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MikeN

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Everything posted by MikeN

  1. Thanks for the review! Are they wearing the same jackets this summer as last? Mike
  2. What "no comment"? Oh. We should have put, "Rebuild - 4,000 posts at a time."? :) Mike
  3. Was listening to 1984 on the way to work, and it occurred to me that solos were a lot longer back then. More measures. Just about every corps in the top 12 had solos longer than you'll hear *any* corps try today. G'men last year were a throwback. I wonder why that is? Mike
  4. I did a writeup on the costs of Bb vs G horns a while back, and from the numbers I got it seems like the average breakdown (in DCI anyways) for the last 5 years comes to like 20-12-20-12 for sop/mello/bari/contra. Well, "average", anyways... :) Mike
  5. That DB solo in 1990 was friggin' cool. As was the Cadet in '90. It looked like he smiled after she put the hat back on him. Or at least smirked. :) How about the two guys in '91 Cavies for The Bridegroom? 2001 Glassmen's euph will always be mentioned. I tell you what, if you want sweet G horn ballad solos, get Ornaments in Brass. I Wonder as I Wander is so beautiful. Mike
  6. Just had the wonderful fortune to be able to hear the Crossmen's summer production as done this past week. This show is a solid, rocking journey already, and we haven't even begun yet! Heat of the Day starts with a quiet horn and pit swing, and then the middle horns come in with what sounds like a 6/8 single note rhythm over it. A very fast one. Even in this early point in the season, they've got great definition on the notes. Eventually, the rest of the horns add on, and after a long run, hit the power chord of the intro. The song, like a lot of Metheny, is hard to sometimes distinguish between 6/8 and other meters. I would say, though, that this song sounds like the Dark Lord of the Sith Metheny. Very Spanish - more like something the Blue Devils might play. The 6/8 single note rhythm keeps getting laid over the melodies, which adds to the tension of the piece. I kept getting reminded of Day Danse from the Blue Devils 1994/5 shows, but this one ratchets up the intensity a bit, and never really loses the swing to it. Candle in the Window seems to roll along about 120 bpm, though I'm just armchair guessing on that. It's a very restrained piece - no real big highs or lows to it, until the big hit right at the end (before the quiet denoument). Very old school DCI ballad. Surprisingly, there's not really a solo in it, either. They make up for it, though, with some great full-section high soprano parts. Drummers will be happy to note that there is a drum part to it, too... :) Strawberry Soup starts out with soft percussion. Then the brass comes in (also fairly softly) voice by voice, quickly reaching a power chord. Then to the melody we all know so well. For those of you who've heard this before, it feels like a cross b/w the Blue Devils and Madison Scouts in 1993, which means that it's pretty darn faithful to the original. The swing section has a short drum break in front of it in this version. The end of the swing section features some rippin' upper brass runs, then right back into the swing section again. Then, a *lot* of full corps unison hits. When you get to the quiet restatement of the melody (where Madison was singing in '93), the melody is repeated 4 times, once while the snares / tenors / basses / full battery get to wail. Sounds like the feature this year is integrated into the song proper. Oughta be interesting to watch to see how they highlight the drums visually, since they're not standing alone musically. Finally comes the show's ending, which seems to be in 5/4 and uses held-out chords with variants of SS being played under it to a final unison chord (or a 5th, I dunno, but not a major chord) while the entire battery churns out 16ths to a double quarter note corps-unison finish. Overall, this is going to be a great show. It's darker in tone than last year's music, especially with Senor Metheny being used this time instead of Happy Metheny. :) I was curious to see how this'd be pulled off using a composer that I'm not that fond of for an opener and an *old* corps standard for a closer, but they've managed to create a show that will leave no doubt that the Crossmen not only have a voice of their own, they'll make you remember it long after you've heard the show. Mike
  7. Cool stuff. I've got to wait until my wife gets her new job, but I'll certainly be getting one to wear to San Antonio... :) Mike
  8. Hey, all: I've still got a few songs I'm looking for original recordings for. I've got a bunch to trade, so if you're a fellow collector, shout out! Mike
  9. Scouts for years have been the only corps willing to do it. Gotta love them, if just for that! :) Mike (Collector of preseason recordings)
  10. 6 hours left in the auctions. Here's the ones still going below DCI market rate: $11.50 1998 Finals 3 CD Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864438168 $22.50 1997 Finals 3 CD Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864438707 $25.00 1996 Finals 3 CD Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864439420 $23.50 1988 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864441998 $19.99 1987 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864442397 $10.00 1986 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864442709 $15.50 1985 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864443227 $10.00 1984 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864443725 $10.00 1983 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864444350 $10.00 1982 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864444823 $15.00 1981 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864445317 $21.50 1979 Collector Series 2 CD DCI Set http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864446144 $6.00 Blue Devils Through the Years, Volume 4 - 1990-1995 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864446754 $9.99 Phantom Regiment Classics, Volume 1 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864448835 $9.99 Phantom Regiment Classics, Volume 2 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...;item=864449107 I promise this is my last commercial for these! As before, mention you're DCP user id when buying these and I'll give free shipping. (At $5 per set, that can add up, too!) Thanks, Mike
  11. Okay, this'll be my last post, I hope. I'll sweeten the pot. I've still got some CD's for auction on ebay that don't have bids. I'd rather get them all out the door now, rather than wait and relist a few of them, so I've lowered the prices on the remaining stepchildren CD's: 1998 Finals 3 CD Set 864438168 $10.00 1986 Collector Series 2 CD 864442709 $10.00 1985 Collector Series 2 CD 864443227 $10.00 1984 Collector Series 2 CD 864443725 $10.00 1983 Collector Series 2 CD 864444350 $10.00 1982 Collector Series 2 CD 864444823 $10.00 1981 Collector Series 2 CD 864445317 $10.00 Blue Devils Through the Years, Vol 4 - 90-95 864446754 $6.00 Ornaments in Brass, 1993 Printing 864448240 $6.99 Good luck finding any of these cheaper than this. Especially the collectors series. Even with DCI's sale, they're twice as much as these prices. Auctions end Friday. As before, mention you're a DCP member and get free shipping. Thanks, Mike
  12. 3 days left, and a bunch of cd's not spoken for. Ones without any bids: List with item # and opening price 1998 Finals 3 CD Set 864438168 $19.99 1986 Collector Series 2 CD 864442709 $19.99 1985 Collector Series 2 CD 864443227 $19.99 1984 Collector Series 2 CD 864443725 $19.99 1983 Collector Series 2 CD 864444350 $19.99 1982 Collector Series 2 CD 864444823 $19.99 1981 Collector Series 2 CD 864445317 $19.99 Blue Devils Through the Years - Vol 4, 1990 - 1995 864446754 $9.99 Ornaments in Brass, 1993 Printing 864448240 $9.99 Phantom Regiment Classics, Volume 1 864448835 $9.99 Phantom Regiment Classics, Volume 2 864449107 $9.99 Don't miss a chance to get these for less than DCI's selling. Mention you're a DCP member to me via pm or e-mail and I'll give free shipping! Mike (Replying to my own post to keep it in the same thread - not trying to spam my favorite site, here!)
