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So until last night, I've never been to a DCA show. I marched many years in DCI, and taught a few small corps after that no longer exist. I've been to tons of DCI shows, mostly allentown, but due to work it looks like I'll be only able to attend a few this season. So DCA it is to get my fix. I wasn't sure what to expect, maybe less complex shows that still have marketability. Perhaps something more reminiscient of old school drum corps. Maybe less flare and more playing, or even easier to follow storylines but emphasis on performance of the books. Either way, I was impressed with these corps having ages between 15 and 60. Ok enough babble...

I'm sure what I write may offend some, but its a review, so you'll get both good and bad from me. Be warned, there's very little sugar coating used below.

If this show has sold out, parking would have been a nightmare. But otherwise it was easy to find a spot on the streets in the community. The Kane stadium isn't huge, but its got a decent vantage point fromt the stands. You feel a little far from the field, as if there is supposed to be a track between you and the sideline, but im guessing there was a new fake turf field put in that took over the track real estate. Acoustics were actually pretty good, and the NYC skyline behind the field was a nice view for the audience. The pits had a cruddy time trying to maneuver their trailers around the baseball mound. Sorry front lines.

Skyliners. The show is entertaining. Its big band jazz done old school style. Not tons of fancy gimmicks, just play and entertain the crowd. That being said, it makes your toes tap when all the pistons fire at the same time. And there are points where that happens. But there are large chunks that feel like the show was just learned yesterday. There were some ensemble tears between the pit and the horns, it feels like the pit wasn't listening back, they were just going with the DM. The horns play really well when they park, but once they move you can hear feet through the horns which makes some sections sound spotty. When they get to caravan, this felt like really new material. The clave player couldn't find the pocket which is tough because clave is a really distinct undervalued rhythm and time keeper, and when its on, its awesome, virtually unnoticable, but when its off, its a big attention hog. I think the biggest concern I had with these ladies and gents is that the stamina for a big band book wasn't there. By the time they get to a dancy part for the horns (yes... dancy is my term for artsy body movement) they corps seems gassed. So they are trying to use this to catch their breathe instead of concentrating on their movement. Soloists and high trumpets (or sops for you older folks) chops were toast by the halfway point of the show, and it left the big finish a little stale. I think once they get more used to the material and it becomes muscle memory, and they build up stamina for air and movement show up this show will be a toe tapper all night long. Because it has the potential, just needs execution.

Windsor Regiment. They remind me of carolina crown in the cream color. And they've got brass colored brass. Way to go you guys and not buy into the all silver movement. it just looks different, not sure it changes much on the field soundwise, but hey, as long as it all matches everyone is happy right? right. ok, i digress. They've got lots of Stravinksy in their show. So you expect low brass. And they gave you a low brass opener which was great. Thanks! Good rich sound, really well blended. Then they step off and the blend went away. Upper body movement translated into feet in the sound. Then they park again, and sound great. They have a few more weeks, i'm certain they'll fix it. Lift up out of your lower backs horns, you'll get there. There were a few ensemble tears between the pit and the horns. again, front ensemble not listening back. They had a few tuning issues in the mellos, and some drops in the guard. The complexity of this show is one that needs stamina. The battery does a pretty good job with the book, overall the corps doesnt finish phrases together. I'm guessing its staging and getting used to each other on the field and where to listen when. Again, all fixable things, they just need reps on it. But entertaining. They didnt have lots of screaming trumpets, but the show doesnt need it. They instead are working on a great balanced sound and you can tell. Great job ladies and gents.

Sunrisers. Where's the orange? I saw all these cool pics from the past of y'all in orange. And i get something spacey that reminds me of the Glassmen. Totally not the persona I was expecting. They're playing Russian musik. Yes the K was intentional. Its a tough book. I think one of the toughest of the night due to many exposed parts. And it shows its a tough book. Lots of tight phrasing and articulations that need to fit in a pocket, and tonight it wasnt there. Procession of the Nobles fanfares need cleaning. I missed the big low brass sounds that I expect from a corps playing Russian Musik. The baris and tubas just werent doing it. Maybe it was an off night. I will say that they finished the opener way tighter than they started it. So cheers to them for pulling it together quick. It was like a different corps by the end of the opener. Maybe it was nerves that needed shaking off. The guard overall has a tough book as well. Lots of tightly timed tosses, and lots of exposed areas where you can see if they catch together and where hands need to be. They performed pretty well, just gotta clean up hand placement. The flags had lots of timing concerns amongst each other. But they just to clean it, and it'll be great. Again, complexity is there, just gotta shed it. They started the closer really well. You can see performers trying to push to the end of the show. Good for them. Do it! The battery has some passages that are really clean, and then really not. They look like they're getting it together so well, that when something isn't sitting right, it looks way off. I think that's the problem. They'll have a great tightly played passage followed by something that doesnt go so well, so it looks and sounds dirtier than it is. But the book is there. Cheer to them for attempt. The bari solo in the closer was really beautiful. Great sound, in tune, and just sat right yknow what i mean. The overall corps seemed gassed at the end of the show. Some horns sticking out here and there, but that will come with reps. Again, a fun show. Entertaining and some complexity. Just needs reps. Keep on it! And bring back the orange. No one has orange except you. Be you.

