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Everything posted by Marc66

  1. To those on this post who have claimed that the 2006 edition of Madison didn't have a clue about the tradition of the corps, your are quite mistaken... I attended the Memorial Day camp in Madison, went to the home show in July, was in Madison during finals, I have some idea what these brothers know and don't know. These were Madison Scouts, led by Sal Salas, who is an alum and an extremely creative and passionate man. He has done wonders for every group he has worked with. Whether one likes or dislikes the results of his work are of no importance...his dedication can never be questioned. I had a wonderful, if brief, talk with Sal...he truly has/had the best of intentions for the corps. However, sometimes things don't quite work out the way we want. I will miss Sal as the Director, as I miss Scott Stewart. As for the traditions...the men of this year's corps understand more of the Scout history, traditions and meaning of what Madison represents than anyone here could ever imagine. They hungered for stories of year's past; they sat in awe of my stories from when I marched. They wanted to know every little nuance and morsel about the old days... They wore nails around their necks, each one with a name of an alum, so that the past and present may be as one...old being with the new. That is what tradition is about. I stood with my contra brothers, both Memorial Day and at the show in July, hands on shoulders and sang "the song," and swelled with pride. Whomever the next director is will be entering a world of more than just a corps...they will be joining a wonderful brotherhood, and inheriting an incredible bunch of men...and I, for one, will be both envious and proud. Just my 2 cents...
  2. I can say emphatically YES...and I know this because last year at the Long Beach, CA show, Academy had finished their show and were at their food truck having dinner when Mystikal - a D-III regional corps - was marching back to their truck following their show. The entire Academy organization - members, staff, and support crew stopped what they were doing, stood and cheered for them...and, I'm talking about polite clapping, I mean claps, hooting and vocally cheering them on. Now THAT truly is class. There are other stories about Academy being a very classy group...obviously their staff has instilled a true sense of what the activity is supposed to be, and how the corps should carry themselves... BRAVO definitely have a fan here!!!
  3. the straps are a great bit...but, when done, the members can't seem to get them back into their uniforms...
  4. Sorry, gang...but, I do believe (and I've been a big fan all year) Bloooo peaked way too early and are falling fast...too bad, cause I thought this show was going to be a top 3 show...
  5. First off, let me EMPHATICALLY state that I am and always will support my brothers in the current form of the Madison Scouts. I've met this group of guys and am so enamored by what they can achieve on the field, and how they also have such admiration and reverence for the history of the corps. That being said... I'm really hoping that the powers that be will take a good look at the reaction given to last nights performance by the Madison Scouts Alumni Project and use that as an inspiration for what they are going to plan for next year's show. Madison's show this year is a good show, but nowhere near what it could have been because I believe it was way too esoteric for its own good. Madison's trademark is shows that give fans a stunningly entertaining show (for instance, anyone remember '95 & '96 - the appropriately title "A Drum Corps Fan's Dream?"). Scores have always been secondary to entertainment. Last night's stroll down memory lane gave the fans trademark Madison, and I truly hope next year will give the fans what they want. You don't have to put old school drill on the field...let 'em run around the field march brilliantly, but also choose music that would inspire the legendary THROWING OF would not only be a show that fans would go nuts over, but I think it would woo the judging community and be appropriately rewarded. Priority number one needs to be entertaining and peeling the face off the audience's collective faces. Last night's incredible performance by the Alumni Project proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.
  6. Knowing Academy's staff, along with their history, I think their long-term plans (as well as what they've done in the past) has set them up quite differently from Esperanza... While I do agree that Esperanza jumped too early into the D-I pool, Academy's development and approach (they were together for a few years before even taking the field in competition) has them in good position to make the jump... However, maybe another year in D-II would, indeed, set them up a little better with the judging community. I would have no qualms, however, if they did jump next year.
  7. I think this is what makes our activity very unique and enjoyable...everyone has preferences as to what they think works, and what they like... Studio Tan - we see and hear things differently, but neither opinion is wrong...very cool, IMHO.
  8. I totally agree...Crossmen did it right (IMHO)...especially with the fast station switches (favorites were the Spanish station, and the all-sports)... Now, regarding Blue Stars...vocal were definitely heavy, and not necessary. BTW, did anyone else find it ironic that they showed the past Boston performance, and they told their story with dialog written on banners, instead of through a microphone?
