Aug 5 Tour of Champions - Akron

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1 hour ago, cfirwin3 said:

Blue Devils 1988.  Iconic.

This is my favorite fake-out. Every time I hear a bass drum mark the four beats to march off the field now from any corps, I start hearing the ‘88 BD ending in my head (yes, this has been playing in my head every summer for the past 31 years...).

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Took my mom to the DCI premiere in theaters to expose her to her first "show". Wanted to get her somewhat into the activity but didn't expect her to be as blown away as she was (very happy she was I m

And that’s all from the 2019 Tour of Champions Akron competition! My next LIVE! From the Stands coverage will be from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the 2019 Drum Corps International

Hitting the road at 9:30am.  Time to introduce the kid to drumcorps.

Bluecoats at the Akron show were phenomenal, and the akron venue is the greatest venue. Please have this show here every year from now on and ditch massilon.  As much as i love the sound at Massillon because of the overhang, akron is just so much better for it all:  crowd size ( anyone have a total?) merchandise (Blooo’s souvie line was packed all night long) concessions and bathrooms, sound was still awesome, announcements and corps speakers all could be heard clearly (though the same woman announcer always cracks me up, she gets something wrong every year  i think she jumped the gun at the end of the cavies’s show lol)   Parking? Maybe a little unorganized from exchange street and i do think they weren't so efficient in getting everyone through quickly for bag checks etc.  but lots of police on the streets for traffic afterwards and it looked like corps had good spots for their trucks and busses, and the stadium is just beautiful and the entrance and exits of corps for set up etc looked so easy (compared to buffalo). And what an amazing crowd. They know how to watch and appreciate drum corps. No talking around me at all during a performance and then the applause and love they showed!!  I hope all the corps felt it.  What a great send off to Indy for all of them.   And the program was amazing. Bloo was pouring out the love for everyone who has supported them. That is a lot if work to put together.  All in all it was a great great night of drum corps.. the best way to enjoy summer. And bluecoats this year are inspiring.  

Edited by Jast45
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20 minutes ago, ajlemm said:

This is my favorite fake-out. Every time I hear a bass drum mark the four beats to march off the field now from any corps, I start hearing the ‘88 BD ending in my head (yes, this has been playing in my head every summer for the past 31 years...).

That was a phenomenal ending to an amazing show,  loved 88BD

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13 minutes ago, cfirwin3 said:

I Was enjoying time with family so I stopped posting after the first few.

I'd just like to say that these days, 12th place designs and executions are the championship shows from 20 years ago.  So as our resident "homers" speculate and posit reasons why particular corps aren't doing better and scoring higher... I'm telling you that it's just the environment... don't take your corps' placement and score personally.  As design grows in complexity and demand, the 'box' rubric ratings will shift in meaning... it's basic relativity.

Here is a short blurb for each:

Crossmen: solid writing and execution.  Dark and mean.  What these brass books demand and what the kids do with it is light years beyond the good ol' days.

Phantom Regiment: graceful on the chorale moments.  A bit more emotional 'angst' at times than what I am used to from them.

Mandarins: It's no fluke.  They are getting great instruction.  But why is everything so dark?!  3 shows in a row with pretty edgy content.

Blue Knights: very classy show.  As the guy behind me noted "I have no clue what's going on... but it's good".

Carolina Crown: after the Morricone duet my wife said "well that was perfect".  Pretty much sums them up.  The abstraction has them a bit isolated scoring wise.  I think they will remain untouched in 4th place without being caught by Boston or Cavaliers and without catching Santa Clara.

Boston Crusaders: the kid's favorite show.  She knows David and Goliath and was asking if he was going to lose his head... we weren't disapointed.  Great visual design!

Cavaliers: clear meaning of design and great execution.  This is not a struggling program.  It is scoring well in a field of tough competition.  Stop the fretting, Cavie fans.

Santa Clara Vanguard: Edgy edgy stuff.  Love the solo and small group work.  Some of the angry emoting takes me out of it.  I think it mostly had to do with the fact that nearly every program up to this point focused heavily on conflict and angst.  The visual package was great and the people talking about how they just stand around are apparently watching with their eyes closed.

Bluecoats: Crowd favorite by a mile.  If this hometown crowd is any indication of what to expect at finals, the GE judges are going to have a hard time withholding a dominant figure for them.  It was also nice to end the night of programmed angst and conflict with smiles and happiness.  All sections are super strong and the visual is read much better in person than on video.  Solos balance perfectly in a live setting and the old saying that video doesn't do it justice is still true (especially when it comes to musical critique).

