Recommended Posts

First off, great weather, except for the sun blaring directly into my face during Crown. Otherwise it wasn't roo windy and not too hot. Good day for Drumcorps! I was seated 4 rows from the top, right inside the left 35, side 1. I think the placements in general were correct though I think Bluecoats probably should have been way closer to Cadets or slightly ahead. Also, I tend to point out the stuff I don't like more than the stuff I do, so I apologize in advance, but rest assured that EVERY corps was enjoyable from top to bottom this year!

Colts - Brass seemed pretty solid for the most part. Had some strong impacts. I am not a huge fan of the story telling and singing which permeated the entire show...seems really cheesy and the acting was incredibly overdone. Much of the "story" was happening on a scaffold on the front right of the field near the pit which meant a lot of the time you were focusing on that and missing everything else going on. Closer was a standstill unfortunately though they really played the heck out of it, so hopefully as the show gets finished it will help. Just too cheesy for me :(

Crossmen - Lots of cloud tarps and props on the field really brought home the flight aspect of the show. Was very easy to discern what the show theme was about. They did alot of the flapping arm stuff that Phantom did back in 2007(?) Looked goofy then and still does now IMO. Hornline was solid. Lots of power and some fun charts being played. I thought they moved REALLY well! The uniforms looked sharp as well I thought.

Again, mic'd singing in the show just kills it for me :( It sounds so goofy and out of place in pretty much every show I have heard it in. Lots of snickering in the crowd when it pops up as well, so not really sure who they are trying to win over with it. Hopefully Boston doesn't have any of that...

Boston Crusaders - but they do...a LOT of it. The singer is talented but man, it just cuts like a knife through everything else. But that wasn't the only issue with BAC unfortunately. Their design this year is just awful. One of the most dissapointing things is they play the Game of Thrones theme throught the show, but ONLY electronically. I don't think the brass ever actually played any of it. Very confusing use of props as well. They just dragged around some weird black poles on wheels and did absolutely nothing with them. The design team needs to go back to the drawing board on this one...just does not work on any level.

The kids are doing their best though and I can tell they are really trying to connect. If I was Boston I would be worried about having a shot at finals this year honestly. Even cleaned up this show doesn't have legs (or at least it doesn't seem to have any from this early contest). That said they play a lot of notes in spots and can put out some power when they need to. Some cool stuff with the ring of drums in the center of the field as well and I think their guard unis are pretty spot on.

Carolina Crown - Obviously very solid brass that was LOUD. In fact, the show should be titled "Triple Forte" and not Inferno because they seem to pretty much max out the volume for the entire show. It got pretty dull honestly. I didn't really get a sense of the theme throughout the show but the opening with the giant black tarp pulled over the corps was pretty cool and the first wow moment of the night for most people in the stands. Also cool was the translucent red tarp over the soloist and the hornline during the ballad. Personally I think it would have been much cooler to have the brass pull down the volume when under the tarp as an effect so that when they pulled the tarp off they could crescendo up as if it was muffling the sound. Would make for a cool effect. Currently it is just a neat visual with loud horns underneath it. Kind of a wasted moment IMO. Color guard was on fire. Drums seemed to still be somewhat of an issue, but I am not a percussion specialist so I can't critique too much. Overall the show doesn't do a whole lot for me and it isn't a contender for gold currently. In fact, I would say it is a strong 5th-6th place as it sits now. Just not a whole lot going on that is exciting and other corps are catching up this season and last to the "play a bunch of fast runs" and it doesn't seem that cool anymore.

That said, horn balance and blend was excellent and they are LOUD. Definitely the best hornline of the night but not the best content. The show just kind of meanders along and then it is over. I imagine the end is going to be worked on to bring it up to where it needs to be. It could be that after throwing in everything and overdesigning 2014 that they pulled back a tad too much this year and underdesigned.

The drum break right after the initial opener impact also kind of takes the steam out of the front half of the show. Probably nothing can be done about that this far into the season as it would be a huge change. In any case, brass and guard is going to carry them and percussion MIGHT not be quite as big of an issue as last year, but show design will keep them from medalling I think.