  9. Add to that, I think their basics program is seriously lacking...yes the drill is VERY DIFFICULT, their technique is also seriously poor. A double whammy for Madison this year.
  10. Hmmm...I can humm a lot of Cavies show this year for the first time outta all of their original compostion shows...their music is very strong this year, along with their drill...cute drill moves + good music are why they are in contention for another title...
  11. The member portraying Mr. Moto did, indeed, have an accident during rehearsals that made it impossible for him to play the show. However, rather than cutting him, Corps Director Jeff Pearson decided (when it was discovered that he could still march) to keep him on and created the character that the corps had only conceived. Pretty creative, and very much in keeping with the shows theme, Moto Perpetuo.
  12. Was in the Lincolnshire theater (Northern Chicago) - my thoughts: Theater - 'bout 3/4 full and OH, SO LOUD!!! It was totally cool, and the loudest theater I've been in for this. Also, we didn't experience any cut out, save it be 'bout a few seconds, but the sound carried through, so no big deal. The overall show...I agree, GIVE US THE DANG HIGH CAM...missed way too many cool moments cause the director had some weird facination with meaningless guard moments (not dissing guards, but the choices of shots made little sense)...and, Rondo...I heard from a friend in California that the theater in Burbank nearly rioted (not kidding) when they heard his comment about the Crossmen Spanish speaking member ("I thought he said we're all getting tacos")...I thought it was funny, but that predominantly Latino theater audience didn' careful, Rondo...finally, PLEASE GET RID OF JESSICA WHAT'S HER NAME...she is dreadful, annoying and a worthless addition to the broadcast (our theater actually clapped when her mic didn't come on that one time). Shows - Southwind was good, and seems to be getting better each year. Also, love their unique show concepts... Cap Reg...a whole lot better than when I saw them a month ago in Madison. Actually loved this show. Blue Stars...WELCOME BACK!!! My only issue was that I thought the monologs introducing each piece was way too syrupy...could have done without them. Crossmen...god, I loved this, entertaining, and a great concept. Colts...didn't grab me like it did earlier in the season...sorry... Spirit...nice show...not incredible, not wow-ing, just nice of my favorites this year. A wonderful package...I hope Glassmen continue in this direction. Madison...much cleaner than earlier this season, but still dirty. I really wanted to love this show, but it never made it there...but, still love the brothers, and always will. Crown...another great product...consistent, fun, entertaining. Great body movement...showed great technique, plus very clean. Boston...didn't do it for me. thought Crown was cleaner, but obviously judges didn't...this is why I don't judge. Blue Knights...ok, before I get flamed, I will say the kids performed this show well...that said, I hated this show (from a design perspective)...plain dreck! SCV...OMG, first time I saw it and was blown away. Jeff Pearson has started his tenure as director with a BANG...great concept, music, and production. was stronger earlier in the year, but they've seemed to peak way too soon...pity, cause I thought this show could have been top-3. Cadets...way too much going on for me to understand it with one viewing. Not nearly as strong as last year. Phantom...Just the opposite from is light years better than when I saw them earlier in the year, and gave me goose bumps...THAT HORNLINE!!! BD...Did not think they should have won visual, and thought they should have been behind Phantom...theme repeated way too many times. Cavaliers...My favorite show of the year...PERIOD. I could watch this show everyday and still get fresh perspective. Bravo!!! Yeah, I know this looks like a review, but these are my random thoughts and observations...
  13. MARSHA HANSON - Phantom, '84/'85 STUART SHULMAN - SCV, 2002-2005 My two personal favorites...
  14. I've been seeing signatures with a large corps logo and their 2006 show. Where did these come from, and where could I find 'em? Thanks for the help...
  15. :lolhit: :lolhit: :lolhit: Love that!!!
  16. Madison seems to be suffering with three big items: 1. Long lulls throughout the show, including extra long endings to each piece they play (save it be the opener). 2. Endurance issues due to an overly physical drill (they are literally running a good 1/3-1/2 of the show, and tends to get to you, especially if your physical training is not what it should be. 3. Really poor transitions that are not standard for them...I mean, really bad transitions AND, from what I can see, bad basic technique. Not a Madison standard. If they clean up these parts, they can make a jump...but, they really need to clean quickly to catch up to the show that are superior at this time.
