Cadevilina Crown

Official DCI Prelims Thread 2015

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I was texting between shows and wasn't really listening to them....and even got yelled out from someone ten rows back for me to turn my cell off...I mean seriously?..what was so exciting between the show and/or pre-show...lol

Did you not see signs in the theater to not use your cell phone? Inconsiderate people like you ruin it for other people. We don't want to see your distracting phone screen lit up and your thumbs flying around 100 keys/second. They paid $ to see the show. Who are you to decide what others can watch without distractions? You sound like an egocentric brat.

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This may have been discussed pages and pages ago but was the volume at anyone else's theater viewing off? It was too loud at the one I was at to the point that all of the mic'd equipment was just TOO MUCH! There were times where people were literally holding their ears. I hope that is not the sound to expect when streaming DCI Live on your own.

I agree with a lot of posters that the multi-cam shots are just too much right now. There were sooo many missed moments of drill and effect that the high cam would provide but instead they focused on individual performers (for waaayy too long) which is great for mom and dad but really takes away from the show for us. Looking forward to doing the high cam on my own stream tonight and tomorrow.

And I'll be ######, last year at the theater outside Atlanta we missed all of SCV b/c of a missed satellite link due to rain and it happened again last night...same theater. Rain here caused us to miss the first half of Cadets. It sputtered a couple times in Crown and I think everyone about fell out of their seats in anger.

Saw someone above mention drops for Crown - I didn't see any by them. But I counted three by Blue Devils (one flag, one solo rifle toss and one of the duo-member tosses on the ladder).

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The BDs music writing playing and overall sound is so mature and beyond all the other corps is simply amazing. It is mind boggling to me that the judges don't hear this.

In fact their entire show design is in a league all its own

Yes they are in a league of their own and last night that league was called 4th place.

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They contend that "back in the day, you could close your eyes and you would know who was on the field by the style of music and the way they played", and you cant do that anymore. They could not be more wrong. I could pick them all out by just listening last night, but watching is so much better!! Because each corps does this differently......and it is awesome!

Couldn't agree more with this bit.

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This may have been discussed pages and pages ago but was the volume at anyone else's theater viewing off? It was too loud at the one I was at to the point that all of the mic'd equipment was just TOO MUCH! There were times where people were literally holding their ears. I hope that is not the sound to expect when streaming DCI Live on your own.

I watched in Manhattan and I thought the volume was perfect. The micing was interesting in that I never heard the narration in Colts' show as clearly as yesterday. That same clarity did not help the Troopers vocalist, however. It was so clear, you heard the flaws in her performance. You could even hear the sounds when she touched the fence.

Later, for Crossmen and Boston, those vocalists didn't seem to be mic'd with that clarity. Maybe it depended on the corps' own equipment.

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I agree that the Colts narrators came through quite well but the Troopers singer not so much. She was my least favorite of the vocalists as you could hear her breathing very hard and other movements while the other vocalists weren't in positions that kept them running all over the field. Really not a fan of the singing....but that's for another thread.

The parts where it became close to unbearable were actually with corps at the top - particularly Phantom (that organ), SCV and Bluecoats. Blue Devils also had some moments too. It was probably just the theater I was in but the electronic goo was over bearing indeed.

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Saw someone above mention drops for Crown - I didn't see any by them. But I counted three by Blue Devils (one flag, one solo rifle toss and one of the duo-member tosses on the ladder).

I mean one young lady, bless her heart, dropped a rifle toss right on the multi-cam. Then immediately following a guy over threw his exchange to her and she missed that one as well. Two of them in about 2 seconds for Crown. But they'll be better and win guard.

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My thoughts, from a mainly visual perspective, as that is what I do:

Having watched and/or participated in this stuff since 1983, I can't ever rememer a season that was this good. It is like EVERYONE suddenly figured out how to ramp up the varied entertainment and production values in their shows. A lot of the presentations felt stagnant just a few years ago, but now, there is real audience connection happening. Some of this may be the Cesario influence, but I think the Blue Devils factor is also a part. They have really put out "multimedia" shows since 2008 and it has eventually trickled down so almost everyone is touched by it. I mean, hello, ACADEMY?! When was the last time a 15th place corps had this much inventive staging. There is still a lot of traditional stuff going on, but they've broken through to becoming a real entertainment event. Great to see.

There are aren't really any lowlights, but here are some personal highlights and "mehs."

Academy: LOVE. Just super cute, fun, an surprisingly creative. They really did the details, down to the cameo broaches on the guard outfits. I love when little stuff like that is sweated over. The chimney blocks work great, the costumes and colors are fantastic. It was just a delight and the kids seemed to have great fun with it. I predict one million band shows on this theme this fall.

