2001 Southwestern Championships Review


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2001 DCI Southwestern Championships Review

Hey, all:

Here's my lengthy 2001 DCI Southwestern Championships review.

My disclaimer. If you think that I don't appreciate the work that goes into these shows by the performers, then stop reading and go away. I don't feel like discussing this with you. I do realize what goes into these, and while last year I tried to stay away from criticizing performances and stuck with music selections, this time I'm going to get a little more in-depth. I tried really hard to be open minded about each corps going in. Some rewarded me for doing that, some didn't. As with everyone, even judges, it's a matter of personal preference. If you liked someone more or less than me, of course that's your right. Feel free to discuss it. Do not, however, attack me for believing as I do. Ok, end of rant.

Wait. My other disclaimer. I wrote this at one sitting, so I may remember stuff later that I forgot to add in here. So, if you see me commenting on stuff later, that's why! :)

First, the scores, as reported by DCI.org:

Div II / III

1 84.10 Seattle Cascades

2 71.65 Esperanza

3 64.20 Taipei Yuehfu

4 59.85 Revolution

5 56.20 Allegiance Elite

Afternoon Show (*advances to evening)

*1 84.10 Crossmen

*2 82.55 Bluecoats

*3 82.00 Madison Scouts

*4 80.80 Colts

5   80.70 Carolina Crown

6   76.85 Spirit of JSU

7   75.95 Southwind

8   71.25 Pioneer

9   66.35 Troopers

10 62.85 Kiwanis Kavaliers

Evening Show

1   91.00 Blue Devils (brass, perc, GE)

2t  89.95 The Cavaliers (visual)

2t  89.95 Santa Clara Vanguard

4   89.45 The Cadets

5   84.55 Glassmen

6   84.45 Crossmen

7   83.75 Phantom Regiment

8   81.45 Boston Crusaders

9   80.30 Bluecoats

10 78.70 Madison Scouts

11 77.50 Colts

12 76.85 Blue Knights

We arrived at the Rivercenter Mall to park about 9:15. It's only a 15 minute walk to the dome so we got there comfortably in time. Surprisingly, most of the souvie booths were already set up. Got a few minutes to peruse them and to buy my 2001 program, but we quickly settled down to watch some little corps. Weren't that many people there, which was a shame. Our seats were on the right 49 yard line, on row 28 (which was 2 rows from the back of the lower deck, but still *really* close.)

Revolution, San Antonio, Texas. First corps up was the hometown corps, fielding their first year of competitive show. They still had the Phantom Legion uniforms, and a much larger colorguard this year. Musically, t'was much improved over last year. Much, much better. Their opener, the overture from Grand Canyon, has a couple of wonderful brass fanfares in it. Percussion seemed overheavy, but it might have been the dome. Also, their parts didn't really stand out in my mind. Chorale and Shaker dance (think BK '91) was played well, but might be a bit overambitious for the size of the corps. Quite nice to watch, though. If they keep improving at this rate, we may have a D1 corps here yet. :) One member had a gold trumpet; I assume it was hers rather than the corps.

Esperanza, San Diego, California. Next up were the boys from California. Played a show called, "Songs of Ceremony," although it might as well have been called, "Songs of David Holsinger." These guys were intense! While the crowd wasn't exactly singing along to the music, they easily kept everyone's attention. Some wonderful brass moments in the show. Also some not-so-difficult but solidly written percussion licks. I'd recommend this show as one to watch again. They did have an entire section of gold horns. What was up with that? I thought it wasn't allowed?

Taipei Yuefu, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.  It was really neat to be able to see these guys for the first time. Their DM said they'd only been in the US for 4 days yesterday. I shudder to think what they might be like had they been able to afford a longer tour to now! Their music consists of (what the program says) contemporary Chinese music. Personally, it sounded like contemporary American band music, so they fit right in. You know, discordant melodies that you'll never remember, lots of cue hits, etc. Gotta say, though, they did it quite well. The visual package is what everyone's going to be talking about in this one, though. Their drum solo is pretty much eighth notes, but you go around dancing while you do that and see how easy it is. (Especially you, the loudmouth on the left end of my row who kept badmouthing them, LOUDLY, while they were on. Get your fat butt out there and try it.) Guard did a kung fu-like routine during the solo. It was a blast! They were my wife's favorite corps out of the 2/3.

