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About Brigadier80

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  1. Flooding rains in Boston just let up. If the same happened in Lawrence the field is flooded. Anyone know if this is going to be a standstill tonite?
  2. Are you serious? The only good quality part of the broadcast were the commercials. Anytime a corps was on the feed was unwatchable. I am from Mass. Did anyone else have similar issues?
  3. Why does the start time say 5:00 PM on I tried to login and it told me my membership does not include the event. I think that is why some are confused. Right now on the DCI site it says the event it live. Someone mess up bigtime?
  4. It was a perfect night for drum corps to return to Boston College. The sky was clear and temp's were in the low 70's with a slight dry breeze. The last show I attended at BC was the 1984 CYO Nationals which unsuprisingly was won by the then named Garfield Cadet's. There was a good crowd although I am unsure if it will match the 5,000 that attended at Foxboro last year. Part of the problem may of been Boston pricing premium upper deck seats at $100+. During the week I got several emails the first one advertising a 10% sale off of all tickets then the 2nd offering 20% off all tickets. The average drum corps fan are middle class regular working people who cannot afford $400 to take the wife and kids to a drum corps show. Just my 2 cents. Below are some ramblings about the show. Sorry for the lousy spelling. Open Class 7th Regiment 2nd place 53.35 This was my first time seeing Regiment this season. I am unsure of the show's theme and am not familiar with their rep. The music sounded generic in a movie music kind of way. Some of the brass arrangements reminded me more of warm ups than anything else. Nice size corps with an attractive visual program. I would have had them further behind Spartans. Gorgeous uniforms on the corps. Spartan's first place 54.65 Again this was my first viewing of Spartan's show. This show seemed better put together and performed than the Regiment. The ballad from 'The Mission' really has a lovely melody. Guard per usual was a strong point although they seemed a bit smaller than previous years. World Class Jersey Surf 6th place 56.9 I really enjoyed this show even though it is really dirty. Surf's 'La Mer' themed show is a step up sophistication wise, Color guard was appropriately attired in various gorgeous shades of green and blue. I loved the arrangement of 'Under the Sea' I hope this brings them back into the top 25. Boston Crusaders 5th 65.45 This show was not as bad as I feared but neither is it a step forward. 'The Impossible Dream' may as well reference their chances of moving up past 10th place this year. The opening set when viewed from the upper deck is beautiful. The 'windmills' did not appear as big high up but they are still woefully under used and often poorly staged. For me brass was their strong point although they were lacking the punch provided by Crossmen's line. The show and music just feel dated and quaint when compared to other corps like the BlueCoats. I know they went back to Brian Murphy for visual design but IMO he did them no favor's. The staging of the guard through out is pretty bad. They are often just spread out around the field haphazardly. As a result their work has little impact . Silk work is especially dirty. Because the prop's are kept center front most of the show the horn line seems to play to much to the back field as they have to snake around the windmill's. What scares me is that they were reasonably clean but still scored only a 65.45, I hope there are some re-writes in the works. Boston is my hometown corps and I love them dearly and will always support them but they really need to figure out what their identity is. They also over hyped this show by claiming they were in better shape after spring training than ever before and this show was the vehicle to move them way up in the ratings. The judges then awarded them their worst opening score since 1998. Crossmen 4th 66.35. The all original music is relate able and easy on the ears. I really loved the sound of their brass. The music however is so laid back that it lacks variety and emotion. I loved the guard costumes and silks and there was some well designed collapsing visual moves between the thirty's. Ending needs to be punched up. I thought this show was under scored. Phantom Regiment 3rd 70.05 It was good to see PR break 70 for the first time. This is another show that seems underscored. Overall design, sound and execution was a notable step up from Boston/Crossmen. I am still mystified by some of the music choices and arrangements. Why is 'Chairman Dances' basically just sampled? The decision to go with two ballads is risky but IMO does not pay off. The 2nd ballad just stop's the show dead in it's tracks. Some of the visual design I liked but often there seemed to be too much running around from set to set. Unlike Boston, PR's guard ladies were staged and costumed wonderfully and had some gorgeous clean synchronized silk work. I do understand the reasons for selecting 'Young Person's Guide' and for the most part they played it wonderfully. I do miss the soprano or middle voices run's at the end of the peice as the two tempo's merge into one. Cadet's 2nd 73.5 This show was a notable step up quality wise from Phantom. When I saw this show in the theater it seemed like a dud. However, The Cadet's will just not be kept down. They pound the audience into submission with the virtuosity of their playing and marching. I still have a hard time relating the story line of statue's coming to life with some of the musical selections (Pines of Rome?). The story line is becoming clearer and I appreciate the guard's multiple costume changes. Their equipment work is much better than last year. Battery was just fantastic. During several sets they were placed back field but my attention still went to that incredible