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Everything posted by MikeRapp

  1. The Murfreesboro show moved to Vanderbilt University this year, I had heard because of work being done on the MTSU stadium. But I would have to believe DCI would love to keep the event at Vandy. VU has a truly state-of-the-art artificial surface, and being in the heart of Nashville means Nashville (and SEC) media will cover it. I don't know what attendance was like at Vandy vs. Middle. Is there a strategic or political reason the tour would remain at Middle?
  2. And maybe that is the only problem with that program. They are making really difficult things look very easy and therefore you don't see how hard it really is. I do think that they spend a disproportionate amount of the show playing while not marching. But, they only do that when they want you to watch the other side of the show, where the guard is "acting." Personally I would rather have more tradition, but I'll take acting/drama/runways/lights over trampolines every day of the year.
  3. To me, the Bluecoats' show is a modern version of Frameworks. It celebrates what is the most unique aspects of a corps at its best and purest. Frameworks said, hey, we are going to take what makes the basic elements of music and dance, and show you how we interpret that. We're going to start somewhere and finish somewhere else, based on that starting point. They aren't trying to tell you that Tilt is anything more than that, and in fact they are asking you to just sit and consider nothing more than that for a dozen minutes. It is a fun ride, and they assume you get that that is their message. Bluecoats not only did that in an innovative and truly modern way, they are schooling most of the corps in the sheer basics of playing corps music! If that's not deep enough for you, that's cool. I love the thematic shows as much as anyone, maybe more. But if you don't like Tilt because it doesn't have an overall "meaning," or you don't see a thread, you have to at least tip your hat to their playing. Because holy heck, they are killing it every single night.
  4. Well, we also see last year's world champion using trampolines on the field. For all the talk of trombones and narration, it would seem that the Cadets did Crown a favor by becoming the hot button topic. I am all for patriotism. Though it didn't score great, the Scouts' 9/11 show was incredible and got a massive fan following. Their closing continues to be considered by many as one of the greatest DCI closers ever. It's really less about "patriotism" to me and far more about ham-handedness in design. The huge stage is such a bizarre distraction, the narrator just comes off like a PBS documentary (again, not his fault, he is reading the script), and the big tarps are just not elegant in any way. For a Corps that has always majored in traditional elegance, this show just comes off as bizarre because it is so heavy-handed. It seems to trust their (phenomenal) talent so little. To me, the Cadets should be doing shows like Frameworks. Maybe they reacted to Crown's momentum and felt they had to do a show that would keep today's kids interested. One last thing. I doubt few Americans put "the promise of America" in the same sentence as presidents. The promise of America is the middle class, the American dream, and main street. Trying to wave the banner of Americanism by focusing on presidents (and then clearly figuring this out late and sticking big pictures of people no one knows on the field at the very end of the season) was just a miss from a general show direction standpoint. Where "...that one second" wins is by making an emotional connection with fans. The Cadets show, honestly, just does not make that emotional connection because they dragged mostly dead and in some cases very divisive public figures into a presentation of Americanism, and most people just don't see government as a part of the American promise.
  5. I'm not saying the kids "put a lot of stock" into what is said here, but I guarantee you 100% of them read it.
  6. My question is, are the Cadets leaders pushing hard toward this direction because they think it will possibly push them past Blue Devils/keep them ahead of Bluecoats (IOW it's a strategic move for better numbers), or create a "better" show for the crowd? It's hard to imagine the kids liking the constant ramp-up of the "cheese factor." They surely read this forum and hear what people are saying. At this point, it is difficult to understand the motivation behind the weekly increases in whatever you want to call it, because it just seems that it isn't getting them any better numbers or fan reaction. Maybe when you get to this point, you grasp at almost anything you think might give you even an incrementally better chance to increase your numbers.
  7. I get it but winning matters on so many fronts, including recruiting and financial support. The fact is, winning means the Devils sift through thousands of potential recruits to get their cast, and as a result they start with a top five program before they even play the first note. They are what Alabama is to college football. Fortunately, not everyone can play for the Devils. Interesting thing to me, just FWIW, is Carolina Crown. Here is why. You look at how DCI has succeeded and survived, it is almost exclusively due to two very small geographic pockets of elite corps: central California and upper midwest. Pretty easy to surmise how these corps feed off of each other in every way, including recruiting, fan support and donors. But then you look at Crown, which is nowhere close to anyone else, and they won a world title last year, and have emerged as one of the elite corps. From what I can surmise, it seems as though the true success of the Devils is their total organization, and not just the World Class corps. They have figured out a total business plan that, in effect, uses the visibility and success of the corps to draw in people to their other revenue streams. I think it would be very hard to succeed long term as just a corps on any level, because it takes so much money and resources to field one.
  8. What would be the highest combined score for the top five finishers? Seems to me that record may be broken this weekend, which in some ways may be more significant than whatever the Devils may accomplish.
  9. Coats Devils Knights Vanguard FWIW, I am not a kid, and there are two shows I continue to go back and watch: BD and Bluecoats. I have gone back and watched the Devils, as many shows as I can get to, and that is easily the best overall program of the year. I tend to not root for the favorite but they are the favorite for a reason. If they had a bigger, more "Ta-Da" ending, they would be even further ahead than they are now. I see no one coming close to them in Indy. Coats would contend for the title if their guard was competitive with the top groups. Their music program rips your face off. The ballad is incredible. They give you just enough of "blast" to just tease you into the sort of quiet moment that is really hard to pull off in DCI. I would love that show without the pitch bend. I think Vanguard is the best classic DCI-type show on the circuit this year, really awesome to watch, but does not have the flow and entertainment value that Devils and Coats have. I want to like the Cadets, but I detest the stage and the narrator. I am a sucker for schmaltz, but that show just buries you in it. I feel like my eight grade social studies teacher secretly manufactured that show. It has none of the magic of the 2001 Scouts. Crown of course has a crazy horn line and arrangement, but their program just never goes anywhere for me. I watch Devils and Coats and both of those shows just seem to flow and fly by. Crown's show is just forced to me. Of the rest, I actually really like Oregon Crusaders. I'm not a DCI expert but they look like the next corps to emerge as a contender. They seem to have all the parts to be successful.
  10. I am originally from Toledo, though have lived in Nashville since the '80s. I learned recently that the Glassmen folded last year, despite having established themselves as a perennial DCI finalist. I am sure many of you have had direct interaction with that corps over the years, and am wondering what the inside story was on their financial demise. Obviously, the Bluecoats have succeeded just down the road in Canton. I am not sure there has been a corps that was that successful fold right when it seemed they were on the verge of becoming a national name.
  11. This past week I went back and watched one of my all time favorite shows, Spartacus. The Blue Devils had won every single event they played all season long, but it was clear that as the season went on, Phantom Regiment was winning the hearts and minds of fans. Regiment went to Indy having never finished above third all season long, but obviously we know how that ended. Obviously the similarities between the Blue Devils and The Bluecoats is striking. Does anyone recall how far behind PR was going into Indy?
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