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First I think kudos to Tom Blair and company must be given. It was the first show of the year the camera angles were quite good. The sound was excellent. Quite loud in my theatre in Boston.

I was a bit less impressed as the first reviewer was. The shows seemed much rougher and a bit less interesting and fan friendly than last year.

Madison

It was encouraging to see such an improvement from their dress rehersal. Even though this was supposed to be based on MGM 50's musicals I had a hard problem figuring out much of what they played in the first part of the show. I appreciated their aggressive attack both visually and musically again there was a certain sameness to the music until the ballad. I actually thought their ensemble was the tightest of the night. Once the guard start using the prop's that just sat on the field narrative will be clearer. What was especially missing for me was the emotion that was present in their 9/11 and Band of Brothers shows. There may be some costume changes coming too. They may be in a fight for the last finalist spot.

Blue Star's

There were some pretty ugly sounds coming from the brass right off the first entrance. The ensemble sounded close to coming apart several times. Guard was probably the cleanest of the night and it was encouraging to see what looked like a complete visual package. Style wise it fit into some of their prior successful shows . The dark part of the show seemed to overwhelm the show. Sampling of the circus them seemed excessive.

Cavaliers

Wow was this a mess especially musically. The brass book seemed way overwritten for the players and it was difficult to see how the music related to the show's theme. And the theme just does not grab me especially after last years superb design. The ensemble really fell apart numerous time. Guard costumes are unattractive and looked like a combination of several other years. (Spin Cycle and Machine).

Crown

Another big performance improvement from their dress rehersal video. The conversation their designer had with Steve Rondinaro was hilarious and got our audience laughing. I am so used to seeing something original from them (OK not last year) that it was a bit disappointing to see what looked like a combination of Santa Clara's 'The Devil's Staircase' and especially Phantom's 'Faust', It was pretty funny to see brass players struggling to play their instruments while that shear carp was dragged over them. That said while brass was rough that rich CC sound was present and the music and arrangements grabbed me as usual. I am hoping seeing this live will translate better.

Cadet's

Hasn't someone else done a number (the power of 1?) themed show. The theme was easy to understand but just not interesting. Especially (again) after last years emotion filled show. However I loved the Shostakovich music and their visual book again was crazy good. What was with the brass just sitting glued to the 50 for was felt like two minutes? I am sure that will change. The show definitely sagged in the middle before a typical thrilling fast ending.

Blue Coats.

It seemed to me that once again BC is trying to replicate a prior years successful show (see 2011) to diminishing results. Way to much electronic enhancements that just grated on my ears. Didn't Cavalier's use those props in their 'Planet's' show and Carolina in their 'For the Common Good' show? They did not seem to know what to do with them. I did appreciate their incredible brass but the music was full of disodance and not nearly has accessible as last years

Sorry to be so negative. I hope all corps will prove my criticism wrong. I look forward to the next simulcast that will contain much improved performances from all corps,

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thanks for the review - didn't agree with many of your perspectives - but very interesting to read just the same! Thanks for taking the time!

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I'd definitely have to agree with what you said about The Cavaliers. I think it's a bit too early to he pessimistic, however. Their design staff obviously knows how to put a good show together (2014 is a perfect example). They still have time to fix what are seemingly obvious problems.

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:ninja:

Overall, I was pretty impressed with everyone. After all, it's Mid-June for cripes sake. I still think Bluecoats have just about the best brass section, although I have no idea how many noobies are in the line. Madison looks pretty good, and Crown is well.....Crown. Hornline just kicks my butt, and God forbid if their drumline recovers from last year..

I loved Cavies as well - and since this was more like an early DCM show - lots of great sound and style.. Can't tell who's gonna do what - still got 2 months to wring it all out. Looking forward to getting to Mankato on the 29th to see me some more - live. :tounge2:

Pat

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I feel that Cadets this year's show is much better than lat year's, especially without the narrator.

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