snare line. They demand and deserve your attention. i love their attach. Way to much trombone for me. With so many of them they just do not blend properly into the brass line. Not sure if this show will move them up but they have made great progress in just a week. Bluecoats 1rst 74.8 This show is incredible, From a design standpoint it stands way above everyone else. Between the prop's, uniforms and musical selections they have taken so many risks.If even if one of those elements fail the show would not work. No worries it all works. This is one of these shows whose title and description almost irellavant.Just sit back and enjoy the ride. I love the opening snapping and when the brass line comes flying out I heard a notable 'wow' come from the audience. The modern dance segment has to be seen to be believed. Again, I am unsure why it is there but am so glad it is. So OK the slides are a little silly but it is great fun to see who will slide down next. I loved the blind flag exchange over the slides. 27th would be proud. The Pink Floyd piece generates brass sounds that are unlike anything I have heard and it really swing's at the end. The brass articulation was incredible during 'Heat of the Day'. Tough arrangement. The ending samples different pieces played earlier in the show and needs a re-work. But doesn't everyone's? They are playing and marching with such (well deserved) confidence. Kudos to their staff! Will the judges have to courage to push this past BD and Crown? Mark
  5. 1 Crown - Most complete show of the season and the only show that generates a visceral reaction from me 2 BD - Not as well though thru as last year but love the Sondheim music and as usual their brass and guard are stunning 3 BAC - This show has really grown on me. So much going on! 5 Academy - 2nd most entertaining show of the season 6 Cadets - New uniforms seem a waste of money. Still, they still move and play like noone else. 7 PR - Accessible and enjoyable 8 Cavies - The theme is weak but sometimes you have to just sit back and enjoy their virtuosity 9 fun, fun, fun! 10 Cascades - I am so pleasantly suprised by this show. I hope they make semi's most years my list would be longer but I must admit many of the other shows just leave me cold
  6. Apolgies to Jersy Surf for leaving them out! I will cover them in my next review. Enjoyed their show. They were much improved the next night in Lynn
  7. Before I start please forgive my terrible spelling! Even for early in the season, it was a spectacular night of drum corps. Another reviewer said it reminded him of a regional to me it felt almost like finals week. How I miss the good old days (RIP 2008) when we would pull up to some massive outside stadium and snake our way to our seats. That very action would build excitement and expectations. It would be great if this was a yearly event or even a regional. I love Allentown like everyone else, but it is in the middle of now where and a pain to travel to. And unlike Allentown, there was not large gap between the seats and the start of the field. Excellent acoustics at Gillette as well. Onto the Performances Spartans: I was impressed given that this was their first show and it was complete. I liked the massive gate mid field that held the brass back at some point (thus the name of the show "Spartans at the Gate'. It was also heartening to see them with such a large corps. They had a large talented guard as usual but I believe had almost 60 brass. I recognized 'Ritual Fire Dance' as one of their first pieces. Having played that back in 80-81 I know how tough it is. Their brass sound was a bid muddled but they pumped up the volume and tempo at it's end. I look forward to seeing them on the 4th to uncover more of what is going on. 7th Regiment Were really the Cinderella corps of 2014. They must of been so pleased to have made it to semi's. Their uniforms were my favorite of the night. Those bright blue jackets really pop on the field. Again another complete show that at least to me seemed to have more detail such as body work and show flags than the Spartans. Again, I look forward to seeing them tomorrow to get more of their show. Troopers When I heard the name of their show was 'Wild Horses' I must admit I cringed a bit because how can they possible hold up against Crown's 'Triple Crown'?. Well they can't at least not yet but to their credit they offered their on take of the theme. Like Crown, the guard wears horse uniforms and have white gates that are creatively used all over the field. The show seemed to sag in the middle. To my suprise the singing and staging of the ballad worked very well. The ending drill really suprised the crowd and earned them a deserved standing ovation. My freind could not believe they did not play 'Wild Horses'. I told her it was a good choice not to. After beating Boston they have dropped back a bit scoring wise but that really has more to do with Boston finally pulling it together. Crossmen Hate the puffy clouds and silly planes that look more like a dinghy's. This is another theme that has been done better before by other corps ( Phantom and Cadets). I do like the tarp at the front of the field that allow's the brass line to wail during the 'I'll Fly Away' ballad. Like the last several years the drill seems to stay between the 30's. The show was enjoyable enough but I would of had them further behind Boston. Crown Boy did they wake up the crowd with the opening chords of 'Beethoven's 9th'. Trumpet's are still straining a bit during the softer start but it was full force forward after. By far they got the best response of the night. The show is dark but it is so intense and enjoyable. Already there are so many finishing touches by the guard and the usual expressive foot work by the brass. One of my favourite moves of the night was when the brass formed a triangle in front of the battery as they started their solo. Sequentially each row of brass players turned and sat down as if in a concert. It will be