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Just a quick note about the VIP ticket, those six cruise raffle tickets included in the package were worth $60.00

5 cruise tickets and the TV. Wasn't certain what the value was of them. They just handed them all to me in a clip and I thanked them. It was a pleasant surprise. :cool:

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Now for the Cabs, who I was certain would be pretty determined to give a very intense performance at this contest.

The visual read was a lot better in this stadium than it was in Scranton, and it was much improved up high. I was directly under the Judges at both contests, and the angle at Clifton might be more of what it must be at Rochester since the read was better for several other corps as well.

The Cabs were incredibly motivated and determined, and threw down the gauntlet with this run. They also threw everything they could at the Bucs including the kitchen sink. I didn't sense any loss of control or any over-cooking of the performance. They kept their heads on and just performed what they were supposed to with the best of their abilities, which is what they also needed to do.

I was left feeling that the performers gave the very best effort they could have of that program at this point in the season and that the Bucs would need to respond in kind to have any chance to stay ahead of them.

I also feel the need to say this again this season. The Cabs are more intellectual than many would believe. There's more in there, especially on the musical end than some folks would give them credit for. I enjoy this show on both the emotional and intellectual levels.

Between the Cabs and Bucs, Fusion filled the gap. I sensed more intensity and energy back their performance compared to Scranton. The guard also reinforced my belief that they're quite good and very enjoyable to watch perform.

One of the Tubas got clocked in the final "Are you Going to San Fransisco" segment. I was and am concerned, they really took a hard blow and kept going. They really got thumped. Someone really gutted out the end of the program. All respect.

The percussion feature was much better then Scranton as well.

The one big issue Fusion needs to keep attacking is the overall ensemble sound of the Brass. They're known for being very precise and crystalline, and this season, there's just a bit of musical static in there, likely very slight intonation or timbre issues. It's not bad- it's just not as good as it usually is.

I think Fusion's starting to try and perform more from their hearts, perform with more confidence, and trying to get some momentum on their side. They really need to get a solid hit at Big Sounds. Not a Home Run, just get a good solid hit, get the quality closer to what I've come to expect, and keep working to sell.

As for the Bucs- yeah, the Cabs chucked the Kitchen Sink at them. My eyes popped as the corps started to roll through the pre-show. There was a real sense of focus, real emotion, determination, and sense of urgency on their performance. The Bucs took that sink, caught it in mid-air, and chucked it back. I figured at best they'd duck and dodge and not get beaned by it. They did a lot better than that. You just can't kill 'em.

That being said- I told some friends at the show it was still close, and I figured the Bucs scraped by with a gap of .5 or under. They managed to scrape a bit more of a gap, .65. It's still that close. It won't be over until Finals.

Some people think the Bucs are a bunch of beep-boop unfeeling robots when they perform. They weren't that way at Clifton. If they had been, they'd have lost this contest. Like I said about stereotyping the Cabs, don't do the same to this corps.

I also have to say that the Bucs' guard was really pushing themselves at this contest. It was obvious to me that they very much wanted to show that they're pulling their weight and holding up their part of the program. They're not out there figuring that Brass and Percussion will save their bacon and that they can just ride on their coattails. I really respect them for being scrappy.

Bush got to go on last, they performed well, and they appear to some to be getting some strong momentum at this point in the season. They really had a stronger groove and vibe then they did at Scranton- some shakiness on the brass runs at the end of the show- but that can be addressed. They'll need to maintain this momentum into Big Sounds to put themselves into a strong prelims seed.

One of the things to watch at Big Sounds will be their relationship to Carolina Gold. They need to either beat them, or close the gap to within .5 to put the situation in doubt. Both corps appear to have differing strengths and weaknesses. This is one thing I'll be watching closely at this contest.

Fistbumps later. 230AM. Discussions always welcome. :satisfied:

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The Cabs Alumni have changed things up a bit with a drill style more from the '70's that's not the squad-based linear presentational drill from the previous decade as they usually tend to do. It's pleasant and well-performed.

