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Everything posted by Dmlkmen

  1. As Crossmen celebrate their 50th, their 91 show stands out to me as one of the best. Pat Metheny and Crossmen…particularly that drum solo in Third Wind. Those Premier Drums and their unique sound- love em or hate em. : )
  2. 1991, second only to 1992 as my favorite Top 12 of all time. I love this era of drum corps. It was a time when great drill writing paired with music demand as the MO. And to speak to that, one of my favorite “vignettes” from that era. The geometric drill genius of Steve Brubaker, and the man, the myth, the legend, Mark Sylvester, both describing their drill design techniques. The Cavies 1991 show is one my favorite drill designs of all time. Field coverage, geometric shapes, and how all of that melds together- as Brubaker says- complete marriage of the music with the movement. I have a few more things I’ll share about my love of 1991 in some future posts.,
  3. I find myself watching 85, 86, 88, and 1993 more, then listening to them, ( audio only). The visiual and drill in those shows fascinate me. 91 and 98 are two shows I often listen to in the car or other places where I am not watching the show. The music in those shows, particularly Short Ride in a Fast Machine and the ballad, remind me a lot of when I was first getting into drum corps and marching overall. I’ll throw in 2001 as another show I listen to. Not one of my favorite shows overall, but I can listen to that show all day. The music in that show and how it’s played and mastered by the corps,
  4. I will list my favorite years here in a minute. But first, want to mention something I have admired that may have been overlooked…. In high school, my marching band took a few cues from Cadets in how you approach the field, as well as how to stay disciplined and act at retreat. That said, can I say here about a tradition I always saw of them that I really loved? Coming onto the field in that sharp, disciplined look. The block, for many years, always impressed me. Also, standing at retreat in attention and parade rest. No clapping, yelling, or otherwise….disciplined, crisp, and classy. I also watched them at retreat in amazement of their discipline. But here is the thing- while being so strict and disciplined ….there was this completely ironic thing about them too. They were the most willing to be different and take risks. Let’s start with some of the basic things ….marching with the right foot first. If you also looked at their marching style, you will notice this thing they did with raising their elbows on angles, and marching backward on their heels during slow sections, ( instead of their toes). Then, of course, raising the bar as to how fast they could take their trademarked and owned mantra of music equals movement. Those parts of the the show in 1986 and 1987 where for 3-4 minutes straight the tempo is soaring at 150- 175 bpms, you feel like you are soaring with them. More recently, we saw them taking a risk to innovate voice. So much so, it polarized them for several years. In particular, a year where they would be further west then they had ever been for finals, and you hear how polarizing their show was in the crowd at their Finals performance. All this being said, I think it’s worth mentioning that these things have been influential to a lasting legacy. My favorite shows: 1. 1985 2. 1986 3. 1988 4. 1991 5. 1993 6. 1998
  5. 2014 should be in consideration by fans as one of DCI’s most entertaining Top 12’s of all time. It was a great year. 1992 and 1989 are probably in the conversation of being the benchmark years for most entertaining Top 12. 2008 comes close, as the Top 7 that year were on fire at Finals. But 2014 in my opinion is the most entertaining 12th place to 1st of the 21st century. As 2014 relates to the Blue Devils, I think of I where they came from in the two shows prior to Fellinisque, and what was missing. 2012 and 2013, although brilliant in terms of the visual and music along with execution, were not shows that ultimately were embraced by a large audience. Universal love, less likely. You can sense the fresh approach BD took in 2014, and in hindsight, see how their designers must have set out to start of a new era. They seemed to get back to a showmanship approach that could really connect to the audience. They have Gordon Goodwin create a piece for them. They add in more broadway tunes, specifically from Chicago. And ultimately the overall show with its style and story of a film being created from start to finish, brings back a theme that an audience can relate to. And to innovate by building the show organically, piece by piece…. What you may start out with in June, becomes layer upon Iayer of new ideas as tour progresses. This became, I think, the greatest innovation of that show. The same could be said for their competition that year. Carolina Crown, SCV, Phantom, and of course, Bluecoats, equally impressing by adding electronics to their show in a way we had never seen before. 2014 was a year many corps were shifting into a new identity. But doing so in a very entertaining way.