  13. Hey, all: I'm selling my DCI cd collection on Ebay. They're all going for lower than what DCI would charge. If you've ever had a year that you just missed, here's your chance. Say you're a DCP member (and which one you are...) and I'll waive shipping charges. PM me with any questions. Thanks! Mike List with item # and opening price 1999 Finals 3 CD Set 864437553 $19.99 1998 Finals 3 CD Set 864438168 $19.99 1997 Finals 3 CD Set 864438707 $19.99 1996 Finals 3 CD Set 864439420 $19.99 1995 Finals 3 CD Set 864440072 $29.99 1994 Finals 3 CD Set 864440481 $29.99 1993 Finals 3 CD Set 864441031 $24.99 1989 Collector Series 2 CD 864441591 $19.99 1988 Collector Series 2 CD 864441998 $19.99 1987 Collector Series 2 CD 864442397 $19.99 1986 Collector Series 2 CD 864442709 $19.99 1985 Collector Series 2 CD 864443227 $19.99 1984 Collector Series 2 CD 864443725 $19.99 1983 Collector Series 2 CD 864444350 $19.99 1982 Collector Series 2 CD 864444823 $19.99 1981 Collector Series 2 CD 864445317 $19.99 1979 Collector Series 2 CD 864446144 $19.99 Blue Devils Through the Years - Vol 4, 1990 - 1995 864446754 $9.99 Blue Devils Percussion - The Line 864447482 $9.99 2000 Mid-Season Selections 864447858 $9.99 Ornaments in Brass, 1993 Printing 864448240 $9.99 Carolina Crown Collection 864448490 $9.99 Phantom Regiment Classics, Volume 1 864448835 $9.99 Phantom Regiment Classics, Volume 2 864449107 $9.99 Star of Indiana - Brass Theater I 864449444 $9.99 Star of Indiana - Brass Theater II 864449690 $9.99 Star of Indiana - Brass Theater III 864449899 $9.99
  14. The recordings are wonderful quality for preseason. Just off of show design, I'd say 5-6th is within reach. Of course, I felt their shows in 2000 and 2001 were designed as top 6 shows, too. Just had a feel to them. Well, here's hoping. Mike
  15. I've lost my copy of tape 2 (the PBS top 6) of the 1990 finals, and the Usenet group hasn't been really helpful in replacing it in the last 3 years. People have committed to, then I've never heard from them again. If any kind soul has a clean version of that set, I'd love to get a copy. Would be willing to pay for the dub/shipping, or trade for other material. Just let me know. Thanks, Mike New
  16. Chip, Where'd she march? Just curious. Mike New :D
  17. Only seen the last 6 years live, but I don't think anyone has out-louded the 1998 Santa Clara Vanguard. Mike
  18. Hi, I'm looking for either originals or copies of the DCI CD's from 90-92. I've got mp3's and the cassettes, but they're not translating to Audio CD well. For a trade, I'm willing to swap CD copy for copy. Just let mem know what you're looking for. Thanks, Mike
  19. 2000 Legend of Texas Exhibition Review (Originally Posted on that "other" forum on July 21, 2000.) The Legend of Texas gave a free exhibition performance last night in Temple, Texas. It was only advertised on the back page of the Temple Daily Telegram, and were it not for the fact that my grandparents read closely, I'd never have known. So, my wife and I trooped up from Austin ('bout an hour drive), picked up her grandfather, and made it to the stadium about 2 minutes before they started. First off, they look pretty sharp. The white uniforms look good. White jackets with a star on the left chest and a stripe of red coming diagonally out of it, and white pants. White aussies with red plumes. Guard was casually dressed in jeans, vests, and western shirts. They have about 29 members; I counted 3 snares, 1 tenor, 4 basses, 4 pit, 3 guard, 6 sopranos, 1 mello (great soloist, too!), 4 baritones, 2 contras and 1 DM. They didn't have anybody at the souvie table - we found out later that the guard was having to work there, too. C'mon, guys (and gals) in North Texas! Volunteer! Only about 30-50 people in the stands - the small advertising by the paper must have taken its toll. Bunch 'o Phantom Regiment fans there, which seemed odd, but like me, they'll take their corps fix where they can, I guess. The staff began by explaining what each instrument is and having them play a section of their opener. Gotta say this - even individually the brass has a great sound, and one MUCH bigger than their numbers indicate. My only previous experience with DIII corps was Lone Star, and they had much better percussion than brass. Legend's percussion was ok, but they didn't catch your attention nearly as much as the horns. They next did a "drill down", and if you've never participated or seen one of these, you're missing great fun. Basically a game of Simon Says, you form in a block and perform whatever command the staff / DM / whoever gives you. You mess up, you leave the block and stand on the side. (Unless you've done a military one - they're a little less forgiving. Try doing push-ups until the block is done!) Last one in the block wins. It also allowed them to show off some individual marching technique, and as far as I can tell, they were just fine. They weren't the Cavaliers out there, but they didn't make you notice any mistakes, either. They then performed their field show. If anyone has any desire to contribute to a corps, please send this group money and stipulate that it must go to a podium! The cart they were using was wobbling all over the place, and we feared for the DM's safety once or twice! Of course, he never actually fell, but still... (I mean that seriously, too. If you've gotta contribute, contribute to DII/III's in your area!) From http://www.corpsreps.com, their field show, "A Day in the Life of a Cowboy," consists of: -Desperado (Eagles) -The Ballad of Billy the Kid (Billy Joel) -Lonesome Dove -Lil' Bitty ####-Ant Country Place (Carol Hall, from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) -The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Ennio Morricone) -City Slickers Theme The show has one prop, a "saloon" cart on wheels out on the 40. The corps hides behind that to begin. As the show starts, the mello comes out and plays a solo to Desperado. Nice solo, too. I'm not normally a brass person, but it struck me more than once how nicely they played. Full corps came out for Billy the Kid. Bright, upbeat song. Some phasing problems between the brass and drums (or just simple not togetherness) but not really noticible unless you're paying nitpicky attention to detail like me. The drum solo in it was fairly standard, and it did irk me a bit that they parked the line right in front of the podium. You can't see through it! Their ballad (Lonesome Dove, I guess, but I didn't recognize it) was nice, but not really memorable. They made effective use of their tiny guard. I kept wondering why in the parts where the brass would hang slow chords out for one or two measures that the percussion would be playing stuff under it. Not really heard much in D1 anymore, but it occurred to me that for a small ensemble you can't just let your brass hang out and blow people away with your volume. The next part, which was both Country Place and Good/Bad/Ugly I suppose (I never really heard it in there) was the showpiece of the production. Give