bayareafan

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  1. I don’t see SCV as playing safe. I think they’re pretty #### impressive. But their approach to programming is very different than BD. Each is hard in its own way. I too think that BD was actually better in drums last night though - and last year at finals for that matter.
  2. As I said in an earlier post I think this is really the best concept that any corps has on the field right now. I note that they won GE last night in Sacramento. But you're right the music is not connecting as well as it should. Maybe that's why I perceive their horn line as weak (by BD standards - most corps would love to have this line). They need to get the music/horn line stuff sorted and then this show should really sell. When I listened to Vanguard again last night their horn line just grabs you. Clean. Powerful. Doesn't let go. Cavies did not impress me as much on my second viewing last night, and I think that judges are reacting to the shear power that Cavies are projecting. They have some serious problems with balance and intonation in parts of their show. I didn't hear those kinds of problems with BD, rather BD's horn line just doesn't do anything to really impress me yet. Hopefully they'll get there. Whatever happens I will be thrilled if BD and SCV are 1 and 2 again this year in either order. I enthusiastically and monetarily support both corps. Three years in a row of California corps in the top two spots would be awesome.
  3. The show design is actually very good. BD created more moments last night at Stanford than any other corps. They have a bunch of things you remember - much more so than the others. The problem BD has though to just be blunt is the horn line isn’t as strong as the other sections. I remember some great visual moments from the corps. I remember the guard impressing with a bunch of tosses - many of them very exposed. The drum line killed it and IMO bested SCV. The design is clever and true to the theme of the show. But nothing memorable from the horn line. After hearing Cavs and Vanguards horn lines BDs line just didn’t stand out. Time to woodshed those horns and get em up to BD standards.
  4. It's hard to reach any real conclusion from rough videos shot on a camera phone at a relatively low angle with the corps not performing in uniform. It looks like a mess frankly in the videos, but I expect most all of the corps would look like a mess filmed this early and at a relatively poor angle, not in uniform, etc. The show does look really interesting. Music sounds interesting. Horn line - particularly the trumpets - sound good. The drum line sounds good as always. And yep they seem to be pulling all the stops out on the guard. So we'll see. I hope that they do use the entire field. This looked a bit like last years SCV show which had very limited field coverage, but the clips I saw did not show the entire production. I don't agree with the statement above that BD is always a bare bones show and a mess at the start of the season. In fact I would argue that their legacy is exactly the opposite. They usually start the season cleaner than any other corps and they always start with a complete show (many others don't have a complete show at first) though they do layer and layer and layer on that show throughout the season. Looking forward to seeing the full production in uniform next week. I expect it to be quite a treat.
  5. While they still have a great horn line, they haven't been quite the same I think since Wayne stepped away. I'm afraid that Carolina Crown now rules the roost of horn lines. Through all the Downey years I always felt like the BD horn line just commanded your attention more than any other in the activity. They were always just a notch cleaner and more powerful than the others. And I think Wayne knew how to write in a way that accentuated their abilities. They are still awesome, but now Crown has the same impact on me that BD used to have.
  6. I think it's cool that three of the four brass leaders mentioned in the article are women. And all four these folks are apparently super smart based on what they're studying in college. SCV really has great talent. Looking forward to seeing them this year.
  7. Cool to have a female executive director. The Cadets seem to have done a great job righting their ship. Glad to see them coming back strong.
  8. Perhaps a bit late to this thread, but I think that people that criticize these corps for not moving enough are missing a lot. The sense I get is that people somehow feel there's less challenge and less accomplishment involved in what these corps are doing versus more traditional show designs. I don't agree with that at all. This is the first year that Vanguard fully gave up dot-to-dot designs and of course they have now - very deservedly IMO - won a championship. I'm quite sure Vanguard didn't choose this design approach because they thought it was easier. Vanguard has never been one to do easy shows. They did this because it offered the ability for them to be more creative than a traditional show design would allow. When I watch all these corps I certainly enjoy watching more traditional shows. The Cadets, with the exception of their uniform, were in IMO the most traditional of all the top 12 this year and I enjoyed their show. But there's also no question in my mind that the top 3 deserved to be the top 3 and that when I watched their shows it felt more modern and fresh than any of the ones that came before them. The other corps were all great, but many of them looked like - sorry - just very good marching bands. The top 3 corps looked like something else entirely. Something more creative. Something very fresh. Something very fluid. I expect a lot of people felt that way and I'm sure next year even more corps will move the direction of BD/SCV/BLOO. But this thread springs from the criticism that some corps don't march enough and more to the point that some people feel that makes such corps less deserving. I don't see it that way at all. Now, I'd need to listen to all the shows more carefully to say for sure, but it sure seemed to me like the top 3 corps all had very difficult music books - more so than the other corps. If you just sit back and listen every section of these corps was challenged like crazy in what they were playing. Not only that, but all the corps were mixing in sampled music as well that had to be synchronized. Whether you like that or not it's hard to do. Now when I watch these corps I also see all kinds of movement and a lot of the time they are playing. There's actually still a lot of marching in these shows, but in a traditional show most of the time there is more or less one giant drill that is evolving throughout the show. In these modern shows there are a bunch of smaller sets of drill playing out all at once. The members are also doing all kinds of body movement, and oh BTW they even climb props, jump off of props, etc. That's all very hard to do. Yes there is some "pose and play" out there and you notice it in Vanguard because they do it on top of those props. But seriously very few corps have members with the skills needed to do all this variety of stuff. So, IMO, the right corps made the top three and for that matter they finished in the right order. I do believe that not only were their shows the most entertaining of the night from a GE perspective, but also that their members were likely challenged at least as much if not more than the members of all the other corps. I personally hope these corps stay with their modern designs because they are insanely cool to watch and I think the embodiment of the future of DCI. Times change. Tastes change. I believe the marching members of today thrive on these modern shows and that is awesome in my book.
