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Everything posted by MikeRapp

  1. So so sweet to see those kids crying at the end. Wow. Wonderful. That’s what it’s all about.
  2. I am super super glad Knights are in finals. I remain hopeful that they will eventually figure out the props/visual part of this activity. More than any other finalist corps, Knights always seems to make visual the least/last thing in their design. Props are too small, too noisy, and make little sense. I don’t know why Knights is consistently so good in other areas and so confusingly missing visual design.
  3. What’s the point? You can send Vanderbilt’s coaches to watch every single Alabama practice. Write down every play. Won’t matter. Alabama is filled with 5 star recruits who are essentially NFL players on a college campus.
  4. More than one way to answer that, but here’s one: BD consistently marches one of the oldest, most experienced and certainly most accomplished corps in DCI. Every single year. On Day 1 they are so far ahead of 90% of the rest of Dci that they can be cleaning their show from week three on. The tiny tiny details, at scale, just match up show after show. Because of how dci scores shows and seasons, their head start means they set the bar. And that is almost impossible to beat. The shows that beat them ran the table end to end. It’s just the nature of the activity. BD is clean from day 1. By the time you get to finals they are sleeping in hotels and haven’t played a show in a week. It is a formula that works over and over again.
  5. It won’t matter. No matter what rules you make, it won’t change the fact that BD can still recruit the most experienced and accomplished members (ensuring they don’t march for their competitors) and put a $100,000 sound system on the field.
  6. DCI isn’t a franchise. It’s a trade org. The rules are made by and agreed to by the members. DCI has no power to enforce any rule unless the members agree.
  7. And this is why I take their “method of design” with a few shakes of salt. It simply won’t work if you’re fielding a corps that is 80% first year DCI 18 year old marching members.
  8. There are now a handful of orgs that can compete with BD every year—though sadly SCV was one of them until this season. Still, the resources at the hands of those who run the BD org are vast, diverse and somewhat unique. Regardless of how good Bluecoats, Crown and Boston are, BD has two decades of winning behind them. They can sign almost anyone auditioner they want to sign. This makes it possible to field the most demanding technical shows without dot charts. It’s simply not a fair fight. It’s not BDs fault, for sure. But let’s be honest and say nine times out of ten BD is going to win because they are literally playing with a stacked deck.
  9. Not sure who the director in charge of costuming is, but the guard costumes are the best of the season by a significant margin. Just beautiful.
  10. We all know that if you cheer for the Cowboys or Yankees or ManU, you probably do so because you like cheering for the most popular brand. You also know that a lot of people won’t like you, and won’t be attending the Super Bowl, MLB or Cup parade. Comes with the territory. In DCI these are kids and no matter how much your loyalties get you riled up, you should never openly diss a kid. I remember days when people booed BD. That was the era when a certain corps played Pop Goes the Weasel when a fellow corps won a medal to mock their book. Thankfully we aren’t there anymore. IMHO adults should show respect for all the performers regardless of their corps or final ranking. Demanding a standing ovation seems kind of…silly.
  11. BD is so well-honed (for a variety of reasons) that their shows both look and sound 80% the same. This might not be so obvious if their show concepts weren’t so narrow. Fwiw I also generally don’t care for the other tropes in DCI. It doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate their relative achievements, but sameness for me isn’t a benefit to my appreciation of a show. It’s likely that the sameness is something that makes it easier for corps recruit and raise funding (alums tend to be attached to their era of a corps—we have seen this in spades with Madison, Phantom and Cadets). The sameness (a nice way of saying predictability) is a lot easier to accept if you keep winning. If you’re Madison, it may not be a winning strategy. That’s why I think Bluecoats is smart to establish a general edgy brand image rather than something as extremely narrow as BD. Bloo can do Beatles and then do R&R and then Garden of Love and it still sits in their creative wheelhouse. I am aware enough to recognize that BD is just simply better than everyone else by a significant margin. But I don’t think that has anything to do with their show styles, which is why I would like to see them risk more. BD is playing it safe, because they keep winning.
  12. Comes with the territory. BD can pretty much sign anyone they offer now, they have the biggest org, the most money, the best sound system (maybe arguable), probably the best paid staff…keep going. They are the Yankees of DCI in the pre-salary cap era. If you’re a Yankees fan you love it, if you’re the Rays…not so much.
  13. It may be that the maturation of this activity means each corps will (and will have to) develop their own distinct method and show style—and maybe it’s always been this way. The down side is once you get known for that, it can seem stale and safe. Bluecoats’ “style” allows them to do a Beatles show one year and whatever Riffs was last year. And Garden of Love this year. It’s still Bluecoats—but entirely fresh from year to year. Crown has a musical style of arrangements and performance that we can immediately see and especially hear as Crown. But their show concepts are very diverse IMO. If any corps’ “tropes” get so recognizable that it seems they are seen as boring or cynical (hey it worked last year, lets just keep doing that) then it’s up to each of us to decide whether we like that.
  14. I don’t get this statement. I don’t love the BC show personally but totally appreciate what they are trying to accomplish. Same with BD. Everyone wants to like every show “personally.” But that’s not reality.
  15. Of course I would. But that’s just me. I would not want to keep mining the same concept over and over again. As a designer, I would want to do something new and more challenging.
  16. I’ve said this many times, I am a huge BC fan but this is not my favorite show of theirs, or even of this season. But I do respect how they approach show concept and design, especially GE, brass arrangements and costuming.
  17. Yep: same. The BD ballads are literally all the same. Even the staging is the same.
  18. Do. Something. New. If you have all these resources, why not use them to take some risks? That’s what I guess I don’t understand. Why would you want to keep doing the same thing every year when you could literally do ANYTHING and probably still win?
  19. They are superior. I mean look at the gold medals. I totally respect their craft, I just find it a bit cynical. It’s the same concept over and over again, even some of the same arrangements and passages. I get that Crown has their things too. Cavaliers, Cadets, even Coats. But 95% of BD is intentionally reflective of things they did last year and the year before. It’s the same concept over and over again, and until the judges stop rewarding it—they obviously are not gonna change.
  20. Not gonna change. BD plans every single aspect of their existence to win the technical points that amount to gold. They recruit the most skilled kids, pay the most to the best teachers…heck they have the best sound system. They are a winning machine, they have the goose that lays the golden eggs, and until that doesn’t work anymore they’re gonna keep mining that same creative concept. Over and over and over again.
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