lots of credit to the staff for writing drill and music that doesn't make a small corps act like a big corps (a problem I frequently had with Lone Star). The saloon prop spins around and becomes the "inside" of the saloon, and tables are brought out. The corps then goes into full Drunken/Senior Corps Mode. (Just kidding! About the Senior Corps part, that is.) It's wonderful to see a corps stagger around while playing. The drill is incoherent, the music is still clean, but it was a visual blast! The obligatory company front turns into a brass kick-line with the percussion barely staggering out of the way. Great fun. They also put out a great ending chord, then the DM turns around, gestures, "Ah, wait," and has them double the volume. Nice touch. After that, they'd have been hard pressed to beat it with their closer, and City Slickers doesn't do it. It's not bad, but seems bland after the previous piece. Fairly short wrap up, too, but again, I didn't mind. Good star formation at the end, too. All in all, it was a surprisingly good performance. If that's an indication of how they were performing in California, then they're getting scored 3-4 points too low. It also made me wonder, "Jeez, what must the Mandarins be like, if these guys are that good?" They asked for donations after the exhibition, as their bus A/C didn't survive the trip to California, so we gave $20 (all we had!). Would've given more if I could've. Basically, we had a pleasantly surprising good time. It also felt good to support the smaller corps, and I'd highly recommend everyone get out and do the same! Mike
  20. Heh! :D Tell him his recovery was great. Crowd didn't seem to mind. Some in our section applauded him for getting up so quickly. Mike
  21. Naah, I'd written this right after the show - it's on my own website, so I just copied and pasted. Was trying to get a discussion going, since nobody had posted a review at the time. It's been 8 months now, but I didn't remember the Glassmen solo as being that bad. Of course, I never heard the CD, either, and things sound different live in the dome. More fuzzy. A lot of the individual technical errors get covered up. In 2000, I thought Pacific Crest should have been a top 12 corps live, but on audio, they were more of a 13-15 corps. Also in retrospect, I had a lot more fun than I let on at the time. I guess I was just tired. I had been up from 6 that morning until the last performance late that night, and we'd been stuck out in 100 degree heat for two hours waiting on them to open the dome. That'll color your perceptions, all right. Sometimes, the sheer energy just blows you away. I love it when you hit the corps that ratchet up the volume a notch. It happens in the 2/3's, when you start getting to the top corps, then to the D1's. You can usually tell that you're getting near the corps that will place in the top 14 when they put out a sound just light years tighter and louder than what you just heard in the last group. Then, when you hit about top 9 or so, it plateaus. Some will be a *little* more intense or louder, but not to quite the degree of shock as it was earlier. I was dissapointed the first time I saw the Blue Devils live in '98, 'cause they didn't take it up that notch. But, they were right there with Cavies and SCV at that show. All top echelon corps. (Another advantage to the A-Dome is that you can't hear the next corps warming up. I used to go to the Killeen, TX show, and the warmup area was in a field past the end zone. And how can you beat watching a corps show in Texas, in July, in air conditioning?!?) Man, I can't wait for July again, now! I think I'm going to write a new thread in a bit about the first time I saw corps live, and what the differences were from the tapes and CD's... Cheers, Mike
  22. 1981 DCI Finals Video Review Hey, all: (Before I get sucked into this "Old School - New School" conflict, let me state that these are just my own opinions, and that if I personally prefer modern corps arrangements, then I'm not saying that the older ones weren't any good. If you like them better, then good for you. Grant me the same courtesy.) Watched the 1981 DCI "Finals" for the first time last night (thanks Gray!). Actually, in '81 apparently DCI didn't show the Finals in Montreal, but they did show the DCI Midwestern Championships from Whitewater on Saturday, August 8, 1981. (Got that from RAMD posts in '99) Here's the scores of that competition, which are announced on the tape. 1 86.90 Madison Scouts 2 85.75 Blue Devils 3 85.40 Santa Clara Vanguard 4 84.35 Phantom Regiment 5 83.20 27th Lancers 6 80.65 Garfield Cadets 7 80.15 Bridgemen 8 78.35 Cavaliers 9 78.20 Crossmen 10 77.50 Spirit of Atlanta 11 73.80 Troopers 12 71.80 Sky Ryders (thanks to Chris Maher at www.corpsreps.com for the info) Anyways, on to some random thoughts. This was kind of fun, 'cause the only other "old" corps broadcast I'd ever seen was once quickly through the '80 finals a few years back, before I *really* got into corps. :) I've got the audio back to '72 and before, but only had video from 87 on. Listened to the old audio once or twice, but it's easier when you can see what they're doing. So, I approached it somewhat as a clean slate, encumbered only by my modern prejudices. Well, those being that modern drum corps is higher, louder, faster and better performed. I changed my mind somewhat by the end. Performance Remarks: Sky Ryders - Awful uniforms, even granting the 20-year style difference. Nice sound, though. I thought the drill seemed slow and uninspired, but as the tape went on, I felt that about everyone's drill. I'm just not a fan of symmetrical drill with an elevator drumline (we go up the 50, then we go down the 50). You do have to grant new-school DCI that much - that drill has become a million times more complex since then. Ok, maybe not as precise, but solely as a function of the speed at which current marchers move. I don't think it's an individual performer thing; more of a design thing. I like modern drill more. Having said that, though, it's a shame that there aren't *any* lingering sets from the old symmetrical drill in today's corps. If you want to see big drill moves and pretty forms, then they're your people. There just doesn't seem to be as many "memorable" drill sets as there used to be. Back to the Sky Ryders - they unfolded a rainbow at the end. Ok, I suppose, but kinda campy. (again, though, I'm looking at this from 20 years later. I was 6 when they first performed this, and I bet I would've loved it then. :) ) Troopers - Nice *huge* rotation of their opening form. But - my goodness - can the overture from The Cowboys be played any *slower*?!? Drum solo just didn't fit. They're fun to watch, though, because they have such a strong sense of identity and tradition that just oozes through the TV. Watching their '81 show wasn't much different than watching the '00 and '01 shows at the Alamodomw. Spirit of Atlanta - Baby blue, but ack. Tuxedo jackets, ruffled ####ies and bowties? Should've kept the