  17. BACK, Delucia, BACK!!! Or, my trusty sidekick will knaw you like a shako!
  18., that makes sense, and thus I appropriately withdraw my rant.
  19. Yeah, I was a bit disturbed by Blooo going on when they did, and also felt Cap Reg got jobbed by performing between Cavaliers and Madison. However, since the "smaller" show lineups are determined by a "blind draw," it means something like this could happen. Not really fair for either Bluecoats OR Cap Reg. NOW ON A SIDE NOTE: I forgot to mention that I was, and still am, very disturbed that Pioneer wasn't even represented at "Retreat" (quotations because I do not consider what is currently being done with simply drum majors/guard captains to be a real retreat)...why, for the love of all that's holy, could they not stay? Their next city is home, which is less than 100 miles away. Now, I don't know the circumstances, but I can't imagine something sooooooooo drastic that they had to leave before the finale... OK...Rant over.
  20., it's 1am here in Chicago, but I'm wired from just getting back from Madison's home show, Drums on Parade. A wonderful venue (James Madison Memorial HS Stadium), a perfect night for drum corps (after earlier threats of thunderstorms), and - according to the public official who gave a welcome introduction to the crowd, the oldest annual drum corps show in North America (just taking her quote, so don't blame the messenger)... REHEARSAL/CLINIC - The Scouts did a clinic in the afternoon for about 150-200 students and attendees of the show. It was pretty much like every other clinic...except for the beginning when the sections break off and invite folks to observe where they have interest, either brass, percussion or guard...added a nice touch, especially when the brass section had a volunteer come up and conduct the tuning cord, which was a cute little touch. THE SHOW: There were 8 corps performing this evening - 1 Div.3 (Capital Sound), 1 Div.2 (Colt Cadets), and the rest Div. 1 (in order of appearance - Pioneer, Bluecoats, Colts, Cavaliers, Capital Regiment, and Madison Scouts). A nice lineup, but I was still hoping to see Blue Stars, who were in Dixon, IL headlining a small show, with only a few other groups. Would have been nice to have those corps here and make this show really strong...but, can't have everything... CAPITAL SOUND - Heard they had recruiting difficulties, and the numbers showed it (14/10/6). However, they are one of the few small groups that I've seen/heard that haven't tried to over-program their show. Music was accessible (Danny Elfman...some of his lesser known works), and the drill was condensed to the field...they didn't try to cover the whole thing. They had fun entertaining the crowd, with multiple soloists who weren't half bad. With a fuller D-3 corps, this show would definitely contend for a medal at finals. Kudos to their staff for giving the kids something fun, and to the kids for not letting size affect how they performed. COLT CADETS - Another accessible show (I like this concept)...It's obvious these kids are still learning the craft...this is not a bad thing, just an observation. The show was based on music from police/detective shows (Dragnet, Charlie's Angels, and others). Entertaining, but their brass staff tries to let these kids loose too much, and they suffered a lot of intonation problems. However, they are cute, decent sized, and are working their tails off. I'm definitely a sucker for cute...and they have that in spades. Yes, there are technical issues...but, hey, they came, performed and got a deserved standing ovation for it. Not too shabby for day's work. PIONEER - They've definitely improved in the two weeks since I last them at Lisle. However, I still think their Emeraldscapes show is way too esoteric for them. Their percussion is still way advanced from their horns & guard. However, their brass seem to want to let loose, but this show doesn't let them. I am truly convinced that, with a show other than the standard Irish-themed ones that Pioneer puts out every year...and, more accessible music, the horns would let loose. I did like that they trooped the stands playing an Irish piece (don't know the name, but it's probably the corps song). A nice departure from simply marching by. A definite plus! BLUECOATS - I was really surprised that they drew the final spot before intermission. A major departure...but, I guess that's how scheduling goes nowadays - anyone can go on at anytime. OK...another MAJOR improvement since Lisle. Horns...OMG!!! Guard...AMAZING!!! Percussion...YEAH!!! The total package that everyone out here has been talking about. Their opener (from Cirque du Soliel) is fast/furious and energizing. Guard is really in sinc here, and could be in-line for the guard title this year. Horns a sharp, crisp and movin' that. Only percussion issue (and it was a constant theme this evening)...TURN DOWN THE VOLUME ON THE AMP!!! There is a steel drum utilized in this show (which is cool), but the volume drowned out a lot of the field percussion/brass sound. Amps are supposed to support the pit, not overtly magnify