worth traveling to Lynn just to see this show again. They will challenge for the top spot again this year. Cadet's Brass seemed to lack the impact that crown had. The opening really cooks. Lot's of crazy notes and crazy run's. The '10' theme is really not that interesting but I am sure there is lot's to come (10 base or quads perhaps). I loved the 10 French horns but they just did not register. Get the microphone out. The middle of the show sag's with to much standing around on the 50 by the brass. Some clever moves have been added but they need more movement. I was much more impressed by Crown's guard. Percussion was excellent as always. Finale of more of the same of the '10th' seemed reduntant. I would like to see something new. As usual the drill at the end of the show was crazy. Personally I enjoyed Crown and BD quite a bit more. BD What are the snare's doing on those crazy lifts? Not sure what they relate to the theme but it was impressive non the less. BD is basically picking up where they left off last year. The brass already is playing an intensely difficult book mind blowingly well. Once again there is no weakness in any section. Already the guard is executing clean 8'ts. The prop's are begining to make more sense. I loved the brass players sitting down and 'reading' during 'Children Will LIsten'. The Sondheim music was a little hard to pick out a times but on second listen I am sure will help. Why are then not going to Lynn? Now I have to wait for Mufreesboro to see them again ): Boston I am so glad I did not see them last week. I can understand the confusion in the audience when then were dragging around the prop's without the screens. Of all corps I think this show has the most to grow. Unlike last year you do not need to read three paragraphs to understand what is happening. And after the pig masks of last year the guard must be relieved to be so beautifilly costumed. I loved how the color's of the flag's matched the four kingdom's. I think we all know what is coming at the end and it will be impressive. They could be the black horse of the summer. I am heading down to the Esplanade now to see them playing with the Pop's!
  8. First I think kudos to Tom Blair and company must be given. It was the first show of the year the camera angles were quite good. The sound was excellent. Quite loud in my theatre in Boston. I was a bit less impressed as the first reviewer was. The shows seemed much rougher and a bit less interesting and fan friendly than last year. Madison It was encouraging to see such an improvement from their dress rehersal. Even though this was supposed to be based on MGM 50's musicals I had a hard problem figuring out much of what they played in the first part of the show. I appreciated their aggressive attack both visually and musically again there was a certain sameness to the music until the ballad. I actually thought their ensemble was the tightest of the night. Once the guard start using the prop's that just sat on the field narrative will be clearer. What was especially missing for me was the emotion that was present in their 9/11 and Band of Brothers shows. There may be some costume changes coming too. They may be in a fight for the last finalist spot. Blue Star's There were some pretty ugly sounds coming from the brass right off the first entrance. The ensemble sounded close to coming apart several times. Guard was probably the cleanest of the night and it was encouraging to see what looked like a complete visual package. Style wise it fit into some of their prior successful shows . The dark part of the show seemed to overwhelm the show. Sampling of the circus them seemed excessive. Cavaliers Wow was this a mess especially musically. The brass book seemed way overwritten for the players and it was difficult to see how the music related to the show's theme. And the theme just does not grab me especially after last years superb design. The ensemble really fell apart numerous time. Guard costumes are unattractive and looked like a combination of several other years. (Spin Cycle and Machine). Crown Another big performance improvement from their dress rehersal video. The conversation their designer had with Steve Rondinaro was hilarious and got our audience laughing. I am so used to seeing something original from them (OK not last year) that it was a bit disappointing to see what looked like a combination of Santa Clara's 'The Devil's Staircase' and especially Phantom's 'Faust', It was pretty funny to see brass players struggling to play their instruments while that shear carp was dragged over them. That said while brass was rough that rich CC sound was present and the music and arrangements grabbed me as usual. I am hoping seeing this live will translate better. Cadet's Hasn't someone else done a number (the power of 1?) themed show. The theme was easy to understand but just not interesting. Especially (again) after last years emotion filled show. However I loved the Shostakovich music and their visual book again was crazy good. What was with the brass just sitting glued to the 50 for was felt like two minutes? I am sure that will change. The show definitely sagged in the middle before a typical thrilling fast ending. Blue Coats. It seemed to me that once again BC is trying to replicate a prior years successful show (see 2011) to diminishing results. Way to much electronic enhancements that just grated on my ears. Didn't Cavalier's use those props in their 'Planet's' show and Carolina in their 'For the Common Good' show? They did not seem to know what to do with them. I did appreciate their incredible brass but the music was full of disodance and not nearly has accessible as last years Sorry to be so negative. I hope all corps will prove my criticism wrong. I look forward to the next simulcast that will contain much improved performances from all corps,
  9. I can't get in. I thought this was free? Every time I click on video it asks me to sign up for a package. Anyone else in?