This year, they're doing a rather nifty arrangement of "Bully", "Mexican Hat Dance", a concert of "Echano", the second movement of Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" and wrapping up with "Cha Cha Flamenco".

They've been further refining their brass sound, but I have to bring up one thing before I forget. There are two very fine percussion features in the program and I finally met John Smith and complimented him personally. They're not trying to stroke out 600 taps per second or just smash and slam their way through these features, they have a fine groove and a real sense of elegance and control when they're out there and it's tasty as all get-out. These guys proved faster is not always better, and really had a very laid back, controlled and musical feel on Saturday.

Thank you for the kind words, Big W, both here as well as the comments you shared with me when we met in Clifton. They are truly appreciated. Forgive me for not realizing it was you right away when we finally did meet. I was just caught a little off guard, and my ears were still ringing from Al Chez and his guys!

Thanks so much for the compliments. Our guys do a great job, and I'm happy to see them get some well-deserved recognition. I hope to see you again, perhaps in Rochester?

Edited by cabalumnidrummer

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I gotta say, the DCA reviews this season... from W, Chris, Jeff, etc.... have been excellent!!!

When I'm working at a show, I honestly don't get much of a chance to watch the corps in their entirety, or from a good vantage point. These reviews certainly have helped me get a better handle on what's going on.

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Thanks, Fran!

Been busy getting ready for this weekend, also went to the Swigart Museum yesterday. Nice museum, not big but some of the exhibits are great if you like antique cars!

Fistbumps for Clifton:

Reilly's Main Guard. Thank you for the color presentation. The Cabs' Alumni has been setting the standard and has been known for many years- but you also did a great job Saturday.

Sky's Soprano soloists: Really added one of the touches to the Sky experience that made it a great one at the show.

Cabs' Alumni: Thank you, John. Rochester's too far for me and I'm back at work after this weekend- but the Percussion really should get one. They did give out a great lesson. Musicianship, groove, control, precision- all of those things make it happen, not necessarily faster or more strokes.

Fusion: I'm still worried about the Tuba player. If they would have went down and out right then and there- I wouldn't have been surprised nor blamed them. It looked like a pretty hard hit from the stands. If they're okay, they're made of iron, maybe titanium. To have toughed out the last show segment and got back into the flow like that-- man, everyone should shake your hand.

Cabs: The tenor players. That's a really nice feature!

Sabers: Their battery. Watch them. Very sublime work. Watch and learn.

Hurcs: The Mello Soloist. 95 outta 100 Mello players would blow that solo outright in terms of intonation, focus, and pitch center, especially the low notes.

Sun: The LB's. JD Shaw set the table and you guys are eating off of it. Thank you.

Well- Off to Big Sounds Saturday. The real regret I have is missing Kidsgrove, but Connecticut is a lot farther away than Reading. All I know is this- Where will the Scouts fall into the mix? They may not be that Elephant from the Midwest whom certain friends of theirs are talkin' the trash while he sits there quiet-like- But these Bull Mastiffs are here to make some serious noise.

Big Sounds also has a lot at stake:

-Right now it looks like a lot of score corrections are rumbling around in A Class and shaking the tree. Can the T-Birds take some advantage of this, and put themselves into a better seed for Prelims with a solid performance?

-Bush looks to be gaining momentum. Can they turn it into a solid challenge to Carolina Gold, who is currently seeded ahead of them? Can Gold try and pry themselves into a spot ahead of Sun?

-Can Fusion get more traction?

-Can White Sabres pick someone off in terms of seeding at either show that doesn't represent?

-I know, different contests-- but-- 1$ to Jeff Ream: Whoever gets the highest score gets the #1 seed for Prelims. The Bucs and Cabs are both going to have to let out all the sails for this weekend and go for it.

If you're headed to Big Sounds, see you there! Be ready for some action!

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Reilly's Main Guard. Thank you for the color presentation. The Cabs' Alumni has been setting the standard and has been known for many years- but you also did a great job Saturday.

Very proud to have sat in with those guys at a few parades and a stage show or two last season. Had a lot of fun doing so.

Great people, and they know their stuff!!!

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