Jump to content

Personal 2023 Top 5

Recommended Posts

1. Carolina Crown

2. Bluecoats

3. Cadets

4. Boston Crusaders

5. Phantom Regiment

But, my single favorite thing of the season was the last minute or so of the Bllue Stars show.

Edited by Vuitton
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spirit - cried every time I saw them, I love a comeback with heart and a solid design to boot

Mandarins - love an underdog that bites hard, what else can I say that hasn't been said?

Cavaliers - only other show to make me cry, on finals no less, thanks to the Planets props I hadn't seen until then; go retro or go home, I say... this is exactly what I wanted from a retro-inspired show, placement and scores be ######

Bluecoats - BOMP IT BOMP IT! I can't get enough of Bloo getting weird and challenging standards for the activity, also their movement vocab is so much more interesting and refreshing than anything else out there; their approach to design makes the rest of the top 5 look uninspired and tired, IMHO

Colts - this corps looked happy; no pasted on smiles or performance qualities, a joy to watch

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blue Devils

Simply put, The Blue Devils are living history, of themselves and of the activity. With many of the creative staff in collaborative roles for more than 30 years, the organization knows how to mount successful seasons and winning shows. And now finally — and inexplicably, given that the Devils are the winningest corps in the history of the activity — a three-peat.

“The Cut-Outs” was not a story show (plenty of those for one season), rather it showed through yet another amazing musical mix and visual panoply the deconstruction of Matisse’s artistic style over the course of his life. To say that Joni Mitchell’s iconic “Both Sides Now” has never been more relevant in pageantry is no overstatement. The song defined both the show and its representation of Matisse.

And the color guard; the color guard that has also likely (someone fact check me, please) won more caption awards than any other, was in fine, and rare, form. In both embodying the Matisse cut-out figure while breaking up the Box 5 guard judging caption, the Devils prevailed over a field that was as fine as any in memory.

The Cadets

The soundtrack of the season just might need to go to The Cadets and its athletic and muscular “Atlas Rising.” Listen to it again — and again.

Phantom Regiment

Like a Franco Zeffirelli opera, Phantom Regiment’s spectacular nature-themed production begged audiences to sit back and simply take it all in. As for the addition of non-symphonic works: more please!


Sizzling across the red-hot country with its white-hot “Sinnerman,” Mandarins were as close to a social media phenomenon as happens in pageantry. Vaulting four spots was testament to theme and execution melding perfectly.

The Cavaliers and Spirit of Atlanta

After 75 years, “Where You’ll Find” the storied Cavaliers is powered by its magnificent “Green Machine” percussion; this year’s caption winner, and the first in ages that came from outside the top four units. Who knew we needed to see a percussion line straddle the -50- and lay down a classic "drum break"?

I had given up on my native Southern corps; organizational "stuff" the likes of what had to be wrestled is tough to maneuver, even tougher to weather. And on that front, the jury is still out; time will tell. But as for taking a year off and then coming back; WHOA! What a resurgence. There looked to be pure joy on the field all season long!


Writer’s prerogative. I hate that young and first-time viewers don’t have my old eyes (coming on 70) and my half century-plus history with drum corps with which to take in this year’s offerings. The contexts I discerned, from top to bottom, made viewings throughout the season even larger, the details popping out more completely, references clearly understood.

Lucky fan I am.


  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No order, just my faves of the season:


Bluecoats -- silky power, a strong audience connection even through the TV screen, and groove for days

Crown -- Reliably majestic. Visually crisp. Mike Jackson. Melt me.

Troopers -- Masterpiece opener, and the most mature, self-assured musical sound to come out of Casper in, maybe, ever.

Pacific Crest -- Lovely, thoughtful presentation. Tasteful design. Excellent performers who bought in.

Mandarins -- Pure gas. Simultaneously whimsical and muscular, a potent mix.

Edited by 2muchcoffeeman
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. BAC

2. Troop
3. Mandarins
4. Madison
5. Cadets

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...