Allegiance Elite, Calgary, AB, CN.  Reduced numbers this year. I counted (well, it wasn't hard) 2 snares, 1 tenor and 3 basses. 9 pit, though. Seems a little out of balance. They played music from Beauty and the Beast. (Broadway version) The DM looked great out there. Everyone near me liked his full-length cape. The red slashes on the back made it look like they were about to play Jurassic Park 3, but that's okay. Their one contra played his heart out, and gave them a nice low sound that you wouldn't have expected to hear. The drums were WAY too loud today. It obscured what the horns were playing. The whole program seemed a bit shaky, but it wasn't a bad show. They minimized the use of the title track, which I am soooo thankful for!

Seattle Cascades, Seattle, WA.  Seattle's show was entitled, "Veneration." Wow. If this corps has been in a neck and neck race with the Vanguard Cadets, I shudder to think what VC's like! This show is terrific! The entire package is there, drums, brass, visual. Green and orange seem to be the colors of choice this year for your guard; Seattle chose green. I'm shocked. They were easily the most athletic corps of the early going, and even of some of the later D1 going. Again, this is one where you're not going to go home humming melodies, but it goes together really well. Their DM was a delight to watch.

(On an aside, there was a surprisingly high number of African-American drum majors today. I think that's great! I hope it reflects a trend of growing interest in D&B. Also noticed that a lot of corps this year are marching cymbal lines, which is also great to see.)

We didn't hear any scores announced, so until they had put it on the web page, I hadn't seen 'em. I agree with all of the placements. I might have put Seattle a little higher, though.

Between shows, we went and visited the "Souvenier Marketplace." Or as I liked to put it, the lower concourse. I bought a little Canadian flag from the Kiwanis booth for my brother's girlfriend from Edmonton. Troopers had some nice stuff, but most of it was blue and yellow. Don't particularly like to wear that combination of colors. Revolution didn't have a whole lot, but a nice tour shirt! Southwind had shirts with quotes from Notabando!!!!! Do they know who he is? How'd they get permission? I was wondering about that all day. The DCI proper booth had some nice stuff. Everything you've seen on the web, though. Nothing new. Banners by Barbera had some nice infant wear, so we got a little suit for our future marching member. (we have to be careful right now, 'cause we still have a week tofind out whether our baby's going to get to be a Cavalier or not!)

I bought the latest drum shirt from the Blue Devils, as well as their DVD. Guy sitting next to us told us that I wouldn't be disappointed. :) Also bought a Glassmen shirt and the Cavies 2000 championship shirt. Forrest with Drum Corps Miniatures was there, and I bought a Phantom contra off of him, but he was out of all of the others that I was looking for. Darnit. I'd budgeted a lot of money to go there, so I got a few more shirts. :)

It's just a personal appeal from me, but I'd love to see more white and grey shirts made by the corps. I just don't like to wear dark colors. I prefer more athletic-apparel type stuff.

Anyways, we settle back down for the first big corps.

Troopers, Casper, Wyoming.  Ok, maybe not big corps. They looked smaller than the Cascades. I really enjoyed their show, though. I liked it a lot better than last year. They duhted very, VERY loud, but most of the corps today did that. (Well, except BK who shouted it, but that was intentional.) Copland works good for them. Don't really have a whole lot to say about them, really. Solid.

Spirit, Jacksonville, Alabama.  I wasn't sure what to expect from them. I know a lot of people online had been liking them, but I wasn't sure how I'd feel seeing them in person. Well, after seeing them live, I love them! The show is not really Southern flavored, but they weave melody bursts of their old favorites (Old Man River, Georgia On My Mind, Let it Be Me) throughout the show. They had a couple of scatter drills where a "conductor" would shout things out. Here it was, "Next Stop: San Antonio" and "Last Stop 'Til Buffalo!" Crowd enjoyed that. To answer everyone's next question, yes: they could still be a finalist corps. Wouldn't take a whole lot. Some cleaning and tweaking, but I don't think wholesale changes are necessary at this point. I still don't like the uniforms, but they do indeed look good on turf.

