"DCI At The Movies" musings from MD


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Just got home from watching the DCI Div. 1 Quarterfinals at the Regal Cinemas in Columbia, Maryland..... while I wind down from a long day, some thoughts if I may:

Pretty good-sized crowd at this movieplex......2 auditoriums basically sold out, a third one maybe half-full. Not bad!!!!

Random impressions of some the corps:

1) Cavaliers were rockin'!!!!! This was my first (and only) viewing of them this season, and I was highly impressed. Nice to hear the Cavies' brass actually play some extended melody lines, compared to the all-original, "visual package-is-the-star" shows of the past few years.

2) I love the Blue Devils' show this season. (Then again, I've been a BD fan since the early 1970's, so I love 'em most seasons!!!) But who knows if they can put together a performance to pass the Cavies Friday and/or Saturday night.

3) I think the average car alarm has more melody in it than does the Boston Crusaders' show this season. But that being said, I found myself being drawn into the Crusaders' show and pretty much enjoying it, simply by focusing on their visual effects. Boston's overall performance seemed very energized.

4)Carolina Crown lit the place up! What a hornline. Cool show overall!!

5) Colts have a very entertaining show, with lots of built-in audience appeal. I kept thinking to myself, "this show would work VERY well in DCA." Colts, IMO, have one of the best marching styles I've ever seen... very precise from an individual standpoint.

6) SC Vanguard!!!!!! Enough said. GREAT show this season!!!!!! I'm not sure that their quarterfinals job was even close to their best performance, however.

7) I had Spirit of JSU over Glassmen for the 12th spot. No offense to the Glassmen, who have a great organization, but I just don't "get" them at all.

8) I liked the Cadets' show more than I thought I might, not being a big Jethro Tull fan (this show was my first look at Cadets this season). But there were a couple of spots when watching the militaristic Cadets trying to "rock out"..... it just seemed like it didn't fit.

OK... gotta go and get some sleep. I hope DCI does this "Quarterfinals at the Movies" thing again next year.

Fran

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Is it right to assume that half the corps' performances were not garbled or simply not shown because of satellite problems like they were in Manhattan? The people who work at the theatre claimed that all of the people watching the show nationwide were getting similar problems. They also promised a refund and then reneged and then wouldn't let people back into the show when they had left based on the promise of a refund. I managed to get back in and fortunately the last half of Phantom's show and the rest of the corps after that came through great.

Other than that, the corps I actually got to see and hear really rocked. Sometimes I just don't find some DCI corps' shows entertaining but this year they were all awesome and had me on the edge of my seat.

I probably won't go to the theatre to see quarterfinals again though. I don't want to pay to see a show and then miss a bunch of corps because the people at the theatre don't know how to operate their equipment.

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This was such a fantastic opportunity I had a blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would agree with Fran on everything except I had Glassman over Spirit but it was hard to decide they were both great along with BK.

I was excited to see Cavies and I loved it more than I even thought I would. Everyone was great and the theater was so much fun. Chesapeake VA had fillled the first theater when I got there and they had already opened the second. Considering I was one of the first to buy a ticket I was glad to get such a good seat. The crowd showed much love for Crown and I was happy to see it.

Very proud that I got to see my corps break 90 in person (well sorta)

THANK YOU DCI & REGAL CINIMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

very tired it is almost 3:00 so I hope this made sence!

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Is it right to assume that half the corps' performances were not garbled or simply not shown because of satellite problems like they were in Manhattan? The people who work at the theatre claimed that all of the people watching the show nationwide were getting similar problems. They also promised a refund and then reneged and then wouldn't let people back into the show when they had left based on the promise of a refund. I managed to get back in and fortunately the last half of Phantom's show and the rest of the corps after that came through great.

Other than that, the corps I actually got to see and hear really rocked. Sometimes I just don't find some DCI corps' shows entertaining but this year they were all awesome and had me on the edge of my seat.

I probably won't go to the theatre to see quarterfinals again though. I don't want to pay to see a show and then miss a bunch of corps because the people at the theatre don't know how to operate their equipment.

Sorry to hear about your experience. I would definitely contact the cinema's corporate office for a partial refund or a voucher. Otherthan a short power surge during Colts' show, the feed ran smoothly at our regal cinema. I would suggest that you give a try again, but at a different theatre. :(

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Is it right to assume that half the corps' performances were not garbled or simply not shown because of satellite problems like they were in Manhattan?