Hurricanes. Holy guard BATMAN!!!! This show about being greener, and the guard grows on you like a vine. Ladies and gents in the guard, you crushed it tonight. You remind me of a Crossmen 1990s guard. Solid, hot, together, and in your face. I love you. call me. k?

High brass... a few fracked notes tonight. Gotta get that under control. Low brass is pretty solid, cept for an occassional tuba sticking out every once in awhile. Overall good job brass cept for the things noted. Really nice balanced sound at the end of the opener. Mellos on the second tune is just not tuned with each other and the baris have trouble holding up their horns. I know theyre heavy, i carried a bari for 6 years. Push through and breathe deep. You can do it. Battery gets a little messy in some phrases of the last couple songs. I think its because they've clearly cleaned some parts so well, that others looks messier than they are. So these will fix themselves with reps. The guard pulling off green to show color underneath and look like flowers blossoming is a great touch. Simple, elegant, and just the right punch of color on the field. Nice work. Overall, a solid show and corps. A few more weeks and they'll have a really great presentation.

Fusion Core. Niiiiiiiiiccceeeeee. Really nice. This dream scapes show is a cool idea. Great music choices. The Pit opener is hot. Balanced and played well. They have a great rich front ensemble sound. The opening brass solo sounds a little overblown. Maybe forcing a little too much air. But its in tune. The low brass overall are solid and just sound sexy. Good job. There's on bari who sticks out at times. So yeah, someone in front of them during ensemble time will fix that. The music is really tight right now, as is the visual, so little things look like big things. Ends of phrases arent always together in the brass so sometimes you have a few horns that dont cut off together, and it rang through the stadium tonight. They have a ton of visuals in the show. (Dancy parts for you horn players playing along at home) And they look good. I'm a guy who generally isnt a fan of these, unless they're really clean and the corps members are buying into performing them. You can tell these members enjoy their dancy parts and sell them well. They arent using them to catch their breath. They need some cleaning between individuals, but they'll get it. Still lots of fluff with horns ups and downs, but again, they'll clean these too. This is the first corps of the nigth where I can tell their marching style. Feet are getting clean and step offs and halts have a look. Nice work!!!! thanks for that. They have a tight book overall. Visual and music, and its getting clean to a point where little things look like big things. So spacing now looks mostly tight on sets, and then i cant tell if its a hole here and there in the brass, or just spacing issues. The rifles are tight overall. nice tosses, great solid catches, and looking at you the audience the whole time. great performance y'all. The drum feature is sweet. The battery is really tight on this and the guard moves well together, and the corps overall finished strong. Great job pushing through to the end. I hope to see this show later on and see where they head with it.

Buccaneers. I like the idea of this show. Break on through. So they've moved the pit about ten yards back from the sideline so that they may play with the sideline as something to break through. It works. i get it. I kind of want more content on it though. I may sound hard on these ladies and gents, but they have the reputation, so why not expect the best from the best. Right off the bat horns ups and downs are not together. And the brass seems to have some sort of phasing. Maybe its knowing where to listen in staging. The Mellos were the best section of the night. In tune, fingers working fast, and great articulations and phrase endings! hats off to them. go mellos! The low brass is huge, and sounds huge. They too play really well in tune. They have a very Phantom sound. Maybe its the repertoire helping them. But man those tubas sound great. There's a lot of upper body movement in the brass throughout the show. so they tend to get hot spots here and there. They have a great little bari/mello feature that's beautifully played. I think that's one of the best features of the night. They have a few places where they don't blow all the way to the end of the phrase and you can tell. Some horns get left out to dry who do play all the way through. The guard is huge, and solid. Very few catch issues and i think only one or two sloppy catches, but not drops. So cheers to the ones to held it together. They come to a section where they use a yard line as something to break through, and one by one they do it, but it doesnt feel like a complete thought yet.

When they finally break through the front line, i get it, i just think they have something else to do to give it more pop. But overall the show is tight. Its so tight that little things stick out like big things. Feet are generally good. There's a couple of horns in the upper brass where feet get suspect.

The battery plays really well and musically sound. And there were almost no phasing issues between the pit, battery, and horns. Hells yes bucs, way to put on a show. I'll try to make it to your last show before championships.

