I was at the show last night. First show in a few years. First time posting here in a few years. My life has been nuts last few years...beating cancer was one of them. And to be honest, had some issues with the lack of traditions in Drum Corps as of late. But...it in my blood and I wanted to go to a show again. So, here's my review and thoughts. And yes...I've read all 26 pages of this thread. Lol.
I was sitting in Section 105 row M seats 9/10. Nearly the 40 yard line left of the 50 looking at the field. Row M was about 3/4 of the way up the stadium.
* For the record I hate amplification. I get it, but I feel it's not needed 90% of the time for all Corps.
* I purposely didnt watch any show on any outlet...wanted this to be the first time I saw the show to not be biased.
* I have been keeping track of scores, some threads at times, so I knew where Corps stood.
LEGENDS: I know this will cause waves but...the main thing I liked about this Corps is they wore hats. I know the trend is no one wears them anymore, but imo to not have them makes a Corps look unprofessional...like it's missing something. Uniform, unitard whatever...they need hats of some sort. If you want to take them off for the last number ala Madison's great 2011 closer, great. But to not have them, is a mistake imo. It's not Johnny's Vanguard...its the Santa Clara Vanguard. And I digress.
The show was decent. They were bigger than I thought they'd be. Cleaner than I thought they'd be. Visually, I liked the color changes. Musically they were just ok for me. Found myself getting a little bored about 3/4 of the way through. But I did like plenty of the show and enjoyed it overall
THE ACADEMY: Uniforms would have been slick with a hat. Tall plume...would be sick. Middle of show...the trumpet solo. Sounded like it was coming through the speakers vs a nice smooth solo off in the distance. Hated that...heard that way too much tonight. Yuck. Its supposed to sound like it's a distant solo....that why the MM was in the back...put him up front if you want him to be louder.
Pit on the left hand of the field was...kinda wired. But it worked for them.
The horn piece about 9 min in was pretty cool. Back and forth across the field...some amplification artifacts there i know but still cool. Little sloppy during all the trills but they aren't SCV or Bluecoats so to be expected.
Bridge over troubled water pieces were pretty nice. Liked the horn line came up to the orange stands at the end.
THE COLTS: Uniforms were...weird. but..they fit the show theme. And at least they had orange and red in them. The beginning was weird. Too much amplification for me. I get the affect, but make it more subtle vs loud as heck.
ACDC intro was just ok for me. Done better, this could be kinda cool, ala Crowns Rock show.
Corps was very dark in the beginning, fit the theme well.
The end of the opener having all the horns together was a little goosebumpy due to the loudness. Missed that part for sure!
Drum solo was decent. Nothing too impressive for me. I miss the days when a drum solo...was a drum solo. It's still Drum and Bugle Corps right? Rhetoric question. I just miss good Drum solos where they did plenty of trick work or a ton of drums while the guard and horn lines are doing craziness. Ala Cavies not that long ago.
Again during the middle, maybe closer to the end...the piano/slow parts...started to get boring for me. Made it hard to focus on what was going on.
I honestly thought at the end of the show, they were all gonna change to blue as hell did freeze over..but alas they didn't. Would have been a cool effect.
Closer was just ok for me. I did like the screamers!
BLUE STARS: Knew they were scoring well, was excited to see this show. But it was a let down for me. Uniforms had to be hot as heck. For me, I get the uniform as the show theme, but I didn't see the Blue Stars on the field. Make this a Guard uniform vs a Corps proper. I could say this about near every Corps though. This is what I'm talking about with Tradition. Go out to the souvie stands...you can still see the tradition on every one...its just missing from the field imo.
The song about 3 minutes in was recognizable, but I cant place who.has done this in the past? Anyone? I'm thinking early 90s.
Horn line was powerful. You could tell this was a top 8 corps. Refreshing. Didnt get bored ever with this show but maybe I was expecting too much. All the visuals were very distracting. Hard to keep track of everything going on.
The solo 6 min in...was it amped? Sounded like it. Do they have wireless mics now? Heard this type of sound several times tonight. I prefer the true solo. I cant imagine BD and Madison soloists of the late 80s and 90s would want to be amped. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd say they wouldn't as it was true sound.
Didn't get the massive "thing" stand on the right hand side of the field.
Drum solo was just ok for me at about 9 min in. Just another run of the mill Drum excert for me. Appreciate it for the work it takes...but why cant we make it fun?
Closer...just eh for me. I kept waiting for more...and it never came.
THE CADETS: Gonna preface this with, I'm usually not a big Cadets fan. Maybe becasue at times I feel they ruined DCI with the onset of amplification. But really, nothing personal, they are just usually kinda blah for me.
Uniforms...Hey!! Tradition isnt dead in Drum Corps. Yes!! Even without hats I liked it. Would have been better to start with some sort of jacket and hat, and shed it after the opener for what they have now?. Idk. But I loved the unis
The massive stands...hmmm.
2 min in...narrative...ugh. tune it out....tune it out. But the song comes together nicely. That drum line...whoa! The licks they were putting down...and that bass line. Holy crap! What is this?? Hell yes!! So Fing awesome!!! I realized i had a smile on my face. Lol. Like the tenor chops and rim shots! Chi Kah chi kah CHI KAH! For the first time I verbally give a whooooo! Yes...drums live!
