Moonlight Classic, Sacramento 6/21


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Just got home after attending the Moonlight Classic. Just a few comments before turning in.

As was mentioned above, this was an absolutely great evening, as every corps put forth an enjoyable show. if one is a drum corps fan, you spent the entire evening smiling!

BDC: As always, they take the award for being cute and adorable.

Golden Empire: For me, the most pleasant surprise of the evening. For a second year corps, they are definitely headed in the right direction. The corps is big, and march and play with much more competence than I would expect from such a new corps.

SCVC and BDB: Wow. These corps are both phenominal. It is very easy to forget that these are Open Class corps when you see them on the field. They will be pushing each other all season to the benefit of us fans. Both shows are well thought out, well paced, and the kids can really play.

Pacific Crest: I'm a big supporter of this corps; I think they have the potential to eventually become a serious finals contender. I very much like the new uniforms, and think they sound better than ever. I like their show, but for me, it lacked the spark, the sizzle, needed to jump PC into serious consideration as a top 12 corps (at least as of tonight).

Mandarins: Best I have ever heard from them. This show is intense and they are not the least bit timid in how they serve it up to the audience. I would expect that they will make a nice jump once they get their guard in uniform! Tonight, they were still in simple black practice gear, which made them disappear amongst the dark uniforms of the rest of the corps. Once they add color (and thus contrast) in the guard, they will be able to sell this show much more easily and with far greater effect.

BD: This is yet another powerhouse show form the Devils. As usual, lots of stuff going on visually and musically, all done with their typical flare and style. When I saw the show at Family Night I was optomistic, but still unsure. At the time, the guard was not yet in uniform, and the closing number was not yet on the field. Now that that has changed, the show became much more cohesive and understandable. The championship vehicle is there, its now a matter of bringing out each individual nuance of the show to its best potential. The props are going to bother people for a while, but i think that may change once the props are in their final form. (The "books" for instance, look nothing like books at the moment. As a result they are more of a confusion than an effective part of the show) I also felt that the story characters need work, with more specific focus directed to them. As key thematic elements, it was too easy to lose track of, or miss them entirely. Bottom line however is this is another killer show that can definitely keep BD as the reigning champ.

SCV: Wonderful show! Musically rich, visually enticing, and very very well performed. My wife's favorite of the night. I expect Vanguard to take a medal with this show. Surprisingly, their props left me wondering. I get what they are. I like their look as a visual element, but I have this nagging thought that they need to DO something other than look good. I kept wanting them to flash on a drum hit or something! :tounge2: Anyway, this is a show that I think will receive a great reception from fans, and put SCV into the top three this year for sure.

Phannnnnnntom Regiment: First, a big thank you to PR for once again coming out west. You are loved an appreciated by us West Coast fans. PR had what I considered the "safest" show of the evening. It is solid musically, drill is nicely designed, the uniforms and guard look great, everything is done with confidence and competence, but in the very end I was left wanting more from an emotional standpoint. I don't want to be construed as saying this is not a good show; it is. But for me it just didn't reach me on any significant emotional plain.

BK: Not sure what to say. It is difficult to form any meaningful opinion when the show presented is incomplete. What is on the field is visually interesting. Musically, especially in the beginning, the corps' approach is intriquing. But until I can see the whole show I'm not sure if I think the whole will be one I consider memorable, or one I am lukewarm about. Certainly the potential is there, but until the complete show is on the field, its hard to judge its effectiveness.

OK. Way to tired. Night all.

Just got home after attending the Moonlight Classic. Just a few comments before turning in.

As was mentioned above, this was an absolutely great evening, as every corps put forth an enjoyable show. if one is a drum corps fan, you spent the entire evening smiling!

BDC: As always, they take the award for being cute and adorable.

Golden Empire: For me, the most pleasant surprise of the evening. For a second year corps, they are definitely headed in the right direction. The corps is big, and march and play with much more competence than I would expect from such a new corps.

SCVC and BDB: Wow. These corps are both phenominal. It is very easy to forget that these are Open Class corps when you see them on the field. They will be pushing each other all season to the benefit of us fans. Both shows are well thought out, well paced, and the kids can really play.

Pacific Crest: I'm a big supporter of this corps; I think they have the potential to eventually become a serious finals contender. I very much like the new uniforms, and think they sound better than ever. I like their show, but for me, it lacked the spark, the sizzle, needed to jump PC into serious consideration as a top 12 corps (at least as of tonight).

Mandarins: Best I have ever heard from them. This show is intense and they are not the least bit timid in how they serve it up to the audience. I would expect that they will make a nice jump once they get their guard in uniform! Tonight, they were still in simple black practice gear, which made them disappear amongst the dark uniforms of the rest of the corps. Once they add color (and thus contrast) in the guard, they will be able to sell this show much more easily and with far greater effect.