  6. 1990’s The Crossmen and Pat Metheny- Specifically the album Still Life Talking. This gets constant play in iTunes for me. I hope at some point we can get a corps show doing a modern take on that album. Side Note: 1991’s drum break in Third Wind and how it was brought back in 98 with a deeper groove- Heaven. Love it to this day. 2015-2023 The Bluecoats and Pat Metheny- Thanks for putting some more great Metheny music into your shows! You have expanded my music library to go out and find the albums with Shaker Loops, Heat of the Day, and Finding and Believing. 1984- Madison Scouts - Waltz of Mushroom Hunters. (Buddy Rich, and that album cover from the Roar of 74!) - I would LOVE to hear that on the field again from Madison or even a take from another corps. Blue Devils - Hank Levy, (various pieces through the years)- There is Pegasus, and then there is the 1993 show music, which was really obscure stuff for me to find. 1990 and 1998 Madison Scouts - Remembrance, Paul Hart.- Hard to find on an album, but thankfully YouTube has it being played by a few ensembles. One of my favorite drum corps pieces ever played by the Scouts. And like others, these 5 are just to name a few. I am with a lot of people saying John Adams was introduced to them by drum corps. But I also want to say Frank Ticheli, John Mackey, and all of the great British Brass Band pieces we have been hearing lately.
  7. I was there for 1990 at 15 years old. And yes, when they turned front field for that first hit in Gloria during the opener…. -It was as loud as your speakers at home or in your car tell you it is. -It was G goodness, and “ loud is good”. -It made me a drum corps fan. And when they went into the Windows drum solo of that show…. - The crowd just ate it up and threw babies - I decided I was going to march corps at some point. - It was, and is still, one the greatest drum solo/ segments in a show I have ever seen. I saw Star of Indiana do the same thing at that show. Man, I was lucky to be able to see those shows, that year, right at the prime time of first being introduced.
  8. The Blue Stars : 2008-2011 - August shows, close to end of season The Blue Stars during these years were visually and musically one of my favorite corps. I will also say they weee inspirational, as they were a corps making a come back. Those two things made seeing them live, something special. In particular 2010 (Houdini) and 2011 (Bourne Supremacy/ Matrix), when first hearing them live, were wow moments. I have always felt 2010 was underrated, with an equally impressive 2011 show that featured music that you likely wouldn’t have expected to hear on the field ( but really cool to see they did it! ) The Blue Knights : 2011 - 2012 : Drums Along the Rockies BK was in a classical throwback mode at the time. Those were shows that I really love. I had a chance to see them evolve as I volunteered over the course of those years at camps and other events preseason. BK 2011 had some of my favorite music from past years in the show. Volunteering, I saw Ralph Hardimon working with the drumline line quite often, and remember the time I first saw them putting the Scottish drumming into the show. By the time BK got to DATR, you could see it becoming a crowd favorite. But as for one of the best drum corps moments I have ever seen, BK’s DATR 2012 performance was something special to see. I had seen parts of that show being put together at practices and camps, as well as other times when I was helping on the food truck. I saw it being put together, so to speak, but not the whole thing early that season. I was hoping to see it live as a volunteer DATR. Unfortunately, rain was causing performances to be standstill that night. However, as the last corps on, BK came out in did their full field show. And it was, if you were there, epic. Phantom Regiment 2008 - First shows of the season on their California Tour - San Diego, Corps at the Crest, Riverside. I got to see Spartacus early season as the corps made their SoCal tour. I remember the San Diego/ Oceanside show the most, as that one was where I did their lot, and heard them in that incredible season for the first time. Their brass warm up at the San Diego show had barely anyone there. They warmed up in a place that was further out from the stadium, so you wouldn’t have known where they were unless you followed them from the busses. In their lot, it was me and two other people. Phantom warmed up in a soccer field, and instead of arcing it up, they formed more of a linear formation as if they were doing basic block. This enabled me to be about 15 feet from the corps as they played various parts of the show, which I was hearing for the first time. They ended their lot with Canon from their 2003 show, and the sustained chords from 2007 Firebird. From that moment on, I think I knew this was going to be a special year. They wowed the crowd that evening with the intensity and drama that the show is known for. True, a lot of what we saw evolve into the show that year was not there at that time. But the intensity of what it could become, was felt in the crowd that night. They lost to Vanguard that evening, But if I remember correctly, they had overcome SCV and were closing their gap on BD before they left Cali.
