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mirrormen

Spirit of Atlanta 2015 Preview

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I have been following SoA pretty closely for the past six or so years due to the fact that I have had friends marching and teaching there during that time. I also love Atlanta and have relatives there, so visiting a few times a year and seeing the corps from time to time has been my mode of operation for a while. Not to mention, the "11, '12, and '13 shows were really well done and super entertaining, they made me be a fan.

The weather was excellent and there were a lot of people in attendance. Everyone seemed overall pumped to see what the corps had done in respone to last year.

There was a frontline tune, the brass played a few numbers in the arc, and there was of course a run of the show, "Out of the Ashes", a title I thought to be a little too risky, but oh well, I want it to be great.

The musicians were in uniform. They are the same as last year. I think they are fine, but a bit band-ish. I assume the guard black unis are not the show costume. With so many corps posting videos and pics the past few days in full uniform, it seems the wrong year to be behind on getting uniforms in by this event.

The show starts with a bang and not a slow build up like so many do. My initial impression is that they are louder this year than last already. The entire opener stays really loud and pretty aggressive the entire time. I don't know if i just missed it or what, but the theme didn't seem very evident without a lot of assumption of what things meant. Maybe the guard costumes and silks will help in that area. The drums are better than last year at this time, though the writing seems very similar, and at times really disjunct from the brass book. I think at this point the front ensemble is also better than last year early season. There are a lot of notes being drummed and nothing was really clean tonight. I know demand is important.

The ballad grabbed me more that the rest of the show, but it seems like a lot of continuous loud. The closer is also a lot of loud. There were a few moments that the music ensemble played together pretty well.

All in all the corps is aggressive and hungry. That is evident. At this point, there doesn't seem to be a lot of finesse, but I am sure that will be added. The theme was not really there for me. Like I said before, it seems they are trying to state that last year was a down year, but this year they will pull up out of the ashes and be in finals again. Someone refered to this show title as being "audacious". After seeing it tonight, that may be accurate

There are lots of trangles/deltas in the show. You hear the "Tara" theme a couple of times. I know Atlanta was burned down during the Civil war, but other than that, I didn't get a fire or ashes, pheonix rising, recovery from the fire, etc., throughline.

The guard had a few good moments. Though they have one or two better staged sections over last year, they seem way behind and not well integrated most of the time. The writing seemed odd at times compared to the music I was hearng.

From tonight's viewing, I would say they are better than last year at this time. Compared to the videos and audio recordings I have seen and heard from the other corps however, I am not sure this is enough to move them up at all. Everyone seemes to have had a good fall and winter. It seems like a real killer year for drum corps.

The corps seemed to be working really hard tonight. That agressive attitude certainly came across.

Best of luck for a successful 2015 season SOA.

Edited by mirrormen

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Thanks for the review. Were there good moments, big GE parts of the show that will be good for them all season? Your review seems to hold back a bit in detail. I read into your comments that you think it better than 2014, but you don't think it finals material. Accurate?

Again, thanks for the review.

Edited by recketscience

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Thanks for the review. Were there good moments, big GE parts of the show that will be good for them all season? Your review seems to hold back a bit in detail.

I read into your comments that you think it better than 2014, but you don't think it finals material. Accurate?

Again, thanks for the review.

There were not really any what I would call big coordinated GE moments beyond what we usually expect (park and blows with unison flags, etc). Their big moments seem to all rely on brass volume to create effect. Like I said though, when the guard gets costumes and show flags and have their work throughout the show, that may elevate the theme and grant more GE.

Not a hater, but no, I do not think the show I saw is finalist material. They seem to need a few more years of building, especially visually, with the guard program, and with overall theme development.

Edited by mirrormen

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