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10 minutes ago, Woochifer said:

I've only seen Phantom in person a couple of times (2005 and 2008) when they came out west. But, I recall that those shows moved and engaged the audience in different ways. The 2005 Gershwin show was a joy to watch, while the 2008 Spartacus show was just gripping from end to end. I also respected that Phantom steered clear of the gimmickry that was starting to take hold at that time.

The '08 BD show looked like a much more difficult show, but they got too cute and high concept for their own good. It probably should have won just looking at that show objectively in a vacuum, but Phantom's show was such an emotional ballbuster that it couldn't be denied. And the sentiment behind earning Phantom's 1st outright title couldn't be denied either.

Just watching audience videos on Youtube, this year's Phantom show seems, as you said, flat. It's well executed, but something's missing. As as a side note, the props seem more in the way than something that adds to the show.

What I've seen so far of the Mandarins, their show is definitely not as clean. But, it grabs the audience's attention and demands notice. The intangibles are all there.

Yep, intangible is the right word. It's the overall emotional pull of the show. A good Drum Corps show makes you feel something, and I believe that is what hooks us to the activity.

When I saw PR in early June '96 at Toledo, I said 'they are gonna win this year'. Their show had that power that just pulled you in, even that early in the season. When Regiment came out West in '05, I flew up North to see them and they hooked me. So much so that I not only watched them in SoCal, but drove all the way out to Drums Along the Rockies, and flew to Boston. My seats at Finals were right on the 50, down low. It was a very magical experience watching them, and I'll never forget the way that they made me FEEL.

In '08, they came out West and I jumped on tour to volunteer. The show instantly grabbed me, I loved it. So much so that I joined back up on tour and got to stay on through Finals and watch the victory, firsthand. I knew the corps was going to win because of the emotion that they captured. It's that lightning in a bottle.

Corps that capture that electricity I believe deserve any bump it brings them. As you said, it's the intangible and what this activity is all about, moving the audience.

We all have those drum corps moments which are seared into our memories.

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57 minutes ago, tim_brandt said:

Corps that capture that electricity I believe deserve any bump it brings them. As you said, it's the intangible and what this activity is all about, moving the audience.

We all have those drum corps moments which are seared into our memories.

I probably came into this from a warped perspective, because the first drumcorps show I ever attended was highlighted by the uproarious 1992 Velvet Knights. That show was silly and hilarious and more akin to a live action Looney Tunes cartoon, with so many moments that I've never forgotten. VK had missed finals the year before, so they upped the ante with the gags and played with a determination to make it back into the top 12, which they did. BD and SCV were on the same program, yet VK got by far the loudest ovation. And I heard that the boisterous crowd responses followed them all season long until their now-legendary finals night performance when they debuted the prop shark eating the "fat lady" (who had been the showstopping closer all season, but met an untimely fate on finals night) and the crowd went berserk. A 10th place performance that made many all-time top 10 lists in the years that followed.

I had to recalibrate my expectations about drumcorps when I figured out that the clown corps like VK and the Bridgemen were not the norm.

For all the high concept arty shows that I've seen and liked, that 05 Phantom show was something different in that it was unabashedly joyful all the way around. That was conveyed from the field all the way up into the stands. Didn't have to overthink anything, I just sat back and enjoyed it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was supposedly the first time that Phantom went to a more jazz-influenced program.

Edited by Woochifer
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2 hours ago, Woochifer said:

For all the high concept arty shows that I've seen and liked, that 05 Phantom show was something different in that it was unabashedly joyful all the way around. That was conveyed from the field all the way up into the stands. Didn't have to overthink anything, I just sat back and enjoyed it.

My thoughts exactly... I loved that '05 show.

Their 2005 and 2008 shows... IMO, two textbook examples of how a drum corps can engage/entertain an audience... any audience.

Edited by Fran Haring
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10 hours ago, quijeros said:

In spite of the scores, I have to say this PR show is my favorite since Turnadot. It's just full of great musical moments throughout.

would you care to name one or two.  

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8 hours ago, BostonLUck said:

I think we have quite a few folks on here that are taking the designer criticisms a little too seriously. Nobody has said a single word about the performers -- in fact most have been very complimentary about the performers. 

Unfortunately, the fact remains:  this is a very poorly designed show. From music to guard, from props to electronics, it is poorly designed. 

Now again, it's a hard pill to swallow that our beloved Phantom Regiment has fallen into 12th place (respectively), but it is quite obvious from the design aspect. 

If Phantom's Board were smart, next season would be either a) a lot of new designer faces; or b) a lot of "seasoned" designers assisting these younger designers.  The most crucial of them being Will Pitts, goodness that music book just isn't up to par -- my best friend said it best the other day -- he said, "You know when you buy the generic cereal in the big bags? And it tastes almost like the real stuff... but isn't quite the real stuff? That's Will Pitts' writing"   :8_laughing: 

Not quite the "real" Phantom, but by-gosh they're trying to be. LOL.

(and I'll say it again... those PERFORMERS are killing it... nothing but positive vibes to them!)

Not that they are the only answers to PR's issues design wise, but had PR not lost Shaw and Rennick, I would be willing to wager PR would be in top 4 if not knocking on door #1.  So it is time for the organization to take a serious look at their design staff.  

I am amazed at how the young MMs  has progressed.  I can't say the same about the show design.

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10 hours ago, tim_brandt said:

"The show doesn’t really go anywhere. "

This.

It’d be cool if they used the props as portals to new worlds and they changed the music, guard, and visuals to reflect each new world they’ve entered. If that’s what they’re already doing, I just don’t see it. If they’re going for subtle, they should’ve consulted with Terrence Malick. He’s from the Rockford area. 

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1 hour ago, EricS said:

would you care to name one or two.  

The ballad. I'm not ashamed to say it makes me tear up every time. It's beautiful. 

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