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mfrontz

The 1997 Thread

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For some reason, I didn't go to any competitions in 1997. The only live drum corps I saw was the Crossmen's preview show, which was not a bad show to see. 

Apparently I missed plenty of awesome.

Blue Devils (excerpt one) (excerpt two): When I was in 1992 Crossmen, the baritone section tried to march a rotating block. It was backfield and not the focus of anything, for good reason. When I watch the 1997 Blue Devils entire hornline rotate multiple blocks as if it were easy, I feel like some kind of drum corps impostor. This show is refined, classy, powerful, and executed to near perfection. And the story of Casablanca was imaginatively and compellingly portrayed by the guard (who won the non-judged auxiliary caption). 1st, 98.4.  

Cadets of Bergen County (excerpt one) (excerpt two): I actually prefer this show to both the 98 offering and to the Blue Devils. For some reason I just find it so cool. The GE judges did too, as they topped both BD and SCV by a full half-point in GE. Often this is enough for a win, but BD outpointed Cadets in every other ensemble and performance caption to the tune of 1.3. Nonetheless, this was the year Jeff Sacktig really came into his own in the visual department. 2nd, 97.6.

Santa Clara Vanguard: Vanguard tied the Devils for first at Quarters. This show is so dark, so mysterious, so evocative. It really was the beginning of Vanguard getting their swagger back after a few years in the wilderness (if one really can call 5th to 7th place 'the wilderness'). In any case, Vanguard came from far behind at the beginning of the season and tied BD for GE at finals, and gave us some incredible dissonant moments with 'Fog City Sketches.' 3rd, 96.9. 

Phantom Regiment: I always felt that it was so audacious to put 'The Ring' on the field. It would have been very hard, with any show, to top 1996's incredible story. Some pretty amazing things going on, but I'm not sure that using one flag was the best idea. A little too much black and gold, and a little less visceral emotion, but a show that is probably neglected and shouldn't be. 4th, 94.2.

Madison Scouts (Closer): Unfortunately, I don't know that I've ever seen the whole 'Pirates of Lake Mendota' show. I know that the ending was a crowd favorite, as the DM did a 'show the flag' callback and then took a shot of the audience with a disposable camera. In 2021 the drum major ought to take a selfie. A try for a little bit more of a thematic program yielded a similar competitive result, but also a similar crowd-pleasing result, and isn't that what 90's Madison was about? 5th, 93.9.

Crossmen: Another show that captured the hearts of the drum corps audience. Mark Thurston had moved on, but the drumline he'd trained worked well with its new staff and scored a 19.5 finals night, with some really exposed arranging. The color guard came into its own, and the hornline swung hard. What a championship weekend, as Crossmen tied the men of Madison for fifth at quarters, dropped to seventh in Semis, and then topped the Cavies for sixth at finals, 93.0.

Cavaliers: A very fascinating silent drill at the beginning (and end) of the show which probably would not be out of place at all in the 2020s. But the highbrow concept show didn't especially connect, and there were little ticks in execution which mightn't have been nearly so evident had previous editions of the Cavaliers not been so flawless. 7th, 92.8.

Glassmen: The first of the 'Gold' shows. A strong drumline and recognizable yet non-straightforward arrangements of George Bizet music led to an 8th place finish, 90.0.

Blue Knights: Music from the movie 'Ben-Hur' powered the corps to ninth place. Some nifty brass arranging and a drumline which was scoring right with corps who were scoring four or five places ahead overall. 88.2.

Magic of Orlando: A corps with a guard costumed to the nines, breaking the fourth wall with the audience, playing their parts, serious enough when needed, and full of effect. But the Velvet Knights weren't on the field in 97. Instead, this was the Magic of Orlando, mystery touring their way to New Orleans at Mardi Gras, and placing tenth as the late great Velvet Knights might have, 85.7.  

Bluecoats: There are times, like the second corps in at Finals, when you want straight-ahead jazz. The Bluecoats were there in 97 to provide for you. 11th, 85.6, with a notable 9 in brass performance.

Carolina Crown: Every newer corps needs to get its 27th Lancers on. In 1989 it was the five-year-old Star of Indiana. In 1997 the eight-year-old future champion Carolina Crown (not that anyone was thinking that at the time, not anyone we would have listened to anyhow) did its Brit thing and came in twelfth, 85.0, which is really a high score for twelfth place.

