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Granny Smith

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I watched the top 12 from 1990, 1991, and 1992 over the past couple of days and few corps today seem to get close to the power that was displayed from top to bottom even in those years. I can appreciate the difficulty and proper musicianship, but I also like for a hornline to fill the stadium with sound too.

I watched bits and pieces of 1993, 1994, and 1995 and things seem to be changing in 1995 from the previous years. Granted, I only watched Magic, Crown, and Crossmen from that year so far, but the crowd were sitting on their hands and I can see exactly why. Those shows were relatively quiet. The compositions were different and the crowd became observers rather than being interactive. Thusly, they seem to be sitting on their hands until the very end of the shows. Watching them fairly soon after watching the previous seasons revealed a clear difference (to me) that may not have been as obvious before.

Is there no room in the activity for all the 'innovations' in drill, composition, and so on for some moments that will get the crowd out of their seats? Looking at the past, it's hard for me to not find a lot of today's corps to be self-serving. One of the vignettes from the 1990 broadcast was a VK staffer talking about the activity becoming self-serving by playing to the judges and going for scores. It's not so much that I want to turn the clock back, but wish more corps would find a way to mix the complexity and obscurity of today with the pleasures of the past. Make shows that meet all of that and don't sell out for scores if the judges don't appreciate playing to the fans.

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I'm going to ask a question that I have no idea about. Has the average age of the DCI audience changed from the early 90's to today? I know that I do not hoot and yell for corps like I used to, but it is me not them. I don't hoot and yell at football and basketball games like I used to. I'm older now. So has our audience aged, or are we replacing them with youger members? If we are older on the average, then I would expect the audience response to drop. When I was younger I just hooted and yelled to be part of the excitement, now I wait until I am really moved. Just my two cents.

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As I read these posts, I can only concur that drum corps have gotten esoteric to the point of being boring. All corps are pretty much doing similar drills and playing similar music, so as to please the judges -- DCI needs more corps like VK, Bridgeman, the old Madison Scouts, and the old SCV to energize and please the crowd. For me, good drum corps music ended about 1995-96. The Madison Alumni corps demonstrated what crowd-pleasing music is all about, and the rest of DCI collectively laid a rotten egg.

The crowd in my seating section at DCI quarterfinals applauded politely during the performancs and gave a standing O at the end. But, as everone must know, standing O's are madatory for almost everthing these days -- I never go to a concert anymore of any kind where the audience doesn't stand at the end.

I simply sold my tickets to DCI Finals and voted with my feet. Why be bored twice.

Jon

Former DCI fan

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I find that some show designers don't really think of the audience anymore. They have the corps play music that is hard to get into form a fan stand point and is not familiar the audience.

Very few corps do any great "drill moves" anymore. For example the Z pull that The Cadets did back in the 80's, the pivot that 27th Lancers used to do and the "Rockford File" the Phantom colur guard did from time to time.

This is where the old saying comes in "play for the audience" not the judges.

If I was a show designer, I would play for the people who "PAY TO SEE MY SHOW!!"

But that is my opinion.

Edited by ODBC

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Over the past five or ten years I've left shows feeling kind of down. The performances seemed to be lacking in emotional impact from what I was used to (or remembered).

Maybe it's because they are moving so fast. Maybe it's because we have so many more music majors and bandos now and technical ability has taken precedence over the old raw emotional power.

But the strange thing is if you put on the cd's with headphones on it comes across differently. Just wish I could get the same feeling when actualy viewing and hearing the performance. Would love to be able to get up and scream and holler.

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I find that some show designers don't really think of the audience anymore. They have the corps play music that is hard to get into form a fan stand point and is not familiar the audience.

For me, it doesn't even have to be familiar. Some of my most favorite drum corps shows were of music that I had never heard of before. It is all about the style it is performed in. If they are going to sound like they are in a concert hall, they are going to get a similar sort of audience interaction with them. It doesn't have to be that way, but the drum corps en masse have apparently made that choice for us.

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oh, I don't think that there can be much disagreement that the Drum Corps fans in the late 70's thru to the mid 90's were much more animated and enthusiastic for the shows Corps were putting on. Fans would be on theiir feet at the end of songs, even at the end of the opener in some cases. Nobody can make a credible case that the fans today are as enthusiastic as fans from that period. It's best to move onto another topic, as anyone who thinks todays fan's greet the corps performances with the same degree of enthusiasm either were not present back then or they've developed amnesia on the fans from back then. One could not hear the final musical passage of Corps ( ie SCV 89, Madison '95 ) because the crowd was going positively bonkers with appreciation for what was before them.

Edited by X DM

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Any corps seems to get enthusiastic responces, how many corps actually put a show on the field to cause spontaneous standing O's in the middle of a show? Even by watching previous season on DVD, they are a hard thing to find these days.

And this was the same in the 80s, and the 70s when I marched. Watch your videos/DVD's. Reliable Rondo even comments about how certain corps have the ability to get a standing O during their show, rather than just at the end like everyone else (late 70's show - can't remember which at the moment - 78 perhaps?). Some corps did receive standing O's during their shows, but they were few and far between. When corps receive multiple standing O's, the camera did a reasonably good job of catching the reactions, or Steve Rondinaro commented about it. You don't hear that many comments, because it simply didn't happen that often.

I do remember, as many have noted, that there were far more rowdy responses to corps simply entering the field in the past than there are now.

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I watched the top 12 from 1990, 1991, and 1992 over the past couple of days and few corps today seem to get close to the power that was displayed from top to bottom even in those years. I can appreciate the difficulty and proper musicianship, but I also like for a hornline to fill the stadium with sound too.

And in 90 to 92, people were saying the same things about the 70s and 80s - how much more power and excitement there was in the 70s and 80s vs. the early 90 years.

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I find that some show designers don't really think of the audience anymore. They have the corps play music that is hard to get into form a fan stand point and is not familiar the audience.

Funny you should say this. There was a comment very similar to this printed in Drum Corps World. In 1971!

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