  10. they are waiting for attorney sign off? That sounds ominous. I hope I am wrong
  11. Those are great seats....what is the face value for the entire package?
  12. 93 Boston is part of the recordings from DCI available on CD. Starting in 1990 they provided semi-finalists on the CD's. Prior to that it was either records or cassettes. From time to time one pops up on Ebay. I do have Boston 93 and will see if I can make a MP3. Regarding all of the discussion around semi-finalist video I too would love to see them on the fan site. I have heard the rumor of a fire destroying early semi-finalist videos. Given the cost I could understand why DCI would not record early years semi's. I believe that starting in 1979 there are some semi-finalist video around. I remember that 800 video express had a high angle recording of Crossmen from 1979. Unfortunately that is one collection I did not buy. II know for sure that 800 Video express had semi-finalists going back only to 1980. I have high angle Troopers, Blue Stars and Freelancers. From 1982-1984 their collection was spotty. For example for some reason 84 Troopers and Bridgemen were not included in their Through the Years tapes. However 82 Boston and Troopers were part of their collection. The Boston and Troopers collection seemed most complete as included it shows from 1982-1994. Apart from Video Express I did locate a high angle video of most all of the 1982 and 1985 open class corps (semi-finalists included). Unfortunately there is a synch issue between video and audio on 82. Whomever was looking for 85 Crossmen I will see if I can make a copy of the DVD. I also think I do have many semi-finalist performances between 86-96.
  13. OMG do you really still have Beta? What was released on Beta? I am with you regarding accumulating media. A number of years ago I bought all the old 'Through the Years' series and converted them to DVD. I also traded with other collectors semi final videos from the 80's and 90's. I was never able to get my hand on prelim performance from the 70's. From what I heard I think some of them went up in flames. I also cleaned up and converted to CD audio tapes and records containing non-finalist recordings from 76-89. I wish I could find more. I think the 'Through the Year's' tapes are no longer in circlulation. I still go back and watch Boston, Dutch Boy and Trooper's shows from 82-94. Some great shows during those years.
  14. IMO Boston needs a new program co-ordinator. I am from Boston and am a huge fan but the last 2 years have been disappointing design wise. Some other posters made references that Boston was trying to get fans to think about it's theme. Mostly fan's were just trying to figure out what was going on period. This was most reflective in their poor GE scores. They thougth this show would take them to the top 5. You don't design a show with what you believe will get you a higher placement. Allthough the theme certainly was different the music really was not. Santa Clara, Cadet's, Crown and Star played smilar contempory dark modern music but within a much better design. On a shuttle bus back to the airport in Indy I over heard a Boston trumpet player saying marching at the ridiculous rate of speed they did in some parts of the show was not 'fun'. My bet was she was not alone in that opinion.Will this impact recruiting for 2014? It is possible. Again having members fly around the field is not anything new and in today's DCI is not something that add's much value. The flow of last years show was problematic. Several of the 'movements' would just abruptly end and the audience would be sitting on their hands. This show screamed out for some narration. This thought is justified by them finally putting in a bit of it during finals week. With the bombing in Boston in 2013 the show design that year got increasingly tastless as the season progressed. Did they really need to have the guard made up to look as they had just been bombed? Don't even get me started on the baby powder disaster. Obviously that show was in the works before the bombing. My point is they could of been a bit more senstive. And if you were going to have a show with bomb effects and you are from Boston at least have a 'Boston Strong' flag or banner at the end. Sorry for the rant. Needed to get this off my chest. I really hope they can go back to a design that will bring the audience back into their show for 2015