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The Sound Machine Archive Presents|
2000 Drum Corps International
Show Reviews - As Posted on RAMD!
Page Four of Reviews
Listed are the dates and the show site, the reviews will be filled in, if and when
they are available or submitted. The following reviews are solely the opinion
of the reviewers. If you disagree with any comments, feel free to email the author,
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Sunday July 2
|Beverly, MA (DCI Atlantic)
Here are a few thoughts after my first DC viewing of the season. My
biaes--right up front. I am a big, big fan of Cadets, Crossmen, Crown and
Boston, and have not particularly been a fan of Spirit, KK or ECJ.
Cadets: Yes, they sound great, but overall, I was a bit diasappointed. The
show starts off and ends with excitement, but the middle section is a bit flat
right now. I was also not particularly impressed with the color guard:
writing or execution. Too much dancing and too much individual equipment work,
rather than unison work. I also think that the color guard outfits (I can't
bring myself to say uniforms) are the usual Cadets drab and are too casual
looking. Arrangements also seem to be lacking in the lower voices, which
appears (to me) to be an issue with Bocook arrangements for the Cadets. Didn't
see anything new in the drill, although the "Anything you can do" section was a
lot of fun. This show can be beaten. However, if the Cadets pull off one of
their late season show transformations, it could win. We shall see.
Crown: Enjoyed them the most of any crops, and a real "up" performance. I
agree with thoe posters who said this is this best horn lne to date. I was
also impressed with how clean they are for early season. I think this show
will ultimtely take them past Crossmen. Color guard,though, seems a bit weaker
than last year's at this stage.
Crossmen: A big disappointment for me. I must very, very reluctantly agree
with those few posters who have questioned this show. I think it is weak.
Why, oh why was "Birdland" brought back. Playing it three times in five years,
seems to me to be a move from weakness. A lot of posters here questioned
playing "La Copa de La Vida", but I think it would have been a better choice.
As the Crossmen were playing "Birdland" where the first part of the song winds
down, I could only think back to that incredible flag work three years ago
(best I've ever seen) and the wild audience ractions it provoked. Not this
year. Yes, the songs are accessible, but I thought they shortchanged the
audience on melody. Chuck Naffier, if you happen to read this, sorry, but
gotta call it as I saw it. The horn line did sound good, with lots of
volume,and the coprs' overall performance was energetic. However, I do not
think this show will hold up well in August.
Boston: An auspicious debut for the home team. I was quite pleasantly
surprised by the opening of Ravel's Bolero--quite nice, though a bit too
truncated . First several meiutes of the show are very exciting. The horn
line can play this year, and that wonderful symphonic sound is back. The first
part of "Time to Say Goodbye", however, is sung by the whole corps. Bad idea.
Too many non-singers in this group--off key, off key, off key--and it went on
too long. I would like to have heard them play the whole thing. The last part
of the show is a bit rough and busy, so I'm not convinced by it. Drum line,
specially snares, sounded iffy. Hope it was just first show jitters. Color
guard is vastly improved, and I liked the uniforms and silks. The show is a
big step up in difficulty over 1999 for Boston I believe they will pass
Crossmen soon. Crown may be tougher.
Spirit: I was plesantly surprised. Though the show is not terribly exciting,
I liked the music, and they did not try to blow down the stands like last year.
Already their marching technique is way, way ahead of last year. I understand
that there is a lot of tinkering going on with the show to make it more
appealing. I think Spirt may turn out to be just fine.
KK: Fun show of Miss Saigon and some nice prop work. They marched only 28
horns today, and the end of the show was very weak. If they can fill a few
holes, they will be lots of fun and good in August.
ECJ: Weakest I've seen them in a few years. Not small for them--24 horns, but
this show needs major work. They appeared to be really struggling with it.
Going to Bristol tonight. I'll tryb to post again tomorrow, if I can sum up
the enregy and if the thunder storms pass us by.
