The Blue Knights Have Gone Insane


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I agree with who ever said it is good to see people actually talking about BK. They are sometimes forgotten because of how consistent they are at being a finalist corps.

I also have to agree that if you have seen their show online only, you don't get the same effect.

I think most people are looking at BK's show for the up-front emotional appeal, however, I think BK's show is much more intellectual and aesthetic.

The beginning movement, tension building part of the show is so gratifying. You only have to try to appreciate what they are doing in the beginning to fully get the impact. They are getting their GE from the visual and not from an awesome sound like Phantom or Crown.

I wish they would get more credit for all the movement they are doing throughout their show. It is not easy!

I have not always been a fan of BK because I was looking for that very superficial layer of emotion. Now having toured with them, I am more a fan of theirs because I can appreciate how much they truly are doing and for what a class-act organization they are.

They are true to their community, their identity, and provide a great experience for those who march, teach, or volunteer with them.

I think that is all we should be asking of each corps.

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The crowd, judges, and fans just aren’t feeling the love.

Judges aren't feeling it - One of the judges told them two shows ago that he thought the show was top 3 if this corps could clean it. It's scoring an 86 - the judges must like something they see and hear.

Fans/crowds aren't feeling it - souvie sales are huge this year. I've been on tour with them for two weeks, and the fans come to warm up and respond in the stadiums. Everyone says the same thing - "this show has grown on me and now it's one of my favorites of all time" or "this show is very beautiful".

I also like to remind everyone that the average age of this corps is like 19. It's a young corps. What they're doing out there is amazing for mostly rookies, especially with the horns.

You may not prefer Rob's drill style or like the ballet emphasis of BK, or the music of John Mackey and Eric Whitacre (and I've wondered if maybe not liking modern composers is part of the problem with appeal this year, just like not liking too classical Shostakovich was part of the problem with the appeal last year) but you can't deny these young people are marching, dancing and playing THEIR show and making it to the top ten too.

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For the record, because I really do love BK's show this year, I'm just curious if everyone "gets it." For anyone who knows BK's history, this show is absolutely amazing!

BK has had a lot of rises and falls in their time, with years where they are on fire and years where they've fallen out of the light a little, and they are comparing their entire history to a rain storm.....or, more blaitently, Knight Reign is BK's Reign in drum corps, and their history is like Night Rain, a storm through the night. There's Trittico, there's movement, there's dissonance for the years where things just didn't click....and then it ends with some drill from 06 and the big hit from 06, echoing the Blue Knights' return to finals and their highest placement since they came back. The fact that the show is a rain storm is just one layer, and it's all a metaphor for the bigger picture.

I'm not sure if it was obvious to everyone, because the history of BK part actually eluded me until I was on the phone with some members a few weeks ago, but that's when this show clicked for me and I totally fell in love with it!

MFBK all the way!

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And how do you define that? And what if your definition is different than mine?

It's not that easy. It's never that easy. It's insulting.

Wow, I was not expecting that from you because your corps is exactly what I was talking about. DCI does not even try to hide their lack of specialization in judging general effect. The same judges will judge brass, percussion or colorguard one night and the general effect captions the next night. They are still judging the technical aspects of the show. How the 2008 Troopers “effect” me (and the audiences that I have seen them with) should be reflected in some (not all but at least one or two) of their captions. I would like to see judges with a specialty. The ones we have are excellent but why not seek those with a different background (I don’t have all the answers, theater maybe) if they are judging effect.

How do I define that? How do we define visual and music effect now? Aren’t different judges definitions different today? Judging is subjective. Just give the same criteria to some judges who don’t have the same background as all of the other captions.

And no, it’s not easy, it IS never easy, the judges do a GREAT job. I just expect more from DCI the governing organization.

Sorry Blue Knights, pinwiz caught me by surprise. Highjack ended; please proceed with your thread.

Edited by OICMR corps
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Their show reminds me of 93 Star.

That is all.

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Judges aren't feeling it - One of the judges told them two shows ago that he thought the show was top 3 if this corps could clean it. It's scoring an 86 - the judges must like something they see and hear.

Fans/crowds aren't feeling it - souvie sales are huge this year. I've been on tour with them for two weeks, and the fans come to warm up and respond in the stadiums. Everyone says the same thing - "this show has grown on me and now it's one of my favorites of all time" or "this show is very beautiful".

I also like to remind everyone that the average age of this corps is like 19. It's a young corps. What they're doing out there is amazing for mostly rookies, especially with the horns.