Kiwanis Kavaliers, Kitchner-Waterloo, ONT, CN.  I've never liked KK's black uniforms. I'd prefer that they wear the ones like their DM, with the white jacket with black chest and black pants. But, under artificial lights those sequins sure look good. They had a prop of a bridge / subway entrance that they parked on the right 40, and it was very distracting. Soloists kept getting up on it, and the bassline began their opening form on there, but otherwise it got in the way. I don't think it helped the show any.

Southwind, Lexington, Kentucky.  The corps was smaller than last year, which was a shame. I really thought this would have been the year that they challenged to make the top 12. It's hard to say what they're missing this year. The music is pretty good, and they execute really well, but there's just ... something ... missing. Firestorm is a great closer. I'd like to see that again.

Colts, Dubuque, Iowa.  They became my wife's favorite show of the afternoon session. The Colts uniforms seem almost custom designed for this show. The guard has some good threads as well. Sinfonia Voci has a chorus that gets stuck in your head. That's about all I can say for that! It's a good song, though. Allemande features the brass doing a courtly dance in the backfield. The battle scene is the highlight of their show. I was entranced watching the percussion until a gentle nudge from my wife pointed out that in the backfield, half of the brass were holding shields and the other half were attacking them with their horns. It was a great touch! In the Dome, Non Nobis Domine really came off well. Full, rich orchestrations. Of course, I don't know if that was the reverb or if the brass is that good. If they are, look out! Once More Into the Breach is a fairly short excerpt from Henry V, then a reprise of Sinfonia Voci. Percussion is using gray on gray Premiers this year, which looks good and fits with the medieval theme. (Think: Armor.) We had them 2nd, behind Madison and over the Xmen.

Pioneer, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  What happened to Pioneer's drumline? 5 snares and two tenors? Somebody get hurt? Everyone else on RAMD is right - the black pants look good. I also got a chance to see one member up close on the concourse and they look really good in person, too. The guard uniforms, though, are awful. Quasi-Civil War uniforms, and they do some military looking marching in the first twenty seconds, and then they start dancing. It looked almost like a Monty Python routine! You get over it, though. Gettysburg actually makes a pretty good transition to the field. America the Beautiful isn't as bad as I was expecting, but it wasn't exactly making me want to stand up and salute. Performance wise, I thought it was fairly solid, closer to Southwind than they were.

Madison Scouts, Madison, Wisconsin.  Neither my wife nor I can figure out what's missing from this show. After hearing it, I don't know what the judges are looking for. This show was without question the boldest, loudest and most exciting show of the afternoon. We both had them absolutely in first. You could feel the intensity radiating off of them. Their show to us still looks and sounds like a top 6 show. Of course, we're not judges, and you'd be well advised to remember that before you start bashing me or the Scouts. But for us sitting on row 28, all we could figure is percussion performance wasn't as strong as the rest of the corps. There is a great little 30 second transition before Symphonie Pour L'Orchestre Americain that ends with a single rifle toss that the crowd loved! Ballet in Brass's drum solo was exciting for the cymbal tosses over the snare/tenor line, but there wasn't a whole lot of meat to the feature after that. A little bit of drum to drumming, and triplet hits on cymbals behind them a la Danza Pasillo in '95, but not too complex. They had some great screaming solos throughout as well. I dunno. The final note goes on and on, with members falling to their knees as it goes on. Think of '97 Crossmen with some theatrics added.