BD: This is yet another powerhouse show form the Devils. As usual, lots of stuff going on visually and musically, all done with their typical flare and style. When I saw the show at Family Night I was optomistic, but still unsure. At the time, the guard was not yet in uniform, and the closing number was not yet on the field. Now that that has changed, the show became much more cohesive and understandable. The championship vehicle is there, its now a matter of bringing out each individual nuance of the show to its best potential. The props are going to bother people for a while, but i think that may change once the props are in their final form. (The "books" for instance, look nothing like books at the moment. As a result they are more of a confusion than an effective part of the show) I also felt that the story characters need work, with more specific focus directed to them. As key thematic elements, it was too easy to lose track of, or miss them entirely. Bottom line however is this is another killer show that can definitely keep BD as the reigning champ.

SCV: Wonderful show! Musically rich, visually enticing, and very very well performed. My wife's favorite of the night. I expect Vanguard to take a medal with this show. Surprisingly, their props left me wondering. I get what they are. I like their look as a visual element, but I have this nagging thought that they need to DO something other than look good. I kept wanting them to flash on a drum hit or something! :tounge2: Anyway, this is a show that I think will receive a great reception from fans, and put SCV into the top three this year for sure.

Phannnnnnntom Regiment: First, a big thank you to PR for once again coming out west. You are loved an appreciated by us West Coast fans. PR had what I considered the "safest" show of the evening. It is solid musically, drill is nicely designed, the uniforms and guard look great, everything is done with confidence and competence, but in the very end I was left wanting more from an emotional standpoint. I don't want to be construed as saying this is not a good show; it is. But for me it just didn't reach me on any significant emotional plain.

BK: Not sure what to say. It is difficult to form any meaningful opinion when the show presented is incomplete. What is on the field is visually interesting. Musically, especially in the beginning, the corps' approach is intriquing. But until I can see the whole show I'm not sure if I think the whole will be one I consider memorable, or one I am lukewarm about. Certainly the potential is there, but until the complete show is on the field, its hard to judge its effectiveness.

OK. Way to tired. Night all.

Very nice rundown. Looks like BDs, SCV, and BCs are setting the pace. Love all their shows. I think you hit the nail on the head with PR. Safe pretty and sorta boring. They need to move forward, take some risks, and not just rely on the past.

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And cavies jumping up like that is nice!!! Very proud of the green machine tonight!

I have had my tickets for a month now; very much looking forward to the show. I attended BD Family Night and liked what I was seeing and hearing from BD. Eager to see how the show comes across now tha

Posted a review over in the review forum, but might as well chime in. caliswift - i am pretty much with you on all counts, save for the Open corps. I actually preferred SCVC to BDB. Other than that

Add my $.02 from what I was able to see about half the corps. I feel the need to counter the overly positive comments in this thread so far. Either everyone is in the "you get a trophy for trying" camp or are homers for California corps.

SCVC - Sounded worse than I've heard them in the last 4 years (since I've been able to see them live). The show was boring with handful of interesting spots. I really don't see them catching up with BDB.

BDB - Dirtier than I remember them being in the last 4 years but cleaner than SCVC. Show was easier to follow and slightly more entertaining than SCVC.

Pacific Crest - As much as I want this corps to climb its way higher it never seems to happen. Fun, but definitely not getting them to the last show of the season. Very fun moments throughout their show.

Mandarins - Is this the same corps? Holy smokes, such a fun show. If they clean that up and put the guard in a uniform I could see them setting new corp records for placement and score. My only knock is that instead of using real drums like these they had props set around the field and pretended to play them. To me, it came off as poorly done.

BD - One specific moment aside, this is the most entertaining BD show I've seen in years. They actually have some dirt in their show to clean up! They're playing jazz, have some really interesting moments with the props, guard looks great....just lots of awesome moments. Now for something I really didn't like, whatever the dance thing is with the EDM (right here). I dunno, I really dislike it. Regardless, this show has the legs to win everything and I wouldn't mind. It's going to be pretty awesome with everything added and the props fully constructed.

SCV - I don't get what people are talking about. This was not entertaining. Their drumline is pretty good. The tesla coils do nothing and one almost fell over. There is a part where the guard members are holding small drums for the snares, two of the heads flew off on to the field. There's just no theme here other than "electricity" stuff. I don't think people will be talking about this show after this season. There is no medal other than a finalist medal coming for SCV.

Phantom - I think everyone has said it. I was excited beyond belief to hear Clair de Lune only to be constantly reminded how well they played it back in 1994. It feels like they rushed it this year which took away from the impact. The basic show here is "french stuff". The guard has these Audrey Hepburn'esque uniforms that worked well.

Edited by caliswift
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Caliswift...I know that BK's show was not complete, but no $.02? Kinda sad you left them off. :huh2:

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I've only seen that K-Pop thing from BD in video (thanks, caliswift, for your link), but I almost got the impression that whole thing was kind of a joke from BD.

Right before that segment, they are classic jazz-playing BD and Red Riding Hood comes onto the field. Then,they get into that K-Pop thing with the dancing and all and suddenly, the brassline pops back in with traditional drum corps stuff. It's almost like they got distracted into something totally irrelevant but came back to their senses.

Now, I agree in that I really don't see how that fits into the theme of the show...maybe it's not supposed to. Maybe it's a "Dada" thing.

