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Thursday, August 11th “DCI World Championship PRELIMS” Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, INDIANA

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1 hour ago, corps8294 said:

What happened last night was tame compared to the chorus of "boos" rained down on Star of Indiana at the first Tour of Champions show in Madison back in '91. Joe Bruno had to quiet the crowd down it was so bad.

I was watching from Big Loud and Live, what are you referring to with "what happened last night"? All I heard from the crowd other than applause were tons of callouts when corps were marching on

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Didn't post anything last night, so will give my recap of things now. Didn't really write things down in the theater because my phone was almost dead.

I watched in the theater; my parents watched Flo. It was their first read of the season--they'd watched nothing before that.

Madison: our general consensus was "that sure is a well-performed generic fifteenth-place show." On their read they wouldn't have gotten a Madison vibe out of any of it.

We all adored Troopers. I enjoyed explaining the bowling pin to them when I shouted it out as an excellent understated reference to their apparent quasi-source material. The color palette is perfect for this show (grime, and black gold). Glad to see that drumline get the credit it deserves. This was my first fists-in-the-air-in-the-theater moment of the night.

Blue Knights: it was...there. I finally realized that the name was riffing off of the title "More than a Feeling" last night. All in all...fine. The membership could probably do more with a better design, but given what's been up with them, that's understandable.

Colts: really well-performed, deserves a back-of-Finals slot. Wasn't particularly Colts-y, but I'm not sure Colts have had a specific corps identity in my watching them, per se. It's not like there's that much identity to be had in the Iowa of it all (the one year they did a quasi-Iowa show it wasn't good--looking at you, Field of Dreams).

Crossmen: one of these years Drew Shanefield will figure out how to write a brass book that works. One of these years is not this year. I think in this case the conceived structure of the show and looping all the movements detracted from the show as a whole--when you design every movement to function at any point in the show, you end up having four movements that are all trying to be four movements at once and it ends up a bit muddy. Conceptually it felt muddy. And...it didn't feel particularly Crossmen. Which is odd, because Equus is a wind-band piece that should be right up XMen's alley. My parents thought it was generally performed poorly.

Phantom: Flo cut out for my folks before the ending. The theater did not cut out for me. The chevron was my second fists-in-the-air-in-the-theater moment of the night. Did we hear anything about the apparently-injured bass drummer?

Mandarins: Well performed, very Mandarins...don't like it as much as I've liked others of their recent shows. I appreciated the Pink Floyd, and that singer is excellent. And they do what they're doing fairly well. I'm just not as much of a fan as I have been in the past.

Cavies: My mom thought the guard was weak compared to past iterations of the Cavies guard--her impression of the Cavies guard has been that they leverage the all-male aspect to portray things that other guards can't (Mom's reference was the rock-climbing in 2009--relatedly, 2009 and 2010 were the first years my mom saw every corps live because they did the back-to-back shows in Dallas those years, and thus her impression of basically every corps is dictated by either one or both of those), and this year's iteration was...them just functioning like other guards. There are bits and pieces that work--the drum feature works nicely. Down ending is a shrug. The show as a whole is a bit of a jumble, and I don't think in the way they intended.

Blue Stars: I want to like it, they perform the snot out of it (though guard was a bit weaker in achievement than they have been in previous iterations--might've been an off night). It feels like a Blue Stars show, but not one of their stronger ones, in our opinion...more 2012 than 2014, would be an odd way of putting it.

Cadets: I adore this show, but in the theater it felt a little...off. Like they had an iffy run and they knew it. I'm personally going to chalk it up to jitters of first night at Lucas Oil and hope they do better today/tomorrow. Mom found it to not feel particularly Cadets-y, but Mom's defining show for Cadets is also the 2010 show, which might be part of it. Also at some point we need to discuss how apparently one of the defining characteristics of Cadets' designs is the thin layer of finely-grated parmesan across the top of every show--it feels like they're going for Hammerstein-esque earnestness but most of the time it just veers into cheese.