You may not prefer Rob's drill style or like the ballet emphasis of BK, or the music of John Mackey and Eric Whitacre (and I've wondered if maybe not liking modern composers is part of the problem with appeal this year, just like not liking too classical Shostakovich was part of the problem with the appeal last year) but you can't deny these young people are marching, dancing and playing THEIR show and making it to the top ten too.

Absolutely the best comment I have seen on this topic! I want to chine in after reading this whole thread and put my two cents into the fray. To the original poster I would ask, did you march with BK before 2000? I mean no harm, but it is a simple question as you happened to march in the best placing corps in the corps history. If not I only wish to point out a few things about the present and the past. One, having marched in '97 we marched right after the scrappy corps of '96 that made finals with a hornline of only 44-46 (smallest in DCI history to make finals) and I gaurentee they were proud to make it in 12th that year!! In '97 we got beat up a bit by the staff but we hardend up and went from ranking 14th at the Charlotte show to placing 9th in finals. I was in tears because the journey was tough and brutal but worth it!! What did it feel like to place 9th? It felt like a step in the right direction. I couldn't help feel great for the '96 members that had stuck it through after two turbulent years. In '98 we took another jump forward and competed for the top 6 all season long until the end. We beat Phantom for the first time and almost beat the Scouts for the first time during that season. That would be done in '99. What did that mean? We were moving up. Even though the corps placed in 9th, we knew that '99 was going to be special and it was and then '00 was the most proud I have ever been for the corps until now!!

I am going to say something that I do not mean offensive, but the corps has actually improved significantly since '00. I am the first one to admit that our corps in '98 would probably not make finals in the modern age of corps. To be 8th place and on the cusp of the elite in DCI is not moving forward with the type of competition out there? I think a lot gets lost in translation in the numbers game and placing game. I look at the Bluecoats to prove my point. In '05 they were 4th place, but I felt they had ten times the corps and show in '07 that they did in '05, but what did they place? 7th! Phantom has only won one title in their history and also have been stuck in and around 2-5 the past 7 or so years, does that mean they are not trying to win or that they fail because they don't win the world title every year? No and you know why? Because drum corps is not sports! The world series does not recognize its finest 12 baseball teams, it recognizes one!! That is the world we live in, but that is what is so refreshing in drum corps. You could be 18th and still have an amazing show that draws new fans to you. I know people expect to hear positive words from me about BK, but what can I say I owe the corps for my nearly decade mostly successful teaching career. When it is said and done I feel very diferently about the corps than the original poster. I for one love the fact that BK has taken the stuff that started back in '96 '97 and '98- throiugh the present and continued to add to it. The most special part of that aspect is that even though it didn't succeed all the time, Mark and the staff never panicked but kept together and fought and worked through the problems. I wish I could have been there in Denver in '04 when the popped back into finals, that is what it is all about!! They took the technique and style that many said was going to keep them from being competative after '01-'03 and have turned into into an art form. It is not typical marching and I love it. Many might not and not all the alum may, but I look forward to seeing it year in and out!! GO BK GET EVIL BABY!!!!

Wes Perkins

BK '97 '98

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One of the judges told them two shows ago that he thought the show was top 3 if this corps could clean it.

One of the judges told the Blue Knights Corps " that he thought the SHOW was top 3 if this Corps could clean it " ?????

This would mean this judge believes the show is exceeedingly well integrated and apparently of better overall quality design, with superior complexity, innovation, creativity, demand, etc than the Blue Devils, Phantom Regiment, Cavaliers, and perhaps one or two other Corps.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the demand, nuance, complexity, etc in the 2008 BK show design

But I'm positively floored that a DCI judge thinks the overall quality design of this BK show is superior to that of Corps like the Phantom Regiment, Cavaliers, Blue Devils, etc. And that the only thing holding them back from beating these type Corps was " cleaning it ".

That comment just has me completely bewildered and frankly just shocked.

Again, no disrespect to what the Blue Knights are doing in creating an esoteric niche for themselves that they have maintained for awhile now.

But wow, that comment is startling that a DCI judge apparently believes this 2008 BK overall show design is somewhere in the " top 3 " of Corps this year.

I guess we all learn something new every day when it comes to DCI and what judges believe is top 3 overall show design these days.

Edited by BRASSO
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This has got to be the longest mid-season thread BK has ever gotten - maybe the only one other than "can magic/scades/glasspac/etc. beat bk" threads.

