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Shempy

Underrated Shows

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I think most everyone has a few shows that they absolutely loved that never seem to get much attention, whether it be from the judges the year they premiered or from the fans as time went by. Here are a few that I think deserved a little more love.

Troopers 2011 - The Road Home - I absolutely adored the musical selections of this show, in particular Stephen Paulus's The Old Church and the 3rd Movement from Copland's 4 Piano Blues (neither of which I believe have ever been seen on the field before or since). When I heard the corps land on the first big hit of the Paulus opener, I was amazed at how warm and rich their brass sound was. The entire show design was executed fantastically, and who can forget one of the best moments of the 2011 season with the infinity chord?

Madison Scouts 2007 - Unbound - Madison's poorest Finals weekend showing ever (15th, tied with 2009) is actually one of my favorite shows from them since 2000. I've heard varying stories about this season, from infighting among the staff to them blowing up the whole show midway through the season. Regardless, I thought the musical selections were very Madison, with the driving and ethereal sound of Alanis Morissette's Uninvited, the booming rock of Kashmir during the iconic half-fluer form, and El Tango Del Roxanne to close out. The visuals, though somewhat dirty, were incredibly inventive and engaging, starting from the endzone as a full front and losing horn players mid-stride, slow motion movement against jazz running that created a parallax scroll effect to the crowd, and the use of ropes to ensnare guard members and break out from. Pretty bummed this show placed so low, it would have been excellent to get high quality recordings made to the public.

What are some of the under-the-radar shows that you wish got more attention?

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Crossmen 1993, Songs for the Planet Earth Part II: A Celebration of Humanity. It gets overlooked in comparison to the prior year, but it serves as an almost perfect sequel show, literally opening right where the original show left off. How could you not make like that guy in the recording and shout "Woooo-hoo-hoo!" as they begin with the strains of Fanfare for the Common Man? The first movement straight up jams, the ballad Koto Song is beautifully haunting, River Music is anthemic and I could whistle Freda for the rest of my life. The remainder of the show summarizes the music from the year before before capping off the show itself. The "question" posed at the end of 1992 is answered in 1993, and then some.

https://twitter.com/DrumCorpsClips/status/699518263986774016

Edited by Hrothgar15
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Southwind 2000. Holst, Horner, and Lizt. They had really great arrangements that year and wicked talent in the corps. Shame they were one spot out of finals. The Liszt piece Totentanz was a great closer.

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Cadets 2012 and 2013. Way underappreciated, and musically phenomenal

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Bluecoats 2006: Connexus

This was the first finals I ever went to even though I've followed the activity since 1987, and I absolutely adored this show. It was powerful, heartfelt, and jazzy. It seems like it was the precursor to current Blooo shows, or maybe the second precursor after their 2005 Caravan show.

Connexus was their highest ever finish, at 4th, but I still feel like this show was under-rated, as it's not spoken about in the same sentence as the three shows that finished above it that year (BD: Godfather Part Blue, PR: Faust, Cavaliers: Machine).

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Bluecoats 2006: Connexus

This was the first finals I ever went to even though I've followed the activity since 1987, and I absolutely adored this show. It was powerful, heartfelt, and jazzy. It seems like it was the precursor to current Blooo shows, or maybe the second precursor after their 2005 Caravan show.

Connexus was their highest ever finish, at 4th, but I still feel like this show was under-rated, as it's not spoken about in the same sentence as the three shows that finished above it that year (BD: Godfather Part Blue, PR: Faust, Cavaliers: Machine).

I've always loved that show, a lot more than the top three that you mentioned. Can listen to that one over and over again. One of the few shows where I can say I enjoy every section/moment of it. Just downright fun, and you can tell the members feel it too.

There's a great documentary that follows that season. I break it out every summer or so.

Edited by DrumManTx

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BK 2012: Avian

To me, this show was the beginning of the BK surge. It had it all...great, well-written music, emotional ups and downs, suspense, majesty, well-integrated guard, pit, drumline and brassline. Michael Cesario, that year, called BK's show ahead of it's time and I believe he was correct.

It had two defects...1) people didn't understand it and 2) while Sully is a legend, his somewhat outdated show design just wasn't the best for the show and the theme. BK corrected those two deficiencies in the next 3 years...and here they are.

Edited by Herk
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Boston: Animal Farm

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I've always loved that show, a lot more than the top three that you mentioned. Can listen to that one over and over again. One of the few shows where I can say I enjoy every section/moment of it. Just downright fun, and you can tell the members feel it too.

There's a great documentary that follows that season. I break it out every summer or so.

Where would one find said documentary?

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