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GEVisual

Centerville Review

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It's late, but I'll share a few thoughts on tonight's show in Centerville. First off, GREAT venue for a show. parking is a little sketchy, but other than that things seemed great.

Legends was up first. They are making all the right decisions with a design that continues to mature. Some good moments out of the brass tonight, especially the baritones who I thought had great tone quality and blend. The concept is easy to follow and features an excellent arrangement of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". Drums are solid, but guard is a weak spot right now (along with general visual cleanliness). If the guard can really start to generate some emotion and highlight some moments a little more effectively musically, they are going to be just fine. Good job tonight from the Michigan crew.

Teal Sound followed. BIG sound from them, but sometimes moved past the threshold of controlled. Guard had some moments that were VERY good, but were a little inconsistent. They are another corp whose concept is easily understood and followed. The tossing, spinning cymbal trick was well received and got a great response. Visually they are still REALLY sloppy. I heard afterwards that their board decided to end their tour with tonight's performance. I really feel bad for those kids and wonder if the corps realized they had these issues 3 weeks ago prior to departing on tour. It would be a shame to lose yet another world class corp so I wish the best for the organization.

Spirit hit the field next. Wow, they are really having a ball with this show. It's another that is easy to follow. Would've never thought poker face would work on the field, but they have a nice take on it. LOVE the king/queen split and how it's visually represented in the show. Big sound tonight from them (some killer mid-voice features). Seemed to run out of steam a bit at the end. Their showmanship level is really sustaining them right now. Some visual dirt remains, but my biggest concern with this program might be depth. Visually it seems a bit routine and simplistic at times when compared to other groups around them. However, there's no denying that they are one of the more entertaining groups on the field this season. Well done Atlanta!

Madison was next. While others have been critical of some of the musical choices in this show, I think the music is actually what makes it unique. This program reminds me a bit of their "Carmen Project" from a few years back. Visually, this is the best I have seen Madison in YEARS. They move with so much more authority and maturity this season. The guard seems to be better integrated this year, and they also are working what seems to be a much more varied book. The voice only section was well done, and of course the large spinning front got a huge crowd reaction.

Bluecoats were first up after intermission. Personally, I LOVE the sound of their brass section. To me, it sounds more like 'classic' drum corp than almost anyone else. Some very exposed and wonderfully played moments from the upper brass. Bluecoats' sound is so well blended and controlled. Drums were very solid and the guard is much improved. The whole corps looks so majestic in the opener as you hear strains of 'Masquerade' from Phantom. Bluecoats also may have had the coolest looking silks of the night, but wonder if that final purple flag is just a teaser. Not sure if this show has the legs to push Top 3, but should make 4-6 very interesting.

Then came Crown. The brassline is freakishly good, especially when you consider the visual demands that are being placed on the performers. Subtle one moment, and deafening the next. Drums were solid, and seem better than I can remember them being in then past. Guard seemed to have a great run tonight. If the guard can continue to elevate both their technical level as well as their emotional involvement, this show could take it all in Indy. They are now getting to the point where their are 'quirky' moments in the program that just make it fun to watch. Visual demand is much more apparent this year as well. Crown made a believer out of me tonight.

Cavaliers were on last. I commend the staff for beginning to work the bugs out of the program. My biggest issue with the program is lack of continuity, especially musically. I never felt like the program flowed smoothly. In a year where other groups seem to have very logical shows, this makes this one stick out even more. There is so much that is disjointed, but it seems those issues are being addressed. Guard seems to be very talented, but had a sub-par run in spots tonight. The other biggest flaw (IMO) is the over-reliance on electronics, to the point tonight where it was actually distorted. While I wasn't surprised to see Cavies go back in front of Spirit tonight, they will have to continue changing things in order to move past others.

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Great Review!

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Nice review!!

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Thank you for your comprehensive review! I wish I could see these corps live this season, but alas, I won't be in Indy this year.

I know this isn't the reason for their repertoires, but wanted to thank Madison and Bluecoats for playing 1980s Vanguard music. :-) Masquerade is especially emotional for me.

I really hope Crown can win their first DCI! I've been a big fan of their hornline for years now. GO CROWN!

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