  9. VK. 1987-1993 I am a big fan of the corps and those shows. I missed them largely because I wasn’t aware of what drum corps was until of being introduced in 1990. I got to see my first show that year, and was only familiar with the corps who were there due to my HS instructors who were in those corps, or taught them, introducing me. That said, I wasn’t familiar with who VK were until one of my instructors in HS showed me 88 Finals in 1991. I was hooked. I fortunately was able to borrow the 87-91 VHS tapes of Finals from that same instructor shortly after that, and got to not only see them in those years, but also discover much more about the activity. I remember as a 16 year old trying to plan out a flight itinerary to Anaheim around late October of 1991. It was the year I considered marching. VK and Madison were the corps I wanted to march, but never could. Thankfully, I have met several people who marched VK in those years who have told me about the their experience- so that kind of makes up for that lost time I suppose. When Star toured California early season, in the late 80s. I often think about what it would have been like to go to those shows. Some of my all time favorite shows, early season, together in one place …Freelancers, Star SCV, VK, Blue Devils, …right there at Riverside, Costa Mesa, etc. Good times. Blue Devils - 1988 My second favorite all time show…Again, if I just would have been lucky enough to have noticed drum corps a few years earlier in life….There is video on YouTube of them early season doing the encore at Riverside. I listen to it often.
  10. This piece would be marvelous as either an opener or ballad. It has everything - soloist, brass build, resolution. The way it’s written just matches perfectly to what you would love to hear on the field. In particular, Phantom Regiment following up on their Band of Brothers opener from 2010, and bringing this piece to the field.
  11. The Bluecoats have a special place for me. Bluecoats were my introduction to drum corps back in 1990. Staff from the Bluecoats assisted my High School band, along with a few visual techs from Star of Indiana. I was entering my freshman year, and was being introduced to marching band at freshman band camp in July that year. I happened to arrive early on my first day, and was greeted by the staff of my band as I walked into the band room. As I walked in, I saw they were watching what I thought was the most amazing thing. The sound, the drill, the execution, etc. of it all, I asked what high school band this was. Of course, I was swiftly corrected that they were called “ corps”, and was advised the corps on the screen was the 1988 Bluecoats from Canton, Ohio. And at that moment, began the 34 years that I have marched, volunteered, and most of all, been a fan of this activity. Later in 1991, I saw my first show live. Bluecoats and Star were at the show, and I was fortunate enough to sit in on their arcs in the lot. Thats a story for another post- but an experience I’ll never forget. Since that time I have not seen a Bluecoats show that wasn’t entertaining or one I didn’t like. Sure, what they are doing now has put them in the hunt for 1st nearly every year since 2014. But I can go back to 1987, 1988, and 1989 and say I love those shows too. I have heard stories about 1987 from various people who saw them that year. It seems like their hype was real at the time. The World War II show from 1995 is a great memory I took a WWII veteran to a local east coast show that year to see that show, along with The Cadets. Bluecoats along with Madison have always been the two corps I look forward to hearing every year. I have always known that whatever they do, they entertain. And while they took a step in wildly different and unique direction in the last 10 years, I look forward to whatever they put on the field every year, as I always have. ,
  12. This is a cover of Tool’s Schism, performed by the eclectic group Elephant Revival. Of note are a few instruments which could translate or are standard to the field. In particular, the snares playing those Danny Carey polyrhythms at the end of the song. As this thread has been going on for years, I believe it was mentioned how Vanguard could cover music from Tool. But I think now with many corps taking a risk on pieces would never expect to hear on the field, this or really any other music from the bands’ Lateralus, 10,000 Days, or Fear Innoculum releases would be fantastic. (Not only that, but any Alex Grey artwork they might want to throw in for visual to go along).
  13. Interesting. I would like to see how Crossmen fit into this category this year. That was a show that tended to be, as Rondinaro said at Prelims, about as drum corps and less prop as drum corps and less prop could be this season. And ironic, Troopers take the top spot this year. In my opinion, their show was a refreshing attempt of theme/ brand/ book and demand. Especially in the opener, which was incredibly well done to the demand of brass book and marching/ playing demand. So using this calculation, (whatever it may be to measure moving and playing), what shows come to mind that clock the highest amount of playing/ moving demand? This list is simply based on my viewing them over the years. I may get around to a stopwatch to time the movement and playing at some point. Especially those Cadet years where they are playing the 1. 1988 Cadets- Symphony #2 / Copland 2. 1992 Cadets - To Tame the Perilous Skies - Holsinger 3. 1991 Cavaliers - The Cavalier Anthems, an Advent Collection 4. 1990 Star of Indiana - Belshazzars Feast 5. 1987 Cadets - Appalachian Spring 6. 1985 Cadets - Jeremiah, Make our Garden Grow, Candide 7. 2009 SCV -Appalachian Spring ( really, any of the Pete Webber years, 2007-2012). 8. 2006 SCV - Moto Perpeto 9. 2003 Cavaliers - Spin Cycle
  14. There are several things I think are key in identifying a Bluecoats show. The obvious are props, body movement, and electronics. But the one thing I really admire and find to be incredibly cool each year is their use of polyrhythms in their brass and percussion arrangements. The piece they play this year, right before the “Bloo” shout from the corps members, is you just pure groove. It reminded me of the ending of 2015’s piece, Shaker Loops. Specifically before the Bloo shout with the trumpet echoes….This is becoming like a trademark for the corps, and I am there for it. This said and being on topic, unique time signatures from “prog” bands like Rush, Tool, or Zappa come to mind as possible material for a show. King Crimson and possibly Mars Volta as well. There could be a mix they try from the jazz, hip hop, or R&B as well.
