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A few thoughts after seing the DCI Quarterfinals live on the big (or sort of big) screen at the UA/Regal theatre in Columbia, MD:

Crowd was late-arriving.... the 5 PM start time likely had something to do with that, with folks not able to get out of work early, etc.

Only one auditorium was used this year. Last year, there were three at the same theatre location.

Audio was REAL low at the very beinning.... theatre management was informed about this, and the volume got boosted. A manager explained to me that the volume issue was a problem with the satellite feed, not the audio system in the auditorium.

Watching the show on a theatre screen, it can be tough to tell at times whether a corps is really generating volume/intensity, compared to viewing that same performance in person.

That being said, some show thoughts (on some, not all of the corps):

Mandarins: GREAT uniforms......interesting show. A bit "angry" for a show with a "love" theme, though, IMO.

Capital Regiment: Heckuva horn line once again....... I didn't "get" the sundial thing. Kudos to those girls for their hard work in pushing that contraption around the field.

Colts: Loved the "Music Man" ballad. Nice overall show.

Crossmen: Seemed to be pretty fired up.... I like their show! But their visual design seems compressed and/or a bit cluttered, compared to their competitors.

Spirit of JSU: I enjoy their Broadway show this year..... but their quarterfinals performance seemed to be a bit subdued, at least on the theatre screen.

Glassmen: For the first time in a while, I was entertained by the Glassmen. Particularly the second half of their show, with that percussion groove underneath the brass arrangement. Very refreshing, well-done!

SCV: I agree with a poster on another review thread.... break out the "Bottle Dance" for Finals. What does the corps have to lose this year?

Carolina Crown: WOW, what a horn line! I got chills a couple of times. I hope the corps is getting the exposure credit it should be getting, for having the horn line play the ballad facing the front of the field the entire time. Absolutely outstanding! (The rest of the corps ain't too shabby, either.)

Madison Scouts: The "Carmen" performer is HOT. I was kinda waiting for a "wardrobe malfunction"..... B) Nice to see the Scouts back in their aggressive, high-energy mode.

Blue Devils: OK...... my opinion of amplification is: I'm all for it, when done well and when it enhances a show. And I know I'm going to be in the vast minority here, but I honestly think the Devils' narration was done well.

A.) The narrator's voice had a 1930's "sound" to it, and B.) The actual amplification of his voice had an "echo-like" quality to it, harkening back to a bygone era. I think the narration fit this show very well, helping to "tell the story."

I only wish the Devils' brass book had more "meat" in it this year. Lots of sound snippets....too many, IMO. Perhaps that's one reason why they're in fourth place right now.

Phantom Regiment: My first viewing of them this season, and they were my favorite corps of the night. HOLY MACKEREL!!!! This, folks, is drum corps at its finest, IMO.....entertaining AND sophisticated. A different treatment of two Gershwin classics, but the tunes were not twisted into an unrecognizable form. And the "Gene Kelly" dance tableau throughout the show helped sell an outstanding program.

Cavaliers: Liked the "baseball game" and the finale. The rest of the show didn't entertain me as much as I thought it would. The visual program at times seemed a lot less fast-paced and frenetic, compared to Cavaliers shows from recent years. But this year, the finale..... wow, these guys are doing some incredible visual moves in and around the ladders!!!! Impressive.

Cadets: Clearly the best-executing corps of the night. No weaknesses in any caption, at all. I don't think anyone's catching them the next two nights, unless they stumble badly.

All in all, a nice night out... drum corps at the movies is a great idea!

Fran

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A few thoughts after seing the DCI Quarterfinals live on the big (or sort of big) screen at the UA/Regal theatre in Columbia, MD:

Crowd was late-arriving.... the 5 PM start time likely had something to do with that, with folks not able to get out of work early, etc.

Only one auditorium was used this year.  Last year, there were three at the same theatre location.

Audio was REAL low at the very beinning.... theatre management was informed about this, and the volume got boosted.    A manager explained to me that the volume issue was a problem with the satellite feed, not the audio system in the auditorium.

Watching the show on a theatre screen, it can be tough to tell at times whether a corps is really generating volume/intensity, compared to viewing that same performance in person.

I only wish the Devils' brass book had more "meat" in it this year. Lots of sound snippets....too many, IMO.  Perhaps that's one reason why they're in fourth place right now.

All in all, a nice night out... drum corps at the movies is a great idea!

Fran

Fran,

I agree with much of what you've written. Let me add a few random thoughts.

I LOVED DCI at the movies!!! Air-conditioning, cushy seats, annoying my wife and others by nailing the answers to all of the trivia questions, and buying the ultra-huge free refill snacks.......I was in a popcorn coma bu the time Carmen made her......appearance. Anyone else this summer feel like she was a distraction from what was easily the best Madison corps since the 'Pirates' show of 1997 and maybe even since 1995?

While I prefer my drum corps live, my employer expects me back preparing for a new school year when Championship week rolls around and, frankly, a Friday night flight to see only finals Saturday followed by a Sunday flight back home to North Carolina.........that's just not enough drum corps to satisfy me. The quarterfinals cinemacast was the next best thing.

Hooray for you Southwind! Your show was one of my favorites all summer and I could not be happier to see you make the Friday performance this year. I look forward to seeing what you cook up next season.

Why can't we ever have a tie for 12th so that an extra corps can get to compete on Saturday too. THAT would be cool.

Yeah.......loved the Colts show (wish the soloists had been a little more confidant.........I mean you're a SOLOIST.......don't be afraid to let us have it!) and also the Crossmen. In most years these shows would have made finals but it looks like this is not most seasons.

Spirit......wow! Nice improvement since I saw you live in Sevierville and then again in San Antonio. Finals for you looks pretty solid.

Can't remember ever enjoying Crown and Bluecoats as much as I have this season. GLASSMEN and BOSTON.....enjoyed you more than I have in at least five or six years.

Santa Clara............look forward to seeing you return to higher placements. Loved just listening.

Blue Knights: I have never enjoyed seeing you perform more than I did this season. San Antonio was my only live look at you and you were just supurb. Makes me proud to be an alumni.

Blue Devils: No. The narration was annoying. The show concept patronizing. You guys are too good to have to resort to this kind of show. My wife, the ultimate Blue Devils fan said afterwards that she wanted to just pretend she had to go to the bathroom and miss this show. Having said that, I thought it would be really cool if you had tried the Dance Derby thing from the beginning but as exhausted dancers 'collapse' they are out for the remainder of the show. That way the corps keeps going as a smaller and smaller ensemble to the point that at the end you just have a mini-corps marching drill while avoiding the fallen bodies of collapsed dancers. I mean, I remember the end of your 88 show in Kansas City and how cool it was that the show ended with just a tiny ensemble.

Phantom: WOW! Would love to see this show win it all.

Cavies: The worst thing I can say about your show is that it's the show that had to follow James Bond. Nothing wrong with that!

Cadets: Didn't see it live. Wish I had. Thought I'd hate it from the early press but didn't. Didn't love it either........but another two or three looks and I might have.

Till Next Year!

David

Edited by notelvis
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