iceman

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About iceman

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  • Birthday 07/21/1982

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  1. Haven't posted here in years, but I watched the live broadcast tonight. The sound on this new live video service was terrible for me, very compressed. My 2 cents of tonight's performance: Crown (amazing brass sounds as always) Bluecoats (best show of the season, minor musical and visual dirt in the opener keeps them back a few tenths from Crown, setting the stage for a finals week showdown) Cadets (incredible performers...middle of the show has significant design flaws). Black uniforms for them don't work, but definitely a risk worth taking. Haven't seen BD yet.
  2. It's been a few years since I last reviewed a show, and also a few years since I've attended an outdoor DCI event. There is nothing better than live outdoor drum and bugle corps, and this stadium is a perfect venue for a corps performance. I was seated on the 50 yard line, near the back of the first section, and had a great vantage point for the evening's performances. Partial Review (Hope to finish later). Madison- Great to see the gradual improvement made by the Scouts over the past few years. Their New York Morning show was well received by the crowd, and it looks like all parts of the corps are headed in the right direction. Good use of electronics throughout, and some very interesting musical selections. The 9/11 section sometimes lacked in terms of clarity, and could be developed further. The Alicia Keys song really got the people in the stands around me excited, and overall it was a very enjoyable performance from the Scouts tonight. Boston- A strong performance for them tonight. I had them closer to Madison than the judges. The pre-show starts with the corps entering the field singing the "Do You Hear The People Sing" theme from Les Mis. The opening impact is great, but parts of the opener don't gel with the rest of the show. At one point it sounded like they were playing a marching band stand tune (Land of 1000 Dances). It would be great to see some adjustments made to bring this level of the program up to the rest in terms of design. The best part of the show to me was when the battery moved to side 1, while the brass moved to side 2, providing one of the more interesting audio-visual moments of the evening. Musically, I enjoyed the back half of the show, including a great flugel soloist, and a baritone soloist who performed under a white screen that added another dimension to the performance. Definitely a step up for Boston this year! Crown- In previous viewings of this show (online), it seemed that the level of energy and crowd reaction was at a higher level. For whatever reason tonight, the performance felt a little flat, but did improve as the show went on. The pre show (which I feel is a little too-long), really lacked energy and felt overly contrived this evening. They play with a very full sound that easily gets the audience to applaud at the correct spots, and the audio-visual coordination of elements was clearly a level above the other groups tonight. Sometimes it is apparent that the brass parts are scored in such a way to allows them to really open up volume wise, but harmonically they cut some corners to achieve this. That being said, the really have a brass technique program that is matched player to player at a very high level. Even thought I do not have a colorguard background, it is my opinion that they have one of the best guards in DCI, and I loved the use of the speaker-stand props. Not only are they creatively being used by the guard, but later they are used by the brass during an outstanding trumpet feature. All elements of the corps perform at a very high level, and they were the cleanest corps of the evening. Some tweaks are going to be needed musically to keep this corps in contention for a medal, but they have the talent to competitively go as far as the show design allows them to. Bluecoats- Being a fan network subscriber, I watched the performance just posted from last week before attending the show. The improvements between then and now is astounding! In my opinion, the ensemble sound that they have been developing for the past few years is second to none in the activity. The brass have such a warm depth of sound, and are able to achieve the louder dynamic ranges without sacrificing tone quality. Looking at the recap, I don't think they are being rewarded for this by the adjudicators (I easily had them 1st in brass tonight). The show begins with a very intricate layering of ideas leading to the first impact of the show "Creep." Watch closely to see the level of demand in the body work by the hornline and drums during the opening... some very challenging and sophisticated choreography. In previous viewings (online), I felt that the rest of the show's energy dropped dramatically after the opening statement, but tonight I felt the rest of the program start to take a life of its own. The quadrophonic section can really only be appreciated live, and I look forward to seeing this part of the program develop. The way the listener's ear is pulled from corner to corner is really quite intriguing, and the changes done with the guard in the negative space at the center of the field really enhances this part of the show. It now features a rifle toss from a member of the front ensemble, which I thought was a nice addition. As has been stated on here, the tuba feature in the closer is a lot of fun, and I look forward to hearing the real ending, which I hope will be a return to Radiohead. I had them a point or less behind Crown tonight, but after seeing this show live, it is clear that where this show will place at Finals is far from being decided.
  3. I don't post here often, not even every year, but... If you "bleed blue" then STOP BEING OVERLY NEGATIVE TOWARDS THE CORPS. Not that you shouldn't be entitled to your opinion, but the way you are expressing it is a shame to your signature. We all get it, electronics, Bb horns, new sounds; none of which you like, and nothing like it was back in '86. IMHO - This is the best Bluecoats ever, and they are only going to get better from here.
  4. I'm hosting the Bluecoats at Woodland High School in Stockbridge (25 miles southeast of downtown) 800 N. Moseley Drive Stockbridge, GA 30281
  5. Just found some fun video from last night's champion on the forbidden site.... (But I didn't say that)
  6. What a great story, and Zach, the band director is a great guy. Last fall at a marching band competition I watched from the stands as he helped a disabled student perform in the pit by helping to move his arms so he could play on a drum. He stood behind him and helped him during the entire show.