P.S. I think its easy to criticize (even in a constructive manner) and even easier as an alum to defend a corps or staff, but what this corps and many others need is volunteers and donations. Maybe take the time to ask what is needed to keep the activity going instead of all of this "mine's much bigger than his". You may learn whats really going on at a corps if you work a bit for them!

Edited by MnM
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This has got to be the longest mid-season thread BK has ever gotten - maybe the only one other than "can magic/scades/glasspac/etc. beat bk" threads.

P.S. I think its easy to criticize (even in a constructive manner) and even easier as an alum to defend a corps or staff, but what this corps and many others need is volunteers and donations. Maybe take the time to ask what is needed to keep the activity going instead of all of this "mine's much bigger than his". You may learn whats really going on at a corps if you work a bit for them!

Amen to that. Volunteering I'd love to but my schedule won't allow for it. Now giving I can always do and have done. By the by are you the drum major from '05? I really dug that show and it doesn;t always get the press.

WP

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For nearly the last 12 months I have been in Osaka, Japan furthering my language studies in Japanese. Needless to say, I have lost touch with some of those nice things that remind me of home- big steaks, Colorado micro brews, and DRUM CORPS. Before turning in for the evening last night, I quenched my thirst with a taste of "Knight Reign"-BK`s 2008 program and I must say, "That`s it. I have seen and heard enough."

BK-Where is the excitement? Where is the pop? Where is the evidence that BK deserves to be among the top tier corps? I marched with BK in 2000 during which we placed the highest at any point in the corps` history. Even during that hallmark season for the corps, I had this brooding sense that we were missing the boat. I even coined a term that captures this sensation...I call it the "applause curve". As one might expect, the applause curve simply tracks the level of engagement among the audience throughout a given show. My startling discovery? Without exception, each year the applause curve is EXACTLY THE SAME.

Typically we field an "in your face" opener that gets the crowd engaged. Yet, in the following 8 minutes, we never cease to flat line our audience with utter boredom and bewilderment only to briefly engage them once again in the last few moments of our show.

When I take a glance at the top tier corps, the applause curve tells a radically different story. Usually, it’s rapid peaks and troughs and, in rare cases, long suspended highs with brief dips interspersed throughout. The message is simple: the crème de la crème corps (i.e. the guys who are winning) keep their audience engaged.

Please, BK alumni and staff alike, spare me the lectures on corps identity and paying a price for taking a "different approach" to drum corps. Our message is lost in translation. It isn’t getting through to the people who matter most- OUR FANS. We aren’t performing for ourselves out there under those bright stadium lights. We don’t soak our uniforms with sweat night after night, day after day only to bore to tears the people who make our activity possible.

You want innovation? Do something risky that ROCKS the crowd with surprise. A bunch of horn players pulling their instruments away from their lips and doing degage, arabesque, and plie on the 50 yard line just isn’t drawing anyone’s interest. This year looks to be especially bad....a HUGE chunk of downtime is allotted for our wonderful musicians to prance around the field, forming whimsical pods and shapes whilst not playing a single lick of music. Perhaps it is time to REALLY try something different.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different result. Let’s live up to our aspirations to be "different" and try something new, guys. The crowd, judges, and fans just aren’t feeling the love.

And with that, the prosecution rests.

its kind of funny that after seeing it in atlanta, their show reminded me of bk 2000. i liked it a lot and was fully engaged throughout the show, but will certainly admit that its one of the weirdest shows ive ever seen.....like star '93 without the payoff. i appreciated the visual approach when i saw it live for reasons i probably shouldnt go into on dcp, and think they deserve to be in the place they're in because of difficulty/exposure/cleanliness, but agree that it was one of the least accessible shows in drum corps history. there wasn't much resolution (the ballad was great though), just a sustained mood of tension. maybe that was their point. towards the end, i started to feel a bit alienated, probably because i wasn't really grasping the direction of the music at all and simply 'zoned out' into the visual program for a while.

i still liked it a lot though because its a completely different approach to drum corps, one that's unique to the blue knights and stands apart from any other corps in the activity. i told my girlfriend before the show that i expected her to like them a lot, because her best friend dances ballet and lots of what the hornline does is similar. i'd appreciate a little more adherence to a recognizable melody (beyond amazing grace or whatever standard it was that they played), but was still uniquely entertained nevertheless. i think if i saw it again, i'd find even more nuances than i did the first time to enjoy. for the record, i thought their body work was cleaner and more professionally performed than crown's was, though i'm sure they've practiced it more often and emphasize it more.

cool bass feature too.

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