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I was there --- will try to post thoughts soon,,,, er how about now?

I'm a former tuba player from one of the groups that was present tonight :-)

General: what is wrong with this announcer? She sounds about as excited as Siri or a female GPS computer. She did get mildly excited for Bluecoats... Makes me appreciate the real dudes

1) troopers: 16 tubas- my first thoughts were "wow this looks exactly like crown 07... " and then the opening choreography and opening music and guard uniforms were exactly like crown 07. I actually loved the show and thought they played with passion and lots of GE (maybe not technical prowess) but could not shake the many uncanny similarities between this show and crown 07. How does this happen? Seriously? It's kinda insulting to long time fans. I mean I loved it, it was pretty moving and powerful and stuff but the lose major creativity points to me

They had a big full corps with a really edgy raw sound-- very reminiscent of Madison scouts sound. The crowd loved it and it got a big response and standing ovation - overall (like crown 07) it's a very accessible and exciting concept, well performed-- very spirit of Disney. Biggest knock is the drill was too easy and dirty ?

Who approved this show design given what crown did? Even had the guard racing across the front at the end, etc. crazy

2) Boston (12 tubas) shocked me. Never would I have thought that they would come out literally half the volume of the troopers. I loved many of the visual themes, musical selections (game of thrones, gladiator) , it's got potential, but really- let them PLAY! It was very safe--only corps of the night not to get a standing ovation. Several of their 2-1-3 rhythm patterns for the careful listener-- reminded me of mid 2000s cavies how they would come out with very safe brass tone and then build over the season--

Guard was a gigantic step up over troopers, that much was evident --

One crazy thing is that both of the first two groups had mic' guard girls singing in several parts of each show-- odds of that? You tell me--- lots off "ahhhhhhhh llaaaaaaaaa---etc"

3) blue stars:

Shades of 2010 12 tubas?- good stuff. Some challenging drill-- has a lot of potential. Great use of the theme to pull you in to the carnival side/show theme. I was starting to zone out a bit (Did a 5-hour energy after this show)- but not the shows fault-- they reminded me that my ears weren't deceiving me with Boston, this was loud again--blue stars have always been a step ahead in electronics and this continues here- really compliments the brass sound in a way that troop and Boston were missing---

4) cavies: did Jeff sell those pillow things from last year and they repaint them at cavies to make things to stand on? I think this show worked well- solid sound, design, --- was zoning out a bit here too--- I think the sports theme worked well and the guard created some convincing moments--some big brass power moments and a strong , conclusive , impressive finish. My brother really liked it -- felt very final which is a Change of what I'm used to for early season cavies shows :-)

------The last 3 corps were In a class of their own-- very big jump in quality and power------

3) crown! 16 tubas.

Last year I thought "holy hell, that's amazing-- that could be anywhere between 2nd and 4th". And tonight I felt like they could have won it - it was incredible. There are shades of phantom 2006, cadets 2011 (the heaven/hell with the playing of classic songs with a slightly dissonant/minor feeling to make them feel more evil, ) SCV 2011 with the "journey to hell and back again" feeling--- elements of Boston's 2012 Le mis with the covering of the entire brass line with a transparent cloth, etc---

This show is balls to the walls incredible-- I was very entertained throughout and would love to get an APD first chance I get. It's classic drum corps meets current trends in electronics supplementation --- love the classical music selections - the drill is very aggressive and exposed-- kinda like a more sinister version of 2008---

Big thrills and chills and I can't wait to see it again and show it to friends/family.

I had them over cadets... And wouldn't have thought it crazy to have them in first, honestly

Cadets-- 9 tubas (injuries i presume- how many will they have when holes are filled- 12?)

Thanks to hop I've seen this show several times on periscope--so I had some expectations --it was really solid, I wouldn't say they were below my expectations, but they didn't exceed them--- lots of difficult exposed runs and big drill moments --- didn't quite have the same sting of volume that crown had or that cadets usually have--- but still big -- they have gone to all English counting for the opener with the other languages echoing after (makes sense)

One thing that has bugged me is the non-linear counting in the ballad is done with the same tone and intonation as the counting in the opener of crown 2013 from Einstein on the Beach--- it's just too uncanny for me. Hard to hear it and not think crown 2013's counting. I am not sure were to place this show- it has the musical difficulty to challenge for a medal --- it's more classic drum corps than progressive , activity pushing as we have come to expect from hop.-- and I'm not complaining. This , like crown is an APDi would love to own--- very easy to listen to, large chunks of flowing music from the same piece--- has them 3rd or 2nd

Bluecoats: 16 tubas. Watched them at ensemble---if you thought last year was progressive, it will seem safe compared to this year. Lots of little ensembles playing into one of 6 clumps of speakers-- I'm not sure what to say about this show-- I loved TILT at first sight- it was immediately evident this time last year that the show would be beloved--- this one is just a bit more complex to me. Lots of layering and split parts -- it occurs to me that the big tuba soli is actually split just slightly in timing on purpose so you hear "bum buh buh bu bu bu bu da DA" with the last two 8th notes being played by one or the other group of tubas--- it might even sound to the un-trained listener that the two groups were even out of time with each other -- lots of other layering with the repeating little groups playing and then walking away while their simple 2 bar bits are looped and played back-- what I do like is that the are enough big hit moments to please a casual / new fan, but enough delicate / intricate parts to please a judge--- ---lots of things that have an "echo chamber" feel--

we know the ending will change-- I'm kinda hoping they do something different than the static to quiet ending- something bigger and more final? One thing I know is with this STAFF (dean westman-- for the win!) they are going to max this thing out!

About the speakers everywhere--- they weren't as loud as what it sounded like in Akron and as you could imagine, the effects are done in such a way that it draws you around the field- like a 3d effect- it's NOT just more speakers all playing the same things, it'd the speakers playing different things like individual musicians-- it's something I've never seen done before or imagined-- it's very new and could be the future of drum corps- like it or not, there's no way to duplicate that effect without that equipment ---

Guard was strong, competent, percussion as good as ever--- lots of good staging and featuring--- speaking of staging, the brass staging is just so on the money for max volume effect--- it's mostly big hits in front of the front hash---

Oh know what this show reminds me of --- crown 2010 with the company front at the beginning and 2012 with the different backstage areas with the timponis--- it reminds me of those things... But more futuristic

Why does every show remind me of a crown show? -- and crowns remind me of everyone else's show ... Hmmm

Edited by nero14
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