  7. Currently a grad student in the summer SEAT program working on my EdS... teach high school band in the Atlanta area. From what I hear, there aren't as many that do drum corps there as say, JSU where the marching program is more corps-oriented.
  8. So, if the coats guard had a score similar to previous shows, and in line with a 6/7th place group, is it safe to say they would have beaten Vanguard last night?
  9. The Georgia Dome has had a nice makeover since last year, complete with new red and black chairs, and a different colored exterior due to the recent Tornado damage. As usual, the place was packed with tens of thousands of fans, drum corps alums and band students. A knowledgeable and appreciative crowd makes for an exciting venue to see the top 12, and this was a great lineup. All in all, it was one of the most entertaining evenings of drum corps I have experienced, and I had a great vantage point on the 40 yard line! (My thanks to Jeff Cox and DCI for the complimentary ticket!) Blue Devils- They are very clean, very exciting, and ooze confidence. This show is pretty groundbreaking as they explore absurdity as it relates to the construction of a drum corps show. From the first note to the last you are pretty much drawn in by the level of detail that this design staff has provided and of course by the colorguard uniforms that are so bright they almost burn your retinas. I would be interested in finding out more about why they are doing what they are doing, but tonight I just sat back and enjoyed the sights and sounds presented by a very talented group of performers. Hard to argue that anyone there performed better, thus they deserved 1st place, and the crowd around me seemed as sold as I was. I think Cavaliers and Phantom might start to put up more of a fight for the top spot, but right now they had the look and sound of a champion. Cavaliers- Another championship caliber show, and wow have they added a lot to this over the last few weeks. The development of the Samurai characters, the jaw-dropping visual effects and the percussion score were stunning (would you expect anything else from the Cavaliers?). Maybe the brass weren't as featured as much as would be expected for a 1st place corps, and I think that might be the only thing holding them back from being neck and neck with BD. The show had a powerful, aggressive, and tribal feel throughout, which really helped to develop the theme that they are portraying. This is right up there with 2002 and 2006 Cavaliers shows, and the new ending had the audience on their feet without any hesitation. I have always been amazed at their ability to be creative year after year while still maintaining the unique combination of elements that makes the Cavaliers who they are. Phantom- WOW. There is no doubt it isn't 3rd place they are seeking, it is the title, and they have the ability with this show to do what they haven't done since 1996. I saw the webcast from California a few weeks ago and had no idea that this show was heading in this direction. With a little more cleaning, I think we might have a battle for the title between Blue Devils/Cavaliers/ and Phantom. They were without a doubt the audience favorite of the night, and they had the crowd glued to them from the time the drum major came out of the tunnel, pulled by slaves on his "chariot". Before they even played a note, the interaction between the roman soldiers (brass/percussion), and slaves (guard) was portrayed by some very oppressive choreography as the slaves were at the feet of their masters being whipped by trumpets, and a varity of other theatric events. You just knew what you were in store for. Everything that makes Phantom Regiment who they are is captured in this show, and it is masterfully put together. The brass, percussion and guard are all championship caliber, and I loved the murders throughout. One Phan behind me screamed "I AM SPARTACUS" at the appropriate moment, which was a little startling, and I imagine this is something that they really wish other members of the crowd would get into. This production is GENIUS drum corps, and is the epitome of the kind of emotion and entertainment that a drum corps is capable of providing. Crown- Congrats to these guys! They had one of the most appealing shows of the evening, and what I personally felt to be the best brass sound of the night. They march pretty well too, and have a colorguard that is among the very finest in the activity. They are in a unique spot in terms of competition in my opinion. I don't think they can touch the top 3, but I don't think anyone behind them can catch them either. I really think they are this year's 4th place corps, which is a great accomplishment for this organization, which just several years ago missed finals. My only complaint is that the show is almost a little to "hyper" at times, but this is the appeal that many others are loving so much. This was another corps that the crowd was standing up for well before the cutoff, and the drum major was so intense on the final chords that I thought his podium might collapse. The principal of the school that I am a band director at enjoyed these guys the best. He was sitting nearby, and I think the 1812 overture section is probably the part of the evening he enjoyed the most. Bravo Crown! Cadets- A very talented group of kids but not their best year in terms of design. I'm not one of those anti-amplificiation posters, so please don't turn this thread into another "one of those" worn out whine sessions. in fact, I'm quite the opposite. I love the creativity that George Hopkins has brought to the activity, and the freedom to express through voice and other electronic means that he has proposed is something that I support and am curious about. That being said, this show just isn't can't be what they were hoping it would be. Tons of changes to the script have made this show so far off what it was, that I'm not sure it is capable of being what it was intended to be. Probably the least amount of crowd response of any of the top 8, and I don't think it was all due to the vocals. On a positive note, the Ticheli music that included Nitro, Vesuvius and Elegy are among my favorites of the concert band medium, so I really enjoyed hearing these selections. Bluecoats- BIAS ALERT. I'm a former member, and now that I am a high school band director in the Atlanta area, I hosted the corps at the brand new facility that I teach at. The facilities they had to rehearse in are state of the art, and I had my booster organization serve them a nice meal inside