I couldn't possibly support this evaluation enough.
I'm just stumped by how fast it happened. It wasn't much more than three or four years ago I was watching DCI hornlines in awe and noting to others that there's no way 21-year-old me would have been skilled enough to make a modern-day hornline.
Now it seems to just be eight minutes of noise. Run around doing something, then 16 bars of dissonance meant to create whatever, I don't know. Hold a sustain for 40 counts. And forget ballads. Now the hornlines are just backing tracks for some vocalist singing through a mediocre sound system.
Then you add in the onset of "costumes," to make it easier to do "body." As a result just about every corps tosses decades of brand awareness to the curb... walk into a show or a theatre now and you most likely have no idea who you're looking at, and whereas so many people over the years had a "welcome to DCI" moment of first putting on the uniform of the corps they hoped to make, now it's nothing more than trying on whatever costume their group is wearing that year. Stories of brass players who are more than proficient enough to play a DCI book but they get cut because of their lack of dancing ability. It was either that story, or SCV ditching the Aussies, or Crown's 2017 ballad that did me in. I have trouble deciding.
The thing is, I was marching when the buzz was starting about switching to B-flat horns. All the "old" people were all bent out of shape over it... I had no idea what the big deal was, couldn't understand the objection to it, etc. I still have no problem with B-flat horns. Now I sit here feeling like I'm one of those "old" people and I should just deal with it. Should I? I don't know. I just know that I can't see why anyone would consider a late-90s show to be less entertaining than a 1970s show. But here I am unable to enjoy almost anything in the last two years. At the same time the current members openly declare my corps' 1997 show, which got one of the best audience reactions of the year, to be "old-time" drum corps.
So I'm not going to be one to tell other people what to do... I just know personally I will not spend money to go watch these "summer guard" shows as I don't find them entertaining at all. I'll continue to support individual members as I hear of them needing support, or whatever. But I do lament what I perceive to be the loss of the activity, because the one I grew up admiring, then participating in, and then supporting, is gone right now.