Bluecoats, Canton, Ohio.  I haven't really liked a Bluecoats show since 1996. There have been some isolated moments, but not where I'd sit and watch a show again. This one, however, might be one of the best I've ever seen from them. The opening statement is a blast a la Madison, and the opener seems a little long, but it's the middle tango piece that makes them so great. It starts with the corps broken into three groups, each doing tango steps while the guard dances. It's little stuff, like a head toss here and a leg kick there, but it look so cool with the music! The music, speaking of, starts slow and quiet, segues into a loud fast climax, and then reprises the slow quiet part. The 'Coats show how horn body movements really can add to a show. Back to the opener for a second. There's not a really exposed drum feature here, but there's a 8 or 16 measure segment at the end of the opener where the tenors are camped on the 50 playing a continous set of runs right up to the final hits of the song. You'll have to see it on the videos, 'cause on the CD's it'll lose something being covered by the brass, but it was really cool to see live.

Crossmen, Newark, Delaware.  I don't like Harlem Nocturne. There. I've said it. It just has two 8 measure melodies, and they're played like a theme and variations. Just doesn't do anything for me. Their second song, though, (Flyin' Home?) grabs you no matter what. It has a great battle between the snares and some guard versus the tenors and some guard. Sorta like the Cadets last year, except that the guards doing tosses too. Their ballad was kinda anonymous. Firedance, though, is one of those songs that will always be on the Crossmen's Greatest Hits. They have what seems like an endless supply of screaming sopranos. Actually, all throughout the show they have a higher number of soloists than the competition, and it's kinda neat to hear.

Ok, I should be ashamed of myself. I actually, for the first time in my life, skipped a corps. The only defense I have is that my wife was pregnant, she was hungry, and I didn't feel like dealing with the rat race once the early show was over. Thus, I can't offer a review of Carolina Crown, Fort Mill, South Carolina.

In the interim, we went to what has to be the funniest named restaurant on the Riverwalk: Steers and Beers. Pretty good, but quite pricy.

We returned to the A-Dome at 5:30 to find out that they weren't going to open the doors until 6:15. By the way, the high yesterday in San Antonio was between 100 and 110. Not good on the Dome's part. I'd love to know whose decision this was, DCI's or the facility's. They kept us outside until 6:45.

More souvie reviews: The Cadets had a lot of stuff, but not a whole lot that I wanted. The Cav's have a neat hockey jersey, and BK has a whole lotta stuff with the lion rampant on it. Glassmen didn't have a large selection, but the neatest (cream / black) polo of any corps. Kiwanis had mostly Canadian stuff (flags / pins / etc) and less corps stuff. Still bought a flag, though. The Blue Devils and Santa Clara had the most visited booths of the night. If I'd have had any money left, I'd have bought their new mousepad. As it was, I'm ordering it next week instead.

For the late show, we were sunburned, dehydrated and very tired. :(

Then the hammer dropped. I didn't see a lot of bootleg recorders, like I did last year, but this year seat squatting was in vogue. People would just come take an empty seat and hope the owners didn't show up. The three seats next to me (which were purchased by a teen and his grandparents by the way. We saw them in the afternoon.) traded butts like every other corps. I don't like people standing up next to me and screaming to the next section over, "HERE'S SOME EMPTY ONES!" Darnit, I paid a lot for my seats. So should you if you're going to sit there. Jerks. Plus, this one lady kept kicking my knee.

My only other general complaint. The staff got to sit in the section next to us. I realize that they're encouraging their people, but once the show's about to start, they need to shut up. We don't need their voices on the recordings any more than we need the fans obnoxious shouting. There weren't many corps that did that, but enough to warrant comment.

Colts, Dubuque, Iowa. This show was technically a little more sound than their afternoon performance. This time, I watched the horns during the battle sequence, and it's wonderful!

Madison Scouts, Madison, Wisconsin.  Madison seemed tired after the afternoon performance. I can't blame them. It seemed like the zip they had earlier was gone. In the closer, they do a trademark Madison face right, back up and spin to face the front move. One horn member fell over onto his back, feet in the air. To his credit, he recovered quickly and hit his spots great for the final minute of the show. I still would have put them up higher than they were. (See my earlier comments - I just think that this isn't as bad as the judges seem to!)