  9. Way to go Cadets. Glad to see you on top of your game. Loved watching that. I think one my favorite Cadets shows.
  10. No offense, but to me this thread is kind of much ado over nothing. BD has been the most consistently strong corps, but I don't think that has been bad for the activity. If anything, it makes other corps work harder to try and beat BD. I've been watching drum corps shows since the early 80's and while the number of corps has shrank, the performance level across the board has improved dramatically. DCI shrank because it wasn't sustainable to have so many corps. DCI has now right-sized to what is a sustainable number of corps for the activity. Participation and attendance at shows has been growing for quite a number of years there's just no doubt that corps today perform better on average than ever before. So corps have gotten better and fan interest is rising despite BD being the most dominant of corps. I don't think they've hurt the activity at all - they've helped. You should also remember that while BD has been the most consistent corps, there have been times when other corps dominated for several years. Back in the 80's everyone starting following The Cadets lead because they went on a tear and were the strongest corps for several years. In the 2000's for awhile The Cavaliers arguably dominated the activity. And anyone that watches Bluecoats or Crown these days knows that there are championship titles in their future, and almost certainly one for SCV this year. DCI is alive and well and while I think they should always be looking for ways to help corps that are not as strong get better, the activity overall seems to be moving in the right direction. I think if you ask the members of almost any corps they'll attest to how meaningful their experience as a MM is to them. So, to me, this is a bit of a non-issue.
  11. That is cool. So glad to see the cadets doing well this year despite all the challenges. I’m from the west coast so SCV and BD are the corps I follow most. But I’ve always loved The Cadets. Every time I watch them they ozze disciple and drive. They have a unique aura that is different from my west coast corps. When they walk on the field you see focus and determination in everything they do. You’ve got to be extra proud of this years group making through all transitions and still performing really well. The show is great this year. I encourage everyone to keep supporting them. You’ve got great corps members and the right staff in place now. Hopefully next year they can make that trip out west.
  12. To me, I trace what BD is doing today in their approach to show design back to 2012 and Cabaret Voltaire. That show was controversial at the time. I recall not enjoying it at all the first time I saw it because they just had a lot of problems putting it together early season. But by the end of the season I loved that show. They broke the norms with their approach to uniforms, hats, staging, movement/marching, they sync'd the show to prerecorded audio, etc. They simply ignored the norms and to me that was the first year that a corps did a show that just didn't look in any way like a traditional drum corps show. They simply threw the old book out that year and have continued that way ever since. I remember at the time (there's a post out here in somewhere from me that year) saying that this would be the future of drum corps and I would argue that today many of the corps followed the lead of BD. The Bluecoats have completely embraced this approach and oh BTW they seem to ranked #1 right now. This years Vanguard show throws the old book out in a lot of the same ways BD did and they seem to be about #2. I would argue (someone may get upset) that Vanguard is having newfound success by doing what BD and Bluecoats started doing a few years ago. Some people don't like this new approach and I have to say that I still love listening to and watching older traditional shows. Vanguard's Phantom and Madison's A Day in the Life of a Bull Fighter are two shows I can't listen to enough. But progress is inevitable and it's a huge treat to me to watch how these modern designers create shows in this very organic way - much the way choreographers choreograph modern dance - and manage to do it for 154 people. It gives each performer a story line and the performers these days are doing so many more things than they had to do in say the 80's. We sometimes hear this knock that BD doesn't march so much. Well, I've watched this show and it's ridiculously difficult by any standard. All three of these top corps are doing less old style marching and a whole ton of other stuff. I enjoy it and by all measures the corps members seem to love it. So, I see a lot of innovation over the past few years and the entire activity has benefited from it IMHO.
  13. This is a great year for those of us that live in the Bay Area and happen to be fans of both BD and Vanguard. I believe they are the two best corps on the field this year and I'm enjoying both shows. There were a few years there where Blue Devils were a bit too esoteric and fans had trouble appreciating the shows. But the last several years BD has hit it out of the park in terms of design. They've been innovative - more so than any other corps IMO - and yet have produced shows that are accessible and entertaining for anyone to watch. This years show is no exception. The choice of music is fantastic from beginning to end. It fits the theme and the horn arrangements are more lush than anything else on the field. It's a great musical book - the kind you want to listen to over and over again. And the design is fascinating. So much going on and a huge amount of thought given to how each corps member creates a character of their own. Great show. However they place this year (I'm sure it'll be top 3) the show is already one of my all time favorites. This is a BD thread so I'll say less about Vanguard. I'll just say that in over 20 years of watching Vanguard live this is without question the strongest corps they've ever fielded. Their show is awesome and those of us here in the Bay Area should be proud to have two corps of this caliber in our area. No other part of the country has such bragging rights.
  14. To me, being all-male is a part of the Madison Scouts identity. If there were not many co-ed corps then I would advocate for them to change and become co-ed. However, as there are only two all-male corps and every other corps is co-ed I think it is safe to say that there are a lot of opportunities for both men and women in the drum corps activity. So I think it's good for Madison to stay all-male. Now, with regards to trans-gendered members, I would say that a trans man would fit the all-male masculine identity of the Scouts, so I think accepting trans males would make sense. Overall, an identity is in many ways the most important aspect of a drum corps. In the case of Madison being masculine is a big part of that identity and guides the design of their shows, etc. Other corps get their identity in different ways. None of these corps should give up their identities, in fact I think all them should accentuate what makes them unique.
  15. The Cadets were great tonight. For me, every time I watched The Mass I liked it more. Good choice of music, good design. I liked the choir. And the corps members were really committed to it. Great job and looking forward to seeing what the Cadets will bring to the field next year.