Bluecoats - Ok so, in another thread I commented on how I wasn't sold on this show based on some in the lot vids of the hornline. Live it was amazing! I was expecting the electronic stuff to be completely riddled throught every aspect of the show based on what people were saying but honestly it wasn't that intrusive. It is definitely there and it plays a huge role, but it wasn't like every second was electronics. Some VERY cool moments where small ensembles of horns would play a riff in a location of the field and then move away but the audio would continue from that location.

The show could probably use some color as all the props are just silver, but man, what a cool show. I am totally sold on it. The "ballad" was a little bit of a let down and doesn't really do anything, but the Reich piece was amazingly cool.

The Cadets - All sections were very solid but this another show where it didn't really grab me on first viewing. The french horn bit in the closer was actually really cool. Brought some much needed texture to the show. I also thought the bit in the middle where the soloist ran down the center, hopping on the blocks that the guard was propping up was pretty cool.

The concept of 10 didn't seem to make any sense besides it just being a number randomly spread throught the show. Totally don't get how it drives anything thematically...but they can really play. At one point they were calling out random numbers that added up to ten with the numbers on the flags and I was like wtf is this about, but then I realized they were using all the numbers from 0-9 to make combos that added up to 10 and that was pretty cool. In any case, all sections seemed strong but the show didn't grab me (yet). LOTS of notes, lots of fast drill. Much more enagging than last year and not a whole lot of voice over which is much appreciated :) It could be a contender for a medal but after seeing BD and SCV on the west coast I think their shows are stronger currently and Bluecoats could end up nipping them too. Never count them out though...they can clean this and win on that alone if the west coast sleeps on them.

Cavaliers - Opener is strong and the hornline can pump out some volume. For the opening I was like, ok Cavies are back! And they were for a bit, but middle of the show to the end just goes off the rails currently. The trombone feature seemed REALLY blatty (and I play trombone) but I couldn't tell if it was the playing or the mic or a combo of both. The Run Boy Run stuff has got to go! I mean...ugh who thought it was a good idea?? Even the hometown crowd was shocked into silence or laughter during it. It is up there in my least favorite moments of anything ever in a show from anyone. Just rip it out and make the show 500000% better. So juvenile and just....ugh....I hate it so much. Percusion seemed to be a strong point as well. I don't think they have the vehicle to get much higher than 7th or so, but I thought the same thing last year in Lisle and they cleaned up nice. I would say they are a little further behind this year just on the design of the backhalf of the show. Hopefully the design team does something with the run boy run. They can play though and the show has a good bit of demand :)

So that's it...I thought placements were pretty close to correct and had no real issues with how it turned out! EVERY show had something that was entertaining and the kids obviously all came to play! Some errant design decisions aside this is going to be a VERY good year for Drumcorps!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts on each corps.

No problem! I will say all of the corps were really good this year! It was a #### good lineup in Lisle and everyone had something that was really exciting even this early. Hopefully Boston can get their design more cohesive because they have some talented kids for sure!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll share my brief thoughts as a spectator, as the reviewer covered a lot of what I'll say already:

Colts: Reminded me of a cross between drum corps and watching/listening to Garrison Keillor on the radio. Feels like a cheesy Guys and Dolls-type show. Opening set with the corps lying down in a chalk outline formation was VERY good, probably the best visual moment of the show. Can't wait to see the closer on the move.

Crossmen: Kinda liked the new uniforms, didn't really care for the concept of the show. The paper airplane props looked flat-out ridiculous. Nice arrangement of Jubal Step that's a little more faithful to the original piece.

Boston: I'm assuming the poles that are getting pushed around will have banners or crests or something similar hanging off of them at some point. I can't help but laugh at the notion that they advertised that they'd actually be playing the traditional arrangement of Conquest but barely played a lick of it throughout the show. Way too much singing for my taste.

Crown: Had to watch this show from field level because I didn't get back to my seat in time. Hornline was ear-percingly loud for almost the whole show, very little dynamic contrast here, but some astoundingly good technical playing. I really liked the early quotes of the 9th Symphony, but the closing bit felt VERY out of place.

Bluecoats: I really didn't care for all the sampling going on. Sure, it's a very interesting effect going on, but to me, it blurs the line between real, authentic performance and just pressing a button on a machine.