Phantom Regiment, Rockford, Illinois.  I love Phantom. I really do. I just didn't like their 98 show. All of the others, sometimes I'd love them on the spot (96) or after a few listens (97). This one, I liked on the spot. There is an insane amount of horn dance in this, and they don't sacrifice the drill to accommodate it, either. The theme of the marching is wedges. They appear all throughout the show. Never a flying one, though. :( Would've been nice. Maybe they're holding it for finals? Hopefully? The music is well written and very well played, but seems a little thin in the low registers. Again, might've been the dome. The middle piece (Game of Pairs - Bartok's Concerto, 2nd mvt) seemed a little short, and flows directly into Festive Overture. I was a little disappointed when we hit the brass chords at the beginning, because they weren't as loud as you'd think they should have been. In fact, it seems like the entire show was fairly restrained from them. I think that's what dropped them tonight. There's certainly no problems with balance in the show, and the guard is top notch. Tonight, I think it was a matter of Glassmen just seeming to have fresher legs and less tired lungs. As usual, Tommy was beloved by the Texas crowd.

Bluecoats, Canton, Ohio.  The second performance by the 'Coats tonight seemed about even with their first. I didn't see anything new, but my wife said that the tango soloists in the middle were spectacular. She also thought it odd that in almost every dance the guy had, he'd push the girl away. Don't know if it was a matter of intent, or just that the dances were added one piece at a time. This is a terrific show! I had them 8th, over Boston.

Crossmen, Newark, Delaware.  Like the Bluecoats, the Crossmen didn't seem to have that much better of a show than they did in the afternoon. Noticed this time that the contras have a neat pointing - head bob thing on the front sideline after the playoff part. Snares use a neat cymbal thing on their snares during part of the closer. Otherwise, I wasn't more or less impressed than I was. I had them in 8th, behind Phantom.

Glassmen, Toledo, Ohio. Glassmen were on tonight! Wow. I can feel ok that they passed Phantom on the judges sheets, because all of the intensity that Phantom didn't seem to have, they did. Their opener gained steam as they went along, until they're fairly flying by the end. The crowd responded in kind. The ballad (Ginastera's Pampeana?) has what'll be remembered as the soloist of the year. He did crack one note, but he has a massive solo. Between him and the pit, it almost has an electronic feel to it. Lots of low marimba that reverbs under the solo. The final two songs seemed like the opener in that the corps started a little sluggish, but are sharp as glass (ha!) by the end. It'll take a few listens to fully appreciate the music, but even on one viewing you can tell that the great potential is there.

Cavaliers, Rosemont, Illinois. The Cavaliers to me represent the best of the DCI visual caption in 2001. Massive amounts of drill moves, each one could be the centerpiece of some other corps' show. They have been and continue to be the standard by which all other corps' marching programs are judged. The last minute or so of the show has been changed since the last bootleg recordings, and it seems to work a lot better. Lot more references to the funk melody in the 3rd movement. There was a couple of lines tonight that didn't show their normal sharpness, but they were at the beginning and seemed to be ironed out by the end of the show. Okay, now musically. The first movement could have been pulled from their show last year. To me, that's okay. If it works, keep using it. Sorta like 1993 being in the mold of 1992. The 3rd movement is probably my favorite song of the night / afternoon / morning. The Cavies sell it really well. While I miss their classical music, and hope that they return to it next year, I certainly enjoyed the show tonight. I thought they should have won everything but high brass.

Blue Devils, Concord, California. The Blue Devils to me represent the worst of the DCI visual caption in 2001. The corps is nothing more than a framing vehicle for their dance ensemble. Can't even call them a colorguard when their most used piece of equipment is a hat. If you couldn't tell, I didn't like this show. I had them 2nd at the end of their performance. I felt that their superiority musically was offset by the Cavaliers superiority visually. For all of the ballyhoo, the snare/bass thing was kinda short. Would have liked to see them pick them up again at the end. Seems like a waste of money, otherwise. I didn't like the music. Very discordant, and only slightly jazzy. It also seems like they stuck a tag ending on the opener and closer simply because they have been since 98. It doesn't really fit the context of the music. Visually, they do have one nice moment (and a reprise later) where they're sliding a box along the front sidelilne and the row on the far left runs through the form as it's moving to become the front rank. There's also a couple of good moves in the ballad where the percussion is moving with the mass form while being the only ones facing backfield. Otherwise there's not a whole lot of drill to get you excited. Especially after the Cavaliers. Also, for all of the comments online, they weren't particularly cleaner or dirtier than any of the other top corps. Well, except for...