  15. Yes! Even more, Iets give a shout out to the corps in the Pacific NW and Utah with The Batallion. Growth in these regions is important, and drum corps serving the kids in these areas is great!
  16. I am doing, “Corpsenheimer” . ( Also known as “ a lot of sitting in one day : ) Worked out well as I am finally able to get in on an IMAX matinee screening of Oppenheimer. (IMAX showings for this film have been hard to come by in not being sold out on weekends). So, thought I would take the plunge today. After that, a quick bite to eat and onto Big, Loud, and Live.
  17. Big sound tonight from BK. Might have had some audio issues from the French Horn on the tower in the opener. But that large, open sound is back. And Bocook’s book is showing in the brass runs, 16th runs, and chord structures. BK had been practicing a few miles from my house at a local HS in Commerce City, CO since April. The front range in this area is flat, and sound travels as there are no trees, just homes and some structures. I could hear their drums and brass echos in my backyard this past Spring….from those 3 miles away. Looking forward to seeing this live and stomping my feet in the stands next Saturday in Fort Collins.
  18. The dinosaur in me wants Madison….to many reasons why. I was there in 08 when they came back to Saturday night, and I remember the feeling and emotion in the crowd. But next Saturday, in front of the home crowd in Ft Collins- I think BK is going to pick up steam, (as they usually do at DATR). So, my choice is them in a dogfight with Madison to Allentown- perhaps opening the spread to catch an 11th place Colts as we head into finals.
  19. One of the very best things about Drum Corps- Blue Devils C. I was singing Africa with them. And nice little “ Downey”, Chicago ending there.
  20. Have listened to concert in the park a few times now. Like so many others posting, I really like the music. In particular, how each piece is transitioned. Also, the layers in the Dropkick Murphys piece …that is done extremely well in the brass arrangement. I appreciate that the closer has those layers in the brass as well. You get the ferocious nature of what On the Waterfront should be in both the brass and percussion, while at the same time some very good creative touches in what the arranger put into music. The trombone soloists, seemingly on each part of this show, blend very well too. I know my review sounds like Paul Hollywood eating a cookie on the Great British Baking Show…(” Wow, those layers and texture are outstanding). But I don’t mean this to be pretentious. It’s drum corps, not the London Symphony playing Brahms. But as I have gotten older, I have appreciated arrangements in brass as an art form of their own. In an activity that is increasingly visually heavy, I fully appreciate a good brass book. So Boston, I thank you! Go BAC. Eat ‘em up this year!
  21. Always intriguing with this corps….I’ll share a thought and observation since we don’t know what they will be playing this year until 1 second before their first appearance. In the past few years….We have seen ramps, humongous chairs, polka dots, a giant roller thingy trying to chop off heads….and we all know this is just the short list. It makes me think back to a drum corps saying. If I remember correctly, Rondinaro said we might see jet packs on the field at some point. While I think he meant VK actually trying that one day… with The Bluecoats, I believe this will literally/ actually happen. We will see someone, one day, actually fly across the field. But that is the fun of this corps. We are going to see something from this corps we have never seen before this year. I don’t have to see that preseason to know that anymore. I have accepted that as their MO every year, going forward. But unlike having a prop with another corps I just don’t understand- the Bluecoats seem to take it to incredible, athletic levels each year. Makes it fun - something like a circus act. I’ll admit I am getting old in this activity. 2016, with what Bluecoats ushered in with no hats, jazzercise instead of drill, and ramps- almost saw me taking the Dino land exit off the expressway. I knew one era was over and another one was beginning. I had to ponder some things…. But…While I would have told my marching instructor in 1993, “ W.T.F?” if he made me climb and push a ramp as well as “jazzercise”, before I could play my horn part…..I think the Bluecoats demonstrate how far we’ve come. I see in each performance that the kids are having the time of their lives. And thats what its all about. And since those ramps and jumpsuit uniforms of 2016, I have made my peace with them and their unorthodox approach. I anticipate what they will do next.
