The weather was good for a show. Pretty good stadium. It was packed.
Racine Scouts: I am glad they continue to field a corps. I admit however that I want to know why there isn't a change
there to improve numbers or quality. Maybe that is not the priority, and maybe that is okay. A few talented members on the
field tonight giving it their all for sure.
Pioneer: Is is good to see the number of members is higher this year. The show seems a bit more sophisticated than the past
few years. There were a couple of coordinated moments of arrival that got applause. Drums overpower a lot. Brass seem
very young and inexperienced. Guard okay.
SOA: They look really big compared to Pioneer. Same retro uniform as last year. Pretty blue on the jacket. Guard has gotten their costumes: largely black and dark brown with flame-like stuff on them in a very contemporary look. First note was loud and got some reaction, but then the intro didin't really go anywhere. I never really got into the show. It was a lot of big volume and there seemed to be a real lack of planned arrivals or full corps coorduinated moments. The guard integration is highly suspect compared to modern day drum corps. It would have been fine in 1990. Ballad soloists was quite good and the only time I felt there was any emotion displayed other that loud anger. Some forms and intervals were clean, more so than last year at this time. The drum writing is odd/interesting. Snares had a few good licks, and also a few big blow ups. Guard is extremely dirty and seem quite young.I tried hard to follow the show. The theme never came across to me. Overall, they have an agressive sound that makes the corps seem better than 2014 perhaps, but I do not think the show is any stronger. If anything, it came across to me as less tied together with less opportunity to grow than last year's production. Sorry. Just how I see it.
Colts: I was expecting a lot more. I really liked last year's show and thought had they cut the narration in half, it would have been much stronger. This year they seem to have doubled the narration over last year. Arghhhh. The show reminds me of SOA's NOIR show, just way less interesting at this point. They seem pretty behind in regards to cleaning and getting the whole show on the field. The Johnny Staccato story is somewhat easy to follow, but the mix and balance of sounds sometimes obsecure the narration. The acting is currently not beleivable. It is so hard to really comment about how they drum, spin, and brass. All seem fine/good/potentially competitive. I just think they need to go away for a week and finish the show, have lots of sectionals, and do some detailed planning of each phrase of the show so that we understand and enjoy the production start to finish without having to work so hard to get it. The show does seem to have much more potential than SOA. If they get their act together, I could see they passing SOA up.
Crossmen: This is the best they have been in a long while. A huge jump over Colts and SOA in all regards. I actually like the uniform a lot on the field. The guard costume is equally wonderful and both fit the theme. The overall "Above and Beyond" vibe of the show is already coming across. The cloud props and tarps work well. Not sure I am buying the paper airplane props just yet. They seem clunky and a bit silly. A good idea not realized effectively. The brass seem to have the depth they have been missing. The drums tasty, though we will see if their book holds up over time. Guard is effective. The space created in front of the pit (which is backed up onto the field and split) is effective, some of the time. Like the paper airplane props, a good idea not realized effectively. Going in and out of that space becomes forced, and I think used too much. Depending on the 11-19 groups I have not seen, I think they are pretty solidly in finals. It is a strong year overall all so there is of course no room for letting down. Not that they would. Eager to see this one again.
Cavies: And yet another jump in overall presentation. They seemed on fire and the crowd really responded. The drill, music, brass, drums are all better than last year, though I cannot say I enjoyed the design better in regards to theme. That said, the music and drill are well coordinated in terms of staging, variety, and interest. The drumline had some real stellar moments as did the brass. The guard seems a bit behind the rest of the corps, though they are well staged and I thik the costume fits the theme. I like all the silks, though I do not think the last two are the show silks as of yet. Get the theme more evident, some pacing things worked out, mistakes gone, and this could be a real power house of a show. Depending on BK and Phantom, they could easily remain in sixth, possibly bumping over Crown at a show or two. That also depends on Crown's much needed additions and changes.
Cadets: Wow, they are really good. In most years passed, at this time of year, this would be our clear DCI champion. However, it is 2015 and this top six are out for blood. The first two minutes are nearly unbelievable in trems of members meeting some of the highest demand I have ever seen, and, I think that their demand pays off in effect. As opposed to Devils that are way more reserved with how much and how often they place simultaneous demand on the members, this is often off the charts for a lot of the show. The arrangemenst are fantastic and the brass sound great. The drum book is crazy good and soooo musical. Could see them winning drums. Guard is better than last year. I love their costumes. Clean and bright. Strong. The ballad seems to be evolving quite well and must be fun for members and staff alike in that it is so differnent and at this point of the season, appropriately a work in progress. They had a few holes tonight. I hope they are filled soon and that they are not the result of permanent injury. Like the use of electronics, though I think they need to continue to experiment and tweak. I am sure they will. Great corps. Some really unbelievable moments.