uniforms that they'd used before (and after). What was nice to hear, though, was the same old tunes that they play even now. Does anyone get tired of Georgia on my Mind and Old Man River? I don't. Comforting, much like the Troop, to know that they keep consistent. The power that everyone says they had in '80 just didn't seem to be there. Crossmen - Bright jazzy sound. I liked the capes well enough. Didn't like the overlapping baldrics. (And while I'm thinking about it, those DM salutes were just silly. I know, I know. I keep saying it to myself - different era.) Cavaliers - First corps of the night to make significant use of assymetrical drill. Recycled the step-over move from '80 (and later seen in '98). I wish all of the corps these days would get rewarded for doing drum-to-drum stuff and backsticking in their solos, and maybe we'd see more of it. That's a great part of what got me hooked in the first place. When I saw Phantom 's little riff during the '89 broadcast (first one I ever saw), that made me want to see more of corps drumming. Bridgemen - One of my favorite shows from the night, and as I was thinking about it, it probably had a lot to do with the quasi-modern colorguard. A lot more dance-type moves and less straight rigid flag work. They weren't as out-there funny as VK, but they seemed to be more on their toes musically. More like the late 80's VK, when the music was out there to be taken in its own right. Lady in the Feathered Hat (or whatever the full name of that solo was) was great! Garfield Cadets - Upon further review, I'm glad the Cadets developed their Americana persona during the next few years, 'cause I don't know if I could handle hearing them play Adventures in Time any more. Just didn't fit. Of course, I'm looking at it with 17 years of hindsight, but dang. That was weird. 27th Lancers - Never really got a chance to watch much of these guys, 'cept for the '94 reunion. Listened to them a fair bit, but haven't sat down to watch them before. I liked 'em. Even if Niner-Two seemed a little out of place with the rest of the stuff, they were still . well, "classy" would be the best term. Phantom Regiment - Spartacus! '02 Regiment should play this. 20 years and all. C'mon, guys, it's just some great music! The Roman props didn't seem to fit that well. I'm so glad they added plumes to the helmets. SCV - A bit of assymetrical drill, but not as much as you'd expect from the guys who first put it out there. I remember that much from my '80 tape! Just speaking for me personally, I thought the Devils' show was better. Blue Devils - Liked the 88-92 jackets better than these. Ruffled shirts just look, well... Only corps of the night that seemed to jack up the tempo and energy to what I'm used to hearing from later years. Probably my favorite corps of the night. Madison Scouts - If you want a hoot, cue this one up and listen to Malaguena. It's almost a mini-history of drum corps to watch that one, then '88, then '96. I almost wish they'd play it again in '02 so we could see how corps has further evolved. After watching the performances, I had to revise my opinions of older corps. It's a gross disservice to say that the performers aren't as good then as now. Just not true. Those soloists were absolutely the equal of those you'd hear now. The snares were playing some wicked rudimental stuff really cleanly. However, overall what you get a sense of is the degree of sophistication that's been added to design since then. The performers in '81 weren't really any more (or less!) proficient than the performers in '91 or in '01. The main difference looks to be the degree of difficulty in the marching and subtlety in the music. The old corps had cleaner forms, but were also moving a lot slower and less frequently (I wasn't counting drill sets or anything - just a general impression). Musically, they seemed to be louder, but sounded more like "block" arrangements with less . I dunno... intricacy? In the horns, I think that's a pretty good development since then. If you can play a whole show of 16th notes at 180, then do it. It's what the drummers have been doing forever. Don't keep your horn books simple if you don't have to. In the percussion, I'm not so sure that I'm a bigger fan of today's "hands off" approach to percussion writing than of the older "rolling thunder" background rumbling drumlines. Sometimes more notes *is* better. Oh yeah, and the pit. I think pits are a little too big right now. (9 and 10 people permanently grounded seems to be a bit much.) However, making people march the bells is just sick! And don't get me started on marching timps. Ack. Those poor people. There's gotta be a happier medium in there somewhere, where you can still get the nice sound of the pit's timps and mallets (with tenor and bass voices) and not have 8% of your corps not marching. Speaking of more notes, I've got a few questions: When did multi-tenors really come into their own? There looked to be a lack of degree of difficulty in the parts that is fairly glaring. Pretty much sextuplets and sixteenths. Not a lot of rolls, or split drum stuff, or sweeps, or any of that. Was it one or two guys behind the evolution of the parts, or was it just a gradual move? (Also, when did tri-toms get phased out of the top 12? Seems like most corps were using quads even back then, but a few still had 'em.) Everyone was also using 6 and 7 basses. When did that come down to 5? Was it just a gradual thing or fairly sudden, like the '91-'92 switch to free-floating snares? Anyways, this was just some random superficial thoughts. I'm curious to hear from others who've been going back and trying to learn. Did you come away (like me) with a better understanding of the evolution of corps design and an appreciation for the performers, or did it just turn you off completely, or did you decide that 70's / early 80's is the acme of corps, or what? Thanks, Mike New menew@bga.com
  23. 2001 DCI Southwestern Championships Review Hey, all: Here's my lengthy 2001 DCI Southwestern Championships review. My disclaimer. If you think that I don't appreciate the work that goes into these shows by the performers, then stop reading and go away. I don't feel like discussing this with you. I do realize what goes into these, and while last year I tried to stay away from criticizing performances and stuck with music selections, this time I'm going to get a little more in-depth. I tried really hard to be open minded about each corps going in. Some rewarded me for doing that, some didn't. As with everyone, even judges, it's a matter of personal preference. If you liked someone more or less than me, of course that's your right. Feel free to discuss it. Do not, however, attack me for believing as I do. Ok, end of rant. Wait. My other disclaimer. I wrote this at one sitting, so I may remember stuff later that I forgot to add in here. So, if you see me commenting on stuff later, that's why! :) First, the scores, as reported by DCI.org: Div II / III 1 84.10 Seattle Cascades 2 71.65 Esperanza 3 