The Cadets, Bergenfield, New Jersey.  Cadets were winners of the "Messiest Corps Tonight" award. Their marching was awful. One member fell down and lost his hat. Twice members ran smack into each other in the line. Once a spinning flag caught a horn on the head. This is the end of July, not mid June. This should not be happening. I could have easily seen them in 5th, not 4th. Musically, though, this show is a treat. There are tons of horn runs. Vintage Cadets. The ballad (Vide Cor Meum) is kinda short, but well done. Actually, because of how long Moondance is, all of the other songs seem a bit too short. During Young Person's guide, my wife noticed that both DM's were on the podium, and asked me why. I told her to notice that the corps was playing two different things in two different meters. Very nicely done. Moondance takes up the majority of the show. My only complaint with it is that there's not a tenor feature anymore. They're just parked on the trap sets by the pit. Takes some of the teeth out of the drum solo.

Santa Clara Vanguard, Santa Clara, California.

I can just see the letter.

---

Dear Mr. George Hopkins,

We can't help but notice that you've taken the opener from our 1981 show to use as yours in 2001.

As a result, we shall now be using your opener from 1991 in *our* 2001 show.

Nyah, nyah, nyah.

With Love,

Santa Clara Vanguard

p.s. If you play Phantom of the Opera in 2002, we shall be playing Rocky Point Holiday.

---

The last 5 years running, I've seen their show the first time, said, "Well, this music just doesn't grab me at all. I've never heard a more discordant mess." Then, 6 months later, I'm listening to their show more than any other. 2001 is going to be like that for me. I sat pretty much disinterested for the majority of the show, until the New Era chant. The body language was great. Along the lines of, "I'm chanting. Huh. I'm dancing. Yeah, I can dance, can't I?! Dance, dance, dance. Look at me dancing and chanting!" It was cute. I'm going to have to be diplomatic here and recognize my own limitations. This is a show that's going to take time to grow on you.

Blue Knights, Denver, Colorado.  Why BK chose this year to become more fan friendly, I don't know. Personally, I liked that they took some less traveled routes and made you like 'em along the way! The snares were using Pearl indoor models tonight. Why was that? Are they doing that the whole year? Speaking of percussion, they completely overpowered the rest of the corps tonight. The lack of balance was really obvious. Selection-wise, I didn't recognize any of the music until the Warner stuff in the last two minutes. My wife caught more of it than I did, so I assume it's just me. :) As a bit of an aside, why is it that slide whistles and slappers and field whistles are used to denote, "here's the whimsical, childish part"? It's really cliché at this point.

Boston Crusaders, Boston, Massachusetts.  I'd love to know how this lineup was set. Putting BK and Boston after the big 4 wasn't smart. Even if both of them were performing at the level of last year, you don't put the 5-6 corps after the 1-4 ones. The crowd was less responsive than they might have otherwise been. Anyways, to Boston's performance. Personally, I really enjoyed this show. It's got a little bit of everything, and a lot of African rhythms. The segment from The Mission was mine and my wife's favorite part. Marimba Spiritual was okay, but it wasn't as good a transition from percussion to brass as Stained Glass (SCV) was last year. Harmonium seemed too short.

The retreat came pretty quick and smooth. That was nice to see. They talked to Rondo and Dennis DeLucia, who announced that there were 11,740 people there tonight. Show me. I'd have said 20-30,000. Can't judge the size of crowds, I guess. The crowd was unhappy with Madison and Phantom's placements. I was unhappy with Madison and Phantom's placements. I was infuriated by the tie. Why was the tiebreaker rule not used? Not 5 minutes before, Dennis was talking about how great it was that a tiebreaker was in place now. <sigh> I believe that this is indeed a competition, or else why even keep a score? Ties just take the competitive aspect out of it. Sorry That's my personal rant.

