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Anyone else watching WGI guard finals tonight?

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I know it's anathema to some on this board, but this is my first season following WGI Guard and Percussion with any regularity.  I opted for the year round Flo for this and some other things. 

So, here's a thread to chatter if we like as we often do for DCI streams.

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Nowrin first up in Scholastic World. an elegant and gentle show with a outer space vibe.  Well performed, fairly standard design but some really nice unison release toss moves toward the end.

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Warren Coming on.  One of the many Indianapolis area schools in finals tonight.

They've got a circular checkerboard pattern on their tarp wit ha raised circular stage in the center and large chess pieces.

Nice use of the black uniform/white equipment constriction to use patterned and timed throws to create their visual pop rather than outright color.  They switch to sabres and deep purple silks (there's some purple in the tarp too).  The silks don't really read against the checkerboard until they go all silks and do a unison toss.  It's a sudden BOOM. 

Oh!  The stage rotates while they're spinning and tossing on it at the close.  That has to create some difficultly. 

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James Bowie up next from Austin, TX.


They've got a large white ball with black spots rolling over a black tarp with white polka dots.  I'm wondering if the drill is a 'hit your dot" style?

Oh there's some weird shapes in black with white dots too.  Seems surrealist in visual elements thus far as they set up.

Up close, the spots are fairly whimsical.  From high, it's sort of hard to actually see the members and their body motions clearly.  They do some nice work in pairs where one gets on another's shoulders and both work flags, even exchanging them in the sequence.  

The dots though...the dots.  They could have a rifle or sabre drop and you wouldn't see it from high.  Which is a shame because they're really nailing some very high tosses and complicated work very cleanly.  It would read amazing with a few less dots.

ERMERGERD..Neon sherbet members with neon silks and black dots.  The color!  They're all going color now.  Very strange ending though as they bring out some white cloth (with black dots and sort of ...wrap in it a bit?  

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Miamisburg taking the floor.  

Tarp has the peach color of a gym floor but with burnt orange edges at the top and bottom.

They're uniformed in dance audition outfits, complete with Flashdance style legwarmers and audition numbers pinned on. There's some barres along the back.  

Solist at the open clearly has ballet training. The equipment comes out and some really elegant sabre and flag ripples. They've moved the barres out acorss the floor in a diagonal but there's some unfortunately messy placement.  it's cleaned up on the next move of them though, then they're moved to the front.  Lots of ballet callouts in their body work. In the soloists and ensemble as well.  Lots of mixed equipment work in this design.  I don't think they've gone unison yet. It's very entertaining to the eye.  

The close has the soloist tearing off her audition number having 'made it.'  Very sweet show.

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Northview up next.

Rather than a single tarp, they have a long runner placed at a slight diagonal and three rectangles placed behind as rays.  Pastel purples and blues for those tarps.  Their unis are an orange yellow and pink pants with stripped tops.  Some lime green stools in a row as they start their show with some intriguing body work in near silence with a jazzypoppy Stand By Me playing softly in the background. The crowd response to their really big moves (which are many) stands out and feels real hype.  

They've moved from the left rectangle to the center as things begin to build in pace, volume, and intensity.  Stand By Me now popping as a bit a of a clap along jam.  Sudden silence on a HUGE toss and catch. The crowd eats it up.  They're on the right rectangle now and the work is mesmerizing how they seem to be moving in independent moves then snap into groups and then a unison halt move.  Silks coming out as they spread the floor now.  It's really a well choreographed show!  

Another silence on a toss, and now a strings entrance as they move to the front runner with the stools doing rifle and dance work the whole time. Very cute show!


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Alaya on.

White tarp with a black ink swipe.  Guard members in black lay on the swipe. A single figure on a huge black chair draped in cloth arises then removes her cloth as the members all "awaken."  

Rifles come out (ooh a drop on the catch but good recovery) The gentle piano and strings make this like a dream.  The unison rifle tosses are spot on.  Height and everything.  Two members slowly marching a black cloth across the diagonal then running it off as they reach the center.  Flags and rifles popping gently to this lullaby in a black and white kaleidoscope.  Fast equipment work with slow body motion to this is a really nice effect.

Wow.  Unison flag work across the floor was super.  Another slow march of black cloth across the white to close the show as they end in a lift stack.  

(by the way, don't miss their percussion this year.  They have a similar black/white color scheme with mesmerizing effect)

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Standing O for Stoneman Douglas as they come on. HUGE roar from the crowd.  Get the tissues ready.