Female singers: Well, that is the thing now, isn't it? It took 9 years for what the 2006 Cadets did to sink in, but they are out in force. What, at least 6 of them? And, for the most part, they were great! I think this is in part due to the much greater percentage of music majors now participating. They corps have a much deeper bench of talent variety to pull from, so why not? The Troopers girl (Robert's daughter, who I remember as a little kid from when I was with Magic) was wonderful, though I liked the Cirque-type vocalizations more than when she sang the actual "Wild Horses" song. Some of the rest blend together for me, but just great talent that provided genuine emotion in several shows.

Colts: it gets a bit dull around the love story, but this is a really creative show.

Troopers. Best I have ever seen them. Tremendous personality to this show.

Crossmen: Lost my attention almost immediately. I can see they are stronger than last year, but the colors were an odd choice and how they moved the paper airplane and kites drove me crazy. You want the airplane to move like one actually would - saiing and diving gracefully all over the field, not running, stopping, jiggling and spinning in place. Same with the kites. Even the most drunk butterly fly doesn't stay in one spot and spin around. Let them float all over!

Boston: Great impact at the beginning and then I wanted them to move those banners out of the way. There is a lot of richness to their costuming and silks, but somehow I don't remember almost anything about it. Ran out of gas pretty fast.

Madison: Finally back to their true style and they really sell it. I feel like they will be very good next year, after the change has a chance to set in. If they can again attract the guard talent like they used to, what they're doing will work a bit better. They are doing the moves, but don't have the dance spark they did back in the day. Will come if they stay on this course. I want them to make the girl cutouts more of an obvious joke, because it is hard to not chuckle at them. Let the audience know that yes, it is sort of silly, but look at the fun we're having!

Blue Stars: Needs to be edited by about 40%. That's just a lot of stuff.

Cavaliers: It looks like a HARD show. They sound good and a lot of it moves very fast, but not great connection going on. I think they have the same issue Madison did when they did the army show a while back: There are certain roles that very slender guard boys have trouble physically pulling off. Doing muscleman poses would be one of those roles - not super convincing, especially in those outfits. They've had a lot of challenges with the illness and all this year, but hopefully they can take a breath and come out a bit more focused, with a less nebulous theme, next year.

Phantom: I don't get the hate with this show. It is fluff, but they have stated that they set out to do fluff, and they nailed it. The Audrey Hepburn thing with the guard is a delight. That gives this show WAY more personality than it would otherwise have. Why does every show have to be so deadly serious? I think the biggest miss is the ballad, as they created real magic with this piece in '94, but here it doesn't fully develop. You know exactly what is going on here: She gets off the plane in 1956 and has a ball. It's just very pleasant entertainment.

Blue Knights: I need to see this again, because while they are obviously good and I think the corps movement is extremely graceful, it was a bit too much Echoes with John Diliberto for me. Very existential new-agey. It is cool, fresh and I like very much that it is here, but..I sort of wandered. The mirrors, however, are great. Not sold on the guard costumes or silks. Is it supposed to be sort of hippie? Really washed out plus Pippi Longstocking and a snowflake. #confused.

Vanguard. Oh my yes. So intriguing. Love the drill. Love the opening. Love the pointy guard coats. Love the x-ray suits. Love the copper at the end. Love the lights. Not sold on the music. It sounds like drums with horns stuck in in the breaks. I think this guard should be soundly beating Cadets. Much more interesting.

Bluecoats: LOVE. That is all. It is an experience unlike any other. Completely captivating, like it is a living thing. Just takes you in and moves you along. More of this, please.

Cadets: Do not love. Appreciate. Look, it is a hard show and they make sure you know it is a hard show by punching you in the face with it over and over again. Look, we're fast! Look, we're loud! Look, here's more of it! Look, here's even more! Ok, I get it. A friend with me said, "well, that was exhausting," at the end of it. Please, in the future, more pacing and variety. We know you are very, very talented and are capable of very, very difficult stuff, but we will appreciate it more if you give us some moments that draw us in rather than beat us to death. I actually think the black uniforms are very attractive. They do fit the music better than the old, but at the same time are less visually effective, if that makes sense. When they showed the new vs. old closer clip it was so apparent. If they had done the black jackets, green cummerbunds and cream pants: total win. All black is too much, especially with the black pants on the guard. So much mud. I want the guard ALL in neon and also silks made from actual neon fabric as opposed to printed, which is not as bright. Guard equipment work improved but badly in need of a new movement person. I dont' see it happening, but they need one artistic visionary on the staff to be a super strong force again. The person who comes up with the crazy ideas. Marc Slyvester was one such guy, but that ship has sailed. Great, great quality but a plain-wrap generic concept that tends to get in the way.