I figured that since the Blue Devils won, they'd either decline to play an encore, or they'd just play their show and leave. Since I didn't like their show, we just left. With my luck, and my love of encores as chances to hear stuff *other* than the show, I'm sure they played like 30 songs or something. If somebody was there and heard what they did, please let me know!

It was pretty easy getting back to the car. No traffic on the road to get to the highway, either. I don't know why that was. Last year, it was a mess. Got home at 1:30.

Overall, I was kinda disappointed by the show. They seemed sloppier than last years. Those fall downs, a few run ins, a lot of distracting duhting and a *lot* of dropped flags / rifles / sabers / apostrophes. When I first sat down to write this review, I also thought that most of the corps were disappointing musically. I have to revise that, though, upon writing this, 'cause I could find so many things to like! I do enjoy the fact that everyone's so close this year, and I think that if the cleanups that should be happening do, then we're in for a great treat come Finals week

If you've got questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me at menew@bga.com. If you feel like discussing this online, then post back. If you feel like attacking me for having my opinions, then go away. I'm not playing that RAMD game.

Thanks for reading!

Mike New

menew@bga.com

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Wow, quite a review!!  Did you take notes or something - how do you remember so many specifics?

Wasn't the Southwest Championship the one they made the midseason CD's from?  If so, I seem to recall the Glassmen solo having a lot more problems than just one note.  The difference between that performance and the Finals performance was one of the best improvements I saw anywhere.  Or am I remembering that wrong?

-- Andrew

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Naah, I'd written this right after the show - it's on my own website, so I just copied and pasted.  Was trying to get a discussion going, since nobody had posted a review at the time.

It's been 8 months now, but I didn't remember the Glassmen solo as being that bad.  Of course, I never heard the CD, either, and things sound different live in the dome.  More fuzzy.  A lot of the individual technical errors get covered up.  In 2000, I thought Pacific Crest should have been a top 12 corps live, but on audio, they were more of a 13-15 corps.

Also in retrospect, I had a lot more fun than I let on at the time.  I guess I was just tired.  I had been up from 6 that morning until the last performance late that night, and we'd been stuck out in 100 degree heat for two hours waiting on them to open the dome.  That'll color your perceptions, all right.  

Sometimes, the sheer energy just blows you away.  I love it when you hit the corps that ratchet up the volume a notch.  It happens in the 2/3's, when you start getting to the top corps, then to the D1's.  

You can usually tell that you're getting near the corps that will place in the top 14 when they put out a sound just light years tighter and louder than what you just heard in the last group.  Then, when you hit about top 9 or so, it plateaus.  Some will be a *little* more intense or louder, but not to quite the degree of shock as it was earlier.  I was dissapointed the first time I saw the Blue Devils live in '98, 'cause they didn't take it up that notch.  But, they were right there with Cavies and SCV at that show.  All top echelon corps.

(Another advantage to the A-Dome is that you can't hear the next corps warming up.  I used to go to the Killeen, TX show, and the warmup area was in a field past the end zone.  And how can you beat watching a corps show in Texas, in July, in air conditioning?!?)

Man, I can't wait for July again, now!  I think I'm going to write a new thread in a bit about the first time I saw corps live, and what the differences were from the tapes and CD's...

Cheers,

Mike

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I just thought it funny that you mentioned the Madison Scout who fell toward the end of their show, because he happens to be my roommate here at Indiana University.  He told me the story before I read this post, so when I saw him mentioned, I pointed it out to him.  He was ###### that he fell, but it's something to look back at and laugh about now.

~ Maedhros

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Evening Show

1   91.00 Blue Devils (brass, perc, GE)

2t  89.95 The Cavaliers (visual)

2t  89.95 Santa Clara Vanguard

4   89.45 The Cadets

5   84.55 Glassmen

6   84.45 Crossmen

7   83.75 Phantom Regiment

8   81.45 Boston Crusaders

9   80.30 Bluecoats

10 78.70 Madison Scouts

11 77.50 Colts

12 76.85 Blue Knights

I believe it was the Blue Devils who won Visual that night. The Cavies won high guard that night.

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