Saturday July 1
|San Jose, CA (DCI Pacific)
It was a beautiful night for drum corps. Temperatures in the mid-eighties and
clear skies. We arrived early and heard the Vanguard rehearsing in the
stadium. Nothing like the sound of rehearsal to get you fired up for
competition. We visited the souvie booths (love Troopers' booth). I bought
Impulse, G-men, Pacific Crest, and Troopers pins for my "drum corps" hat. I
also picled up what I feel are the two best tour T-shirts: SCV and G-men.
G-men is a deco style design with the triangle logo as the woman's earring.
SCV has a stained glass design that is gorgeous. I'm interested in hearing
what other shirts people like and why. Our seats were right on the 50 and
about 15 rows up. Great seats........except for two big factors (more later).
Now for the corps -
SCV ALUMNI -
They played the national anthem. Sounded good. It would be nice to have them
field a corps for DCA.
BLUE DEVIL "C" -
Cute kids. This is how BD fields such a good "A" corps each year. Start them
out early in the "C" corps. Although there is something rather sick about
putting a horn in the hands of a six-year-old and watching him wander aimlessly
on a football field.
We had a proud mom sitting behind us (part one of the big factor mentioned
previously - she'll be referred to as, "mom" for the rest of this review).
It's great that mom supports her son. Music is good. Drum corps is good.
Talking about your son throughout the whole show is not good. BTW, I think she
should get him the BD jacket for Christmas (she needs help deciding).
RENEGADES - my prediction = 55; actual score = 54.75
Great group. Love the all black uniforms with the capes on the bass drummers.
This group should make a big splash at DCA when they go. Good sound, great
ESPERANZA - my prediction 61.0; actual score = 61.1
It's hard to believe they are fielding their forst corps. Nice sound. Mom
thought that the guard uniforms were ugly. They didn't bother me. I hope
this group stays financially sound.
SEATTLE CASCADES - my prediction 58.2; actual score = 60.6
Thanks for visiting us again. This year's edition was weaker than last year's.
It seemed to fall apart after the opener. They could pull it together for
WEST COAST SOUND - my prediction 59.5; actual score = 61.55
To be honest, they didn't leave a lasting impression on me. In fact, I can't
think of anything else to say. Guess I should take better notes.
IMPULSE - my prediction = 58.0; actual score = 61.15
I have to quote this from the program, "Most of the Impulse creators and
volunteer staff are alumni from a local drum and bugle corps that once
entertained audiences in a Very Kool way. With that experience as a basis, the
Impulse is following a plan of steady and stable growth..." Impulse is larger
this year and seem more comfortable in their role playing and comedy. Great
DM! He was a riot. During the show they held up cards that acted as subtitles
for the action. Mom felt it was necessary to read every one out loud for those
if us around her. She also descibed each of the comedy routines for us. I
can't wait to see how this group grows.
MANDARINS - my prediction 75.6; actual score = 76.45
One of my favorite corps disappointed me for the first time. Beautiful guard,
complex drill, taiko drums, yet something was missing. Oh well, they still are
a class act. Mom was still wondering whether or not to buy her son an Impulse
sweatshirt throughout the Mandarins show.
The show was ahead of schedule at this point and took and intermission. My
companions (Susie and Teresa) headed up to the restroom.
BLUE DEVIL "B" - my prediction = 68.2; actual score = 69.4
Good music, pretty good execution, nice guard. My experience with BDB was
tainted though by big factor number two - an overzealous guard mom who felt it
necessary to coach her kid through the entire performance. She was so loud she
overpowered the music. I found it very hard to concentrate on the kids while
wondering how her medication could be adjusted.
(putting soap box down and climbing on) People......please have the common
courtesy to SHUT UP during a corps performance. It's great that you love and
support your kid. I'm all in favor of love and support but do the rest of us
have to be subjected to your constant, yammering, aural assault? WAKE UP!!!!
