Recommended Posts

  • Replies 57
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Disclaimer, have definitely watched every show post 1972 so I'm not just listing a lot of recents because of lack of exposure......I just really like what they've done as of late.  The way they layer,

This was the point I was half expecting to read, "...and she actually THREW it!"

I found this article from the Smithsonian's website several years ago.  In it, there is a link that takes you to a section of the 2014 Felliniesque show.  Listening to that small section was what re-i


1988: In my opinion, it doesn’t get any better than this. Even if they were wearing gray.

2011: “The Beat My Heart Skipped” This was a decent show visually, but a FANTASTIC show musically. I listen to this one frequently.

2009: “1930” Great music, brilliant visual design, and an ingenious use of chairs made for one of the best championship shows of all time. And, quite deservingly, one of the highest scoring shows in history.

2014: “Felliniesque” This show was just flawless. While I was mildly annoyed it outscored my favorite show of all time (Cavies ‘02), I could not deny the mastery of this design and performance.

2017: “Metamorph” That ballad alone earns this show a place on this list.

Least Favorites:

2010: “Through a Glass, Darkly” Visually, this show is stunning. Musically, this show is unlistenable.

2016: “As Dreams Are Made On” While I don’t particularly enjoy the trombones in drum corps, there are instances where it doesn’t bother me too much. In this show, however, I found them to be obnoxious. Beyond that, I just wasn’t too into the music in this one. 

2003: “The Phenomenon of Cool” This show seems to be beloved by many. I don’t know what it is, but this one just never landed for me.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Woo!  So many to choose from...

Favorites -

1989 (Ya Gotta Try, If We Were In Love, Allegre, Johnny One Note) - this is probably the last of the "classic" Devils sounding shows.  They took on more of a nightclub band role for it, and it's just wonderful music.  There are some nifty *big* drill moves in the show, too.  Not only my favorite BD show, but my favorite corps musical book ever. 

As Time Goes By (1997) - I love this show for the twist on the classic jazz scoring.  One Night in Bangkok gives the show a much darker tone, while Night in Tunisia is BD at its best.  The chase scenes give the program a little more contemporary "oomph," and of course the down ending, which BD doesn't do that often.  So - a little bit of everything!  And those diamond forms... yowza! 

One Hand, One Heart (1998) - when I first saw this show midseason, I didn't care for it at all.  Too much classical, not enough jazz.  Then it ear-wormed its way into my brain and hasn't let go for about 20 years.  Especially looking back, it's a brilliant mash up of Romeo and Juliet / West Side Story.  The music was rock solid, and while the visual didn't have those championship "wow" moments that you look for, you were definitely going home humming this one.

Honorable mention

The Phenomenon of Cool (2003) - well, at least the opener.  The opener is sheer brilliance, and one of my favorite drum charts ever.  The rest of the show just loses me, though.  It's not near as interesting, especially as it's mostly derivative of other corps' repertoires. 

Not-so-favorites -

Through a Mirror, Darkly (2010) - by far the most unlistenable show BD has ever put on.  It has no flow whatsoever - the show drops off a cliff about 3 minutes in during Laura and never really recovers.  The end creeps up with no real build to it - the whole thing felt more like a "hey, look what we can do" than a coherent program.  :(

ReRite of Spring (2013) - One of the most o_O shows in DCI history.  The shame of it is, I found out early about the source music, and went and listened to the album.  There were some spectacular jazzy bits and solos all through the album that were the real meat of the work, and all of it got cut for the field show, leaving just Rite of Spring. 

Constantly Risking Absurdity (2008) - Saw this one live at Finals, and it left me scratching my head every time.  There was a major disconnect between the music and the visual, and I still feel the judges were more in love with the "idea" of BD that year than the actual on-field product.  Can't deny performance quality, but I thought Phantom should have just hammered them in GE. 


  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Easiest for me to break this up into "before I started following drum corps" and "after I started following drum corps. For reference, the first show I ever went to live was Dallas in '05.

-2008: I spent most of the season thinking this show would break the high score record. I wish they had stuck with this style visually more than they have--it had the right balance (pun very much intended) of body movement, staging, and straight-ahead drill. And BD doing "I Will Wait For You" was absolutely wonderful.

-2011: I enjoyed 2008, and was delighted by 2008...but 2011 was the first BD show I fell in love with. So good musically! Such interesting twists on classic drum corps structure (soft percussion feature, "I Say a Little Prayer" as a straight-up concert number to a certain extent, "Wives and Lovers"--so delightful). I wish they hadn't made some of the changes they had through the season (the added "...and a house is not a home" voice-over always kills me when I listen to it, for example; also the solo going out of the opening "House is Not a Home"). It was nice to see BD do something that had a giant, aching heart at the middle of it, in a way they hadn't in my time watching, and wouldn't again until...

-2014: THAT TRUMPET SOLO IN LA STRADA. Also THEY COMMISSIONED A GOODWIN ORIGINAL (and this was by far the best of the three). Fantastic guard work throughout (the exchanging rifles across heights! The runway walk in La Strada! THE TAMBOURINE FEATURE!!!!!) BD always executes, but this one was on another level even for them.