64.20 Taipei Yuehfu 4 59.85 Revolution 5 56.20 Allegiance Elite Afternoon Show (*advances to evening) *1 84.10 Crossmen *2 82.55 Bluecoats *3 82.00 Madison Scouts *4 80.80 Colts 5 80.70 Carolina Crown 6 76.85 Spirit of JSU 7 75.95 Southwind 8 71.25 Pioneer 9 66.35 Troopers 10 62.85 Kiwanis Kavaliers Evening Show 1 91.00 Blue Devils (brass, perc, GE) 2t 89.95 The Cavaliers (visual) 2t 89.95 Santa Clara Vanguard 4 89.45 The Cadets 5 84.55 Glassmen 6 84.45 Crossmen 7 83.75 Phantom Regiment 8 81.45 Boston Crusaders 9 80.30 Bluecoats 10 78.70 Madison Scouts 11 77.50 Colts 12 76.85 Blue Knights We arrived at the Rivercenter Mall to park about 9:15. It's only a 15 minute walk to the dome so we got there comfortably in time. Surprisingly, most of the souvie booths were already set up. Got a few minutes to peruse them and to buy my 2001 program, but we quickly settled down to watch some little corps. Weren't that many people there, which was a shame. Our seats were on the right 49 yard line, on row 28 (which was 2 rows from the back of the lower deck, but still *really* close.) Revolution, San Antonio, Texas. First corps up was the hometown corps, fielding their first year of competitive show. They still had the Phantom Legion uniforms, and a much larger colorguard this year. Musically, t'was much improved over last year. Much, much better. Their opener, the overture from Grand Canyon, has a couple of wonderful brass fanfares in it. Percussion seemed overheavy, but it might have been the dome. Also, their parts didn't really stand out in my mind. Chorale and Shaker dance (think BK '91) was played well, but might be a bit overambitious for the size of the corps. Quite nice to watch, though. If they keep improving at this rate, we may have a D1 corps here yet. :) One member had a gold trumpet; I assume it was hers rather than the corps. Esperanza, San Diego, California. Next up were the boys from California. Played a show called, "Songs of Ceremony," although it might as well have been called, "Songs of David Holsinger." These guys were intense! While the crowd wasn't exactly singing along to the music, they easily kept everyone's attention. Some wonderful brass moments in the show. Also some not-so-difficult but solidly written percussion licks. I'd recommend this show as one to watch again. They did have an entire section of gold horns. What was up with that? I thought it wasn't allowed? Taipei Yuefu, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC. It was really neat to be able to see these guys for the first time. Their DM said they'd only been in the US for 4 days yesterday. I shudder to think what they might be like had they been able to afford a longer tour to now! Their music consists of (what the program says) contemporary Chinese music. Personally, it sounded like contemporary American band music, so they fit right in. You know, discordant melodies that you'll never remember, lots of cue hits, etc. Gotta say, though, they did it quite well. The visual package is what everyone's going to be talking about in this one, though. Their drum solo is pretty much eighth notes, but you go around dancing while you do that and see how easy it is. (Especially you, the loudmouth on the left end of my row who kept badmouthing them, LOUDLY, while they were on. Get your fat butt out there and try it.) Guard did a kung fu-like routine during the solo. It was a blast! They were my wife's favorite corps out of the 2/3. Allegiance Elite, Calgary, AB, CN. Reduced numbers this year. I counted (well, it wasn't hard) 2 snares, 1 tenor and 3 basses. 9 pit, though. Seems a little out of balance. They played music from Beauty and the Beast. (Broadway version) The DM looked great out there. Everyone near me liked his full-length cape. The red slashes on the back made it look like they were about to play Jurassic Park 3, but that's okay. Their one contra played his heart out, and gave them a nice low sound that you wouldn't have expected to hear. The drums were WAY too loud today. It obscured what the horns were playing. The whole program seemed a bit shaky, but it wasn't a bad show. They minimized the use of the title track, which I am soooo thankful for! Seattle Cascades, Seattle, WA. Seattle's show was entitled, "Veneration." Wow. If this corps has been in a neck and neck race with the Vanguard Cadets, I shudder to think what VC's like! This show is terrific! The entire package is there, drums, brass, visual. Green and orange seem to be the colors of choice this year for your guard; Seattle chose green. I'm shocked. They were easily the most athletic corps of the early going, and even of some of the later D1 going. Again, this is one where you're not going to go home humming melodies, but it goes together really well. Their DM was a delight to watch. (On an aside, there was a surprisingly high number of African-American drum majors today. I think that's great! I hope it reflects a trend of growing interest in D&B. Also noticed that a lot of corps this year are marching cymbal lines, which is also great to see.) We didn't hear any scores announced, so until they had put it on the web page, I hadn't seen 'em. I agree with all of the placements. I might have put Seattle a little higher, though. Between shows, we went and visited the "Souvenier Marketplace." Or as I liked to put it, the lower concourse. I bought a little Canadian flag from the Kiwanis booth for my brother's girlfriend from Edmonton. Troopers had some nice stuff, but most of it was blue and yellow. Don't particularly like to wear that combination of colors. Revolution didn't have a whole lot, but a nice tour shirt! Southwind had shirts with quotes from Notabando!!!!! Do they know who he is? How'd they get permission? I was wondering about that all day. The DCI proper booth had some nice stuff. Everything you've seen on the web, though. Nothing new. Banners by Barbera had some nice infant wear, so we got a little suit for our future marching member. (we have to be careful right now, 'cause we still have a week tofind out whether our baby's going to get to be a Cavalier or not!) I bought the latest drum shirt from the Blue Devils, as well as their DVD. Guy sitting next to us told us that I wouldn't be disappointed. :) Also bought a Glassmen shirt and the Cavies 2000 championship shirt. Forrest with Drum Corps Miniatures was there, and I bought a Phantom contra off of him, but he was out of all of the others that I was looking for. Darnit. I'd budgeted a lot of money to go there, so I got a few more shirts. :) It's just a personal appeal from me, but I'd love to see more white and grey shirts made by the corps. I just don't like to wear dark colors. I prefer more athletic-apparel type stuff. Anyways, we settle back down for the first big corps. Troopers, Casper, Wyoming. Ok, maybe not big corps. They looked smaller than the Cascades. I really enjoyed their show, though. I liked it a lot better than last year. They duhted very, VERY loud, but most of the corps today did that. (Well, except