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2004 in Denver was a great finals venue. Since my corps didn't make finals, I watched from the top deck, with my corps friends, in my hard-earned jacket, on a perfect summer night. The season was over

Cavies 2004 is actually what made me a fan of the corps. I love every bit of it!

One memory I have of the Cadets show is how Hopkins regularly aired his personal tribulations on his blog that summer, and also included it in the DVD commentary. In fact, it seems like he said he nam

22 hours ago, MikeN said:

(not for you) For those who don't know, the reason for the tarp was Mile High's almost paranoid insistence on protecting their turf so close to football season.  Quarters and Semis were held facing the back side of the field to even out the pit wear and tear, and they had that tarp put down so there would be no divots on the grass.


Perhaps a darker color might have been better - like green.

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There are many shows to like in 2004. The Cavaliers 007 James Bond show was my favorite of their 2000s championship shows. Inventive, well performed, killer visuals, and great music. Hovercraft Chase and Welcome to Cuba were fantastic and the closing material to Live and Let Die was a montage of great music and kaleidoscopic drill. 

Blue Devils had a smokin' hot brass line and some wonderful GE moments. Summertime and Take The A Train were my favorites from their show, and the ending of the show was brilliant IMO. Fantastic writing by Wayne Downey.

Santa Clara had all the design and GE to be a contender. They just needed a few performance captions to pop. But Scheherazade was spectacular top to bottom. I'm not a percussion expert but the writing was inventive and so well integrated into the overall music program...and impeccably performed. 

The Cadets Jethro Tull show (Living in the Past) is a solid effort. Not my favorite Cadets show, but what I liked about them was that they took a chance and really worked the show to the ideas of the music. It is a unique show. In 2001, 02, 03 they were excellent performers but the shows felt disjointed and did not have the sense of theme or concept to drive them to the next level. Here they have a unique and focused product, even if it didn't quite cross all the Ts and dot every I. Bocook did some good work here.

Other thoughts:

The sound and style for Phantom was really cool to see something so different, especially with the music arrangements. Bluecoats were making a statement with a solid 6th and some killer music arrangements. One Day I'll Fly Away is amazing and Hunting Wabbits was a genius move from a design team that was clearly showing they had the capability to push Bloo into the top 5. Crown also hit me hard that year. I was not wild about all the charts but loved the last part of the show. Nonetheless it was clear Crown was also coming. The talent on the field and the work their staff were doing was undeniable. I likely would have put Boston over Madison. Scouts were good but it felt like a rehash. Some did not like the narration in Boston's show (electronics, amps, and narration were tough to take at first) but I still loved the show and felt it showed off all the sections of the corps wonderfully. Blue Knights were fantastic in my book, Crossmen were impressive performers but the show didn't grab me, and I felt Toledo was good but not great. They were losing that momentum they had built throughout the late 80s and all through the 90s. 

Spirit was very interesting with the Soundscape, Mindscape ideas and their use of On The Town (Bernstein) and Urbanscape. This could have easily been 12th and in Finals.

Great year for  Capital Regiment out of Columbus, OH. I really miss having a corps in Columbus and Toledo, Ohio. 

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On 9/12/2020 at 1:10 PM, Ghost said:

Didn’t Foxboro do something similar?

I was going to say that Foxboro did but Denver did not.  I sat in the same seat all three nights behind the HOFs.  I know some of them personally and they were an interesting bunch that week.  The stories I could share like Dr. K almost getting in a fight with a fan because they just happened to sit in some empty seats that were not occupied for most of the night.  It was a fun week!  

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On 9/9/2020 at 8:32 PM, mfrontz said:

Finals in Denver was a week earlier than usual. This was to accommodate the 'Tour of Champions,' an end-of-season tour which took the six competing corps which had previously won a DCI championship (Cavaliers, BD, Cadets, Phantom, Madison and Vanguard) to the West Coast for several non-competitive showcases. I believe the goal was to assess the feasibility of a West Coast DCI championship, which happened in 2007.

I thought it was a week earlier at the insistence of the venue for finals due to the upcoming football season and the Tour of Champions was actually a result of that? 

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I remember reading all kinds of reviews from Tour of Champions in 2004, which took place after Finals. My take is the West Coast crowds loved it. I'm sure the corps were tired to some extend with the daily grind of performing their shows, but some of the other ensemble offerings were kind of neat for that particular tour. I know a lot of people praised the Cadets for their innovative William Tell arrangement that moved into Van Morrison's "Moondance." Wonder if any West Coasters still have some recollections of that tour?

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