Crown: I thought from their preview show that this could win and would not be surprised if it did. Very cohesive thought throughout the show, as opposed to the scattered mess of last year. Great color. Greater color guard and laser focous throughout the whole prodution. I really, REALLY like the body movement this year. Only seems excessive occasionally. Love how they put the hollow hat over arm during the ballad. Personally, I wish they stayed dark throughout the whole thing. Have the demon try to acend and get pulled back. Yes, I know middle America loves the happy ending, but I would scream like a schoolgirl for the alternate choice. It's just a really effective show overall. I remarked to people I was with how back in the day, if we had one exchange or turnaround in a show it was a big deal. Here they are either doing crazy equipment exchanges every few seconds or tossing with 15 cartwheels underneath. How far things have come!

BD: Well, I have loved this all year, even with its flaws. The music is just glorioius and I love the variety. It is a totally captivating experience, though I would like less clutter. There's just a lot of mess out there, especially at the end. I don't think the tarps with writing after the big pen bit add anything. Much prefer they put a black streamer on the tip of the pen to swirl around as they write. That's all it needs. Rifles are insane, though last night was not their best run. I would like to see more challenge in the flag work. I'll bet they up that next year for sure. For me, this show is just a total entertainment experience, with great creativity. Not sure about the girl at the end yet. The camera shots made it hard to quite get. While it is all well and good from a statistics standpoint to shout "lowest placement in 10 years!!!" we all know that was due to an (admitedly dumb) technicality. If they had really gotten a judged 4th place it would be real news, but this is a bit of a gray area. I feel like Crown will ultimately win, but would not be surprised if Blue Vengence shows up tonight to take first.

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This year has been amazing in terms of shows that appeal to my drum corps senses. Up and down the line, I love way more than I don't love. That is a great sign for the future.

As I watched in the theater last night, watching all of the corps in succession, I was blown away by the contrast in styles across the board. From a Madison and Phantom and even Cavaliers, with shows that use fewer props, to Blue Stars and BAC, and others using a lot of props. The contrast in styles, and the overall high level of execution is pretty #### amazing and really makes me care less about scores.

Last year there was a crazy old man that thought he should use a complaint to the IRS as a threat to Dan Acheson in order to bring DCI back to the "old days". I followed these maroons on Facebook purely because it is highly entertaining to see the garbage they come up with each day. They contend that "back in the day, you could close your eyes and you would know who was on the field by the style of music and the way they played", and you cant do that anymore. They could not be more wrong. I could pick them all out by just listening last night, but watching is so much better!! Because each corps does this differently......and it is awesome!

Just felt like typing this morning. Enjoy the next two days everyone. It is going to be exciting!!!

I listen to old DCI shows all the time. I own the Legacy cd's and have every Finals show from 1972 to 2006. I just listen, because I'm at work, or in the car, or doing yard work and can't watch. Within the last 10 years, it became less enjoyable because the sound went from 95% of a show to about 50%. I walked out of the Ga Dome in 2011 pi**ed because I didn't enjoy any of the music from the top corps. Well, the sport has fully transitioned to where you HAVE to see a show to really enjoy it, and that's a GOOD thing! If it detracts from the live performance to make the show "listenable" years later, then don't worry about it. What DCI has become is EXACTLY why the original 7 broke away from the VFW/American Legion and their iron fist of rules and requirements. These kids are creating ART... #### good art. It's a multimedia age and DCI is embracing it 100%! I cannot believe the level of performance and achievement this year all the way through the top 15, and they're not the same styles. Everyone is different and that's amazing!

If you prefer the old stuff, do what I do and buy the cd's and dvd's and play them from September through May. Come June though, whip out the credit card, buy yourself some tickets and see it live, even if it's in a theater. You can still fondly remember what drum corps was... but to not embrace what it has become is just a waste.

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Cavies vocalist never seems to come through clearly on either the web or last night in the theater. He was clearer in person last week in Allentown (though I'm still not a fan of a lot of singing.)

As for the volume, I think it's more a function of the mic placement and there probably isn't a whole lot that can be done, short of lowering the volume on the amps which would impact the sound for those in the stadium, like the judges. Even the CD's from the pre-amplification era are pit heavy compared to being in the stands.

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