My mediocre, biased season opener review most of you already read.


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My watching experience:

I watched live at the theater.  I was at the theater in Peoria, Illinois for anyone who cares, and had a wonderful theater experience.  The place was packed, and I arrived rather late expecting no one to be there.  Boy I was wrong, ended up in the front with breakneck seats.  The audience was stellar and had great energy, clapping after all the hits and after all the corps, which I hadn't gotten in the past.  The stream seemed pretty nice, they had the volume WAY up, which kind of tainted the viewing experience a tad, because I couldn't get a solid finger on how all the brasslines sounded.  Pit was turned up alot sometimes, I noticed this A TON in the Cadets stream in which I often could not hear trumpet features.  Overall, I had a great time.  The announcers killed me as always Dennis DeLucia and Steve Rondinaro are some stand up guys, that have been in the activity FOREVER.  Their little jokes kept me alive, and I found the interviews to be informative, and didn't bore me at all.

 

Corps thoughts (performance order), I understand it's preseason, this is just stuff I saw, it basically just turned into rambling...sorry:

 

Crossmen: 

This is a good show, but it might fall out of finals.  Competition will be crazy this year, and they're gonna need to step up their game.  Musically they weren't the best.  Super loud, but just not blended enough yet.   Their visual was what I saw the most fault in though.  They booked it almost the whole time, not a whole lot of park n bark which was very nice to see.  Interval needs to be worked on.  Every single set had bad spacing which kinda gave me BOA vibes.  They are crowding the field a ton, but the props are cool and used effectively.  The concept wasn't described the best, but it was ok.  Overall, left me kind of underwhelmed, but it just needs time to develop.  The show has alot of demand and could be a serious threat come finals though.  The costiforms are interesting.  More of a pop than the last two years, but I don't know how I feel yet. Two words: Intervals Please

 

Blue Stars:

I loved them.  With everything I am.  I saw them on the preview stream and thought they were great, but tonight was even better.  That brassline is absolutely insane.  Very clean for early season, the mellos are doing seious work the whole show.  The unsung heroes though, are the contras.  The entire show, that contra line had so much pedal power, it was great to listen to.  The Gatsby ballad is beautiful, very clean too.  Pulse Outdoor is sounding amazing as well, very great stuff from them.  The guard is doing serious work (multiple meaning to that staement) and is pulling off the character thing very well.  I thought some of the design flaws got fixed tonight, but still leaves a bit to be desired.  Those costiforms are best of the year, not even close.  I still think they got screwed by the judges tonight.  GE was more than a tenth from Crossmen IMO.  It's alright, this show is still gonna kill at finals.  One word: Cinderella Corps

 

Cadets:

Oh man, where to begin?  I hadn't heard any Cadets hornline stuff this year, so it was a first time viewing experience for me.  My comments echo everyone elses.  I would argue it's a good show in the making.  Aungst's writing is off the hook.  That drumline BURNS.  The hornline sounded good enough.  Alot to go through though before finals.  This has so much good stuff, but its so dirty right now it makes it very murky.  It's a medalist show if they can sort through all the dirt, but I see them exactly where they were last year.  Demoulin and The Cadets team did a horrible job with these costiforms.  I feel like I'm watching a high school play.  This makes the black look classy.  The gold/bronze shoe choice was terrible.  It looks so gawdy on the field.  The writing is great and drill is better than last year for sure, and the design could be better.  Just needs to be cleaned...alot.  Anyone else recognize the blonde dude from COTC last year had a solo?  Two Words: Over designed

 

Cavaliers:

This performance was WAY better than tuesday.  Solid stuff from all sections.  I'm just gonna say it- I like this better than Propaganda already.  I would argue they did electronics the best tonight.  I understand 50% fans will hate it and the other 50% won't, but I LOVED the contra feature.  I did not expect the most innovative corps to be the Cavaliers today, but the Cavaliers were incredible.  The coolest thing, is they are being old school Cavies, without much of the staff that made old school Cavies what they were!  Picking up right where they left off in 2012!  The tenor feature was crazy awesome (something something Aimachi 2006...) and blew me away.  My Way was my favorite part was the My Way section, and was a great way to finish the show.  I also like how The Cavaliers have incorporated some humor in their last two shows, it's really been great to see that fun Cavies legacy injected into their shows.  Guard got shafted IMO, that should be fine by finals though.  Mike Macintosh is incredible and what hes doing with that line is great.  Visual is solid as always, clean marching all around.  Brass was *slightly* subpar, but better than last year so far.  This show is for real and with some more work it could medal.  Two Words: Dude Bro