Birmingham had one glitch where the sound was garbled for Spirit's opener and then lost the picture (which did not make the big Spirit crowd at the theater very happy). However, the picture was only out for about 30 seconds. Once we got the signal back, we were problem free for the rest of the night.

Great shows all! And all the placement flip flopping was exciting! The only corps from top 12 that didn't change placement from Indy were Crossmen and Phantom.

I'm hoping my boys Bluecoats can hang on to 6th although it's anybody's game at this point with 6th through 9th being only a 0.1 spread!

Bart Yount

Sky Ryders 90, 91

Bluecoats 92, 93

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Is it right to assume that half the corps' performances were not garbled or simply not shown because of satellite problems like they were in Manhattan? The people who work at the theatre claimed that all of the people watching the show nationwide were getting similar problems.

In Alhambra, California the audio feed went out for about 30 seconds early during (of all corps to have this happen) the Cavaliers' show. At the same time, the theater lights partially came back on and there was much booing, hissing, restlessness and trepidation until the audio came back on and they lowered the lights again. Everything ran smoothly after that - we dodged a bullet.

My own highlights of the event:

Madison: Their last note was clocked at 25 seconds. What other way to top that incredible, slow motion company front/wheel. To borrow a popular drum corps adjective, they were "awesome."

Cadets: The petite woman-in-a-tutu I imagined would play the role of "INFAMOUS BATON TWIRLER" turned out to be a burly, hairy-armed guy in a sleeveless shirt. (He dropped the thing, which is only allowed in parades.)

Magic of Orlando's Pirates of the Caribbean show: The Contra/Drummer fight takes the prize for best imitation of a hockey game.

Carolina Crown: To their credit, their most memorable moment was NOT the DM mooning theater-goers nationwide as he put down his shako. For me at least, the most memorable moment was when the hornline drowned out the singers and took back the field for drum corps.

Boston Crusaders: Their show began on the left and ended on the right. That's downright "old skool"! If they keep this up, next year they'll be playing G bugles again (I own one of their old sopranos) and teaching the Color Guard to march. On the other hand, how many corps can you say had props so big that the stadium had to remove seats to get them in?

Moment of irony: After one of the "amplified narration corps" finished, the post-performance interview was delayed for lack of audio from the DCI interviewer's microphone.

Capital Regiment: For the first time in my life, I realized The Doxology is a fanfare. It will, no doubt, be played that way in Heaven. They also had one of the most nicely blended and balanced horn chords of the night. Even to a casual observer such as myself, I could tell they had been the best of all up to that point. The 2-point lead they took at the top confirmed it.

Glassmen: Their hornline bowed down and disappeared at the end of the show. Somehow they pulled that off without even having any props to hide behind.

Blue Knights: Finally, for the first time in at least three years, the Color Guard has a decent uniform.

Blue Devils: Brass earned a perfect 20! Changing the subject, I predict that next year's Color Guard, after a season of sticking their faces in each others crotches, will take it to the next level and bring live sex to the field. The resulting GE points will give the Blue Devils another championship.

Santa Clara Vanguard: I and the crowd in my theater were cheering on these guys, but I was disappointed that their marching didn't look as clean as I would have expected by now. I loved the big banner that covered the Color Guard at the end - nice touch for Finals week.

Troopers!!!: I loved your brief highlight - wished I could have seen more. Keep the faith.

Pacific Crest, Mandarins & Esperanza: You're getting better every year. Keep up the good work.

This idea of putting it in theaters, I like even better than PBS or pay per view. You get to watch with hundreds of fellow drum corps fans even if you can't be there. Nice.

Edited by One of the Sops
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In King of Prussia the video went off during most of the Cascades show. But that was the only one we missed. There was also some half-screen fuzziness during some of the early corps. Then it seemed to have been 'fixed'.

If a different corps was affected in each theater, it must have been local reception problems. We were thinking the effect was nationwide also, and were wondering how the people in Seattle were taking it!

My thoughts on the theater in general:

Good Things: Inexpensive, soft seat (as opposed to stadium), no weather situation (at least for the audience), nice overhead views (no bad seats) from high cameras, no long trek to car, nice to have a crowd to share the moments with as opposed to being at home alone.

