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The Crowd

I have never seen more people at the Massillon show than this one. Holy cow! Had to be over 8,000 in attendance. Traffic was crazy and people had to sit in the endzones and some even sat in the away-side stands.

Meeting DCPers

I got to meet fellow DCPer "WVU80" last night as he sat with me. Sadly it turned out that one of the two tickets I had for the show was a duplicate, and some high school kid had the same seat as the one I gave to WVU80. Not the HS kid's fault. I guess their HS purchased a bunch and that's what he was given. So we moved around a bit and ended up sitting near a Bluecoats Board member right on the 50, but very low. We still had a great time and it was nice getting the opinion of WVU80 (Dave) who has really good taste in drum corps and is WAY more knowledgeable about corps than he leads on. :) Great guy! Was glad he could make it up from West Virginia.

Sitting Low

Sitting only a few rows up on the 50 I was reminded at how much I love to sit low occasionally to catch more of the human element in each of the shows. I can see more technique in visual, hear brass articulation better, see the performers eyes, and you see just how hard these kids are working whether we like their show or not. I haven't had that experience in a while and it was fun.

All the corps put on a wail of a show, and the crowd was really into just about everyone. I thought intermission was a little too long. The Bluecoats Alumni Corps performed and were a lot of fun, but I guess the delay had more to do with some corps arriving late due to traffic. There were so many people that I figured they had to wait for many of them to return to their seats after intermission.

Sadly INT did not perform because Bluecoats Alumni Corps took their spot, but Bloo alumni were fantastic! Always a hoot to hear the alumni play some of the popular favorites from years past. Some excellent soloists in the alumni corps. Special shout out to Andrew Whitman on his solo -- a former Mount Union student and fabulous trumpeter -- who plays lead trumpet with the Coats alumni.

As for the corps:

  • Phantom Regiment was in exhibition due to illness in the corps. We were hearing close to 30 people. But let me tell you that their brass and percussion put on a show. In stand-still concert form they performed their show music and they were freakin amazing! They got a huge standing O. Pound for pound their brass line is as good as any out there. Definitely one of the best sounds of the night.

  • Madison has a nice back end to their show, but the first 2/3 of the show just fall flat on me. They also were the biggest culprit of using too much synth bass. Way too much. I just think this show was a "miss" this year. Good performers.

  • Blue Knights are really good. I enjoy the show. It's ethereal, modern, and feels like a modern dance recital with brass and percussion. But there is a lot to enjoy, and there are moments their brass and percussion really play some amazing stuff. The colors are coordinated exceptionally well. If they had one or two more impact moments in this show they could move higher. Lots of visual dirt.

  • Cavaliers, like Madison, were also one of the biggest synth bass users. It was simply WAY TOO much. I was expecting this show to have a greater impact on me, but it just fell flat most of the way through. However the ending is clever and well done. I think they've taken this thing about as far as they can. Their brass is better but still not in the league with the top 5 corps, and percussion didn't overwhelm me. Guard was wonderful but the overall visual program is not grabbing me. Having seen both Cavaliers and Cadets now live, I just do not think Cavaliers are in The Cadets league. It felt to me like Cadets should have 2 pointed them last night.

  • Santa Clara has one of the most beautiful shows you will ever see. It's just tremendous from start to finish. But the ending falls a bit flat, and I'm mainly talking about the section leading up to the Vanguard emblem formation. The soft part of the ending is wonderful. I was a little surprised Cadets beat them. I don't think that will happen in Indy, but you never know. Cadets have the better brass and they are neck and neck in percussion. I think Vanguard has the better guard and visual, but they have plenty to clean in the feet. The GE at the end of SCV's show fell somewhat flat. I still think SCV takes 4th, but they need to clean now. The Cadets were outstanding last night.

  • The Cadets are flat out marching and playing beasts. Even when their show doesn't turn out as planned, they can still bring it with that brass and percussion of theirs. They were definitely on fire tonight and seemed very in control. The last 2 minutes of the show still feel unaligned from the rest. From the big diagonal block push to the end still feels forced, but it's better than what they had. Musically this is a great show to hear. Brass articulations were clear and refined. Percussion performed really well. Visually they are cleaning. The guard performed very well tonight. If SCV doesn't clean the feet and perhaps make a few enhancements, The Cadets can beat them -- as tonight was evidence.

  • Carolina Crown is sporting one of the best shows this summer. So fun, so bold, and they are cleaning nicely. Yes, this is a 3-corps race for the title. I'm rooting for Blooo, but Crown was definitely on fire tonight. Their brass line is so good, so balanced, and HOLY MOTHER of LOUD! The guard was on fire, and they have a very solid and amazing percussion section. Carolina is definitely in line to possibly take 2 captions - Brass and Guard. If Blooo does not clean some feet issues and BD perhaps doesn't get the GE number they need, Crown can easily win this. I was a little shocked Crown pulled to within .1 of Bloo. I had them separated by about .8 to 1 point.

  • The Bluecoats were also on fire and the general effect in that show is just unreal. It's been a long time since I've seen a show with that level of amazing GE (Blue Devils 2010, The Cadets 2011). Brass and percussion are also amazing. Guard was fabulous, and the Coats have some of the most fun music out there. The Bluecoats also have some of the best soloists in DCI this year. They feature like 6 or 7, plus 2 trombone quartets in which I believe they demonstrate the best use of trombone out of all the corps. Their guard is stellar, and the blind flag toss over the ramps is a killer moment. If Bloo is clean at Finals, then it's over -- end of story. Nobody is beating that show if it's clean enough. Not even the great Blue Devils.

Thanks to all the corps!! Another amazing Massillon show in the books.

Edited by jwillis35
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Great review and spot on with most of my observations! Cavies and Madison (esp at the end of the show) simply had too much synth low end/goo.

As someone mentioned in the Massillon thread, Cavies brass seemed "artificial sounding" at times...a bit unsettling and jarring.

I enjoyed Cadets a lot more than I was expecting to - the brass and percussion especially are working their butts off.

Blue Knights was just a miss for me, despite the obvious talent present. Of course, my personal fav show of theirs was the English Folk Song Suite-based one, so...

Totally agree with everything you said about Santa Clara, but I'd personally like even more in the ending (reprise Spring with the guard "blooming again" in their Spring apparel...something) and that transition could be smoother. Still, a fabulous show.

Bluecoats. Just, wow. Like this way more than Kinetic Noise. I had some interesting thoughts about this show and Crown's which I'm going to expound on soon in a new thread (along the lines of "what if X did Y instead...)

I met WVU80 (Dave) before the show - we were going to get tickets together before his schedule got all wonky. Glad you were there with a ticket for him, even if it got FUBARed for you guys. He was keeping me updated on your plight, but unfortunately there was NOTHING up where I was...sorry I didn't get to meet up with you beforehand with Dave but I had other people to meet up with...

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