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mjyaub

Opelika.....pronounced Opalyka

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Blue Stars debuted a new ending tonight I've heard, interested to see it on the Atlanta webcast.

Edited by DrumManTx

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Blue Stars debuted a new ending tonight I've read, interested to see it on the Atlanta webcast.

About time if you ask me! It was my only real gripe about the show design-wise. Have any clue what kind of things were added?

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About time if you ask me! It was my only real gripe about the show design-wise. Have any clue what kind of things were added?

Same here! I loved the show up until that point in San Antonio, if it's good, they're set in my opinion! And I haven't seen it yet.

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Here's my take on Opelika...

I live only 15 minutes from this stadium, so it was so nice to have such a short drive. This site is where my competitive career with Spirit started in 1982...our first show of the season was in Opelika. On that day in 82, we learned the final 10 pages of drill in the parking lot prior to our warmup...and we won the show by 10 points.

Of course I was excited to see a show so close to home...outside of the ATL show, we haven't had anything close to here in a long time. I always go the the show in the Dome, but there's nothing like the outdoor setting, as you know. I was and still am a bit perplexed as to why DCI didn't throw a couple other Top 12 corps into this show. This was Spirit's home show...the corps sponsored it, but Spirit was the only top 12 corps in the lineup. That certainly didn't help ticket sales. And no...the stadium wasn't packed...there were LOTS of 50 yard line seating left empty...how often does that happen? I was glad to see many of the area high school bands show up with busloads of kids...that helped fill the general admission seating. But, I digress...I know that the top corps were practicing, getting ready for the TOC show on Friday...but hey, having one of the top 3 or 4 in the lineup sure would have helped. Heck, Crown was in Birmingham all day Thursday...would it have hurt to have them in this show before they were off to Murfreesboro?

Then there was the time difference. An 8pm start time, even for a show with only 6 corps is a bit late...especially when a large contingent of the audience would be coming from the Eastern Time zone...which is only 15 minutes away. So, for me and the others that live in Eastern time, the show was over at 11:20 or so. I know quite a few people that didn't come just because of the late time.

The shows...I was pleasantly surprised by the level of every corps. Pioneer was better than I expected. My 80+ year old parents really enjoyed the hymns that they played.

Jersey Surf...so engaging and fun. So dirty. Way way way too much electric bass. But hey, did I mention how much fun they were?

Mandarins...Nice sound. Nice adherence to their theme...a theme that is a bit too much for some of the audience to appreciate. A show about chinese immigrants just isn't an easy show to sell...but their performance level helps. They were better than expected.

Academy...they set the tone immediately, bringing you into their show before it starts. However, the "narration" got a little old. The show is entitled "Piano Man", but I don't remember that being announced, so I was unaware. I thought the show had a French flavor, and at the end with Piano Man, I was wondering how it fit in. Even knowing the theme, the closer and the sing along just seemed out of place with the rest of the show...but I still enjoyed it, nonetheless.

Blue Stars...Good sound, good everything. A dark show for sure, which makes it difficult to get drawn in, IMHO. The ending left me flat. If they debuted a new ending and that was it, then maybe they might need to re-think it. Several around me wasn't sure if that was supposed to be the end of the show...sort of anti-climatic.

Spirit...okay, I'm a Spirit honk...look at my signature. So, in order to not appear biased, I'll leave my comments about my former corps out of this review. But, let's just say that I'm one very proud alum.

Not sure how the corps came out financially with the tickets, but if a show is to continue in this area after this year, I hope that it's not close to the ATL show, as that definitely affects ticket sales, but I'm also aware that it more than likely would be within a day or two of it. But please DCI...throw us a bone...give us a lineup with some more corps in the top 12, or better yet, the top 6. And start the show EARLIER!

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Anyone know of Spirit's rehearsal schedule today at Opelika? If they're having it?

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Really Steve? It was hard getting to my 50 yard line seat. Whether it was actually packed or not, I feel that a performer looking up would perceive this to be a sell out. Heck, that's my perception of it, since I didn't actually sit down until after the break, and people may have filled in as time went on.

Away from that topic, the venue is great. When I was walking in, I came across some Blue Stars hornline members asking if this was a turf field and being very relieved to find out it was. The place has a modern video board, and we had two cameras on the ground providing multicam. This event might could be a candidate for a Fan Network webcast/video on demand in the future. My seat was in the row next to the top row, and it's basically a drum corps sweet spot as far as being able to read drill forms but also see performers' faces. I'll admit that from fan network, shows like Blue Stars have no thematic effect whatsoever, but live, I finally get what they're doing. So, those of you wondering about the supposed new ending, I can't comment on comparing it to the previous versions, but the ending that I saw made thematic sense to me. *shrug*

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Here's my take on Opelika...

