"DCI on the Big Screen" Review 5/8/04

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Just got back from the DCI movie preview at the Regal Cinemas in Lincolnshire, Illinois. I woke up at about 6 AM, taking full advantage of Michigan's Eastern Time Zone. The drive was nice...saw the Chicago Skyline, paid lots of tolls, and played the "Name the corps from the town" game as I drove.

I arrived a few minutes late because of a trip to find a restroom, which was more difficult than usual thanks to the "Oasis" renovations on I-294. After a nice tour of Des Plaines, I made it back on the road and on to the theater.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by a DCI staff member who gave me a ticket for the event and directed me to the theater. I had choices, Theater 1 or 10, so I picked 1. The DCI staff was kind, generous and extremely helpful.

Now, onto the review. (I don't see a need to review the PBS broadcast...we've all seen it.)

I walked in as the Bluecoats were performing. Immediately I was taken back by the sheer size of the marching members on screen. They sure look different on the big screen than they do on my 13 inch T.V.!!!! Immediately I was digging the sound too. I was sitting in the second row (of the stadium seats), far right, and heard everything I needed to hear, saw everything I needed to see. Gentle applause would resound for impacts, beginning and endings, and the like. It seemed as if the crowd, accustomed to polite reaction, didn't quite know how to react to the Drum Corps action. As the show wore on, the crowd warmed up, perhaps because the local corps were on and people felt more comfortable.

As the show ended and the lights turned on, DCI officials stopped to speak with us in a Q&A session. We were asked about the positive things from the experience, things that could be improved upon, and I really felt like the staff was listening with full intent of making this experience a true "drum corps" setting.

We were told that the performance on Quarters will be at least the top 17 corps and will be shown in a similar fashion to sitting in the stands and watching the whole show. Stories, judges comments and various "news" bits will be between the corps, so everyone will get to see the full corps performance.

Because an audience is extremely removed from the action on the field, and more so in a theater, my one wish is that they can possibly mic a few members, or put cameras on their bells (like a lot of the BD tour videos) so I can feel the rush of a marching member going absolutely bezerk on their instrument, or whatever they may be doing on the field.

Again, thank you Phantom Regiment for giving me lots of goose bumps.

All in all I had a blast. It was worth driving 182 miles one way to dust off the Crossmen jacket, sit in a dark room and watch in your face drum corps. I thought I'd be the only east coaster representing, but I saw a Crossmen t-shirt and Cadets sweatshirt, so there was some representation (to all you east coasters). I also saw lots of Colts, Kilties, Regiment, Scouts, Cavaliers and a GUARDSMEN jacket, which I thought was awesome.

That's all she wrote! I give it two thumbs WAAAAY up.

Edited by drewbugler
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