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About pudding

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    DCP Veteran

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  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    Spirit of Atlanta, Bluecoats
  • Your Favorite Corps
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    2015 Bluecoats
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season

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  1. While I don't think I would go so far as to claim that their shows was "an epic musical fail" (there very distinctly were times of melody and rhythm, notably the Peter Gabriel and the drum & bass), I don't necessarily disagree with the overall thesis that overexposure to an artistic work can create an undeserved perception of quality. Whenever I listen to shows for the first time, I always try to enjoy them on both artistic merit and creative cohesiveness; I appreciate the performers always, but I will readily tear to shreds the designers if they put together what I feel is a sub-par product. In general, this year felt rather bland to me across the board; no single show completely gripped me, and, agnostic to the achievement of the performers (that is, if each and every show were performed by hypothetically "perfect" performers), I don't think that I could root for any corps' show to win. This isn't to say that there aren't great moments in various shows; of course, the hit in SCV's ballad is incredible, as is the Bluecoats' vocal integration and low tessitura trumpet solo. However, while in other years I have been captivated by the holistic product that certain corps have presented, this year I was not moved by any. I predict that this thread will not engender any meaningful discussion, as most posters on here default to the mentality that any criticism must automatically be hater-talk and therefore dismissed out-of-hand (and, admittedly, the OP is rather unnecessarily harsh in their presentation of their thesis), but on the off chance that a real discussion does happen, I would like to contribute my piece: I think it's okay to not like shows, if one feels that the show has not moved them personally.
  2. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    Cadets: A good sound. Their brass is remarkably good considering their staff losses. Percussion is fine. In terms of design, I didn't really get any feelings of "Unity". Not a huge fan of the costumes. My score: 91.65 posted from the DrumScorps app
  3. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    Bluecoats: Much more refined sound than in previous years, while still holding that slightly raw edge that is their characteristic sound. Probably my favorite design this year. Goo was noticeable, which I feel is somewhat unusual for them. Their lack of percussion repertoire recognition is criminal, just comparing to SCV back to back. They don't have quite the same punch in their impact moments as SCV does, but their package has more flow from idea to idea. My score: 93.9 posted from the DrumScorps app
  4. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    SCV: Incredible sound. Their holistic sound is the best of the night so far. Amazingly balanced brass. A couple of the screamers were very slightly off tonight. I remain disappointed with the front ensemble writing; outside of the features, it's rather uninspired. I don't love the drum & bass breakdown; I think that the show would flow better without it. A few imperfections with prop movement. My score: 94.7 posted from the DrumScorps app
  5. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    Carolina Crown: They sound really good, in all sections. I'm a bit disappointed at they use the sideline timpani gimmick to excuse having no major front ensemble contribution for an extended period. Goo was mixed very well, could barely detect it. Unfortunately their visual program is horrific, even I could detect major issues. In addition, their show design is so bland, a huge waste of the incredible talent they have musically. My score: 92.7 posted from the DrumScorps app
  6. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    Boston: I enjoyed them very much. Their brass sound was the most natural so far, with almost no stickout goo. I greatly appreciated the use of handchimes and handbells in the front ensemble. I haven't been following too closely, but it seems that they added something new to the end? It's a soft ending that end with "BAC WAS HERE" spelled out in the props and guard. I thought it was cute. My score: 92.1
  7. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    Cavaliers: The best sound so far, although the goo mixing is bad at some points. I don't really like the showtunes thing at the end, I think that it feels tacked-on and tacky. Percussion is great, although I wish they would move away from overusing split gimmicks. I appreciated the marching xylos, although I don't quite get what they added to the show thematically. My score: 90.05
  8. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    Blue Knights: Much stronger sound than Phantom, but it's raw and unrefined. I'm not sure if this is what they're going for, since it's similar to the kind of sound that they've had for the past few years, but I don't know if it fits my tastes, personally. Visually they seemed a little bit weak. My score: 84.15
  9. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    Phantom: In general, nice sound. However, it sounds really unfocused. The balance between the horns and percussion, and in particular the front ensemble and everything else, is off. I would describe their holistic sound as muddy. I don't get any of their visual design choices, but I also don't really get any of this year's visual designs so I'm not qualified to speak on that topic. My score: 81.7
  10. pudding

    Chester Tour of Champions - August 01, 2018

    Front ensembles are going to drive Talen Stadium staff nuts tonight
  11. Used to be, sure. I hear this oft repeated when discussions of "proper etiquette" arise concerning classical concerts. However, I am of the opinion that there is a certain courtesy that should be paid to the other members of the audience; of course, one should enjoy the music and the experience as one wishes, but only to the extent that it does not diminish the experience and enjoyment of the person next to you. In Mozart and Beethoven's time, it was expected that audiences would respond with their cheers or jeers immediately; this is no longer the case. Particularly when artists and composers are crafting subtle, nuanced experiences into their works, it is rude and disrespectful to disrupt not only the performance, but the experience of your fellow audience member. Of course, if live reactions are expected at a particular venue, then naturally one should not hold back their reactions. I still think, however, that some consideration should be given to whether the reactions are disruptive to the person next. If I cannot hear a percussion lick because the person next to me is screaming about a fantastic brass hit, then I will be put out.
  12. Personally, when I attend I show I want to catch every single detail that I might miss when watching videos. Because of this, I don't applaud or cheer unless I know for absolute certain that there is nothing going on, including programmed silence. I find this to be similar to watching an orchestral concert; the current etiquette at such a venue is to remain silent and enjoy the experience being provided, and to also not potentially disrupt the experience of the concert-goer next to you. Contrast with, say, a jazz club, where one is almost obligated to clap and applaud during the performance, notably after solos. I'm not saying that one way is correct, or is better than the other, I'm simply sharing my approach. I will add, however, that as a performer it is much, much easier to get hyped or pump out the energy when the crowd is active rather than passive. I remember distinctly a crowd in 2013 that was dead, and while I understood that it was because the crowd was respectfully listening to the show, it was extremely difficult to push energy into the performance. Contrast in 2014, when nearly every single show was hyped up because the crowd was always into it.
  13. I'll extend my previous comment; I think that most corps this year fit the description of "Stellar musical packages, with questionable visual packages and/or show designs". For example, Crown's music book is very nice, but their holistic show design is lacking. Bluecoats have an incredible jazz package, but I find myself wanting in terms of visual impact. SCV's music is outstanding, but the design is vague and the visuals are confused. This is a year for buying the album, but not the BluRay, in my opinion.
  14. While I am not completely sold on the design, SCV's music book is absolutely stellar this year.
  15. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Machine. I'd say it goes back and forth between Machine and Frameworks for my favorite Cavies show, depending on my mood. Maybe Four Corners gets thrown in there once in a while. And Spin Cycle.