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Did you tie up your phone line in early July waiting in endless online queues to download audio recordings of early-season shows (at 56.6 kps) on this thing called Napster? After all, the mid-season CDs wouldn't be out until East...

Did you argue on RAMD about banana weapons, and George Hopkins's idea that DCI should eschew rifles because they were redolent of violence? 

Were you hyped for (and disappointed by) the 'judge-cam' for the percussion field judge?

If so, you may have been a DCI fan in 2001!

The one thing we knew going in is that there would be no ties for first. Fearing a disgruntled fan base, DCI decided that GE would be the tiebreaker (I think?) in case of a first-place tie. I don't know what would have happened had the corps tied in GE. It's possible that I'm wrong.

I saw three shows this year, all at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. At the early-season show, Cavaliers placed second to Blue Devils, but I had this feeling it wasn't going to be that way when finals rolled around. Sure enough, the Cavaliers 'cornered the market' on the high DCI ranking come Buffalo time. J. Birney Crum stadium was undergoing an extensive renovation, so Philadelphia was also the site of DCI East. Loved all the offerings. Phantom and Festive Overture hit me where I live. Vanguard brought us into a 'New Era.' Crossmen! 'Late Night Jazz' was cookin'! How about that Cadets drumline and the flugel soloist for Glassmen? Boston with John Adams and 'Gabriel's Oboe.' Carolina Crown rolled tires on the field. And more! 

Did you leave Buffalo (or turn off the PBS broadcast) satisfied, ready for a fall of band and football, looking forward to November auditions, with no idea of what was about to happen in our country and the world? 

If so, you were a DCI fan in 2001.

 

 

 

 

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When it comes to horn line years, in my opinion it seems like 2001 gets overlooked. The top three brass this year, BD, SCV, and Cadets absolutely blew the house down. 

The most important statistic of 2001 is, of course, that it was the last time DCI would exist without DCP there to talk about it.  On a personal note, I got to see most of the corps in '01 in San Anto

Before I dive into the shows, there's one moment from 2001 that will always stay with me.   Quarters, at INT...I am walking in the souvie area/festival marketplace or whatever the hell they

When it comes to horn line years, in my opinion it seems like 2001 gets overlooked. The top three brass this year, BD, SCV, and Cadets absolutely blew the house down. 

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The most important statistic of 2001 is, of course, that it was the last time DCI would exist without DCP there to talk about it.  On a personal note, I got to see most of the corps in '01 in San Antonio, and of course have watched the DVD's and listened to the CD's for decades now.

Cavaliers had maybe the weakest performance of their championship shows, though I would personally put this one still above 2000.  Where they might have been behind in music, they were so far in front in visual it wasn't a race.  (Again, personally.)  200 bpm backwards in a collapsing triangle into the bottom corner, anyone?  Yikes.  The drum feature was usually the one that brought the house down, though my favorite moment (they called it "The Matrix") didn't get much of a rise out of the crowd.  (In the intro funk section, where the whole block moves left while the individual rows spin around inside of it.  Holy cow.)  

Blue Devils and Cadets tied.  Of course they did.  Can't be a DCI season without ties during that era.  Blue Devils' Awayday show has actually aged pretty well if you watch it now, though the music definitely was not near as exciting as 2000.  Cadets threw everything at the wall, and most of it stuck.  Their version of Farandole is still the one I sing to myself.  Neither really felt like they challenged for first throughout the season.  

Vanguard felt locked into 4th, but the show is a fun ride.  Jug Blues and New Era Dance of course stand out for being dark but fun.  (New ... Era... New Era.  New, New, New... New Era.)  Again in hindsight, this would have been more fun of a concept these days with all of the electronics that could have been tossed in.  

Glassmen went *really* dark, and to be honest, pretty boring with Imago.  Well, boring except for the AMAZING FLUGELHORN FEATURE.  If you're watching the show, skip to the ballad, then it's ok to stop after that, unless you like stab stab... stab stab... stab stab type of music.

Phantom Regiment climbed from the year before with a little more complex music than the year before.  Festive Overture was, of course, the showstopper, but the whole Concerto for Orchestra was a neat, sinister ride up to the big finish.  Definitely worth watching.

I know in my recaps I tend to bag on the Crossmen, but 2001 is right up there with the best programs they've ever done.  From start to finish it was a high-octane race for the high brass, and they just nail it.  Fire Dance, in particular, is both edgy and old school in all the good ways.  This one is on my All Time Playlist.  (TBH, it's not a very long list, either.)

Bluecoats were amazing to see in live performance.  At the A-Dome, there was complete and total silence during the beginning of Red Cape Tango.  Like swallow-up-the-sound silence.  Very, very cool.  The whole show had a great flow, and felt way shorter than it actually was.  Total reversal from 2000, and of course the rest is history.

Boston Crusaders had the misfortune in San Antonio of going on during the final block with the top corps, and it hurt them bad.  It's another show that, in hindsight, would probably be brilliant with electronics and amplified pits.  (They did use Marimba Spiritual again during their SOS program.)  At the time, especially after the headliner act that Red was in 2000, it felt like a huge letdown.

Crown reinvented themselves... again... going heavy on the symphonic orchestral stuff.  History warps our judgement - at the time, it was an okay if not electrifying show.  Looking back over decades, it was just another year paddling themselves along until they really hit the big time in '03.  Great opening drum feature, though, but I'd have still had them behind Madison.

