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Quick review. Work in the a.m., unfortunately.

Bluecoats: Though still extremely early to tell, this could be our number 8 corps currently active in DCI to be a world champion. They drum great. Brass great. Color guard great. The use of electronics is so inventive (though lots of tweaks need to be made) that this fact alone may be the deciding factor come finals night. I think I held my breath the entire performance, not wanting to miss any thing. An experience unparralled. Cannot wait to see it again.

Carolina Crown: These guys could be champions as well. They play so well it takes your breath away. Literally. Color guard = OMG. Drumming maybe the best in ten years. The theme is so intoxicating, until the last two minutes. I do not know if you can have a more solid show base at this point. The overall structure is soooooo strong. More layers, member visual diversities, inventive effects, and emotional triggers need to be added to win. Regardless, I would pay the same ticket pric eto see them by themselves. Gripping. Will be a new fan favorite show for the ages.

Madison Scouts: This never grabbed me tonight. Better drums than past years. Better guard. Nothing stuck out as bad, but everything stuck out as ordinary. A little too happy go lucky for me. Show seems not well tied together in a way that the audienece is drawn in. Some rough brass moments tonight and major feet issues. It seems like they need to do a lot of changing in order to make the show more compeitive and entertaining. I was unfortunately bored most of the time- an off night?

Blue Stars: I was realy surprised Madison beat them. The show is clever and really explores the late 20s depression era and the traveling carnivals of that time period. I was constantly engaged and looking/listening for what they would offer next. They seem to be holding back some emotionally, but that is expected early season. I think they show theme can be explored a lot more. Great drum line. They were on fire at times. I think this will be a very strong production come August. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by really strong groups.

Troopers: This is their best showing in the past ten years. The brass were wonderful and the percussion really solid tonight. Though there are aspects that are similar to Crown's Triple Crown production, Troopers seem to be trying to make it their own.

This is the direction they need to be headed in-Trooper inspired, 2015 conscientious. They need to clean visually and add layers of visuall interest to match their fantastic musical offering. Love the aggressive sections. Guard wil get there soon enough. I thought them extremely over Spirit and even more over BAC than the scores indicated.

Boston Crusaders : Like Madison, it never grabbed me tonight. Knowing the score to Conquest quite well, I was able to follow the musical line somewhat. Visually, it seemed somewhat disjunct from the audio. I was told the rolling props would eventually have Cusaders-centric things on them for the anniversary theme. I am not sure that that edition will help a lot. This show seems to need considerable changes in order to maintain last year's position.

Spirit of Atlanta: I really wanted them to be good tnight. They seem to have three volumes. brass with drums, brass only, drums only. Even more than Boston or Scouts, I worked really hard to get the out of the ashes/resurrection connection from the show, but missed it. They do seem louder than last year. Good ballad soloist. Guard is behind and seem to be on the ground a lot. After one live viewing, I do not think this a finalist design. Though not a lot, I personally thought last year's show had more opportunity for member, section, corps emotional range. This year's theme seems less evident.

Cincinnati Tradition: They have a few solid musicians and were workimg hard to sell their product. The drums seem to have some talent, but their book overwritten. The show theme was vague most times. More rehearsal time over then next few weeks will help the overall performance.

Edited by phan771
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