Cadets: My favorite show of the night, hands down, as they played and marched the crap out of that opener! Drums were rocking throughout the program, but arranging-wise, the show seemed to drag and get repetitive in the second half of it.

Cavaliers: Didn't really get the show at all, but visually I recognized some elements of Gaines drill, which was nice to see again.

Note to the show organizers- it would be better if you started the show 30-60 minutes later so fans aren't being blinded during the whole second half as the sun sets.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll share my brief thoughts as a spectator, as the reviewer covered a lot of what I'll say already:

Colts: Reminded me of a cross between drum corps and watching/listening to Garrison Keillor on the radio. Feels like a cheesy Guys and Dolls-type show. Opening set with the corps lying down in a chalk outline formation was VERY good, probably the best visual moment of the show. Can't wait to see the closer on the move.

Crossmen: Kinda liked the new uniforms, didn't really care for the concept of the show. The paper airplane props looked flat-out ridiculous. Nice arrangement of Jubal Step that's a little more faithful to the original piece.

Boston: I'm assuming the poles that are getting pushed around will have banners or crests or something similar hanging off of them at some point. I can't help but laugh at the notion that they advertised that they'd actually be playing the traditional arrangement of Conquest but barely played a lick of it throughout the show. Way too much singing for my taste.

Crown: Had to watch this show from field level because I didn't get back to my seat in time. Hornline was ear-percingly loud for almost the whole show, very little dynamic contrast here, but some astoundingly good technical playing. I really liked the early quotes of the 9th Symphony, but the closing bit felt VERY out of place.

Bluecoats: I really didn't care for all the sampling going on. Sure, it's a very interesting effect going on, but to me, it blurs the line between real, authentic performance and just pressing a button on a machine.

Cadets: My favorite show of the night, hands down, as they played and marched the crap out of that opener! Drums were rocking throughout the program, but arranging-wise, the show seemed to drag and get repetitive in the second half of it.

Cavaliers: Didn't really get the show at all, but visually I recognized some elements of Gaines drill, which was nice to see again.

Note to the show organizers- it would be better if you started the show 30-60 minutes later so fans aren't being blinded during the whole second half as the sun sets.

My son marches Cavs and this is the location of their first two weeks of pre-tour. Unfortunately that city has a noise ordinance and they were typically done with evening rehearsal between 9:30 and 9:45pm

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll share my brief thoughts as a spectator, as the reviewer covered a lot of what I'll say already:

Colts: Reminded me of a cross between drum corps and watching/listening to Garrison Keillor on the radio. Feels like a cheesy Guys and Dolls-type show. Opening set with the corps lying down in a chalk outline formation was VERY good, probably the best visual moment of the show. Can't wait to see the closer on the move.

Crossmen: Kinda liked the new uniforms, didn't really care for the concept of the show. The paper airplane props looked flat-out ridiculous. Nice arrangement of Jubal Step that's a little more faithful to the original piece.

Boston: I'm assuming the poles that are getting pushed around will have banners or crests or something similar hanging off of them at some point. I can't help but laugh at the notion that they advertised that they'd actually be playing the traditional arrangement of Conquest but barely played a lick of it throughout the show. Way too much singing for my taste.

Crown: Had to watch this show from field level because I didn't get back to my seat in time. Hornline was ear-percingly loud for almost the whole show, very little dynamic contrast here, but some astoundingly good technical playing. I really liked the early quotes of the 9th Symphony, but the closing bit felt VERY out of place.

Bluecoats: I really didn't care for all the sampling going on. Sure, it's a very interesting effect going on, but to me, it blurs the line between real, authentic performance and just pressing a button on a machine.

Cadets: My favorite show of the night, hands down, as they played and marched the crap out of that opener! Drums were rocking throughout the program, but arranging-wise, the show seemed to drag and get repetitive in the second half of it.

Cavaliers: Didn't really get the show at all, but visually I recognized some elements of Gaines drill, which was nice to see again.

Note to the show organizers- it would be better if you started the show 30-60 minutes later so fans aren't being blinded during the whole second half as the sun sets.

Great review. Thanks for taking the time to share with us. My first live show this season is next Monday!
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reviews, guys!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.