before they left for the show. Needless to say, my entire group of band students showed up to watch the brief ensemble rehearsal in the stadium, and I even taught them to Bloooooo for the corps, which they felt awkward about, because they insisted it sounded like booing. Fun times. This show is simply awesome from an effect standpoint. It is hard not to like this show for all that it offers, and the performance level is really starting to improve. To think they are as good as they are with nearly 50 rookies in the hornline alone is staggering and a testament to the talent of these members. This show offers so much variety and fun in terms of musical arranging, and the colorguard design is the highlight of the visual program. The drumline is crazy good, and the use of the announcer is quite effective. They probably had my favorite start to any show of the night, and my favorite overall moment, the acapella horn feature in the boxer. This is one of those shows that you really can't truly experience unless you see it live and up close, as the show is packed full with details and some really creative moments that don't come across on a webcast. All the changes they have put in are serving them well, and if they push through the next two weeks, I can see them catching the Cadets. It was great to see so many of the same faces that taught me in the corps from 00 to 03 still working with the organization, and I feel this is probably the best put together show in the history of the corps. The final chords had the audience on their feet in a hurry, and that was probably the best received show by the corps that I have witnessed in my time as an alumnus. 6 words... SCV- Awesome drill! Pete Weber's drill is a feast for the eyes, but I don't think the musical arrangements (or should I saw program choices) ere on par with the creative visual aspect of the show. In a year where things are very "theatrical", they are harder to "get" than say... all of the corps that placed above them. This might be hurting them in the effect captions. Enjoyable, but I think they are in a lock for 7th, as they might not have an overall package to compete with the corps ahead of them, but they certainly will not be caught by anyone behind them. Boston- Like the use of the new Mackey work "Kingfishers Catch Fire", but was confused on what they were trying to portray with a show entitled Neocosmos. Why was the guard wearing red plumes at the end, with red flags? Someone PM me with an answer if you have one. Overall, it was very easy to enjoy this corps performance, and I liked it. Blue Stars- Where did these guys come from? A very good corps, with another easy to understand concept. I enjoyed the use of their sponsers on their props, and they really captured the feel of the Tour de France with this program, including the prop on the front sideline with an endless line of bikers. It is great to see one of the older corps make it back in to finals! I'm sure their alumni everywhere must be very proud to see the return of this corps to the top rankings of the activity. I agreed with all the placements. If I were a judge, I would have had the corps in the same order tonight, but suspect a few changes in ranking come semi-finals night in Bloomington. Should be an exciting week for all who are lucky enough to be at finals!
  10. So I feel really out of the loop. Marched Div I from 00-03, and I remember my first year marching people mentioning this RAMD thing. I even remember the corps director asking us to stay off of it, and if we decide to go on there and "get into a pissing match we would lose". Time to check this thing out...
  11. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Can you explain why you feel that way? I couldn't disagree with you more!
  12. What a difference a week makes! Just saw the video, and had to watch it 3-4 times to really appreciate the progress they have made. You can tell the corps is young, but is full of talent! if they improve at this rate for the rest of the season, they will be in good shape to fight for a top spot. I think Cavaliers and Blue Devils are the corps to beat, but this show can contend for a spot anywhere from 3rd-7th depending on how their show and other shows around them develop. The added effect from the announcer was great and enjoyable. Shows how voice can be used effectively to enhance a musical production! So far this is my favorite show of the year, and from the video, it sounds like the crowd is really digging it as well. Go Bluuuuuu
  13. Not another one of THESE threads. It is possible for one to like amplified voice, when used for various effects, and for one not to like narrarative story telling which is completely different. There can be a clear difference, which makes someone who likes one corps' use and not another's not a hypocrite at all. It just makes them someone with a different opinion then yours! Maybe their youthfulness yields them to more of an open mind, or they just happen to appreciate its aesthetic? Regardless of reason, you can't seem to acknowledge that it may be ok for someone to actually think differently than you. So what do you do? Create another anti-amplification thread! That's surely the answer to let everyone know how right your opinion is, and how wrong theirs clearly must be. And you even incorrectly label others as hypocrites! What do you intend to accomplish by creating a thread like this? Seriously, the topic is worn out, and I wish they would just close these threads or create an entire new forum for people like you to ##### and moan on. Also, just because a person typed something on the internet (referencing the comment about wishing breast cancer on someone) does not mean that their opinion speaks for masses of others, or even themselves for that matter (think about it... who actually would wish cancer on someone?). Instead of starting a thread about this statement that you saw (which I didn't see, nor do I care to), why don't you just PM the person? Drum corps isn't exactly like it was in 1984, and it probably never will be again. Just like the rest of the world, it continues to evolve and change, and I know that is tough for some to deal with. I suggest picking a route of resolution that you have control over, not starting another one of THESE threads. Here are a few options... A. Learn to cope with change. (Therapy? Counseling?) B. Stop supporting this activity and find something that you can truly enjoy, one where everyone's opinion is just like yours! C. Start your own Drum Corps, with all programs free of amplified voice.