 

Carolina Crown:

I heard tons of Crown videos of Crown early season.  Needless to say, I have concerns, but it isn't all bad.  So to start off, the hornline is still absolutely insane.  Great stuff, the splits were clean in the brass and they were LOUD.  Even in the theater I could tell they were loud.  Percussion doesn't seem to be as much as a problem anymore, 4th or better for this line seems pretty reasonable, and it should BOOST their scores this year...which is nice.  So, the opener is super high energy and I love every second of it.  It is so blatantly Crown and it makes me glad it is so well put together.  After that though...it falls off.   The brass stuff in the ballad is great.  It has solid potential, but the singing...no.  The singer is good it's not her fault.  She has a nice voice, but not overpowering or trying to go all Cristina Aguilera Super Bowl national anthem 2013.  I have a suspicion the directors want to keep her slightly more conservative so the brassline can be heard better, either way here we are again, proving once again singing has no place in the marching arts (unless its Mass).  The song "For Good" is a great song, but I wish Crown had just done a "Wicked" show and went for the whole enchilada.  I mean if they're gonna do the green guard uniforms anway...I digress.  The closer was great, I actually thought the singer did a great job here.  The brass did a nice job once again closing out the show.  Sacktigs drill seems very demanding, but it isn't my favorite work from him lately.  Guard is gonna need work although they are much improved from the preview video.  The costiforms look great, some of my favorites of the year.  The loose collar look is great, although the shakos are a little much for me personally, I think they are a cool new step forward for costiform design IMO.  My big rant here though is Crown's design.  They are trying sooo hard to be old Crown when clearly its not.  I feel like they don't even know what they are pushing across with this one. Two Words: It isn't (yet)

 

Bluecoats:

I don't know how I feel.  I can tell this show is for real though.  I didn't think the brass book was all that demanding, but the visual was insanity.  Jazz running all over the place.  Plus, that had to be the best use of a prop ever, it's such a cool thing.  Battery was incredible, Rarick does great stuff.  Guard was on fire.  The costiforms...absolutely disgusting.  Worst ever.  I thought I hated last years, but seriously!  What did Stanbury even do with these!?  It was more like Stanbury a list at Walmart on how to put their costiform together and thats what they got.  What were they thinking?  

David Glasgow: Hey what were you guys thinking for costiforms this year?

Stanbury: Probably the WGI route again, what is the show about?

David Glasgow: Lines.  Jagged Ones.

Stanbury: Ok, sounds good, I have an idea!

David Glasgow: What is it?  Instead of the squiggle we have a jagged line?

Stanbury: Nope.  Suspenders.  And bowler hats.

David Glasgow: Hmmmmm................SOUNDS GREAT!!!!    What about guard?

Stanbury: Well, here at Stanbury we think less is more, so weve decided to suprise you.

David Glasgow:  Ok!  As long as theyre shiny!

 

I honestly hate WGI design.  This costiform is so bad.  Back to the actual show though after that tangent, I don't really know what to think.  It was kind of blah to me.  Impressive, but it didn't really do anything new for me, definitely my least favorite out of new era Bloo.  Maybe it will grow on me, but right now I think the answer lies in the west, but thats just MY opinion, please dont get worked up about MY opinion.  Samuel is my favorite drum major in DCI right now for sure.  Two words: Six Words

 

 

How I thought they should have placed:

1. Crown

2. Bloo

3. Cavies

4. Cadets

5. Blue Stars

6. Crossmen

 

What did this show changed for me?

Bloo isn't a bogus hype, lock for a medal, contender for a ring.  Cavaliers are serious medal contender.  Unfortunately, Crown is running a little lower in score this year, medal contender, I dont know about a ring.  Blue Stars will be knocking on some big doors this year.  Cadets aren't gonna have a huge placement jump.

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