it. However, in the grand scheme, this is my favorite BLOOOOO show...PERIOD. INTERMISSION...just the right length (15-20 min)...gave time to stretch and wander briefly, but not enough to get bored. COLTS - This show is definitely going to compete for spot on Saturday night's line-up. Their show, based on As Time Goes By, is rock solid. Every section is strong, and the theme is constant throughout. While not as WOW as Bluecoats, I was still impressed by sound being generated, and the talent of the kids...Nothing stands out as being better, or worse...solid package. CAVALIERS - The machine has added a lot since Lisle...and, I still haven't seen even half of the gags/kitsch/visual gems that Cavies have thrown into this production. Drill is very clean for this time of year, and the guard is clicking on all cylinders (the ballad choreography is particularly mesmerizing...great work between the duos and their equipment). The ending kind of fell flat for reasons I can't explain...probably just a glitch. However, there is a feast for the senses in this show. Absolutely fantastic! CAPITAL REGIMENT - There was a lot to like about them, and a lot to scratch you head about. The show is based on life: work/rest/play. OK, why do so many corps have to do shows with esoteric themes like, "Life," "The Elements," and other such obscure themes? I just don't get the entertainment value in doing something that gets my mind wandering away from the performance and focused on other things. This is a small rant, but needs to be said (sorry Cap Reg, you have to be the recipient)...This is not a bad show (guard costumes are bright and cute), and it's not being executed badly. However, there's not enough to capture the audiences attention, and they suffer in a lot of ways. Kids are working hard, and put out a solid product. Just really don't care for the show concept. MADISON SCOUTS - OK, so a lot has been said about this show..."What are they playing?" "It's not Madison." Well, it is Madison. Yes, it's different, but the horns have a Madison flare to them, and the corps members carry themselves like the Scouts of yesteryear. I'm very mixed about this show, in terms of whether it works for me...There are great moments, like the openning with the horns body movement while the bass drums are literally running through them...The openning horn hit is in-your-face Madison, and I always like a Myron Rosander drill. I get the guard uniforms, but they are WAY TOO BUSY (my first reaction when I saw them was, "oh look...Madison is doing the Lion King...I kid you not). The actual guard performance is solid...actually, rather strong...but, these costumes/uniforms just distract way too much. I don't think Madison is suffering from the show concept...rather, from execution. There are brief moments of sheer brilliance...then, a lazy mistake. Attention to detail is a big achilles heal for them. The have the enthusiasm, but are really lacking, dare I say it, passion (while on the field, mind you - their standstill concert was another story all together). If they marched like they play standing still, we'd be talking about a possible third championship. ENCORE - Madison came out and simply shook the stands from their foundation. After I thought they ran out of gas during the competition, they suddenly found a second wind and delivered a goose-bump creating earthquake of sound and passion that I want to see them employ on the field. They performed their opener, followed by Ice Castles....Sweet. Then, the moment of the evening...All alumni were invited down to the track to join the current members in singing Never Walk Alone to the rest of the audience (most of whom were still there). What an incredible feeling of joining the brothers for this emotional moment...yes, I eat the traditional stuff up. Anyway...enjoy, comment, disagree...but, that's the way I see it.
  21. There are those who like what they're doing, and there are those who don't...that's fine, and everyone's tastes are going to be different. That being said...there are very few, if any corps left who sound like they did 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. Concepts change, styles change, programs change...some for the better/some not. I happen to like the different feel and sound of this show. That (insert corps name here) doesn't sound like (insert corps name here) is not necessarily a bad thing...and, yes, I am an alumn of Madison, and DON'T drink the "kool-aid"...but, I can appreciate the different choices that their design team has made. It's different from when I marched, different from when a lot of alumni marched. They are still Madison...the corps that played Malaguena, Ballet in Brass, JC Superstar, Pirate music, Ice Castles, Rhapsody in Blue, and Cirque du Soleil...all very genres of music...but THEY played it. Maybe you liked it, maybe you didn't... They will still sound like Madison...just like Vanguard will sound like Vanguard, Blue Devils will sound like Blue Devil, and so on... You don't have to like it...that's what makes the activity unique. Different strokes for different with it.