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I forgot one thing that bothered me about the BAC guard. They wear one piece costumes at the beginning, the colors are undernearth...dear Lord I wish they could figure out away to bring down their tops to reveal their colors withough seeing the tag of their costume, or the mess at their waist....too bad they couldn't velcro or zip off that top...

Anyway, in a big stadium it may not matter, but in the 9th row on the 50 aisle with their fresh makeup and well done hair, the unkempt look of their tops down is just......well......messy.

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Strutta : I believe I recognized that St. Kevins song your group played. I Believe it was " All the Things you Are " if I'm not mistaken. Was that the one you played ? Are the Legends of Mass. going to put on an exhibition, do you guys know, at Foxboro for next years DCI ?

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Thanks! Great review! It was a really great show and amazing how much these kids had left in them after doing as many as three parades earlier that day!!

I did have different impressions on a few corps. Nothing against the original review, I'm just offering my point of view. I viewed all these corps previously in Bristol and had these same thoughts after that show. I'll only mention those corps that I felt differently about from this review.

First, I thought the Glassmen's show was quite accessible and entertaining. It came across just as it was intended, as a conglomeration of music that Martha Graham choreographed during her career. The corps held the attention of the crowd (around me anyway) at both shows and garnered sincere appreciation/applause. The opening set is extremely well designed - the body movement really shows off their uniforms (but they certainly need to clean to achieve more consistency in the poses) and the drill moving onto the field to the first impact is wonderful. At this time, they need more confidence to start maximizing out the musical and visual impacts (currently, some impact points leave you somewhat disappointed based on the build-up.) Field coverage is amazing, guard is well integrated, and the music offers a nice blend of the familiar and the obscure. I didn’t like the inclusion of Simple Gifts when I first heard it in Bristol (it's been done before), but really appreciated the unique arrangements (thanks I assume to Robert Smith) on second hearing in Beverly. This show and corps has great potential, now it’s all about cleaning.

Second, I was very disappointed in Spirit's show. It felt like a show searching for a meaning. There was no connection whatsoever between the supposed theme and music or drill. For me, this is an example of a good corps being given a second rate show. The musical book plays like moving between different channels on a radio and hitting stations that play extremely different kinds of music. This is most jarring at the switch to jazz toward the end - it has nothing to do with anything played before that and just comes from nowhere. The drill is a compilation of numerous watered down Cavies moves (no surprise as it's the same designer), Cadets moves, and Blue Devils moves with a little Santa Clara in the guard (they tap their imaginary wristwatches and do that overly exaggerated walk during their dance piece.) The audience around me in both shows seemed similarly lost and uninspired until the last maybe third of the show. The audience seemed to come out of their daze at the point where the drum line makes the sounds of galloping hooves (what does that have to do with anything) and the attention is finally held until the end due to the more interesting and accessible jazzy finale. The only criticism I would make of the corps itself is that the drum line is VERY dirty and not playing together at all. Field percussion sounds like three separate entities. In total, this is too good of a corps for the show they were given - so not a bash on the corps, but on the show concept and design (note to designers, this is Spirit of JSU, not the Alabama Cavaliers.)

I pretty much agree with your assessment of Crossmen with the exception of the fact that I really don’t like the arrangement of Both Sides Now. It takes too long to get to the actual melody, but it certainly makes a big impact when it gets there and the full horn line is playing its heart out. My only other problem with the show is the drum break leading to the showoff section. The drums really do break in that their solo totally changes the feel that had been well established. Then the corps breaks into three sections for a "show off" that doesn’t really deliver impact and, at this point anyway, simply highlights drops by the guard.

I only make this comment about The Cadets' baton twirler because of all the negative reaction by many who have not even seen it … wait until you see it to complain. This guy won world championships twice and nationals eight times in baton. He is well incorporated into the show and even if you really hate it, he just appears, does his tosses, and switches back to the equipment the rest of the guard is using. It is a very drum corps GE/impact/athletic kind of thing and NOTHING like the marching band baton twirler some have painted it to be.

Thanks again for a great review. I can hardly wait for the Lynn show!!!

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Second, I was very disappointed in Spirit's show. It felt like a show searching for a meaning. There was no connection whatsoever between the supposed theme and music or drill. For me, this is an example of a good corps being given a second rate show. The musical book plays like moving between different channels on a radio and hitting stations that play extremely different kinds of music. This is most jarring at the switch to jazz toward the end - it has nothing to do with anything played before that and just comes from nowhere.

Mr. Fifer...great commentary. I had the same feeling last year watching Spirit at semi-finals...i felt i was watching a show designed by a schizophrenic with all those drum corps tributes every 20 seconds it seemed. Were it not for an incredibly passionate and emotional performance by the corps, they probably would not have made finals last year.

I think the people at Spirit have made a conscious decision to try to "elevate" the corps into another tier of competition...however...best intentions sometimes are not always best results. I have not seen them yet this year but i will in Orlando and am interested in what their design team has come up with.

My biggest contention, and i mean no offense to anyone, is that this is no longer the "spirit" that older drum corps fans can identify with. I know this will spark endless posts about a new direction, but i miss their southern identity and i think dci fans do too!

To me, spirit has always been about the south, (southern jazz, patriotism, gershwin, etc.) and they have always gotten themselves in trouble when they have strayed from their identity (reference Interstellar Suite and their more recent productions).

What brought spirit back from the dead in 1997 was their history, heritage and roots. I don't necessarily think that they needed to stray to far away from that identity, but i guess this is why the designers get paid the big bucks.

As for me, bring back Porgy & Bess, Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F, the gospel show, etc....it is the spirit i will always fondly remember and cherish. As for the recent editions, i am still a big fan having connections with the corps and all....but i don't feel the emotional connnection that i should...perhaps the reasons are listed above.

Anyways, i wish them the best of luck...and i hope they continue to climbe the ranks.

Take care!

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Fifer, thanks for your response. It's nice to know that people can disagree on their review compared to others without being disagreeable. You found the Glassmen's show much more enjoyable than I did. That's fine. And I'm glad you did. Seriously. Drum corps would be so boring if all the Corps were the same, and there were no Corps taking risks or doing things differently than maybe some others. I appreciate the diversity of shows available out there, and the diversity of what fan's like and don't like. My concern are the hard line crowd that have their own version of what Drum Corps are and should be and they want to eliminate and ban for others that which is not to their liking. But that's another topic. Again, thanks for your input on some corps that was different than mine. You made me rethink portions of some Corps routines that I may look at again in the future too.

Edited by Lieut. General Effect
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Ditto with me rethinking based on your comments Lieut. - we all need to keep challenging ourselves in the way we look at shows (they are not as straightforward as they used to be - LOL!)

And I couldn't agree more with decompressed in that, while I appreciate their trying something different, I do so miss the identity that Spirit had developed and feel they now seem to be a corps in search of an identity.

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Decompressed : I agree with your analysis on Spirit. Sometimes a Corps can advance by going back to revisit what it was that made them unique in the first place, and bring that uniqueness into today with perhaps a fresher approach. Man, I'd love to see Spirit with that Southern influence if you will in future years shows.

Edited by Lieut. General Effect
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Why does a corps HAVE to have a certain style?? Why is it not good to be different each year? Whether the fans like it or not, education is a huge part of the MEMBERS of a drum corps also. Various musical styles are a good thing people. Second of all, they are not the (Alabama Cavaliers), THey are Spirit. Yeah so the writers are the same. What's so bad about that??????

I know people are entitled to opinions of the show, and that is perfectly fine, BUT bashing the design team and staff is really not very appropriate. So "YOU" might not care for the show, but there are MANY MANY others who really like it.

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