  22. As a fan of 30 plus years now, I’d be amiss in this thread if I didn’t mention the 1994 27th Lancers Alumni show. The Danny Boy company front was overwhelmingly emotional for me, even though I wasn’t around to have ever seen the corps perform in their active days. I could feel what the crowd was feeling in Foxboro that night, when the moment happened. Really glad to say I was there to experience it.
  23. Star 1990 is my first choice. Always will be, forever and ever The show is my favorite of all time. What I like about the recording of that show is that it picked up the “FFF” moments so well from backfield to front and in blocks and company fronts. You can hear the crescendo into the company front, which is just goosebumps everytime. The opener of the Cavaliers show, same thing. I blew out a speaker once in my car because of the way that first, glorious, turn from backfield hit of Gloria comes through a speaker. But a close second…..Madison 1995. I was at Allentown that year to experience it. Sat at the 45 yard years line, midway up. The. Place. Was. Electric. …..I wasn’t in Buffalo, but Allentown was just as crazy. 2:48 of this video on. I have never seen or heard a crowd got that crazy over a corps. And the company front is the definition in Webster‘s of thrown babies.
  24. Thanks for the link to the show debut yesterday. I understand its June, so, I’ll see what they add, clean, etc, as there is a whole season in front of them. I get a lot of this will look and sound different in time. It always does. Although for now…...idk. Maybe some of you feel the same here. I need to understand we are in a new era. And regarding that era, there is one thing in the way I expect things to be. I realize now, that needs to change. I still think each corps is going to come out and do a Gaines like drill, totally wowing me from their first show. In my head I am thinking as I am in 2011- or earlier. I see Cavies, Cadets, SCV, or Crown, and my first thought is, “what will Saktig or Gaines come up with this year when I first see them in June?” I am expecting a drill that just makes me say, “ Oh my God that’s incredible! “. “How awesome is that straight leg technique going to be in the visual.” Or, “how great is that brass going to sound as they are doing those sets.” Last year with the Cadets, I felt that from first view. But, everything must change. I need to understand that the props, dance/movement, etc., play an important role now. Whats on the field is going to look different, and the corps will be interacting with them a lot more then perhaps running and gunning with 16th and 32nd runs in a drill. And to be honest, its an acquired taste for me. But rather than turn off, I am trying see it through and be patient. This said…There are some things I like, and things I don’t like so far in this Cadets show. I had some very optimistic thoughts on this show, when it was announced. I thought it could be one of the best from the corps. The repertoire is outstanding, and the theme to go along with that, seemed to fit the athletic and “ movement is music” style of the Cadets. I was hoping for a bigger brass presence in the opener as well as some of the great drill they had in their opener from last year, carrying over into this year. The circular prop in the middle and the concentration of the members doing dancing and movement is a lot different than what I thought I’d see. To that, and as I said above - I understand this a new era we are in. And I am open to it growing on me. But I was hoping for some larger drill sets with the Hans Zimmer piece and a build into that famous theme. Was looking for something more instead of a heavy percussion into then 20 second, “ hey! we are here” moment with the brass. Honestly, a little disappointed there. Immortal is the highlight for me. Great arrangement. The soloist is outstanding in the ballad part of the piece. Looking forward to how this grows and builds. But, again, disappointed somewhat in the non movement/ no drill in the brass passages of the rest of the piece. We will see if that changes. Overall, its June. And historically with The Cadets, what we see in June could look very different by August. In the meantime, I will see how the show progresses and root for and support them as I always have- perhaps along the way learning to understand The Cadets and the entire activity, differently.
  25. Just a note, for anyone going to Drums Along the Rockies in Ft Collins in a few weeks. Parking passes are available now for the show. Got mine on Friday. This is my first show since they made the switch out of Denver, and the first time at the new stadium. My ticket notes accommodations with a bar and restaurants inside for the premium seating I bought. I am hoping it’s similar to the premium seating at Mile High Stadium when DATR was there. The premium seating bar with the large screen, bathrooms, and food on the United lounge level made DATR such a great experience- particularly when it rained. Also, curious as to how the acoustics are, as Mile High was just about perfect anywhere you sat. Anywho, I am hoping I’ll have some time to catch them next weekend at their Adams HS debut. ( I have Denver Comic Con tickets so that might be butting heads in scheduling with me next Saturday). Otherwise, I’ll wait till DATR and seeing how they are. Looking forward to a great season from BK.
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