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Marc66

Dublin Review

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Alright, I just got home from the Emerald City Artistry in Motion show in Dublin (suburb of Columbus), and I'm quite jazzed about the shows I saw tonight (for the most part)...and, with that, here is my take...

VENUE - This stadium is a great drum corps stadium. The stands rise nearly 50 rows high, and are on a nice/steep pitch. I was on side 1, at about the 30-35 yard line in row NN (basically - row 40) and had a fantastic view of the drills...I loved it, and a great value at $19.

SHOWS -

Cincinnati Tradition (all-age): I'm pretty much guessing this was their Opening Night show...and it was pretty obvious. Show was a Latin-style show that featured, "One More Time Chuck Corea," that was practically the same arrangement, note for note, played by BD in 1982 (complete with pelvic thrust and audible grunt). Musically this show was very hard to digest (and the nachos I had a few minutes earlier didn't help matters). Horns hacked/fracked and were trying to find notes the entire time (soloists somehow thought they were in BD and tried to play that way with, let's just say less than successful results).

Guard was small, and it was clear that they only had work for about 2/3 of the show. They spent the entire closer on the front sideline with handheld fans, which they used the entire time (and, with the really hot temperature at showtime, may have helped to keep them cooler).

Overall - this was a tough first show for them. And, if somehow this wasn't their first show, well then all I can say is, "OY!"

Legends (Open Class): The title of their show (Ruins), their choice of music (Vesuvius, Eruption [from ELP's Tarkus], Selections from Pines of Rome, Unstoppable, and Prelude-Main Title from Ben Hur, and what I heard/saw on the field...None of It Made Sense.

I couldn't make out the music they were supposed to be playing, their performance didn't evoke any of what it was supposed to, and the overall concept was completely lost on me.

That said, the kids are doing everything they can with what they've been given. Execution wasn't bad, but it's obvious they can't convey the emotion of the show when I'm sure they don't know what that emotion is supposed to be.

This has been a running theme with this corps. I've always found that they have talented kids, but they aren't being given a product where they can show off and maximize to their fullest. I've always found that the design team creates overly esoteric shows that sound great to them, but don't translate to the field.

Overall - Kids did everything they could, but the show design and concept just prevented them from showing off their talent.

Teal Sound: Let me state right up front, I really like this show. Well created/designed, it has a clear theme throughout, and it's something that I want to see again as the season continues. For their first statement in WC, they're making it a strong one!

Some folks have commented on DCP that their guitars were too loud and distracting. Tonight, they were at all. Balance wasn't a major issue, and their electronics weren't a negative.

The big thing holding them back right now is execution. Individual performer problems abound (especially in the visual department), their hornline was quiet reserved (which in this show should be the opposite), and they suffer from some stamina issues. But, nothing is too severe that they can't fix throughout the season.

Overall - this is a show/corps that has a lot of untapped potential. If they get it clean and fix the individuals, they can slip into semis.

Madison Scouts: I'm a Scout alum, I'm biased, and I admit that. I marched in the corps the last time they played Rhapsody in Blue (1985), and I was looking forward to seeing/hearing this year's rendition.

Simply - THIS SHOW ROCKED!!! It's good ol' fashioned drum corps...no cutesy title, no having to explain what's supposed to be happening...none of that. They enter the stadium, the play full arrangements of Slaughter on 10th Avenue and Rhapsody in Blue (not momentary excerpts), they're powerful, they have the swagger/aura back, and I LOVE IT!

Dirt? Of course. But everything about this year's corps feels like a blast from the past - retro style uniforms, familiar music, all sections strong...or, to sum it up: MADISON!!!

Overall - they're back in the top-12 this year. This show is really good...but, they do need to work on the little things - especially in the visual department - if they're going to get back to the upper-echelons of the drum corps world.

Blue Stars: The Houdini show is cute. However, it's one of the shows where there is so much happening from start to finish that you miss a lot. And, from what I can interpret, there is going to be more coming to help tell their story. The problem with that, however, is that there's just going to be more things to miss seeing from a fan's perspective.

However, there are some absolutely beautiful moments - the ballad is really nice, and the guard spinning silks with a key on them adds a nice touch.