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My very brief take on the first and last competition show I get to attend this year. We arrived late as I was having dinner with some of my old friends in Freelancers.

Pacific Crest - They seem to be getting a bit better each year. I think the are better than last year, but it takes time to build a top 12 contender. I do not think they will remain ahead of Mandarins.

Mandarins - Another Asian themed show. Their brass sounded better to me (not a brass player) than I can ever remember. They have 22 or so in their guard which is a hindrance visually speaking. I know or I should say I have heard they have more members (guard) to add and that will be great. The corps itself is better than they were last year.

BD - I believe this show will be great come Finals, Such a mess with the unfinished props all over the field because the props do not yet look what they are supposed to be. Also staging issues, that will I am sure be fixed. They have a great guard, but the wind was an issue last night, but then again it was an issue for everyone. (BTW It is not sush a bad idea to take a flag toss out if you are going to be performing in strong winds, but whatever) Great hornline, loved the music especially Children Will Listen. This will be another beast by August.

SCV - I liked the show. I could end up loving the show. It is not as emotional a show as the past couple years, but it is very fast moving, their guard is right there with BD, there brass is better than last year. I see this as a possible bronze medal. Seemed cleaner than BD, but that could be just the prop mess BD has right now!

Phantom - They sure look beautiful, and you cannot help but love the show. It is not as sophisticated as those corps ahead of them. I do love the Phantomettes and they look lovely and have some really nice moments. A bit too Audrey Hepburn focused. (Phantom did the Encore and I had the pleasure of sitting with a friend Steve Martell who used to instruct their guard in the late 70's and maybe 81 (he won WGI with Phantom) and it was great to see how connected he still was emotionally with the corps.) Phantom does a GREAT encore!

BK - I really loved BK last year, but sadly I did not connect with their show this year in SAC. I hope it grows and becomes something more than what it is right now. I know they are not complete (nobody is) but they just were a disappointment for me.

Thank you Phantom for again spending the money during these tough times to come to CA. We love and appreciate any corps from any other part of the country that comes west because we know it is a logistical nightmare and costs extra money and time!!!

Edited by jmc5682
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So the Blue Devils' guard gained a half point on SCV's guard in one show? I know BD guard has been the best in so many consecutive years, but a half point gain in one night?

Just goes to show how scores are so relative to who is judging.

1. I think it's funny no one bothered to answer you lol

2. There's something called off nights. BD could've had an off night in the first competition, SCV could've had an off night last night, or both.

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Sounds like it was windy last night, which can most definitely affect the guard.

BD - I believe this show will be great come Finals, Such a mess with the unfinished props all over the field because the props do not yet look what they are supposed to be. Also staging issues, that will I am sure be fixed. They have a great guard, but the wind was an issue last night, but then again it was an issue for everyone. (BTW It is not sush a bad idea to take a flag toss out if you are going to be performing in strong winds, but whatever) Great hornline, loved the music especially Children Will Listen. This will be another beast by August.

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I've only seen that K-Pop thing from BD in video (thanks, caliswift, for your link), but I almost got the impression that whole thing was kind of a joke from BD.

Right before that segment, they are classic jazz-playing BD and Red Riding Hood comes onto the field. Then,they get into that K-Pop thing with the dancing and all and suddenly, the brassline pops back in with traditional drum corps stuff. It's almost like they got distracted into something totally irrelevant but came back to their senses.

Now, I agree in that I really don't see how that fits into the theme of the show...maybe it's not supposed to. Maybe it's a "Dada" thing.

In a number of places throughout the show, it seemed to me that the corps is responding to the actions of the various storybook characters, almost as if these characters gain some momentary control over the corps. The black witch, for instance, at one point makes arm gestures that seem to control the direction and flow of the marchers. When the corps goes into the short k-pop dance, Red Riding Hood has seated herself on the ground in front of them as if she has the ability to cause the corps to halt everything and entertain her to her liking.

I don't think it is a joke as much as it is part of the theme development that as of yet has not gained clarity. My ink-lination is that BD will be working on making the storybook characters and their actions more obvious and more prominent as they refine the show.

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Posted a review over in the review forum, but might as well chime in.

caliswift - i am pretty much with you on all counts, save for the Open corps. I actually preferred SCVC to BDB. Other than that you are right on. The Mandarins mock-drums would obviously be better if they were real. Cool effect though. Loved the big front sideline arch with the guard playing horns. Did not like SCV for the first time in...forever ($.05 to Disney). BD has an amazing 10 minute show.

The kpop thing, which I imagine is this years' controversy, is bad on two fronts. First, it's basically a dj, set drummer, and dancing corps members for 60 seconds. A WGI show broke out in the middle of my drum corps show, not what I paid for. Second, as mentioned above it totally ruins the flow of the show. As Herk posted, they play arguably some of the best jazz ever, then the dance club opens, and a minute later we're back to BD brass kickin' you know what. To me it's a waste of time.

However, if what PhotographerJim said is true, the whole "character control" thing might come off better if Red Riding Hood runs over to the synth table, throws on a set of Beats and does a Skrillex impression (yes, I had to look up Skrillex).

Outside of that, it just doesn't make sense.

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