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Oh interesting.  A soloist starts spraying colored sand out of a bag and they're tossing it up from the tarp.  I guess you can do that in these shows as long as you're on the tarp.  No baby powder penalty.  They're on a pastel peach/sand tarp by the way with round bass drum looking platforms 

The opening flag work is rapid and clean and wow. The crowd is ready to cheer this group up.   More sand effects and HUGE rifle tosses.  They're nailing this show and you can see it in their faces.  There's joy out there on the floor.  BIG shouts as they hit a pause point and go in to the closing formation.  Lots more sand painting to close.

The soloist closing on the platform in raw tears.  And the floodgates open for all of them as they start moving everything off.  Great show MSD, you've done your school proud in a tough tough tough year. 

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Have been watching the whole weekend, some standouts for me:

  • Scholastic A:
    • Leander was about as good as it gets, obviously an A show but a really really really good one.  Their 99.4 broke the Scholastic A record which was a 98.85 from 2000 and is the 3rd highest recorded score in WGI history.  Last 99+ was in 2014 from Onyx.  Some of the most confident rifle work I've seen all weekend.  
    • Marian Catholic, Decatur Central, and Green hope were all fantastic as well.
    • AA Stagg was small and mighty defined, eight or nine members and super exposed but so confident and clean.  Nice!  
    • Flushing had a cute little ugly duckling show, Creep worked super well for that.  
  • Independent A:
    • Didn't get to see a ton here, but the Pacificaires were just pure and beautiful.  
  • Scholastic Open:
    • Park Vista was SO powerful, incredible message and makes you really think about the way were are taught in school and some of the really messed up (if you agree with their message) contradictions in our society.  And they looked SO confident.  
    • Eastlake was SO fun!  Their graffiti show is one of my favorites across any class, the flag feature on the ladders?  WOW!  
    • I loved the All By Myself portion of West Shore School Districts show, and same.  
    • LOVED Fishers music from the movie Swiss Army Man, really relaxing and pure show.  
    • Really enjoyed Cleveland's Joan of Arc show.
    • Klein Oak was last years A champion, this years show as a lot like that.  Pure and clean and beautiful.  
  • Independent Open:
    • Only got to see the top few groups here but UCF Pegasus Open and CGT Denton, WOW!  So confident and interesting like their world class brethren.  Two different beasts performed so well.  
  • Scholastic World:
    • Northview's show is super fun, really like the way they use the different tarps on their stools.  Neat.  
    • The ovations that Stoneman Douglas get are everything that's right with the activity.  So heartwarming.  And they're good too, there is a super cool toss sequence towards the end of their show that is insane!  At least to my untrained guard eye.  
    • Tarpon Springs equipment ability is insane, can see a lot of Blue Stars guard in what they do since they share Shapiro.  
    • Shenendehowa is really intriguing, that flag feature on their spinning platform is super cool.
    • WEST BROWARD!  SO FUN!  Their Downtown show is easily one of my favorites, attitude, confidence, roller skates, and super cool tosses galore.  Such an entertaining and fun show from them!  
    • Flanagan is stronger than they've been since they won a few times, really nice show.  The interaction with the props, especially with the flag work is super cool!  
    • Carmel is so quirky and weird and I love that about their show, it's such a nice contrast to two super understated shows currently sharing the medal podium.  
  • Independent World:
    • Interplay is very thought provoking and relevant right now, beautiful show.  
    • Bluecoats Indoor reminds me a lot of their drum corps in the summer.  Loud, bombastic, exciting, entertaining, and just impossible for me not to love.  They look like they're having an absolute blast out there.  
    • I love Fantasia's Judy Garland show, just super pretty.  
    • I really enjoy AMPs Godfather show, super exciting.  
    • I enjoy Etude a lot as well, enthralling and I love the GOT music from a very exciting episode.  
    • CGT DALLAS!  SO exciting and entertaining, easily a fan favorite and one of my favorites since I've started following the activity two years ago.  It's never perfect from the sheer amount of tosses and things attempted, but they're really close to knocking on the door of a medal with a strong performance.  Just absolutely enthralling watching them attempt that.  
    • The top is so tight with three super different shows!  Blessed Sacrament is very pure and technical, Pride of Cincinnati is pure and understated grace, and Paramount is so unusual and exciting!  All three could win and all three are great.  Excited to see who claims it!  
Edited by DrumManTx

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