BK who shouted it, but that was intentional.) Copland works good for them. Don't really have a whole lot to say about them, really. Solid. Spirit, Jacksonville, Alabama. I wasn't sure what to expect from them. I know a lot of people online had been liking them, but I wasn't sure how I'd feel seeing them in person. Well, after seeing them live, I love them! The show is not really Southern flavored, but they weave melody bursts of their old favorites (Old Man River, Georgia On My Mind, Let it Be Me) throughout the show. They had a couple of scatter drills where a "conductor" would shout things out. Here it was, "Next Stop: San Antonio" and "Last Stop 'Til Buffalo!" Crowd enjoyed that. To answer everyone's next question, yes: they could still be a finalist corps. Wouldn't take a whole lot. Some cleaning and tweaking, but I don't think wholesale changes are necessary at this point. I still don't like the uniforms, but they do indeed look good on turf. Kiwanis Kavaliers, Kitchner-Waterloo, ONT, CN. I've never liked KK's black uniforms. I'd prefer that they wear the ones like their DM, with the white jacket with black chest and black pants. But, under artificial lights those sequins sure look good. They had a prop of a bridge / subway entrance that they parked on the right 40, and it was very distracting. Soloists kept getting up on it, and the bassline began their opening form on there, but otherwise it got in the way. I don't think it helped the show any. Southwind, Lexington, Kentucky. The corps was smaller than last year, which was a shame. I really thought this would have been the year that they challenged to make the top 12. It's hard to say what they're missing this year. The music is pretty good, and they execute really well, but there's just ... something ... missing. Firestorm is a great closer. I'd like to see that again. Colts, Dubuque, Iowa. They became my wife's favorite show of the afternoon session. The Colts uniforms seem almost custom designed for this show. The guard has some good threads as well. Sinfonia Voci has a chorus that gets stuck in your head. That's about all I can say for that! It's a good song, though. Allemande features the brass doing a courtly dance in the backfield. The battle scene is the highlight of their show. I was entranced watching the percussion until a gentle nudge from my wife pointed out that in the backfield, half of the brass were holding shields and the other half were attacking them with their horns. It was a great touch! In the Dome, Non Nobis Domine really came off well. Full, rich orchestrations. Of course, I don't know if that was the reverb or if the brass is that good. If they are, look out! Once More Into the Breach is a fairly short excerpt from Henry V, then a reprise of Sinfonia Voci. Percussion is using gray on gray Premiers this year, which looks good and fits with the medieval theme. (Think: Armor.) We had them 2nd, behind Madison and over the Xmen. Pioneer, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What happened to Pioneer's drumline? 5 snares and two tenors? Somebody get hurt? Everyone else on RAMD is right - the black pants look good. I also got a chance to see one member up close on the concourse and they look really good in person, too. The guard uniforms, though, are awful. Quasi-Civil War uniforms, and they do some military looking marching in the first twenty seconds, and then they start dancing. It looked almost like a Monty Python routine! You get over it, though. Gettysburg actually makes a pretty good transition to the field. America the Beautiful isn't as bad as I was expecting, but it wasn't exactly making me want to stand up and salute. Performance wise, I thought it was fairly solid, closer to Southwind than they were. Madison Scouts, Madison, Wisconsin. Neither my wife nor I can figure out what's missing from this show. After hearing it, I don't know what the judges are looking for. This show was without question the boldest, loudest and most exciting show of the afternoon. We both had them absolutely in first. You could feel the intensity radiating off of them. Their show to us still looks and sounds like a top 6 show. Of course, we're not judges, and you'd be well advised to remember that before you start bashing me or the Scouts. But for us sitting on row 28, all we could figure is percussion performance wasn't as strong as the rest of the corps. There is a great little 30 second transition before Symphonie Pour L'Orchestre Americain that ends with a single rifle toss that the crowd loved! Ballet in Brass's drum solo was exciting for the cymbal tosses over the snare/tenor line, but there wasn't a whole lot of meat to the feature after that. A little bit of drum to drumming, and triplet hits on cymbals behind them a la Danza Pasillo in '95, but not too complex. They had some great screaming solos throughout as well. I dunno. The final note goes on and on, with members falling to their knees as it goes on. Think of '97 Crossmen with some theatrics added. Bluecoats, Canton, Ohio. I haven't really liked a Bluecoats show since 1996. There have been some isolated moments, but not where I'd sit and watch a show again. This one, however, might be one of the best I've ever seen from them. The opening statement is a blast a la Madison, and the opener seems a little long, but it's the middle tango piece that makes them so great. It starts with the corps broken into three groups, each doing tango steps while the guard dances. It's little stuff, like a head toss here and a leg kick there, but it look so cool with the music! The music, speaking of, starts slow and quiet, segues into a loud fast climax, and then reprises the slow quiet part. The 'Coats show how horn body movements really can add to a show. Back to the opener for a second. There's not a really exposed drum feature here, but there's a 8 or 16 measure segment at the end of the opener where the tenors are camped on the 50 playing a continous set of runs right up to the final hits of the song. You'll have to see it on the videos, 'cause on the CD's it'll lose something being covered by the brass, but it was really cool to see live. Crossmen, Newark, Delaware. I don't like Harlem Nocturne. There. I've said it. It just has two 8 measure melodies, and they're played like a theme and variations. Just doesn't do anything for me. Their second song, though, (Flyin' Home?) grabs you no matter what. It has a great battle between the snares and some guard versus the tenors and some guard. Sorta like the Cadets last year, except that the guards doing tosses too. Their ballad was kinda anonymous. Firedance, though, is one of those songs that will always be on the Crossmen's Greatest Hits. They have what seems like an endless supply of screaming sopranos. Actually, all throughout the show they have a higher number of soloists than the competition, and it's kinda neat to hear. Ok, I should be ashamed of myself. I actually, for the first time in my life, skipped a corps. The only defense I have is that my wife