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My theater in the DC area was packed. This crowd has gotten bigger and bigger

every year. No sound complaints. We assumed Boston had their pit cranked

and Steve Rondinaro confirmed such.

I know that there is a lot of time for shows and performance levels to change, more so for the top groups.

These are my impressions based on this venue and all that a theater experience brings, and limits.

Boston: Off to a good start. I love all of the melodic content and feel the arrangements are clever, unique, and refreshing. The drums seem a bit improved, the brass much improved, and the guard a bit down. The show was difficult to follow. The props were second best behind Coats. I assume they will use them more and experiment with better staging of them. The ending needs a relook. A solid finalist though the show will have to develop more depth and emotional reward.

Regiment: The guard is beautiful and reflects exactly what we have come to expect as far as how they carry themselves and the elegance and role they bring to the field. The brass sound pretty good, though reflecting the last few years and not their “hay-day”. The drum writing struck me the most. It was fresh and musical, and many moments were pretty clean for a first show. There are several awkward musical transitions and the overall theme is not clear. Though using electronics a bit more than past years, they still seem stuck- behind musically and visually. I can’t say I care for the musician’s uniform at all. The pit in nearly all black was classy and unique. Moving the props is extremely underdeveloped and distracting. YPG seems to have potential to end their show in a very exciting PR way. Even if maxed out, the field has become so deep and the top eight so”relentless” in a programmatic and performance way that PR will remain in 12–8.

Cavies: No overhype, but “Yes”, I think they are back. Where they will place I do not know, but based on this viewing, they should stay ahead of PR. Their brass is still their weak link, though much improved over last year. They seem to do loud well, but lower volumes, not so much. The theme is cool and pretty easy to get, though I think they need to keep tweaking all of that a considerable amount. Great bass drums. Like the uniforms and guard costumes. Needs a new ending.

Cadets: This show seems to have a lot of potential. The first half comes across as much more crafted, effective/interesting, and well paced. They are still doing some crazy drill while playing and running above 200 bpm. I am glad they responded to being the best fourth place corps of all time in 2015 by modernizing their design. The increased use of electronics is a good decision, but needs refining. The concept is much too elusive as of now. Even without two bass drums, drumline sounds amazing. The second half needs a lot of change and direction. This may not be top 4 as it is now.

Crown: I love this corps, but not tonight. I liked it, but found a lot of it to be a rehash of past stuff, too much so. They sound good and look good- the cleanest of the night. The steam punk western thing is a bit elusive. Drums a bit improved, guard and brass still amazing. A lot of feet issues tonight. It will be interesting to see how they develop this. It is a great show, but not a championship show as of now.

Bluecoats: I found myself laughing over and over because of how amazingly creative and well-performed it was for mid-June. So good in all captions. Clearly a medal contender and candidate for some caption awards. Much is already really great, but I see the potential for even more controlled crazy. Cannot wait to see this one again.

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Nice review! Thanks for sharing.

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Crown: [. . .] The steam punk western thing is a bit elusive.

Didn't Troopers try for the same theme a few years ago?

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