DCI Central Indiana Review (Webcast)

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This is my first year subscribing to the DCI Live service. I had been a loyal subscriber to the Fan Network for several years, but after hearing that the DVR and On Demand functions wouldn't be available anymore, I opted not to purchase DCI Live last year. And after seeing what I missed in 2015...NEVER AGAIN.

But anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw from the corps performing in Muncie yesterday. So, without further adieu...



1st Place - 58.300

"Hell Hath No Fury"

This corps performs extremely well. But the kids aren't the ones I'm really reviewing here, if we're all being honest. I couldn't in good conscience critique these hard working youngsters anyway. And the activity has gotten significantly harder since I marched all those eons ago, so all the kids that performed in Muncie are gods to me.

I do not hold the same reverence for the designers of some of these shows. The folks at Genesis, while I'm sure they do the best they can, don't seem to know how to design a good show. The narration particularly bothers me, and it isn't because there's narration in the show. The narration in this show is really the only thing that gets the concept across. And if you ask me, that's a problem. These are all kinks that can be worked out, and I sincerely hope they do, because based on the kids' ability, this corps could certainly be a contender for an Open Class ring.


2nd Place - 55.300

"The Grid"

Boy, has this corps gotten good or what? I remember a time not too long ago when Legends was one of those "little corps that could." It seems like they've become a massive Open Class powerhouse overnight.

I have to say, I find the 3 point spread between Legends and Genesis a bit surprising. After seeing both corps, I thought it was kind of a toss-up, and I certainly thought the scores would be closer.

This show was a lot of fun. It was a little awkwardly electronics-heavy for my taste at first, but it certainly got my attention. From then on, I was continually blown away by the maturity of this corps. I really don't have much else to say, except that they're definitely going to be a contender for a medal this year.



6th Place - 50.600

"St. Joan of Arc"

Pioneer has really kicked it up a notch in terms of design. I find it a little surprising that a corps that has always maintained a sort of "old school" vibe opted to have such a prominently featured vocal soloist. This isn't a complaint, as she has incredible pipes.

Now, I'm most certainly not a fan of the new brass instruments. I'm at a point, however, where I'm just tired of being upset about it. I've gotten to where I can tolerate them, unless they seem pointlessly shoehorned into the show. Pioneer, I'm sad to say, has a trombone that really doesn't need to be there, at least in my opinion.

Overall, this was a very easy show to follow. Pioneer is doing a great job relaying the story of Joan of Arc to us. And I absolutely loved the Firebird closer, as I'm a man who loves his Stravinsky.


5th Place - 64.300


The Colts take a relatively simple concept and sell it in very convincing fashion. There isn't much to comment on in terms of show design except that it's great music, great drill, and the kids perform it all very well. This is a corps I always enjoy and I'm always rooting for them to get back into finals again.

The only complaint (and "complaint" is a strong word) I have about this show are the props. What are they supposed to be? Are they going to be decorated later on in the season? If anybody knows, please let me know.

At any rate, this was yet another great show from Iowa's ambassadors of music. Personally, I would have put them ahead of Troopers, but that's probably why I'm not one of the folks wearing the green polo.


4th Place - 67.650


This seems to be a pretty big departure for Troop, mainly in terms of their uniform and their show concept. The show has a much broader concept than some of their more recent offerings (and I personally find it much more interesting). And a quick side note on the uniforms: just like my prom date, these uniforms are good from far, but far from good. I think kids these days say "hot from far away." The uniforms look great from the press box, and I really like the colors. They're a little reminiscent of the old Troopers' guard uniforms.

The show seems to be an exploration of the definition of the word "hero." Like I said, much broader than, say, "Wild Horses." And just like Pioneer, there were some french horns and a concert euphonium that seemed to be pointlessly shoehorned into the show. I wasn't terribly familiar with the music they were playing, so maybe it fits better than I realize. All I can say is I would have preferred to hear it on some mellophones instead. But while we're on the topic of brass: they're hornline is FANTASTIC. I don't know what the music was for the closer, but it was nothing short of magnificent. I could see this becoming a fan favorite moment.

Overall, a great show from Troopers. They could very realistically be a finalist contender come August.

Blue Stars

3rd Place - 70.300

"Le Reve"

Wow...this seems like a massive step up for the Blue Stars. Maybe it's just me, but they seem significantly cleaner than they usually are at this point in the season. I think our friends from La Crosse are looking to move up a few spots this year, and it doesn't look like they're going to have much trouble doing it, either.

The props seem a tad on the excessive side at times, but they add a lot of color to this show. The overall color scheme is rich with bright, contrasting colors.

I don't know what else to say, but I absolutely loved this show. Great music, exceptional choreography, and a bold new look for the Blue Stars as icing on the cake. And speaking of bold new looks...

The Cavaliers

2nd Place - 73.650


It warms my heart to see the green...er...black machine doing this well, especially looking at where they ended up last year. I think some of this can be attributed to their show design, which is leaps and bounds ahead of "Game On." But the kids even seem to be performing this show much more masterfully. I know the corps was wrought with illness last year, so I suppose that could have something to do with it.

It has taken me a while to warm up to this show. When I saw it on the preview webcast, my initial reaction was one of disgust. And then after getting a better read of it during the Tour Premiere, that disgust morphed into indifference. This was my third viewing of the show, and I'm starting to dig it a little more. I think those uniforms of theirs kind of confuse the show concept. When I saw them taking the field with those really bleak uniforms, I thought "Oh, this show is going to be dark." And with the negative connotations often associated with the word "propaganda," I assumed this would be a "propaganda is bad" kind of show. But it really isn't. So then I thought, "Well, are they saying propaganda is good, then?" And no, they're not. This show really is saying that propaganda just is. It can be good or bad. This is a very interesting spin on it, and perhaps less accessible than a more simple "propaganda is bad" approach. It's one of the first times that a Cavalier show both blows your mind with the high-velocity drill, and it makes you think a little bit, too.

I'll be very interested to see where The Cavaliers end up at finals. I think they might surprise us.

Carolina Crown

1st Place - 76.850


What a fun show this one has turned out to be. "Relentless" features a brass book that only Crown could do justice to, and they've recently made some changes to the show, particularly the ending, that make the ending all the more satisfying when the good guy gets his revenge.

I know very little about percussion, but their drumline seems to be a lot tighter than they have been in previous years. Percussion people...can you confirm this?

The last time I saw this show was at the Tour Premiere, and my mind was reeling back from the innovative marvel that was the Bluecoats show, and as a result, I was somewhat bored by "Relentless" if you can believe it. I got a much better read of the show last night, and I'm in love. Crown, as they usually are, will be a contender for the gold this year, I have no doubt about that.

And, just for kicks, here's where I would have put everyone:

World Class

1. Carolina Crown

2. The Cavaliers

3. Blue Stars

4. Colts

5. Troopers

6. Pioneer

Open Class

1. Legends

2. Genesis

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