was pregnant, she was hungry, and I didn't feel like dealing with the rat race once the early show was over. Thus, I can't offer a review of Carolina Crown, Fort Mill, South Carolina. In the interim, we went to what has to be the funniest named restaurant on the Riverwalk: Steers and Beers. Pretty good, but quite pricy. We returned to the A-Dome at 5:30 to find out that they weren't going to open the doors until 6:15. By the way, the high yesterday in San Antonio was between 100 and 110. Not good on the Dome's part. I'd love to know whose decision this was, DCI's or the facility's. They kept us outside until 6:45. More souvie reviews: The Cadets had a lot of stuff, but not a whole lot that I wanted. The Cav's have a neat hockey jersey, and BK has a whole lotta stuff with the lion rampant on it. Glassmen didn't have a large selection, but the neatest (cream / black) polo of any corps. Kiwanis had mostly Canadian stuff (flags / pins / etc) and less corps stuff. Still bought a flag, though. The Blue Devils and Santa Clara had the most visited booths of the night. If I'd have had any money left, I'd have bought their new mousepad. As it was, I'm ordering it next week instead. For the late show, we were sunburned, dehydrated and very tired. :( Then the hammer dropped. I didn't see a lot of bootleg recorders, like I did last year, but this year seat squatting was in vogue. People would just come take an empty seat and hope the owners didn't show up. The three seats next to me (which were purchased by a teen and his grandparents by the way. We saw them in the afternoon.) traded butts like every other corps. I don't like people standing up next to me and screaming to the next section over, "HERE'S SOME EMPTY ONES!" Darnit, I paid a lot for my seats. So should you if you're going to sit there. Jerks. Plus, this one lady kept kicking my knee. My only other general complaint. The staff got to sit in the section next to us. I realize that they're encouraging their people, but once the show's about to start, they need to shut up. We don't need their voices on the recordings any more than we need the fans obnoxious shouting. There weren't many corps that did that, but enough to warrant comment. Colts, Dubuque, Iowa. This show was technically a little more sound than their afternoon performance. This time, I watched the horns during the battle sequence, and it's wonderful! Madison Scouts, Madison, Wisconsin. Madison seemed tired after the afternoon performance. I can't blame them. It seemed like the zip they had earlier was gone. In the closer, they do a trademark Madison face right, back up and spin to face the front move. One horn member fell over onto his back, feet in the air. To his credit, he recovered quickly and hit his spots great for the final minute of the show. I still would have put them up higher than they were. (See my earlier comments - I just think that this isn't as bad as the judges seem to!) Phantom Regiment, Rockford, Illinois. I love Phantom. I really do. I just didn't like their 98 show. All of the others, sometimes I'd love them on the spot (96) or after a few listens (97). This one, I liked on the spot. There is an insane amount of horn dance in this, and they don't sacrifice the drill to accommodate it, either. The theme of the marching is wedges. They appear all throughout the show. Never a flying one, though. :( Would've been nice. Maybe they're holding it for finals? Hopefully? The music is well written and very well played, but seems a little thin in the low registers. Again, might've been the dome. The middle piece (Game of Pairs - Bartok's Concerto, 2nd mvt) seemed a little short, and flows directly into Festive Overture. I was a little disappointed when we hit the brass chords at the beginning, because they weren't as loud as you'd think they should have been. In fact, it seems like the entire show was fairly restrained from them. I think that's what dropped them tonight. There's certainly no problems with balance in the show, and the guard is top notch. Tonight, I think it was a matter of Glassmen just seeming to have fresher legs and less tired lungs. As usual, Tommy was beloved by the Texas crowd. Bluecoats, Canton, Ohio. The second performance by the 'Coats tonight seemed about even with their first. I didn't see anything new, but my wife said that the tango soloists in the middle were spectacular. She also thought it odd that in almost every dance the guy had, he'd push the girl away. Don't know if it was a matter of intent, or just that the dances were added one piece at a time. This is a terrific show! I had them 8th, over Boston. Crossmen, Newark, Delaware. Like the Bluecoats, the Crossmen didn't seem to have that much better of a show than they did in the afternoon. Noticed this time that the contras have a neat pointing - head bob thing on the front sideline after the playoff part. Snares use a neat cymbal thing on their snares during part of the closer. Otherwise, I wasn't more or less impressed than I was. I had them in 8th, behind Phantom. Glassmen, Toledo, Ohio. Glassmen were on tonight! Wow. I can feel ok that they passed Phantom on the judges sheets, because all of the intensity that Phantom didn't seem to have, they did. Their opener gained steam as they went along, until they're fairly flying by the end. The crowd responded in kind. The ballad (Ginastera's Pampeana?) has what'll be remembered as the soloist of the year. He did crack one note, but he has a massive solo. Between him and the pit, it almost has an electronic feel to it. Lots of low marimba that reverbs under the solo. The final two songs seemed like the opener in that the corps started a little sluggish, but are sharp as glass (ha!) by the end. It'll take a few listens to fully appreciate the music, but even on one viewing you can tell that the great potential is there. Cavaliers, Rosemont, Illinois. The Cavaliers to me represent the best of the DCI visual caption in 2001. Massive amounts of drill moves, each one could be the centerpiece of some other corps' show. They have been and continue to be the standard by which all other corps' marching programs are judged. The last minute or so of the show has been changed since the last bootleg recordings, and it seems to work a lot better. Lot more references to the funk melody in the 3rd movement. There was a couple of lines tonight that didn't show their normal sharpness, but they were at the beginning and seemed to be ironed out by the end of the show. Okay, now musically. The first movement could have been pulled from their show last year. To me, that's okay. If it works, keep using it. Sorta like 1993 being in the mold of 1992. The 3rd movement is probably my favorite song of the night / afternoon / morning. The Cavies sell it really well. While I miss their classical music, and hope that they return to it next year, I certainly enjoyed the show tonight. I thought they should have won everything but high brass. Blue Devils, Concord, California. The Blue Devils to me represent the