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Everything posted by pudding

  1. Hmm. A bit disappointed, since I thought that Bluecoats' show was head-and-shoulders above BD in terms of accessibility and effect (they did win GE, but not by nearly enough of a margin in my opinion). However, despite my feelings about BD's design (I... didn't like it), it is absolutely unarguable that year after year they achieve the highest levels of excellence. Visual continues to be the Bluecoats' bane; I hope that they can figure this out in the coming years, because it's the only thing holding them back year after year. Brass and MA seemed about right to me across the board. A bit surprised at the percussion scores, although I didn't see these specific runs. However, based on when I saw them in Allentown last weekend, I would have been very surprised if someone told me Prosperie would have given BD a 10 in achievement at Finals.
  2. Sure. Sandi has this habit of taking what should be a normal 8th/16th passage and throwing octaves onto the outer mallets, and calling that "demand". There's also a lot of harsh slamming and almost violent technique being used, which I guess sort of fits with the show theme but is really bad for the instrument, as well as non-idiomatic to the natural sound of the keyboard. The kids are playing very well, but I hate what they're playing. It's also bad pedagogically, as these kids will inevitably have bad habits for when they go back to playing concert or soloist music. Compare for Bluecoats' front ensemble writing, which is much more considerate of the sound that the instruments "want" to produce; the marimba licks are liquid and flow-y, the vibraphone notes use the metallic timbre to pierce through with the upper tessitura while staying resonant in the lower ranges.
  3. Recaps: I think BD is too high in GE, and SCV is too low. Neither of them should be scoring above 94/95 imo though. I'm not really qualified to speak on visual, but I didn't think that SCV was that far back. Repertoire maybe, they don't move a ton, but their achievement seemed okay. BD rep should be lower imo, achievement is fine. Brass: Absolutely not. BD's brass was easily the worst of the top three, and I think Bloo had a bad night soloistically (although SCV had some blips as an ensemble). Music Analysis: Meh. I think BD should be lower in rep. Percussion: Wrong. I'll give SCV first, but BD's front ensemble was horrific, and their battery took half the show to get clean. Meanwhile, Bloo's pit was crispy, and their battery only threw away one or two licks.
  4. Bluecoats: Easily the most accessible show of the top 3.front ensemble was just as clean as SCV, with a much more musical book. Snares threw away a few licks, otherwise the battery was good. Soloists had an off night, several clipped notes. I think slightly ahead of SCV, who should be slightly ahead of BD.
  5. SCV: Musically, every section was a step up from BD. Brass was more in tune, more focused, more sonorous. Battery was clean. Front ensemble was "in". However, they weren't without issues. Brass threw away some double tonguing, and I despise the way that their front ensemble music is composed to be as vulgar as possible. Thematically, I get it a bit more than BD, but still not much. The ladder props don't do anything for me. I also think their costumes are ugly as sin. Personally, I have them slightly over BD.
  6. Next to the press box, side 1 40. Blue Devils: They have some good soloists. Holistically, though, their brass just isn't as crisp as I have come to expect from them. Normally I am completely mesmerized by the bright and shiny sound of their high brass; tonight, they felt muddy. Their mellows and baris also felt somewhat unfocused. There is too much reliance on electronic melody. I don't mind electronic effects, when there is no acoustic way to get them, but in my opinion there should not be extended periods where there is nothing but synthesized sounds providing melody, accompaniment, and effects. The front ensemble was sloppy. No real excuse here. Battery seemed okay, bass feature early was not clean, but the drum line cleaned up as the show went on. Thematically I have no clue what is going on. There's no cohesion or explanation for why the design elements that are in the show were chosen.
  7. I think I know why the ending feels so abruptly "stop-ey". They only play the Hey Jude chorus three times. The ear wants it to be four (and the drum corps ear wants the last one to be extended). So it sort of feels like your ear gets "tripped", and then it's over, and you're just left thinking "Wait what? I was jamming, and then something weird happened, and now it's over I guess..."
  8. Does anyone know if McCartney/Starr have been made aware of the show?
  9. Technically there was a soft chord played backfield that was cut. But probably not what you were talking about.
  10. Love the new ending, except for how it actually ends. The pitch bend into Hey Jude is great, Hey Jude is great, we're rockin' and rollin'... and then, it just stops, abruptly. Personally, I want shows to finish, instead of just stopping. Knowing the design staff, they are probably aware of this, and this is not the final form, but historically the Bluecoats have done very little in the way of major changes after Little Rock, so I'm a touch concerned.
  11. Jeff Prosperie got very close a few times, including at the end of 2006 Cavaliers where the block in the closer pinches down at the top and bottom, and in 2015 Bluecoats where he almost got run over by a ball.
  12. There's quite a bit of throwback in this show (makes sense if you're taking the show as a retrospective on the recent direction the Bluecoats have taken). The obvious blue/orange (and ramps) for Tilt, the counterpoint for Kinetic Noise, lots of Indian/Afro-Cuban stuff for Downside Up, the black/white vs color juxtaposition for Jagged Line. I don't see a connection to Session 44, maybe the latticework on the props could be said to be similar to the visual motives of S44.
  13. Right now my favorite part of the show is the Eleanor Rigby. Give me that dark, chocolately low brass all day, thank you.
  14. Actually it's Kinetic Noise. I love Tilt (marched it after all) but I think that 2015 was smarter, deeper, and better-executed. Absolutely criminally under-recognized.
  15. I like these costumes the best out of anyone's this year. What's with all the drab grey from everyone else? As for the show itself, I enjoy it. Probably not my personal favorite show in the past five years from them, but it's fun and enjoyable. Having now seen at least bootleg recordings of everyone in the top 6, I think that this show probably carries the most GE. I don't know if that will be enough to win, but we'll see.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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