I will leave it to you all to talk about other corps, and share your experiences of being a fan, teacher, or performer, in 97, a summer I took off.

 

Edited by mfrontz
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97....not marching, anxious to see a lot of shows but...not nearly as many local shows as in the past.

spent the day before and the day of catching a lot of rehearsals before Hershey. Cadets were unreal. Bloo and Bones way back, but fun shows. Magic and crown with potential, and spent a lot of time checking out Boston...you could see something building.K Kavs Evita was fun, and Acadmie musicale and Les Etoiles beat Spirit

 

on to Allentown, and my first chance to experience the 2 night format...and oh my BD...and Madison with the Pirates show!! Phantom...i wanted to like it, especially after 96, but....Bloo improving and loved BK! Another standout was Pioneer

Saturday..wow Cadets got good, and SCV was building steam! Cavies Firebird was loved or hated and Crossmen were smokin! Gmen Farandole was a treasure and Magic was looking for Liza Jane! Crown still making progress too. 

 

Quarters...SCV tied BD! Crossmen tied Madison for 5th. Semis BD pulled away and SCV to 3rd,Madison and Cavies jump Bones. Finals BD for the gold, Crossmen back over Cavies, Gmen pop a 90!

 

lots of good shows, even down into the teens. fun year

 

 

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probably my favorite top 3 of all time

bd was impeccable top to bottom, and the little tiny bit Downey jacked from John Williams's Temple of Doom score was worth the price of admission. 

cadets were just joyous

and seeing scv back in the top 3 with such a cutting edge visual show made everybody in the stands know they were going nowhere but up from there.  

Edited by Lance

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I marched BK in 97. Fun summer! There have been several marching bands take musical ideas from our show that summer. 
I remember the first show we had with SCV. Boise IIRC. I remember thinking “they’re back!” I absolutely love that show! Everything about it is awesome. The drum writing and performance of the Casella/Gusseck era was in full force. Those guys were good! 

The opening statement from Cadets hornline and that drumline was jammin. Another show that I loved watching all summer.

BD was killing it right from the start. You just had a feeling that they weren’t going to be stopped. Those guys were so freaking good.

Crossmen were so much fun and Hannum has that drumline rocking too.

We went back and forth with Gmen all summer. They had a really nice show that was the start of an upward trend that ultimately landed them in the top 5 a few years later.

Bloo had a fun show. We saw them a few times that summer.... Crown played Terpsichore.... Spirit had updated arrangements of all the Ott classics.... Colts had a fun show.... 
We were somewhere in IL and were sharing a housing site with a small corps that I don’t remember. I only remember that their dads were smoking brisket and BBQ’ing for their kids and my mouth was watering all day lol BK fed is well, no complaints, but they weren’t smoking briskets for us! 

Ahhhhh fun memories of rooking out in 97!

Edited by seinphan
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Did the Allentown double header and was happy to do Semis and Finals in Orlando.  Though Carolina Crown ended up ultimately in 12th, corps 13-16 were something to see.  Colts were super fun with BS&T, Kiwanis treatment of Evita had some really cool moments.  One of my favorite Boston shows of that era, lots of emotion throughout.  Academie Musicale in 16th, but I think the guard was 9th at Quarterfinals, and rightfully so.  Spirit returning to the Friday show to kick things off was a great start.

Magic of Orlando on Friday is one of the all-time great rain hype shows you can see.  Tons of rain, tons of hype, hometown crowd, what a treat!

Personally liked Cadets more but BD was flawless.  Thought Madison did enough to beat Phantom but oh well.  Crossmen was a treat.  I was starting to grow up a little more intellectually.  With that, I loved SCV, and at the moment I wasn't sure I knew why, I just did.

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11 hours ago, mfrontz said:

Phantom Regiment: I always felt that it was so audacious to put 'The Ring' on the field. It would have been very hard, with any show, to top 1996's incredible story. Some pretty amazing things going on, but I'm not sure that using one flag was the best idea. A little too much black and gold, and a little less visceral emotion, but a show that is probably neglected and shouldn't be. 4th, 94.2.

