Quick Moonlight Classic Review - Some Words


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Bored at work, so here are my quick thoughts, feelings and desires on what was last night's Moonlight Classic here in Sacramento.

Blue Devs C:

Beatles music. Pretty well played. Group looks to be on the older end of the 8-14 age bracket. Not as many real little ones as in past years. Guard unis were my favorite of the night, think Sgt. Pepper meets Hello Kitty. Fun. Magical Mystery brought back fond VK memories.

Golden Empire:

2nd year. Was not expecting such quality, both in size and sound. Reminds me of The Academy and Esperanza in how quickly they are progressing. Won't be surprised if they're competing at the same level of BDB and SCVC in the coming years. Pink Panther theme, a little Mike Buble. Really enjoyable. One not to miss.

SCVC:

in a word, classic. Had them over BDB tonight. Don't remember much of a theme, just a good ol' fashion drum corps show from top to bottom. Brass was the loudest I've heard from them in a long time. Drums look good, sounded better. Trombones didn't add anything in my opinion, could have used flugels or more mellows. My favorite of the early groups. Dare I say, liked their show more than big brother.

BDB:

Large metal cones, call them stalagmites if you will. Don't remember their theme either, but it was another very enjoyable show. Loud, brassy performance. Drums are ridiculous. Good luck beating the BD corporation in drums this or next year. Overall I found all the open Class corps quite good.

Intermission:

Took the kids to the souvie booths. Got their picture taken with the "Mandarin man" showcasing the new unis. Freelancers alums arched up and jammed some Mangione. Two gelatos and three slushies, then back to the show.

Pacific Crest:

Bigger, fuller sound then past years. Relied too much on the "liquid goo" for my taste. New unis looked good, but I pine for the long lost years of the white pants, those really stood out. Corps needs an identity. Music was nice, well balanced, though a bit forgetable. Low brass is their bacon...very tasty.

Mandarins:

Talk about identity. Mandarins going full taiko on this one. Fits them to a tee. Wonderful music, very rich and appealing. New unis are very modern in style. Like that they're staying with the purple/gold motif. Not sure the point of the people cut outs backfield. At one point the guard - not in uniforms as of yet - joins the horn line in a company front with horns in hand. Are they actually playing. Either way it comes off with big big pop. Loved it. Great show.

BD:

Wow. The best of the night without question. Absolutely love and totally hate. I'll explain. What I love: the corps music is great, drums are on fire throughout, guard telling the story(s) is top notch, even my kids got the gist of the "inked" theme, and it appears Mr. Goodwin is their new ace in the hole writer. For 10 minutes, this show is untouchable. BEGIN RANT: Here comes the almost-35 curmudgeon. I could go on and on about amps, mics, synths, and their positives and negatives. I know i can't take my kids back to the 80's and 90's when I fell in love with drum corps, and that's okay. I don't pretend to know what kpop is, but I know what it isn't. What I hate is that the Blue Devils are influential. In today's world, the way to beat the man is be the man. Please please please promise me, all you other corps directors, that when BD wins this year, you will be influenced by their supreme musicality, their outstanding work ethic, and their constant desire to perform at a championship level every night. A straight minute of dance club with a dj, drummer and 135 dancers is not what I will continue to pay for. END RANT

SCV:

Tesla coils...I think? SCV is on a mission to blow you out of your seat. Very very strong brass. The theme is a little heavy handed. Hard part about using electricity as your theme is that you have to do so through sound, and that makes for lots of spark and crackle noises that - at times - drowns out parts of the show, specifically the drum intro. Liked the show, didn't love it. Too much electrodes for me, also too much goo. I'd like to see a bass line drum-off between them and phantom. Tasty bass beats.

Phantom:

Beautiful music. The brass section solos are crystal. After having three heavily themed shows, this one was a little flat on the emotion scale. Corps looks really nice out their. Could use more Claire than we got, and American in Paris was fantastic. Guard was very effective in portraying Paris. A good classy Phantom show. Won't net them any metals, but it's loud, light and happy. Enjoyed the post show concert as well, major goosepimples. Keep coming West, we love you!!!

BK:

Another good show from these guys. i wish they would just let us here the believe music rather than "tell" us the theme. Drums were amazing. Throw them in the bass line battle as well (can you tell I was a bass drummer). Brass was probably the 2nd best balanced behind BD. Show ended quickly, so I'm guessing no closer yet. Liked it very much. So glad they've made the effort to make the West coast swing part of their standard tour.

That's it. Had a great time. Kids really enjoyed Devs, and maybe that's the point.

Anyway, back to work or whatever.

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Thanks for the review. Change can be hard, I know. I can't wait to see that Blue Devils show, and whether I like kpop or not, I know I will drool over their performance levels. Also very excited to see SCV, Phantom, Blue Knights, Mandarins, Pacific Crest and others.

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