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Brigadier80

East Coast Classic Review

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It was a perfect night for drum corps to return to Boston College. The sky was clear and temp's were in the low 70's with a slight dry breeze.

The last show I attended at BC was the 1984 CYO Nationals which unsuprisingly was won by the then named Garfield Cadet's.

There was a good crowd although I am unsure if it will match the 5,000 that attended at Foxboro last year. Part of the problem may of been Boston pricing premium upper deck seats at $100+. During the week I got several emails the first one advertising a 10% sale off of all tickets then the 2nd offering 20% off all tickets. The average drum corps fan are middle class regular working people who cannot afford $400 to take the wife and kids to a drum corps show. Just my 2 cents.

Below are some ramblings about the show. Sorry for the lousy spelling.

Open Class

7th Regiment 2nd place 53.35

This was my first time seeing Regiment this season. I am unsure of the show's theme and am not familiar with their rep. The music sounded generic in a movie music kind of way. Some of the brass arrangements reminded me more of warm ups than anything else. Nice size corps with an attractive visual program. I would have had them further behind Spartans. Gorgeous uniforms on the corps.

Spartan's first place 54.65

Again this was my first viewing of Spartan's show. This show seemed better put together and performed than the Regiment. The ballad from 'The Mission' really has a lovely melody. Guard per usual was a strong point although they seemed a bit smaller than previous years.

World Class

Jersey Surf 6th place 56.9

I really enjoyed this show even though it is really dirty. Surf's 'La Mer' themed show is a step up sophistication wise, Color guard was appropriately attired in various gorgeous shades of green and blue. I loved the arrangement of 'Under the Sea' I hope this brings them back into the top 25.

Boston Crusaders 5th 65.45

This show was not as bad as I feared but neither is it a step forward. 'The Impossible Dream' may as well reference their chances of moving up past 10th place this year. The opening set when viewed from the upper deck is beautiful. The 'windmills' did not appear as big high up but they are still woefully under used and often poorly staged. For me brass was their strong point although they were lacking the punch provided by Crossmen's line. The show and music just feel dated and quaint when compared to other corps like the BlueCoats. I know they went back to Brian Murphy for visual design but IMO he did them no favor's. The staging of the guard through out is pretty bad. They are often just spread out around the field haphazardly. As a result their work has little impact . Silk work is especially dirty. Because the prop's are kept center front most of the show the horn line seems to play to much to the back field as they have to snake around the windmill's. What scares me is that they were reasonably clean but still scored only a 65.45, I hope there are some re-writes in the works. Boston is my hometown corps and I love them dearly and will always support them but they really need to figure out what their identity is. They also over hyped this show by claiming they were in better shape after spring training than ever before and this show was the vehicle to move them way up in the ratings. The judges then awarded them their worst opening score since 1998.

Crossmen 4th 66.35.

The all original music is relate able and easy on the ears. I really loved the sound of their brass. The music however is so laid back that it lacks variety and emotion. I loved the guard costumes and silks and there was some well designed collapsing visual moves between the thirty's. Ending needs to be punched up. I thought this show was under scored.

Phantom Regiment 3rd 70.05

It was good to see PR break 70 for the first time. This is another show that seems underscored. Overall design, sound and execution was a notable step up from Boston/Crossmen. I am still mystified by some of the music choices and arrangements. Why is 'Chairman Dances' basically just sampled? The decision to go with two ballads is risky but IMO does not pay off. The 2nd ballad just stop's the show dead in it's tracks. Some of the visual design I liked but often there seemed to be too much running around from set to set. Unlike Boston, PR's guard ladies were staged and costumed wonderfully and had some gorgeous clean synchronized silk work. I do understand the reasons for selecting 'Young Person's Guide' and for the most part they played it wonderfully. I do miss the soprano or middle voices run's at the end of the peice as the two tempo's merge into one.

Cadet's 2nd 73.5

This show was a notable step up quality wise from Phantom. When I saw this show in the theater it seemed like a dud. However, The Cadet's will just not be kept down. They pound the audience into submission with the virtuosity of their playing and marching. I still have a hard time relating the story line of statue's coming to life with some of the musical selections (Pines of Rome?). The story line is becoming clearer and I appreciate the guard's multiple costume changes. Their equipment work is much better than last year. Battery was just fantastic. During several sets they were placed back field but my attention still went to that incredible snare line. They demand and deserve your attention. i love their attach. Way to much trombone for me. With so many of them they just do not blend properly into the brass line. Not sure if this show will move them up but they have made great progress in just a week.

Bluecoats 1rst 74.8

This show is incredible, From a design standpoint it stands way above everyone else. Between the prop's, uniforms and musical selections they have taken so many risks.If even if one of those elements fail the show would not work. No worries it all works. This is one of these shows whose title and description almost irellavant.Just sit back and enjoy the ride. I love the opening snapping and when the brass line comes flying out I heard a notable 'wow' come from the audience. The modern dance segment has to be seen to be believed. Again, I am unsure why it is there but am so glad it is. So OK the slides are a little silly but it is great fun to see who will slide down next. I loved the blind flag exchange over the slides. 27th would be proud. The Pink Floyd piece generates brass sounds that are unlike anything I have heard and it really swing's at the end. The brass articulation was incredible during 'Heat of the Day'. Tough arrangement. The ending samples different pieces played earlier in the show and needs a re-work. But doesn't everyone's? They are playing and marching with such (well deserved) confidence. Kudos to their staff! Will the judges have to courage to push this past BD and Crown?

Mark

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Great review

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Great review! I was at the show as well and thought all the corps had pretty solid performances.

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