Honestly, I was really "Bored of the Ring."

I wanted to like it.  There were things to appreciate about it, but it just seemed to lay flat.  1996 drained your emotions.  1997 seemed to be void of emotion.  The progression of pieces used seemed out of kilter - including the ending/non-ending.  

To top it off, they put the Drum Major in a cat suit.  Yeah, it got a hormone rise out of some, yet she was one of the finest Drum Major's that corps has ever had and they put her in a cat suit. 

Edited by Continental

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12 hours ago, mfrontz said:

Madison Scouts (Closer): Unfortunately, I don't know that I've ever seen the whole 'Pirates of Lake Mendota' show. I know that the ending was a crowd favorite, as the DM did a 'show the flag' callback and then took a shot of the audience with a disposable camera. In 2021 the drum major ought to take a selfie. A try for a little bit more of a thematic program yielded a similar competitive result, but also a similar crowd-pleasing result, and isn't that what 90's Madison was about? 5th, 93.9.

Talk about GE!  Loved this show!

There is a drill move in the middle of the show that resembles a wave that to this day is one of the coolest moves done on the field.

Check the video below at the 7:00 mark.

 

Edited by Continental

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1 minute ago, Super Don-O said:

1997

For me that means Crossmen.

I went to Finals in Orlando by myself in '97. I flew down, spent the days in Disney and the evenings watching the shows. After Finals I went to dinner with some other folks I had met in the stands, we talked and laughed for a while, and I mentioned I had a 2:00 flight the next day. Someone suggested I could go get on standby for an earlier flight, which sounded like a good idea. So I did.

I managed to get a seat on a 9:00am flight the next morning. When I took my seat I noticed the girl next to me was wearing a Crossmen jacket and had her medal around her neck. I told her how much I had enjoyed their show, and we struck up a conversation which lasted all the way to Bradley airport in Hartford. She told me about her summer, and school, and her dreams. Just before we were landing we hit some turbulence, and she grabbed my hand. The world stood still.

As we pulled into the terminal I screwed up the courage to ask her out on a date. It may have just been my imagination, but when I did I swear that every other conversation on that plane stopped. It was like everyone was holding their breath. Lucky for me she didn't shoot me down in front of everyone. She agreed to go to a DCA show with me that weekend.

There's a lot more to the story, but what it all comes down to is we're going to have our 20th wedding anniversary this summer.

Unfortunately we're going through a very difficult time right now. She has an extremely serious medical condition that we are frankly just trying to survive. If any of you have any spare karma to share we could sure use it right now...

For me 1997 will always be about the Crossmen.

awesome story and karma, prayers and juju...and any other good kind of vibe i can think of sent!

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16 minutes ago, Super Don-O said:

1997

For me that means Crossmen.

I went to Finals in Orlando by myself in '97. I flew down, spent the days in Disney and the evenings watching the shows. After Finals I went to dinner with some other folks I had met in the stands, we talked and laughed for a while, and I mentioned I had a 2:00 flight the next day. Someone suggested I could go get on standby for an earlier flight, which sounded like a good idea. So I did.

I managed to get a seat on a 9:00am flight the next morning. When I took my seat I noticed the girl next to me was wearing a Crossmen jacket and had her medal around her neck. I told her how much I had enjoyed their show, and we struck up a conversation which lasted all the way to Bradley airport in Hartford. She told me about her summer, and school, and her dreams. Just before we were landing we hit some turbulence, and she grabbed my hand. The world stood still.

As we pulled into the terminal I screwed up the courage to ask her out on a date. It may have just been my imagination, but when I did I swear that every other conversation on that plane stopped. It was like everyone was holding their breath. Lucky for me she didn't shoot me down in front of everyone. She agreed to go to a DCA show with me that weekend.

There's a lot more to the story, but what it all comes down to is we're going to have our 20th wedding anniversary this summer.

Unfortunately we're going through a very difficult time right now. She has an extremely serious medical condition that we are frankly just trying to survive. If any of you have any spare karma to share we could sure use it right now...

For me 1997 will always be about the Crossmen.

Your story hit the heart.  Thank you for sharing it. 

All the best to you.   Karma for you both. 

 

Edited by Continental
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