I like this rendition of drumcorps.  People complaining that they dont play as much, don't move as much, dont scream and blast as much can go eat rotten eggs as far as I'm concerned.  What we have now is deeply engaging, and profoundly musical.  Amplification allows these soloists to do the hard work of being great musicians... NOT the easy work with LESS effort.  Solos have never sounded more beautiful and masterful in the history of the activity.  I watched a 12th place corps perform drill while playing that dwarfs the best efforts of the champions of the 90s... and this material wasn't even an impact moment of the show.  Shame on the self righteous critics for their careless nearsightedness.

Great show! Very impressive!

Great write-up, cfirwin3!  Appreciate the feedback from the show!   Looking forward to how it all unfolds during championship week.  It's going to be fun!

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I didn't read everything, but did anyone note Bloo's tumble? There was a quick ClusterFack, and somebody went down. She recovered very quickly, though.

DCI had BETTER get their spit together if they want to continue this TOC here. They moved it from Massillon due to the huge crowds. Really? FOUR ticket windows open? This might not be Ohio State, but the place is built to get more than twice as many in and out (welp, it's Akron football, but...). Luckily, somebody had the presence of mind to wander around with cash-only ticket sales -- and another grabbed some WILL CALLS ("I have last name 'J' here!") and helped moved the lines.

I'm not delving into a big review, but a few things stood out: Mando needs a heart. The crowd was way too tepid to that show. Don't put the cart before the horse, Designers.

Phantom's ballad just doesn't work. The arrangement is choppy, cloppy, interrupted with percussion, comes back in, and by that time, the moment is lost.

Four words: Blue. Knights. Can. DRILL! I'm rarely moved by them (*ducks slings/arrows*), but there is a lot of great marching. That huge rectangle that swiftly rotates? Tasty!

Boston tells a simple tale in a rather simple way. Musically speaking, they should finish in 6th. Don't play Bill Conti unless you have the brass horses. Ah, shaddap, Tad, and watch the guard. Holy Facking Moly!

Cavies are wonderfully musical. There's too much soft-and-pretty drill for me (and for the Gorgon theme), but they play exceedingly well!

(*REALLY ducking slings/arrows) SCV gave me a headache. Literally. They play too loudly. Bloo's encore was louder (and closer, as we moved). But the tone quality and intonation were spot-on. This is a 5th place corps. Even drums, though fantastic, are like Stewie Griffin: MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! YES! WE KNOW YOU'RE THERE! (Moments of subtlety are impressive. Hint hint.)

Three words: Crown. Will. Medal. They have a wonderful drill, and they'll most certainly win music this week. I'm not a fan of the ballad, but it's warm velvet on my face, so bring it.

One word: Bloo. Wait. 3 more: Oh. My. GOD. I saw BD last week and wanted a tie. No, Bloo needs to win DCI. I love BD, but this show makes me feel like I'm the only person in the stadium, and they came to perform for me. That's the best way to describe how compelling they are. What would make it better? Lose the "Hold Your Hand" singing, and put that into the hands of a mello player. And did they remove the TILT moment? We all missed it. Question: is there enough substance for the judges to put this over BD? I really think they play better, and they march well and guard well. Can't wait until Thursday!

PS: Did I coin the nickname "Mando?" It probably won't stick, but I dig it. 😁

Edited by Tad_MMA
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11 hours ago, year1buick said:

And a few others. I could see them moving up as well.

This is what they posted. 

1. The Cavaliers are being criminally underscored this season. Kinda crazy honestly 

2. Phantom's making moves 

I replied to the bold part which does not say they see them moving up, it says they are criminally underscored. I obviously did not agree with that 

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11 hours ago, dureau said:

I give up on DCI scoring method. It is just plain unjust. Slotting only hurts those under the top two or three. It is a farce. Give them the scores you have on the scoring cards and be happy with what you did as a scorer. Rediculous.

Were you able to see any score cards before they slotted them? Greendiculous. 

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Why are people so against dark shows? I wonder if it's a generational thing because I love dark shows 

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2 minutes ago, Cappybara said:

Why are people so against dark shows? I wonder if it's a generational thing because I love dark shows 

I think serious gets confused with dark a lot.  I'd really only call Mandarins dark this year off the top of my head, maybe some of what Cadets are doing in the 2nd part of their show.  Lots of very serious shows out there though.  I LOVE dark shows when they're done so well, I like a very entertaining and loose show like everyone else, but if everyone was doing that I would get kinda bored.  

Though if people want of Blue Devils are very fun, Bluecoats of course is a blast, The Cavaliers has some very fun moments, Blue Stars is very lighthearted, Crossmen is pretty much a rock concert on the field, Spirit of Atlanta has some fun moments, Pacific Crest is very high energy and let the hair down, Madison Scouts is very high energy, and Spartans in OC are a blast, Jersey Surf is very lighthearted, and Music City is also very fun.  There's a lot fun there mixed in with the serious.   

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