There are other people in the world around you and not all of them care about
the new colors for the living room. There, I said it and I feel better (we now
return you to your San Jose review, already in progress)
PACIFIC CREST - my prediction = 80.0; actual score = 79.55
AWESOME!!!! It's too bad that they don't tour. They would take DIV II and
then make semis (at least). Clean, exciting, intense. This is a corps that
must be experienced to believe. What a great show.
SCV Cadets - my prediciton = 75.7; actual score = 74.5
This is a strong corps with some very complex music and drill. The SCV
traditoion is alive and well in their cadet corps. I don't know if they are
going to DCI this year but they should do well if they do.
TROOPERS - my prediction = 60.0; actual score = 59.8
Great to see the Troopers again. I really enjoyed all the parts of their show.
Many holes. I think if they fill the holes and clean the drill they could
make 15th or 14th this year.
BLUE KNIGHTS - my prediction = 76.1; actual score = 75.85
I like this year's show. Complex drill and music. Great guard. Mom thought
that the guy should have a shirt. I thought the look fit in with the modern
dance aspect of the drill. I like the new uniforms. They should be able to
pull ahead of the Glassmen with some cleaning. Please come out here more
GLASSMEN - my prediction = 77.5; actual score = 77.95
I was looking forward to seeing this one. I love the "Concerto in F". I was
disappointed. It's very musical and the drill is fun and is well performed
but it did not erase memories of the 1985 SOA performance of the same piece. I
guess that's the risk you take with doing a piece another corps has done. The
guard was cute. The wigs worked for me. I felt that the uniforms should have
been less sixties-style and more twenties-style. I see the Glassmen staying
somewhere in fourth to sixth place come finals night.
SCV - my prediction = 79.0; actual score 78.3
WOW!!!! I was apprehensive going into this one. What a show! Complex,
intense, emotional, and that final chord of the Adagio! What'll you hear it.
This loks like a winner to me. Don't count them out. It's gonna be a tight
race this year. When this show cleans up, LOOK OUT!
|Clifton, NJ (DCI Atlantic)
The show had a different layout than usual. First a 19-member brass
ensemble from the Cadets (dressed in white t-shirts & red satin shorts)
played a custom arrangement of the National Anthem done in the familiar
Cadet style. One of the best arrangements I've ever heard of this song.
First up were the Raiders. They are marching one of their smallest corps
in their history (13B/10P/3Pit/8CG). Their low brass is the strength of
this corps, as evidenced by their often overbalancing the upper brass.
In the drum feature, the hornline held an imaginary object (to be added
at a later date once they're made). Nice low brass licks i the closer.
Down ending stylistically reminded me of '94 BD.
Next the Cadet battery section (10S/4T/5BD) came out for a mini-clinic
hosted by Tom Aungst. They played a few exercises (8 on the hand, an
accent exercise, a paradiddle/double paradiddle exercise, and a segment
from their closer). A person from the crowd interrupted Tom and wanted
to learn how to play tenors. After trying to dissuade him, he
reluctantly agreed. Tom had his drum captain show him some exercises &
had the guy (Mario) try to repeat them. After flubbing an open roll and
another easy rudiment, The drum captain (Dave) started a harder soli, in
a matter of seconds, Mario match him note for note & proceed to
perfectly improvise to what Dave was playing, proving that Mario was a
ringer all along, and that the whole incident was a pre-planned bit. Tom
ended the bit by saying, "See how easy it is to play in the Cadet drum
Spirit of Atlanta was up next. They marched 46B/19P/10Pit/19CG. A few
blanks were noticeable in the drill, it's still early, and I'm sure
they'll fill them soon. Nice solo soprano work in the first 2 songs. One
knock was that during a quiet backfield horn segment, the CG could be
heard counting on the field. I found it distracting my attention from
what the horns were playing. By the way guys, it's true Cristina is a
babe! Her uni was a blue spandex body suit that hugged all her curves. I
saw her up close (about 2-feet) after retreat & she is also very pretty.