-2015: There's always a show each year that makes me cry, because I am the sort of person who cries at drum corps shows. There's a few usual suspects (Troopers and Madison, primarily). But occasionally one will surprise me. This one was one of them. I never, ever expected BD to make me cry. But it turns out (1) "Children Will Listen" will always make me cry, and (2) BD can pull off Sondheim very, very well (which I never expected--never seemed quite their style). And then they added Clara.

After the tour premiere, I expected 2015 to be a rough year for shows, which happens (I'd say 2012 was a relatively weak year for drum corps the same way it was a relatively weak year for movies, for example--2009 is the other one that particularly stands out as weak in my mind). It was anything but rough come Finals, and BD was a big part of that.

-2017: The Blue Devils did an off-the-line opening with quotes of past shows, then played Flight of the Bumblebee, then did a straight-up concert number of "Everything Must Change." I didn't particularly care for the drum break/closer (I'm meh on samples, and the jazz break at the end always felt abrupt, like "oh, this is where we have our jazz break now," rather than emerging organically from the music), but I didn't need to. I saw it live twice (as well as in the theater broadcast), and I only had one think to say each time: "eighteen."

HM: 2013. Way more listenable than you might expect, given that it's a jazz Rite of Spring that was built as much around the visual as anything.


Before I started following drum corps:

-1986: Channel One. 'Nuff said.

-1992: When a Man Loves a Woman. 'Nuff said.

-1998: One of the best arranged (if not *the* best arranged) drum corps shows ever. Certainly the best arranged BD show, just in terms of how the two sources wove together practically seamlessly. That opening brass choir is everything I want from a drum corps hornline--the fact that they followed that with an excellent show to go with was icing on the cake.

-1999: first Devils show that ever really landed for me. Such wonderful percussion work! Such a varied musical repertoire! THAT BALLAD! And--shouts to Tom Blair (assuming he directed 1999): the fantastic camera cut after the sixth movement starts, when you hear the underlying tom cadence, but don't know where it's coming from, and then cut to a down-the-line shot of the quads playing the djun djuns from the beginning--very well done. Also one of the more interesting BD show for me because it's one of the few cases where I saw both early-season and late-season versions of the show (shout-out to whoever put the lights out performance on the Internet, because that is excellent).

-2000: This doesn't really feel like a BD show--it always felt more to me like what Blue Stars should have done after "Houdini" (instead of the Bourne show). But, again, so very, very well done. That pit accelerando in the closer is bloody wonderful.


Least favorites:

-So, I have the CDs from 2005 on my hard drive. And I took to listening to BD 2005 a lot because it worked out really well tempo-wise for setting pace on an exercise bike. There's some fantastic music in there. So I figured, "hey, maybe this show isn't as bad as I thought." Then I found a video of it on the internet somewhere and watched and...nope, no, it actually is the worst designed BD show of this millennium. Great music, though. And a bunch of ideas that later wove themselves into better BD shows (this is the first instance, I believe, of the soft drum break that made its way back into 2011, for example).

-2006: Just an all-around meh.

-2010: I got what they were going for, and they executed well, but...there's a reason Stan Kenton only performed "Glass City" once live.

-2012: Again, achieved what they were going for, but not necessarily the most entertaining.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a tough one.


Top 2 (not sure order): 2003 and 2004

3. 1994

5. 1999

5. 2008

6. 2000

HM: 1995, 2001, 2002, 2007, 1992, 1986, 1976

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 - 1993 best horn book and performance ever...very underrated visual program

2 - 1988 classy, classy, classy

3 - 1992 some early 90s visual cheese but you cannot go wrong with Big, Bad, and Blue

4 - 2009 knew this was the winner and would break 99 from my first viewing...kept getting better from there

5 - 2014 flawless design and execution.  I liked 2009 more...personal tastes

6 - 1994 vintage BD...everything was so aggresive

7 - 1999 another vintage BD where there is really nothing to dislike...only issues was it ran into a godizilla-esque SCV rampage on finals night

8 - 2003 one of my favorite overall musical packages in DCI...just so cool

9 - 2001 not a fan favorite but musically & visually this was so different for BD at the time plus it was so #### clean...judging sheets with derived achievement was not in their favor at time

10 - 1991 musically this show was at least a decade ahead of its time....percussion ugh....


Least favorite...2005 "don't forget to call your mother"  


Edited by Sideways
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ftwdrummer said:

-1992: When a Man Loves a Woman. 'Nuff said.


I forgot about '92!  That one goes in my honorable mention list as well.  Cuban Fire was just an awesome set of charts to play, and of course the closer...

(And I thought 2005 was a great show!  The narrator totally sold it - he had the perfect voice for what they were trying to do.)


Link to post
Share on other sites


1992- That closer (When a Man Loves a Woman) alone lands it on my favs list.

2017- From design to execution, and oh yeah, those soloists, and that ballad, and well just sit there and let us blow your face off!!!

1976- Channel One Suite...enough said

2003- From the beginning snare solos, to the hot closer.


Link to post
Share on other sites

The range of opinions on 2005 is just Yowza!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.