Overall - this show is nice, but I just don't see it going any further - competitively, or otherwise.

Cavaliers: This is another show that has a lot of stuff going on. BUT, they do a much better job telling the story, "Mad World." This is another show that I really like because it has a clear theme, a clear beginning/middle/end, and is wonderfully performed. The all three sections mix/mingle throughout the show (the entire hornline joining the guard on rifles was a great moment) and compliment each other's strengths.

Overall - The Cavies are, once again, a solid corps with a great show. I don't agree with their score/placement tonight, but I have no doubt that they'll be solidly in contention for a medal.

Carolina Crown: To quote Dom DeLuise in the movie, History of the World Part 1, this show is "Nice. Not wonderful, not incredible, Nice."

There is nothing bad about this show - I like the music, the performance, and the performers...but, there really isn't any true WOW moments at any point. They had an OK run, but I disagree with their placement tonight...I don't think their performance tonight warranted First Place.

Overall - It could easily win the whole thing this year, but I personally don't believe this show will medal in Indy.

Bluecoats: There is something about this show that clicks for me in a way no other drum corps show in this era of electronics/synths/etc. has. I can't really describe. I personally thought they had a Gold Medal performance tonight. The show flowed well and was engaging from start to finish, and for me is one of the best Bluecoats corps in a long time.

I can see why they've been scoring as high as they have, and why the reviews on here have been raving...they deserve it, and tonight's performance just added to that list of positive reviews.

Overall - I can see Bluecoats as a dark horse for the title because this show is the real deal.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm glad I was able to attend because there's some #### good stuff happening this year. Every show has a lot more choreography with ALL the elements, not just guard...the entertainment factor is considerably higher than in previous years, and the quality of performers overall is fantastic.

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Thanks for the review. I have to rely on you guys when I'm not on tour.

OK last year Crown established itself as an elite top three corps and their personal challenge is to remain there, possibly win a title. Having seen the likes of Crown, Cadets, Cavalier, PR, Bluecoats, Blue Stars, Madison, Glassmen, and with Boston, BD, SCV and BK looking like finalists; of the three top finishers from last year I believe Crown will have to work the hardest to hold onto their elite status. There are lots of reason why but the most important is that I fear Crown's show might max out well before Allentown while Cadets and Blue Devils do what they do best in August. That leaves room for Blue Coats to possibly enter the world of the elite three. With that being said I will add that anyone of the three, Cadets, BD, and Crown could end up in the 4th position in Indy. Because I'm a Cadet fan I don't think it will be them.

Irving

Fan of the Arts

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Thanks for review....I don't agree with a lot of it (other than I liked Madison too) but I understand your perspective.

The venue...the stands, great...everything else...not so good. One restroom? Seriously? Free parking! ....for the first 250 cars, everyone else is on their own. I digress, that's being picky.

I missed Cincy Trad, Legends...sorry.

Teal Sound...yikes, I've never seen a drum corps audience squirm the way this one did with this show. The guitar and bass I think we all get (we've seen in in BOA for decades now), were an awful match from a tone color standpoint. Not to mention, if you take them out of this show.....its actually BETTER! Dream Theatre is done well...design was good, guitars destroyed it. Show is dirty but will improve for sure.

Madison....good old fashioned drum corps, but really, their horn sound is anemic. Corps uniforms (both proper and CG) hides way too much. The visual element of the show is completely lost by the masking colors of both units. Show was dirty but entertaining, just not very aesthetic yet.

Blue Stars....Houdini? I think.

Cavies.....they miked their screaming trumpet solos at the end. Seriously? Three guys screaming out high notes on the sideline and they "needed" to be miked? I just shook my head with the acceptance that all machismo has now been removed from the activity. Yes other corps are doing it (including my Bluecoats, but they are doing it with an efx processor and not simply to add volume or balance) but they just did it to....I don't know....I guess their soloists can't reach the stands? It was sad. Visually...typical Cavies, well thought out and executed. Mike MacIntosh drumline is typically awesome. The end sucks.