Caballeros. Well this is a corps of a different color than we are used to seeing. They march really well. Those pants are both a blessing and a curse. When feet are on, they are amazing. When one is off, they stick out like Joe Namath in a fur coat. Luckily there were very few feet issues. The trumpet opener was perfect. in tune, articulated well, and played all the way through the phrase. beautiful. Though I am of the old days when electronics were just starting to be used, I have grown to be ok with tasteful usage. And when the voices and effects are recorded properly and played on decent equipment, they add to a story. I enjoyed the usage of the voice at the start of the show. The pit has a nice lush sound, and the battery was firing on all cylinders tonight. They played both aggressive and musically, and really drove the car tonight. Good job battery, especially the basses, there's some tight licks in there and they were executed cleanly. In hornland the tubas just played really well tonight. They had one spot where a tuba rips off his white shirt, and has a short intro to a rythm, which was a little timid, but he regained hold of the piece and then the rest join in, in time, and in tune. All the tubas played as one large tuba, so yes, they were on. As were the baris. The had a great low brass balance tonight with a good full sound, and you can tell that the upper brass was listening down the entire time and blending. It was a really sophisticated sound for what I've seen all night. Overall the horns marched really well and controlled their body to keep noise out of the bells. Great job all. Guard was mostly well tonight, there were a couple dropped tosses in the rifles, but timing was tight, as was recovery. Good job to them holding it together. I love the surprise shirts underneath. And each section pulling them off at a different time. Overall this show is exciting and entertaining to watch. There's not much down time for the viewer which even in parts that werent as clean, there was still excitement to the piece so you missed that there was a misstep. I think the design of the show and complexity are there, and the talent level is way up from what i've seen in past seasons (on youtube) of this corps. The low brass are taking over here and as long as the corps continues to listen down to each other, and contain this great sound they've developed, when they're on, they're amazing. I didnt hear anyone sticking out, and didnt feel any phasing between the sections. Which makes this corps seem miles ahead of the rest in a sophisticated look and feel that thought i saw large glimpses of in the other top three corps, this one had it all together.

Ive no doubt it will be a race to the finish at DCA this year. Heck, maybe i'll even buy a ticket. If only rochester was a more tourist friendly city during the day. Seeing these groups really made me miss running around a field with a stupid heavy silver instrument. So nice work everyone. Keep pushing til the end. With all the changes going on in DCI and BOA, its great to see groups creating both complex and entertaining field shows where I'm certain even the uneducated viewer had a great time last night.

Cabs Alumni... yknow. There's something about these old guys and gals. They played the best of the night. Soloists were tight all the way through, articulations were on point, and everything was in tune. What ever they're doing, keep doing it. They sound amazing. DCI should have this group at finals while they tabulate scores. They were entertaining and miles above every other alumni corps Ive seen the years I marched.

Till next time...

Cheers.

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GREAT review!

You wouldn't happen to be the guy in the Scouts jacket, would ya? Some of this review sounds like the conversation I had with that guy.

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As far as I know, I was the only person wearing a green woolen jacket. Actually I didnt see any other junior corps represented. So if you were one of the people near me, yes. And Hi.

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I thought so!

Nice talking with ya - Enjoy your Cabs shirt :-).

Sure hope you end up being able to make Bucs' 8/23 show. You wouldn't believe the rate of improvement in a month of, basically, weekends.

Thanks for checking out this DCA thing, and, again, GREAT review!

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in all honesty I havent purchased a shirt from a souvie table that wasn't Madison's in at least 10 years. But I bought two last night. One from Cabs, and one from Fusion Core.

thanks for the kind words. I used write them regularly for RAMD, and was asked to write for some marching magazine years ago, but just go too busy.

cheers sir. hit me up if you head to the bucs show. it'll be nice to see a familiar face.

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Great review ,differace from the others on here ,i hope Sun brings back the ORANGE .l was shocked when i heard they went black n white ,lf you check my profile you'll under stand why .LOL Hope to see a lot more from you ,totally enjoyed your review .

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Great review! In particular, thank you for your kind comments about our exhibition. We're older, a little slower, but we have a passion to keep performing, and we just want to go out and entertain with our old-style music and drill. It's nice when someone notices!

If you do go to Rochester, don't skip the Alumni Spectacular early Sunday, if you want to see and hear some more "throw-back" drum corps of pretty high quality.

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Thank you for the outstanding review!!!

For those of us who couldn't make the show, it's nice to read someone's perspective on the whole thing.

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Great review! In particular, thank you for your kind comments about our exhibition. We're older, a little slower, but we have a passion to keep performing, and we just want to go out and entertain with our old-style music and drill. It's nice when someone notices!

If you do go to Rochester, don't skip the Alumni Spectacular early Sunday, if you want to see and hear some more "throw-back" drum corps of pretty high quality.

thanks for the kind words. you guys played with better intonation than most of the competing corps. keep up the great work. it was like stepping back in time with you all, but you sound way better than the recordings.

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C. Holland - Your writing skills and knowledge of subject are FIRST CLASS. A welcome addition to both the DCI and DCA side of DCP. I will enjoy reading your thoughts here often. Please continue.

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