Madison said "screw it" and did what Scott Stewart wanted.  Musically, the show is a delight and has all sorts of fun only-in-drum-corps moments.  (Timpani player doubling the quad feature in the pit!)  Visually, the show was a mess, and the guard was particularly small and suffering.  I do drink the Kool Aid - I do feel they were getting unfairly punished by judges for the corps' outspoken-ness against the judging system.  But, they didn't help themselves in performance, either.

Colts went hard into a medieval-themed show that wasn't going to revolutionize drum corps, but told a coherent story from start to finish and had a brilliant ballad to go with other memorable moments throughout.  This one felt like a "strong" 12th.

Overall, I liked way more of the top 12 than I didn't.  Especially next to 2002, I don't know if I'd put it with the strongest Finals lineups of all time, but it's definitely in Tier 2.  

Honorable mentions - Spirit went modern and kind of Southern with Ghost Train Tryptich, and ... it actually worked for them.  It felt like a reinvention at the time, and they did managed to sustain it for a while.  Blue Knights tried to go lighthearted and tripped over their own feet.  Luckily, they learned from their mistakes and came back with one of the darkest of the dark shows ever, and it was gorgeous.  Southwind tried to capture lightning in a bottle again, with only partial success. Pioneer had one of their last competitive shows before falling off a cliff.  And Capital Regiment appeared waaaay off in the distance, running towards the group like Lancelot.

Next year - DCP!!!  and cavaliers set a record and other things too

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Before I dive into the shows, there's one moment from 2001 that will always stay with me.

 

Quarters, at INT...I am walking in the souvie area/festival marketplace or whatever the hell they called it then.....talking to Donny Allen and Tom Peashey walks up. We had been discussing where Spirit may end up, and Tom told us Jason Lowe had passed away. Jason never got to DCP, but he was beloved by most on RAMD...a brave young man taken from us by cancer way too early on what would have been his age out. So there you have 3 guys aged Tom to me ( trying to be nice in case TP is reading LOL) standing there crying. As those we knew passed by we told them and they joined us. Drum corps didnt matter. in fact i forget who it was said during Spirits run it got cloudy, then the sun came out...had to be Jason.

 

When the corps performed at semis, they had black armbands on, and the internet then wasn't like today, so word spread by mouth......and that corps got a HUGE ovation coming out, and a lot of shouts of "do it for Jason" and even a "tickbox" or 2. And that corps played their heart out. No, they didn't make finals ( should have), but those kids and their performance allowed a whole ot of people feel good about drum corps and life again. because Jason's passing brought a lot of people down

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Now the shows:

I was at the Buffalo season opener and saw the Cavies and Cadets to "break the tie"...i was amazed Cadets won.

I too hit the Philly show in June, and was amazed BD won by as much as they did. It was a fun show, but Four Corners and the Cavies were amazing! Cadets were fun, but not 2000. Boston in June looked to be following up on 2000 nicely...the ballad was to die for. Crossmen also were fun, but I wasn't sure it had the legs. I wasn't a fan of Crowns show, but there was talent...and Spirit! Oh I loved Ghost Train!!

 

a week later in Hershey...Crossmen on top of Boston and yeah ok, Bones, the show is showing some legs! Bluecoats under them, and man Red Cape tango to this day is an underrated gem. if they can clean it.....the spread between Crown and Spirit baffled me.

 

I skipped East and boom finals week!

 

2/3 finals...Wow Mandarins! actually the whole top 5 in D2 wow! Bummed Surf didn't move on...loved Blue stars and Raiders too!

 

quarters: yes Caves yes! I gladly stole hat drum solo idea 2 years later...and inserted it into the Machine no less! BD Cadets both good, but not that level. New Era...SCV loved it, especially the 87 back sticking nod! Glassmen...good corps, show didn't stick with me like 98/99. Phantom and Festive Overture, and Crossmen on their tails, and hey Bloo! Look at you! Boston still enjoyable, but show never seemed to grow...loved the Colts! Crown good, but still not into the show, and Madison with the huge late to the gate penalty in 12th! Such a fun in your face show, especially from the 14th row, but man, some dirt. BK...not gonna lie...big letdown from 99/00. Spirit, well...wow. i discuss them above. Southwind, then Mandarins and Cascades add one more show to go! Pioneer and Troop done for the year.

 

Fridayonly placement changes were 10-12 after penalties from thursday not a factor. I still feel Spirit should have been in, but they did jump BK

 

Finals day....did the staff thing for the DCA show in the afternoon, so glad to see Empire really grab ahold of that show and kick in some Statesmen style....as we stood in the tunnel waiting go on, a fellow staff member said "ya know where we are standing is probably where Vanguard horn players stood in 90 to play the last chord..."....chills

 

finals night..Cavies for the win, BD and Cadets tie and nothing really changed other than Crown over Madison. some great shows this year tho.

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We all look back at years with favorable or not so favorable impressions.

Of all the years I've watched DCI, 2001 is one of my least favorite - as if I just can't get into any of the shows that year. 

Strange though because I like many seasons before and after 2001. 

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3 hours ago, Continental said:

We all look back at years with favorable or not so favorable impressions.

Of all the years I've watched DCI, 2001 is one of my least favorite - as if I just can't get into any of the shows that year. 

Strange though because I like many seasons before and after 2001. 

2001 has grown on me in time. after the season i think i calculated i liked maybe 13 shows

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1 hour ago, Continental said:

Is 2001 the year Devils came out east early in the season and then went back to the west coast to redo large portions of their show?

i think that was 2002

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