SCV: the consensus is that it still feels like Babylon III. Though we did all appreciate the magic trick at the end. All in all I find the show...fine. It's on fifth place island and it kinda belongs there.

Bloooooo: I'm glad to hear the electronics issues were a broadcast issue and not a them issue. (Apart from the keytar, which sounded like it was an actual issue with the keytar based on audience reactions.) I still think the ending narration is a bit rushed because of the nature of how they want that "They're all a part of you" statement to hit. Was cool to see keytar back. I'm cautiously optimistic that it'll be better the next two nights. On first read my parents both enjoyed the heck out of this one.

Crown: I appreciated the camera angles designed to catch the audience interaction side of things. This is my mom's favorite Crown show ever (relatedly: my mom's first impression of crown was the cream/green uniform thing from 2009 and that particular color combination looked awful in person and it's colored her attitude toward Crown ever since; I wasn't kidding about how formative 2009 was for my mom's drum corps experience). Their brass is excellent when they're playing; I just wish they had more stuff to do. Mom argued that them not having as much brass was their look at trying to do more than just all-brass-all-the-time the way BD jumps from thing to thing to show off all the different things they can do. Which is fine in principle, but doesn't work as well with this group. It might if they were slightly better percussion-wise this year.

BAC: my parents adored this show. I still can't get into it, while acknowledging that they're performing the crap out of it. I still don't think the musical package works cohesively, and I'm probably still judging it unfairly against BAC 2009 (which I found really fun). I don't know, to me this show feels...austere? A bit set apart. Like there's something between the corps and me that's preventing me from getting into it. Might be me holding the 2016-17 offseason against them unfairly (which is mildly amusing given my favorite corps ever is Star). And I kinda wish one of the drum features (or even just one of the battery fills underneath a chord) had the Conquest rhythm just slipped in.

BD: I thought last night was an excellent run and I found myself feeling nicely warm and fuzzy about the show; my parents both thought they weren't clean and weren't huge fans. I would love to get a shot of what was happening on the stairs at the end--it was somewhat visible in high cam but the director didn't have a shot called for it that I saw. My parents remain convinced that Devils continue to just get the benefit of the doubt regardless because they're the Devils; I continue to argue that it's not benefit of the doubt if they're really that good. I can definitely see what the "rehash" folks mean with it being a rehash--it's a show that talks heavily about dreams and uses blue tarp like 2016; they're doing the same Afro-Cuban and Indian dance things that were out of nowhere and out of place in 2017/2018; the backfield company front is straight out of 2014, as is the gate; the stairs are a variation on the steps from 2017; they're cycling through narration in non-English similarly to 2012 and 2017; they're doing a 60s pop song ballad to get the goosebump meter going the same way they did in 2017/2018... Scott Chandler has his tropes that he uses a lot. But they execute the crap out of all of them. It would be nice if they branched out a bit more. It's the burden of the champion to push the activity in a new direction, after all; this show feels...safe. Which makes a lot of sense, based on two years off competitively, majority-rookie corps, etc...but it'd be nice if they pushed out of Chandler's tropes. There's more that BD has been in the past than this, and I wouldn't mind hearing some of that.

...having written out that BD thing, I'm now halfway tempted to start a thread writing out "why your show design is a rehash" for every corps. It's...really easy to come up with for at least three or four corps in finals off the top of my head.

Anyway, my folks will be watching tonight and tomorrow (I will not be as I have another event I need to attend), so we'll see if opinions change.

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9 hours ago, dcsnare93 said:

Yeah, I think some forget drums is scored as percussion... it's not all about the battery.

and their front is not to the level of the battery

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It was the best drum corps show I have ever seen .  And I've seen a few. 

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11 hours ago, saxfreq1128 said:

Just wish the more “modern” parts of Crown’s visual book were cleaner. The straightforward drill looked good! 

interesting observation.

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