Crown....reminded me of some old PR shows to be honest. Only corps to reach the box tonight with their sound. Very clean, linear drill. Clean attacks (horns, drums and CG), and just a very crisp show in all aspects. Nothing spectacular, just crisp and clean...like a 7UP. I think Bluecoats and CC should be neck and neck (as Blue has a WAY better drum line and overall package). Don't know how long this show will hold up. The end sucks.

Bluecoats....I'm a homer. Good show, great drumline, best guard they've ever had, feet still a little dirty. Horns don't reach the box and there's nothing in the show that made me want cheer. Asphalt Cocktail should be a "bring down the house" kind of selection but it doesn't. As I mentioned with the previous two corps, the end sucks.

I have never been to a show where the crowd was more indifferent to EVERY performance. The reason? All the shows lack originality. You could close your eyes and one show could be the same as the next. They're clearly formulaic in nature and its made the activity dull. No standing ovations, no "ohhhhs and ahhhhs", just people sitting with their arms crossed because there are no programmed aesthetic moments in any show (Madison comes close, but isn't achieving it yet).

Crown did the encore. I overheard this afterward...."That's it? Really? Ok, whatever." Not from a Blue fan either. I heard this after 4 shows at Dublin from different fans sitting around me "Is it over?" I think that is summing up the activity as a whole right now.

I was disappointed. I'll be writing more later in the General Discussions portion of DCP

Edited by 93Bluecoat

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MARC66,

Regarding your assesment of Cincinnati Tradition: Thank you for an honest evaluation and review! It was indeed the first show and much needs to be addressed.

When you put the performance in perspective with the past history of the corps, you MIGHT see things differently.

As for you "digestion issues", we will do everything possible as a Corps to aid in a smoother delivery, but you're on your own with the nachos! :thumbdown:

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HAIRBEAR...

I was probably a bit harsh and too "smartassy" with that comment...I'm sure that y'all will make considerable and fantastic progress as the season continues. Oh, and just for the record, my spouse - who has zero drum corps background, but who probably gives the best commentary on the corps - said that you guys have a show that he'd love to see later on this summer.

All the best as you guys continue...and, I'm definitely going to avoid stadium nachos from now on...

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Cavaliers: This is another show that has a lot of stuff going on. BUT, they do a much better job telling the story, "Mad World." This is another show that I really like because it has a clear theme, a clear beginning/middle/end, and is wonderfully performed. The all three sections mix/mingle throughout the show (the entire hornline joining the guard on rifles was a great moment) and compliment each other's strengths.

Overall - The Cavies are, once again, a solid corps with a great show. I don't agree with their score/placement tonight, but I have no doubt that they'll be solidly in contention for a medal.

Interesting. I haven't seen any shows this year yet thus why I read reviews like no tomorrow. But it is interesting that most of the reviews see something completely opposite then you. Others have said that the Cavaliers theme is not clear and it's not cohesive.

Thanks for the review. Shows everyone that everyone’s perspective is different.

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Interesting. I haven't seen any shows this year yet thus why I read reviews like no tomorrow. But it is interesting that most of the reviews see something completely opposite then you. Others have said that the Cavaliers theme is not clear and it's not cohesive.

Thanks for the review. Shows everyone that everyone’s perspective is different.

There are some clarity issues in this show...that I will agree with other posters/reviewers. However, when I saw/heard the show, the clarity issues - in my opinion - were minor. In this day of themed shows, I look at shows from a theater director's perspective; does the product have an understandable beginning/middle/end, do the performers deliver the story line successfully, and does the show produce an emotional response. For me, these answers were all yes, to varying degrees.

I will agree with other folks in that this is a show that you either love, or hate. There is no like about it.

But, as you said, everyone interprets art in different ways...and, I love that folks have been respectfully giving their comments.

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Thanks for the review sweety :thumbdown:

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But it is interesting that most of the reviews see something completely opposite then you. Others have said that the Cavaliers theme is not clear and it's not cohesive.

It probably comes down to this: if you think emotional imbalance and marines are a logical grouping, then the show's cohesive; if you don't, then it's not.

When pressed to analyze, I don't think the show is very cohesive, but I pretty much disengage my brain when watching drum corps, so I found it pretty entertaining.

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