the best visual GE. What I mean by that is the new uniforms are perfect. They really couldn't have chosen a better design than those uniforms. They're just great. The guard uniforms also look great and fit the show well. The back field props look good and of course the overall drill design is great. So while other corps like BD are looking flashy with props, etc. SCV is looking classy and professional. This is a show that I'll watch over and over again and that I'll play in my car. Great stuff happening with this group this year.
  13. bayareafan

    Atlanta Review

    Thanks for the review. I agree with you on SCV. They are my favorite this year. They weren't early season, but they've cleaned and improved so much that now the show sells really well. The combination of music plus the new uniforms and the accessibility of the show just make it a very enjoyable 11 1/2 minutes. So glad they chose Les Mis this year.
  14. bayareafan

    Sacramento Showdown

    Anyone know the starting time for this show? The DCI site doesn't list the starting time and the link they have to the official show site is broken.
  15. Went to the Stanford show tonight. Was a great night of drumcorps. A lot of people made it out, the weather was nice, and Stanford is a great stadium for drumcorps. Just a few very brief thoughts on each corps. This is in the order the corps performed. SCV Cadets: Nice concept taking an artistic look at war. Good repertoire and performed well though the show isn't finished yet. They did the last few minutes standing. Though they are good they are definitely not as strong as BDB this year so I don't understand how the two corps scored so closely. Blue Devils B: This corps is really strong this year. They could win the open class championship I think. Their show is titled "Warped" and that name really fits the entire show. BD is clearly grooming these kids for the kind of avant-garde productions that the A corps has taken to producing each year. This corps is worth watching if nothing else than for their drum line. They were smoking tonight and the crowd loved it. As with SCV Cadets their show isn't fully done yet so they stood and played some at the end. Buy I'm impressed with these guys and look forward to seeing how they progress this year. You should check them out. Blue Devils C: The youngest training corps in the activity is always fun to watch. Their show is themed Route 66 and includes recognizable music like Car Wash and I Can't Drive 55. I love that BD provides an avenue for young kids to participate in corps at such an early age. Fun show. Mandarins: I enjoyed this show more than anything the Mandarins have done in years. It's about the story of a Chinese man migrating to America. It's a fitting theme for the corps. The music is more accessible this year than the past couple of years and the corps seems to me to be off to a better start than the past few years. Pacific Crest: Nice show but just not memorable in any way. I didn't really get the whole Transfixed theme. It's not like with the other World Class corps where in each case you could clearly grab onto something memorable. So...not much to say here. Blue Knights: Best show I've seen from them in years. Really, really nice visual design for this show. They use circles throughout to play on their theme of "no beginning, no end". They use some prerecorded audio extensively throughout the first several minutes of the show. But they do it to very good effect. The show really works. You can't take your eyes off the field while they're out there. Good stuff. Carolina Crown: By far the crowd favorite tonight even though this is the "home show" for SCV and BD. But Carolina Crown earned it. Man are they good. It's a stunning show visually. They call it E=mc2 and somehow they tie this formula into the theme of passion.....whatever. I think it's just a way for their designers to say they have a theme when in fact they don't need a theme. Their designers are just so good they can go and design whatever show they want and people will watch it. Their brass section is so clean they bested the Blue Devils in my opinion. And visually the show is very demanding but is executed very well for this time of the season. It's a crowd pleaser from beginning to end and the people around me couldn't help shouting and clapping throughout. These guys deserve to win a championship sometime. Thanks for coming out and entertaining us Crown. We appreciate you making the trek. SCV: The staff changes made off season have really helped with SCV. This is the first time in many years that they've fielded a corps I felt had a solid chance to compete with the likes of the Cadets and BD. This is a very fine corps this year. The new uniforms look AWESOME. So much better than the old uniforms. And guard uniforms are great year as well. I felt sorry for the guard last year having to dress in those horrible uniforms and put their hair up like they had gone to be. This years production is visually and musically head and shoulders above last years. The music from Les Mis is recognizable and performed with just the right amount of aggression by the horn line. The percussion is great as always, and the overall look of the show is vintage SCV with clean design, etc. They always improve more than others as the year progresses and I predict this year they will finish a notch or two higher than last year. These guys are on a good course now. Watch for good thing to come in the next year or so. Blue Devils: BD is serving up an unhinged irreverent version of The Rite of Spring this year. You've never hear it played this way before. They of course have props and they have new ultra tall plumes this year. It is quite an elaborate production and the music book is very demanding. To me, the entire show starts strong and I found myself wanting to like it. However, once you get to about minute 6 of the show it starts to wear thin. The book this year is filled with a lot of loud, dissonant music that is hard to play but...somehow it didn't work for me in the end. Of course last years show didn't work for me as well early season but then I grew to really like it. So maybe this is another one that you have to view a few times to appreciate. One thing for sure though, BD was not as clean visually as we're used to early season. Lot's of dirt out there. Overall it was a great night. I agree with most of the judges ratings, but I don't for the life of me understand how they can rate BD over Crown. Most people in the stands couldn't understand that either. This was a home show for BD and yet when Crown came in second people booed. They have BD over Crown by .7. I think that's reversed. Crown should have beaten BD by about 1 point in my estimation. I'm not a BD hater. Quite the contrary. I'm a BD supporter. I buy most everything they sell, wear their shirts, etc, but they were not the best corps tonight.