worst of the DCI visual caption in 2001. The corps is nothing more than a framing vehicle for their dance ensemble. Can't even call them a colorguard when their most used piece of equipment is a hat. If you couldn't tell, I didn't like this show. I had them 2nd at the end of their performance. I felt that their superiority musically was offset by the Cavaliers superiority visually. For all of the ballyhoo, the snare/bass thing was kinda short. Would have liked to see them pick them up again at the end. Seems like a waste of money, otherwise. I didn't like the music. Very discordant, and only slightly jazzy. It also seems like they stuck a tag ending on the opener and closer simply because they have been since 98. It doesn't really fit the context of the music. Visually, they do have one nice moment (and a reprise later) where they're sliding a box along the front sidelilne and the row on the far left runs through the form as it's moving to become the front rank. There's also a couple of good moves in the ballad where the percussion is moving with the mass form while being the only ones facing backfield. Otherwise there's not a whole lot of drill to get you excited. Especially after the Cavaliers. Also, for all of the comments online, they weren't particularly cleaner or dirtier than any of the other top corps. Well, except for... The Cadets, Bergenfield, New Jersey. Cadets were winners of the "Messiest Corps Tonight" award. Their marching was awful. One member fell down and lost his hat. Twice members ran smack into each other in the line. Once a spinning flag caught a horn on the head. This is the end of July, not mid June. This should not be happening. I could have easily seen them in 5th, not 4th. Musically, though, this show is a treat. There are tons of horn runs. Vintage Cadets. The ballad (Vide Cor Meum) is kinda short, but well done. Actually, because of how long Moondance is, all of the other songs seem a bit too short. During Young Person's guide, my wife noticed that both DM's were on the podium, and asked me why. I told her to notice that the corps was playing two different things in two different meters. Very nicely done. Moondance takes up the majority of the show. My only complaint with it is that there's not a tenor feature anymore. They're just parked on the trap sets by the pit. Takes some of the teeth out of the drum solo. Santa Clara Vanguard, Santa Clara, California. I can just see the letter. --- Dear Mr. George Hopkins, We can't help but notice that you've taken the opener from our 1981 show to use as yours in 2001. As a result, we shall now be using your opener from 1991 in *our* 2001 show. Nyah, nyah, nyah. With Love, Santa Clara Vanguard p.s. If you play Phantom of the Opera in 2002, we shall be playing Rocky Point Holiday. --- The last 5 years running, I've seen their show the first time, said, "Well, this music just doesn't grab me at all. I've never heard a more discordant mess." Then, 6 months later, I'm listening to their show more than any other. 2001 is going to be like that for me. I sat pretty much disinterested for the majority of the show, until the New Era chant. The body language was great. Along the lines of, "I'm chanting. Huh. I'm dancing. Yeah, I can dance, can't I?! Dance, dance, dance. Look at me dancing and chanting!" It was cute. I'm going to have to be diplomatic here and recognize my own limitations. This is a show that's going to take time to grow on you. Blue Knights, Denver, Colorado. Why BK chose this year to become more fan friendly, I don't know. Personally, I liked that they took some less traveled routes and made you like 'em along the way! The snares were using Pearl indoor models tonight. Why was that? Are they doing that the whole year? Speaking of percussion, they completely overpowered the rest of the corps tonight. The lack of balance was really obvious. Selection-wise, I didn't recognize any of the music until the Warner stuff in the last two minutes. My wife caught more of it than I did, so I assume it's just me. :) As a bit of an aside, why is it that slide whistles and slappers and field whistles are used to denote, "here's the whimsical, childish part"? It's really cliché at this point. Boston Crusaders, Boston, Massachusetts. I'd love to know how this lineup was set. Putting BK and Boston after the big 4 wasn't smart. Even if both of them were performing at the level of last year, you don't put the 5-6 corps after the 1-4 ones. The crowd was less responsive than they might have otherwise been. Anyways, to Boston's performance. Personally, I really enjoyed this show. It's got a little bit of everything, and a lot of African rhythms. The segment from The Mission was mine and my wife's favorite part. Marimba Spiritual was okay, but it wasn't as good a transition from percussion to brass as Stained Glass (SCV) was last year. Harmonium seemed too short. The retreat came pretty quick and smooth. That was nice to see. They talked to Rondo and Dennis DeLucia, who announced that there were 11,740 people there tonight. Show me. I'd have said 20-30,000. Can't judge the size of crowds, I guess. The crowd was unhappy with Madison and Phantom's placements. I was unhappy with Madison and Phantom's placements. I was infuriated by the tie. Why was the tiebreaker rule not used? Not 5 minutes before, Dennis was talking about how great it was that a tiebreaker was in place now. <sigh> I believe that this is indeed a competition, or else why even keep a score? Ties just take the competitive aspect out of it. Sorry That's my personal rant. I figured that since the Blue Devils won, they'd either decline to play an encore, or they'd just play their show and leave. Since I didn't like their show, we just left. With my luck, and my love of encores as chances to hear stuff *other* than the show, I'm sure they played like 30 songs or something. If somebody was there and heard what they did, please let me know! It was pretty easy getting back to the car. No traffic on the road to get to the highway, either. I don't know why that was. Last year, it was a mess. Got home at 1:30. Overall, I was kinda disappointed by the show. They seemed sloppier than last years. Those fall downs, a few run ins, a lot of distracting duhting and a *lot* of dropped flags / rifles / sabers / apostrophes. When I first sat down to write this review, I also thought that most of the corps were disappointing musically. I have to revise that, though, upon writing this, 'cause I could find so many things to like! I do enjoy the fact that everyone's so close this year, and I think that if the cleanups that should be happening do, then we're in for a great treat come Finals week If you've got questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me at menew@bga.com. If you feel like discussing this online, then post back. If you feel like attacking me for having my opinions, then go away. I'm not playing that RAMD game. Thanks for reading! Mike New menew@bga.com
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