Bad Things: Harder to appreciate a really loud hornline when someone is controlling the volume, can't look where you want, can't stand and stretch between corps (old people get stiff!), random video losses, no souvie stands, no seeing the buses with decorated windows, corps warming up, etc., and finally, the cheering doesn't quite mean as much. Yeah, people cheered. I cheered. But the corps couldn't hear us, so it didn't feel as vital.

Be that as it may, I hope they offer it again. I would go FIRST to a stadium if it's possible (this isn't really a substitute), SECOND to a theater, and THIRD watch a live broadcast at home. Just my two cents. :)

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Had a couple of screen flickers in Irvine, but no sound probs....except it wasn;t loud enough! Don't these theater people realize we WANT our ears to bleed???

Thoughts on the night:

Los Angeles traffic sucks big red donkey #### and swallows! I left Pacoima at 1, but thanks to a jackknifed big rig just south of the 710 connection, it was backed up for miles. By the time I cleared the wreck site, the back up was to the Los Feliz area....and thos who live in the L.A. area know how long of a trip THAT is!

Parking at Irvine ALSO stunk....because a large chunk of parking was being rebuilt!

Ahh well...

Magic -- Not a bad show...loved the play acting! The cheer when the contra started beating up the snare was something? However, I kept feeling I was hearing Mystikal's show (since they played the same music) Had no prob with the water vish...on a grass field it would get soaked up fast...I was more concerned with the treasure chest stuff.

Cascades -- the fact that this show placed 15th really hits on how strong the overall field is. Don't know if they can pull off a 3-4 po0int jump tonight. Kinda missed the small restatement of Savannah River Holiday in the low brass at the end, tho.

Madison -- the countdown timer was a big hit! Brilliant! Not the best program I've seen from them, but nice to see them back in the thick...and the oh-so-slow setup for the rotating front was SOOOOO good!

Crusaders -- Narration wasn't too bad....but it could've been done from the field.

Crown -- WOW! They finally got a brass line back!! Best I've heard since 95! The narration: OK....I see where you guys're going. In any other venue -- particularly a smoky nightclub -- this would work...not on a football field. The singers WERE good, however.

Bluecoats -- OMG!!!!! All I can say!

Regiment -- Guard emoted wonderfully (No comment from you, Bill Price! I heard plenty last night!!). Enjoyable show....crowd loved the kick at the end.

Cadets -- What a change from the angry Bernstein days! Who ever thought Garfield could rock out so well!! VERY good show, and a smokin' drum line! Liked the flamingo leg poses in reference to Tull.

SCV -- Y'know, I HAVE to wonder what people in the other theaters were thinking when we yelled "VANGUARD"....heh. GREAT show....new ending works....fab drums! Classic program!

BD -- Ironically, the most fracks of all the soloists (although they were relatively minor....unlike....well, you know what year I'm referring to), but a tight, controlled and perfect (check the recaps) performance. .525 to even up with Cavies is doable. My GOD that train effect is spot on!

Cavaliers -- first off, congrats for the win. 2nd, thank you for playing music. 3rd, as I told Bill Price, if VK had done that show in 86 they would'a placed a lot higher than 12th!! WOW!!!! Top to bottom the kind of program we've come to expect from the boys in green...powerful, insane drill (the floating drum circle was too cool!), stellar musical program, and this year a guard you just want to serve a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred). This could well be the most entertaining champion in recent years.

I can't WAIT to see these dude at TOC!!!

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Capital Regiment:  For the first time in my life, I realized The Doxology is a fanfare.  It will, no doubt, be played that way in Heaven.  They also had one of the most nicely blended and balanced horn chords of the night. 

[

Man, I forgot to mention Capital Regiment in my earlier stuff. Wow, is this an up-and-coming corps or what? Terrific performance of a nice package. The future definitely looks very bright for these guys.

Fran

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We had no trouble with the sat feed in Nashville. Almost a flawless feed from start to finish. The audience was great. Curtious, passionate, and a whole lotta fun. Loved it.

If someone would've found a tranquilizer dart to knock out that Crown guard guy before he started his scat session, it would have been a perfect evening. That was the only collective "moan" of the night.

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