This was my second show this week, so I feel the urge to past my thoughts.
First, I was very glad that the storms cleared out so the show could go on. It seems that every year the Glassmen show is threatened by rain, yet it always works out. I do have one beef with the people that ran the show. They did not let us into the bleachers until 8:25, after a rain delay. This is not the problem. The problem is, it created a logjam in the entrances to the bleachers. A worker came over to the group waiting to go into section 5 and 6 and yelled "Hurry, or you aren't going to get in before the first corps." In my opinion, if you delay the start of the show and do not allow the audience to enter the stands until 8:25, you be sure that those people are all up in the stands and seated before you start the show. We literally sat down as Capital was warming up on the field. I felt that was a tad ridiculous, but enough of that.
Capital Regiment kicked off the show. I really enjoy this show. I know several staff members and I have seen what the corps has overcome and the improvement they have made since that first camp. Yes, the corps is smaller but I think they perform their show, pound for pound, better than what I saw from the Crossmen tonight. The percussion is strong, the brass is improving, the color guard is doing their best, but the drill is lacking. However, the show is coming along and I am looking forward to seeing how they rank against other Open Class corps.
I was really excited to see Crossmen after their near-hit (George Carlin fans, remember this bit?) of finals last season. The beginning is very cool and incorporates some neat use of the uniform capes, and some demanding drill...possibly too demanding. I felt that the show started strong and continued throughout the entire opener, but the rest of the show left me flat. I remember the beautiful clouds that had formed, to the audience's right, during this show...and I am probably not the only one that drifted their attention to the clouds. I know this is their first show, but it was insanely dirty both musically and visually. As I said, I think Capital is doing more with less at this point. I do think there is potential for improvement, but as some others have stated, I do not think that this show has what it takes to make Finals this season. As the show progresses, the performance levels drop, the capes become a distraction, and the use of jazz running becomes tiring. I think the designer had good intentions, but I feel that jazz running is an effect of sorts, and when it is done too much, it becomes ineffective. I am not sure what the visual judge was judging, but if execution was part of that score, I think he got that wrong. Glassmen and Colts marched better tonight. I do hope that they continue to tweak this show and push back towards Finals though! Maybe another viewing is in order to get a better read.
The Colts are a lot of fun this year. I think this is my favorite Colts show since they made finals 2 (?) years ago. I really enjoy the corps uniform and have since they switched. I like how clean the red and black look when the corps turns around. I was actually really impressed by the color guard, which I normally do not pay a lot of attention to. I like what they are doing with the different implements, as well as staging and the use of color. I just think this is a fun show and at this point deserves to be ahead of Crossmen. I still think that is has more potential, but they are performing well for early on. The brass is dirty, but was more appealing to me than the first two corps. If there is one thing I have learned over the past ten years or so, its that the Colts may not always make finals...but they really want to perform for the audience. I like that. I hope this show continues to grow and would like to see them back in Finals this season.
Boston has one of my favorite shows so far. I just think it is really well designed and is a fun show that the audience connects with. I am impressed by their marching at this point and think that the show has loads of general effect. After two viewings, I am most impressed by the improvement in the brass section. I loved last year's show after Toledo also, but when finals came around I couldn't believe how little the brass had improved. This being said, I think that this show has the potential to make some noise and move up past the 10th spot. After the Glassmen closed in on Tuesday, I felt the spread was much more accurate tonight. I am really looking forward to seeing where this show goes and can't wait to get the DVDs. :)
Cadets were next and really performed well. I like this show, I think because it is just fun and well done. I am not the biggest fan of WSS, but it was nice to hear some recognizable tunes. I like that this years show has some pretty interesting drill that occurs outside of just the last minute of the show...and I enjoy the velocity of the drill at the end of this year's show as well. There is one section that I felt, both Tuesday and Thursday, that they never sounded fully together...and I can't remember what the song is called. I think they will clean that up though in time. I think that the show has the potential to be one of the top 2 shows, but I haven't seen some of the other "top-tired" corps. No one thought that Cavaliers could win in 04 with 007 and I think there are a lot of people that don't think Cadets can win with this recognizable show this year, but I think that it has the potential and, if anything, will be fun to watch the rest of the season and beyond.
The Cavaliers were up next and I was excited to see this year's offering. It began well, with a definite mountain theme, but trailed off from there. I still enjoy the visual program, but I didn't care for the music. I am usually one that defends the Cavaliers' music due to their control and balance. However, I don't know that I can do that this year. They were really...soft...in comparison with the other corps...I would put them above Capital in volume, maybe Crossmen as well, but that is it. I thought I counted 16 contras and if this is the case, that is the softest bass sound I have ever heard out of 16 contras. If they were truly balanced, there would have been a solid bass, which I felt was lacking. It was a clean show, with nice visuals and an outstanding color guard...but, I am not a fan this year. Only my opinion, I know, but I would have had Cadets over the Cavaliers by quite a bit. I know that the ending to this show will change, but there are a few other spots where the corps just stands and plays...which I thought was the end of an unfinished show, until they started moving again. I agree that this show may end up in 4th or 5th based on musical general effect...but we all know how long it has been since the Cavaliers have finished outside of the Top 3.
The Glassmen ended the show, as it was their home show and they played loud. In regards to their musical performance (brass) they played loud...and that seemed to kind of be it, for me. I think that they need to clean up a lot in the brass, especially focusing on tuning...in the mellos and baritones. If they tone down the volume a bit, I think the intonation problems will begin taking care of themselves. I don't understand the theme and, for the second day this week, could not get into this show at all. I do like the last 1/3 of the show and think that has the most general effect out of the whole program. I just would like to see more focus on music from the Glassmen. I think if some of the corps from 12-17 step up their game, the G-men could fall out of finals...maybe I just don't like the show though? I would like to wish the Glassmen family well and hope that all of their volunteers and driver are ok after this morning's accident.
It was a beautiful night once the rain passed and it was a great night for drum corps! These are just some thoughts I had and wanted to get them out to people that were not fortunate enough to be at a show last night.