I live only 15 minutes from this stadium, so it was so nice to have such a short drive. This site is where my competitive career with Spirit started in 1982...our first show of the season was in Opelika. On that day in 82, we learned the final 10 pages of drill in the parking lot prior to our warmup...and we won the show by 10 points.

Of course I was excited to see a show so close to home...outside of the ATL show, we haven't had anything close to here in a long time. I always go the the show in the Dome, but there's nothing like the outdoor setting, as you know. I was and still am a bit perplexed as to why DCI didn't throw a couple other Top 12 corps into this show. This was Spirit's home show...the corps sponsored it, but Spirit was the only top 12 corps in the lineup. That certainly didn't help ticket sales. And no...the stadium wasn't packed...there were LOTS of 50 yard line seating left empty...how often does that happen? I was glad to see many of the area high school bands show up with busloads of kids...that helped fill the general admission seating. But, I digress...I know that the top corps were practicing, getting ready for the TOC show on Friday...but hey, having one of the top 3 or 4 in the lineup sure would have helped. Heck, Crown was in Birmingham all day Thursday...would it have hurt to have them in this show before they were off to Murfreesboro?

Then there was the time difference. An 8pm start time, even for a show with only 6 corps is a bit late...especially when a large contingent of the audience would be coming from the Eastern Time zone...which is only 15 minutes away. So, for me and the others that live in Eastern time, the show was over at 11:20 or so. I know quite a few people that didn't come just because of the late time.

The shows...I was pleasantly surprised by the level of every corps. Pioneer was better than I expected. My 80+ year old parents really enjoyed the hymns that they played.

Jersey Surf...so engaging and fun. So dirty. Way way way too much electric bass. But hey, did I mention how much fun they were?

Mandarins...Nice sound. Nice adherence to their theme...a theme that is a bit too much for some of the audience to appreciate. A show about chinese immigrants just isn't an easy show to sell...but their performance level helps. They were better than expected.

Academy...they set the tone immediately, bringing you into their show before it starts. However, the "narration" got a little old. The show is entitled "Piano Man", but I don't remember that being announced, so I was unaware. I thought the show had a French flavor, and at the end with Piano Man, I was wondering how it fit in. Even knowing the theme, the closer and the sing along just seemed out of place with the rest of the show...but I still enjoyed it, nonetheless.

Blue Stars...Good sound, good everything. A dark show for sure, which makes it difficult to get drawn in, IMHO. The ending left me flat. If they debuted a new ending and that was it, then maybe they might need to re-think it. Several around me wasn't sure if that was supposed to be the end of the show...sort of anti-climatic.

Spirit...okay, I'm a Spirit honk...look at my signature. So, in order to not appear biased, I'll leave my comments about my former corps out of this review. But, let's just say that I'm one very proud alum.

Not sure how the corps came out financially with the tickets, but if a show is to continue in this area after this year, I hope that it's not close to the ATL show, as that definitely affects ticket sales, but I'm also aware that it more than likely would be within a day or two of it. But please DCI...throw us a bone...give us a lineup with some more corps in the top 12, or better yet, the top 6. And start the show EARLIER!

I was on the 50, 15 rows up and it looked pretty full to me. Every corp was well received with standing ovations. I know Academy's show has had luke warm receptions, but the looks on the pits faces grinning ear to ear at their conclusion was awesome. Good night in Alabama for drum corp. Now if we could just get us one!

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Walking back to the Spirit area to visit with the members, a few of us noticed that even though this was a "smaller" event (either by number of corps or rankings), every show was different. There was something there to please any taste. This was my first live event of the season and it was great!

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The bottom 8 rows of the two center sections had very few seats sold and were nearly empty. That equates to over 300 seats. But, the rest of the stadium was indeed filled nicely.

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And for my 2 cents. Technically, no the stadium was not "packed out." There might have been a few holes here and there but none noticeable enough. The high school band attendance really made a huge difference, as it should have. As someone who has recently become familiar with the area, I'd say all in all the show was a huge success. The venue is great. As a matter of fact, it would have been awesome even last year, but the recent upgrades to the stadium (with the new turf) made it even better. The construction of the high school had to be overlooked, but unless you were just searching for it, it really didn't become a factor for anyone.

From what I could tell, every show was different and provided each person in attendance with a different take on the night. Pioneer...gotta love them. "It is well," and the other one (can't remember the name) got great response from the crowd. Mandarins really showed out in my book. The show was a little different, but it all made sense to me (and further reiterates itself that a lot of Mandarins' members do not look American to me). I honestly thought Jersey Surf was the crowd favorite as far as musical content goes. They got everyone in the stands into it, and heck there was even a high school student in front of me who started crying. The Academy...didn't quite connect with their show as much as the rest, but still good execution. Blue Stars' show was a little dark, but I enjoyed it. And BS percussion...solid (especially snare line). Spirit, keep doing what you're doing and you'll keep getting those positive results.

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