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mfrontz

Allentown Friday from afar

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Music City - love the accessible show, the flags, the effort, and 'Imagine.' Nice work. It sounds like someone's sending a SWAT team to deal with the mice infestation though.

Genesis - laptop was giving me issues so I could only watch them on fuzzy hi-cam and didn't really get to see a lot of the work. But even over Flo I put Genesis firmly in Box 1 in the Cosmology Content subcaption. The 'Mother Nature' character speaks to humanity as if she were a creator, but 'Mother Nature' has rarely if ever been understood as a creator in the sense of, say, the biblical God. Absent a creator God who in some inscrutable way placed humanity into nature as somehow integral to and separate from it, humanity is simply a part of nature. Within that cosmology, then, it makes no sense for Mother Nature to 'lecture' humanity as if humanity could be distinguished from her and was offending her. Perhaps we are meant to see the character of Mother Nature as a deeply conflicted and perhaps schizophrenic personality. And don't tell me this is off topic and not about drum corps, because evidently in 2019 it is. It may well be appropriate that we are talking about a corps named 'Genesis.' 

Madison Scouts/Troopers/Academy: These corps are in a group because the underlying issues are the same for these corps: kids are learning how to perform. That's fine in and of itself. What I would like to see is a show design that makes sense, along with an identity developed for these corps that remains for more than one year. There is nothing for me to latch on to, and so most of what I do is end up finding ticks. Somewhat Flo's fault? Yes. My fault? Perhaps. I did love Madison's closer and the soloists for the Troopers. And, God help me, the Tarpers' Troopers' tarps looked beautiful under the lights at that time of night. That having been said, ban all tarps.

Blue Knights - It will take multiple watchings for me to find all the nuance in this show. BK has an identity. They use electronics and voiceovers, brass and percussion, colorguard and visual to create a aural and visual landscape that's unlike anything any other corps does. They are unique. It is the drum corps equivalent of guided meditation. You're into it for twelve minutes and you wake up. You're not really sure what happened, but you feel great.

Blue Stars - Awesome drill. Imagine what it would look like if the corps hadn't bought their uniforms on discount from Gander Mountain. I do credit them for bringing spats back to the activity. I honestly am waiting for their current phase to be over, because I could really love this drum corps. Other people love them, so maybe I'm the problem. 

Blue Devils - They have the best 'wow' moments of any show this year. The opening rifle tosses are electric. I'm not really sure how to describe in English the second movement with the falling and rising props and the guard on them. The drumming with the clogs is fantastic. Musically, the show is a tour-de-force of how to integrate the traditional and non-traditional drum corps elements. This would be a clear winner if not for a certain band corps from Liverpool, England Canton, Ohio. Even so, they may well claim 19 in '19.

Santa Clara Vanguard - It is really hard to win for the first time in a long time and then come back the next year and top what you'd done before. We can count on one hand the corps that have repeated. But in this amateur's opinion, there's no way they should have been topped by BD in brass. I love the ending; it's so different from even last year's major section - perhaps it's the key it's in. I will listen to this show repeatedly in the off-season. Watch it? Not so much. I do find it amusing the people coming out of the woodwork whining about how Gail Royer would never have stood for this. It's not like his corps won every year.

Bluecoats - I count this show among one of the best-composed drum corps shows in history; it's right there with 1984 Garfield Cadets, 1995 Cavaliers, 1999 Vanguard, 2008 Phantom Regiment, and 2014 Blue Devils. The pacing of the show is perfect. The silence, the sound, the screams. The members are performing the snot out of it. I unashamedly want them to win. If they don't, it will still be one of the most well-remembered and beloved shows in DCI history. 

My enjoyment - Bluecoats, Blue Devils, Blue Knights, Vanguard, Blue Stars, Troopers, Scouts, Academy, Music City, Genesis.

Apparent (from Flo) crowd enjoyment - Bluecoats, Blue Devils, Vanguard, Blue Stars, Blue Knights, Scouts, Troopers, Academy, Music City

Performance levels (from Flo) - Bluecoats, Vanguard, Blue Devils, Blue Knights, Blue Stars, Academy, Troopers, Scouts, Genesis, Music City

Looking forward to tonight - won't see all the corps but should be watching Phantom and after. Hope the weather holds...

 

 

Edited by mfrontz
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Thank you for this review!  Nice observations.

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Your description of the Blue Knights show is right on point!  Enjoy reading all your witticisms...cheers.

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Great review!! Agree about BD and Bloo. Bluecoats design team just hit the ball out of the park by a mile this year. Incredible design. BD's design is also amazing. They just do it every year. 

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