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1. 2015 - Kinetic Noise My hands-down favorite show of all time. It has everything I could ever want. It makes me bob my head. The ballad is gorgeous. There's a stereo contra feature. I'm sold. 

1989 - the show that made me want to march them 2015 - jawdropping from beginning to end 1993 - one of the great ones from the swing days 2016 - Great Gig and finest collection of soloi

The shows were watchable, enjoyable, exciting, and performed with verve, intensity, and sincerity. Of course they deserve to be well thought of and still very respected.

Gonna start this now and edit to add descriptions later. I have a lot to say and 3 hours extra driving for an out of town meeting today.

The Bluecoats are my favorite corps and pretty much always have been. I connect easily with their show designs, know a few alum (one is extra close to me), and they are our local corps. Maybe there is a hint of bias but there isn't a Bluecoats show I don't like. I am going to rate the years I am familiar with (01-present) and throw in 2 classics that can't be forgotten.

1.TIE 2015 and 2017

Kinetic Noise- as the Bluecoats get set up they roll out all of these giant spheres- some with speakers in them and I both shook and scratched my head. Then they are introduced by a distorted electronic voice and I scratch my head again. Then the show starts and something beautiful happens. The opener is overstimulating and at times dissonant and there are just so many tiny pieces that make a beautiful puzzle. In true Bluecoats fashion Woods makes a heart stopping and emotional, and expressive ballad. The percussion feature is definitely my favorite of theirs and I love how it builds to the intense closer.  Certainly not a traditional show and I don't know how they pulled it off with all the tech and musical movement involved. I think it's their best execution of a show to date even if they scored higher in 14 and 16.

The jagged line- What an intense and fun show from start to finish. The athleticism required from the MMs is mind blowing to me. For the record this would have been a great, intense, fun show without the amps too.

3. 2001- Latin Sketches- After 2 down years the Bluecoats landed in 8th place (6th in brass...just ahead of PR) and haven't looked back since. They took a risk putting such and exposed piece like red cape tango on the field and it paid dividends. 

4. 2014- TILT is my mom's all time favorite show. It's the show that brought them from a great corps to a top competitor.  Hymn of Axciom is one of the greatest ballads of all time.  So expressive and powerful. Really cool show and show concept from start to finish.

5. 2016- Downside Up. Intense and cool show from start to finish. When the MMs rush out at the beginning you know it's going to be a high energy show. Great and complicated Latin rhythms at the beginning with him demand from the brass. Fantastic use of the trombone for great gig in the sky. Kinetic Noise raised the bar for innovation and this took innovation one more step forward.

6. 2008- the boxer. Who doesn't love watching the boxing rings around the field and following the story line to this show? The Knockout was so powerful for the members and the audience. My only question is why didn't they close with the boxer and keep Rocky in the front half of the show?

7. 2006- connexus what a wonderful and highly demanding show. The music is all Bluecoats and the visuals are in the marching demand style that was popular at the time. Clean, beautiful, and engaging from start to finish.

8. 2013

9. 2005

10. 1995

11. 1987

12. 2011

13. 2004

14. 2002

15. 2007

16. 2012

17. 2009

18. 2003

19. 2010


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With Bluecoats, it's all about the music!


Down Side Up (2016) - except for this show, where the striking verticality of the warped walls set this program apart.  Even without it, the show was a GE powerhouse, with some of the best music DCI has seen in a generation.  Great Gig in the Sky pushed a bunch of corps into using more recent rock and pop songs in their shows, and this is a *great* thing.  And having seen the drumline runthrough prior to Finals, they were playing some top-level stuff.

Caravan (2005) - this was an interesting transition year between the light and fluffy Bluecoats into the more mature and darker version of the corps that took off in 2007.  While the charts still scream jazz, they were a much darker set of tunes that made the corps feel older.  The music from Cirque du Soleil was a great choice.

The Jagged Line (2017) - prog rock in drum corps?  Yes, please!  The corps subtlely played with spacing and drill in this show, but most of it ended up passing right over the audience's head.  However, you can't deny it's just friggin' cool music.  Plus they had an honest-to-goodness old-school-no-brass drum feature in there!  Psychopomp is one of those tunes I keep humming to myself no matter where I am.

Honorable mention

Brave New World (2011) - The Creep opener!  <swoon>  The Harvest closer! <cheer>.  Everything in between!  <crickets>

Not so favorites

A Day in the Life (1992) - the switch to the dark blue uniforms was nice, but the guard, the visual and above all the ADD-style charts were not.  At all.

In Search of America (2013) - it wasn't quite the electronic-funky Coats of 2014, and most of the show was just a musical mess.  I get what they were going for, but it just didn't work. 

Threshold (2000) - Chicken or the egg - was the music subpar because it was a edge-of-Finals brassline, or were they an edge-of-Finals brassline because of the charts? 



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1. 2016: “Down Side Up” This show was packed with things that I generally loathe. Trombones, VERY costume-y uniforms, extensive electronics, and a large dependence on props. BIG props.

However, this show was pure lightning in a bottle. This show gave me every reason to hate it, but I loved it. Absolutely loved it. Every time I saw this show, it felt like I was seeing it for the first time. The vision the staff had to mount a production like this still amazes me.

2. 2014: “Tilt” This began a currently unbroken line of instant classics from the Bluecoats. If it weren’t for the juggernaut that was the 2014 Blue Devils, I think this would have won pretty easily.

3. 2015: “Kinetic Noise” I remember seeing this for the first time and thinking there was no way they’d ever outdo themselves in terms of innovation. Boy was I wrong.

The integration of the electronics was a stroke of brilliance. I’d often forget the electronics were there to begin with.

4. 2009: “Imagine” This was a very different Bluecoats than what we have today. But it was no less fantastic. 

5. 2010: “Metropolis: the Future is Now” It’s hard to believe how antiquated this seismic shift of a show seems now. That being said, it was magnificent show that came out of a largely unimpressive season.

Least Favorites: I have none.

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This will be the first and probably only time that I break beyond top 5 favorites and add HM's.

Top 5

2008 - The Knockout
2014 - Tilt
2015 - Kinetic Noise
2016- Down Side Up



1995 - Homefront: 1945
1996 - American Celebrations
2006 - Connexus
2007 - Criminal
2010 - Metropolis: The Future is Now



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  1. 2014 - Tilt
  2. 2016 - Down Side Up
  3. 2015 - Kinetic Noise
  4. 2017 - Jagged Line
  5. 2010 - Metropolis: The Future is Now
  6. 2007 - Criminal
  7. 2006 - Connexus
  8. 2009 - Imagine
  9. 2005 - Caravan
  10. 2001 - Latin Sketches


  1. 2000 - Threshold (ie. the only Bluecoats show that is actually BORING)
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Fun memory about Latin Sketches (2001) - when they did the Red Cape Tango in the middle, it has a pretty quiet fade in introduction then a fade out ending.  At the Alamodome that year, when they did the fade out, there were a few moments of absolute silence.  I mean, *nothing* from the audience.  That was pretty cool - means they definitely got everyone invested in it!


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59 minutes ago, losnickes said:

5. 2010: “Metropolis: the Future is Now” It’s hard to believe how antiquated this seismic shift of a show seems now. That being said, it was magnificent show that came out of a largely unimpressive season.


This is a great point. At the time, in Bluecoats circles, this  was an instant legendary show and moment. In so many ways, the very recent achievements of the Bloo team can be attributed to 2010. Design, recruiting, setting the next standard, etc.

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