######...stop ruining the #### horn solos with amplification! Sigh. Hey, bridge over troubled water again? Wait didn't someone do this already tonight? Oh well...ooh look at the Contras on the stand. Cool. Power! Yes!!! Ugh....narrative again. Wait now.were getting saucy!! Yes!! Park and blow yes!!!
What is this? Do what? Do better? Ok. Kinda cool. Narrative and Corps proper. Ok. Drums!! Good God! Ok...so this is the 10% where the amps are cool. Listen to that tenor line!! Bass drums! OMG!!! Snares!!!! THE DRUM LINE IS GOING NUTS!! Hell fing yes!!!! I stand and cheer emotions pouring out. WOW!!! WHAT IS THE HORN LINE DOING RUNNING UP AND DOWN THE RAMPS! AHHHHH THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!!!! Haha.
Closer...listen to that syncopation of the horn line trills. Wow!
Ok....this could be my favorite show of the night...and my favorite Cadets show of all time. Just wow!
THE BLUECOATS: Whew...emotions still running high from the Cadets show. Ok Bluecoats...check. Uniforms...pretty cool actually. Not sure a hat works here. Likely could use one but without is ok for me. Love love love love all the different colors of blue. Freaking cool! Beatles...ok. amplification. Ugh. Sigh. Typical blucoats dancing first and not.playing music. Remember the Crown Rock show??? Remember how cool that was?? Just music the whole time. Dude. Sigh...ok. I digress again.
Opener...ok, recognizable music. That always helps. Ugh. Stop the narrative.
Oooh Eleanor Rigby! Played this for two years, 81 and 82. Nice to see it done by a powerhouse. Horn line is pretty clean, dang. All that intonation. Whoa....cool. ok that cool...back into Elenor Rigby. Powerful. Love those alternating trumpets!
5 min in. Whoa...listen to that horn line. Dang. Respect. So smooth.
6 min in...the hornline is grouped all across the field. Nice affect. Like it. Drum line is slick, but cadets were better. Like that ending here...shouting blue after 3 hard hitting notes
The roller things..not feeling them. Nor the Mickey mouse looking props in the back of the field. Bring back the cool jumping off the ramps into the crowd of Gaurd props.
####..this horn line is sick. Wow!! Except all the amped solos. Yuck.
Getting Saucy on Come Together. Like it! That soloist is amazing wow! Like this!! Blue Devils esc at times there.
Haha nice fake ending Bluecoats! Nice bow and leave the field...but I prefer blowing me away to end it. Always have...
SCV: sigh. This is my favorite Corps of all time. Spent alot of time with them in the past in California. They have always been about passion, power and opera/big production style shows. You always know its SCV. Always. If any corps ever about Tradition...its this one...
WHAT HAPPENED? I'm sorry, I know everyone loves this show, maybe last years is bleeding over love to 2019 but what the heck did I just watch? I'm not sure Gail would buy off on this.
Uniforms. What are they wearing? They look like elves. Kind of a half dress half elvish style pants...some wierd shoe thing. Since when have the Vanguard been about Grey and Marooon? Seriously. Go out to your Souvie stand...look at the top. Look at the shirts. Red, green, white...some variation. Go. Look at your shield, where is it? What colors are those? Sigh. I'm sorry but these are the worst uniforms I've ever seen. I respect the MMs, the work and effort they did to get to where they are. Check. But gimme my Vanguard back ######. Who doesn't want to see some variation of their tradition marching out on the field with those hats pulled down so you can barely see their face? Just epic.
This really distracted me from the show. I liked parts. The horn line was very good, not as good as the bluecoats. The drum line was clean...but not more entertaining than the Cadets.
The opener was ok. Drum line was very very clean. Horn line was powerful. Didnt like how any solos seemed to be emminating from the amps.
I found myself having a hard time paying attention to this show. The trombone solo at 5 min sounded terrible through the amps. Very distracting from the rest of the show. I found myself wishing it would just end. I hated all the solos coming out the amps. They seemed so fake. Bleh.
Lemme put this in perspective. I'm telling you, I know every Vangaurd show since 1981. My first show I listen to at the beginning of my Drum Corps show is 1989 Phantom of the Opera. Every. Single. Year. Number 1. I cant get enough of that show. I saw it live 6 times...it was glorious. Not to mention all the other SCV shows. Even ones that were just ok for me, were light years better than this show. Again, respect for the kids, the instructors, all the volunteers and effort that goes into this Corps and this show. I just feel, this isn't SCV anymore.
THE CAVALIERS: OMG the Drum Majors are dressed traditionally!! Hope it's not just for their home show. I have a sneaky suspicion it is. But still cool to see shades of the Green Machine.
All Male corps equal power. End of story. Wow! What a show! Sorry...I'm gonna shorten this post as I've been typing this for an hour. Keyboardists... dang!!! Love this show. Maybe I'll edit this later to add more thoughts. But have to leave for me.