After intermission, Kiwanis Kavaliers were up. They were originally
scheduled to perform 2nd, but loos like they got to the show late. I
didn't get a good look at them, as they started their show before I
could get to my seat after visiting the souvie area, and was only able
to view them from the 5-yard line at ground level. CG & pit were dressed
in camouflage, and pit equipment was drapped with camo too in keeping
with the"Miss Saigon" show theme. They used large X-shaped props to
frame the field and hide their small (29B/15P/10Pit/16CG) size. I
initially took them to be an antitank barricade, but they were spun by
gard members during one part of the show representing the twirling
blades of a helicopter. They had a nice sound for their size.
Next up were the Crossmen (54B/14P/9Pit/34CG). This was easily the most
entertaining show of the night, and rightfully earned the biggest
standing ovation of the night. All of you old school fans, who hate
modern drum corps music, are gonna LOVE this show!!! Chuck has done an
outstanding job arranging this show. The horn charts are awesome, and
sound like a lot of fun to play. This is one show I wouldn't mind
playing all summer long (Is it too late to get a fake birth
certificate?). Their rendition of "In the Mood" was the best that I have
ever heard. The first 2000 candidate for my "Hot Openers" compilation.
The much maligned Ricky Martin tune has been cut (although it was still
listed in the program), replaced by "Birdland". Although this is the 3rd
time in 5 years that Crossmen have played it, Chuck managed to write a
great new arrangement of the song, thereby keeping it fresh. The show's
ballad was an old-fashioned concert-style production with the horns
setup in a big arch most of the time, with the guard featured up front.
All that and THREE good old-fashioned park & blow segments scattered
throughout the show. This corps is definitely MUCH better than last
years corps, most noticablly the hornline (maybe it's Chuck's
influence). I haven't seen them this good, this early, since 1992, and
we all know how they faired that year. They should once again by
challanging for at least the number seven slot in Finals this year, and
have a good shot of cracking into the Top 6. After hearing their horn
charts, I am quickly becoming a fan of Chuck's writing. Great charts
Chuck! I can't wait to see the Colts.
Cadets (56B/18P/10Pit/31CG) were last to perform. Pretty entertaining
show overall with a lot of room for growth. This is going to be one wild
show come August. The opener "Clocks" had varoius clock sounds (duh!)
throughout the brass, drums, and pit, with guard having a clock motiff
on their flags (each one had a different piece of a clock face, one #
per flag). Nice bari & sop solo work in the 2nd song. Typical Cadet
drill. One highlight was toward the end of the show. They did multiple,
multi-directional block pass-throughs at high velocity, way cool.
During the usally tedious time when we are waiting for the scores, the
Cadets pit, and then Crown's pit played for the audience. Cadets pit
played "Linus & Lucy", don't know what Crown's played.
After the announcment of scores and awarding of medals to the top 3
corps (yes, they were actually given medals with the Summer Music Games
logo on it, bordered by the appropriate metal [gold, silver, bronze]),
the combined Cadet, Crossmen, and Crown horlines gathered on the track
for a mass brass feature. Of course I parked myself as close to them as
I could get (10-feet). All I can say is WOW!!! Talk about ripping your
face off!!! I loved it!!!
Also announced at the show was the forming of the Cadet Alumni corps.
Membership will also be extended t non-Cadet alumni who gain sponsorship
from a Cadet alum, and adhere to the Cadet tradition of striving for
Hi All: Went to Clifton today, here's what I thought. Be advised:
these opinions come strictly from a fan...never marched a day in my
SCALPERS: At the door, at least 3 scalpers were lurking around. I found
that funny for some reason. Scalping at a relatively small drum corps
show?? It was hardly sold out! Just seemed silly to me.
RAIDERS: very small corps from Lodi NJ. The program promised
"Kashmir," but I must have missed it...instead I think I heard "Bangkok"
by Murray Head (BD97). Anyway, this corps did a lot of moving around &
I thought they were pretty good. I think small corps like this are
probably the epitome of teamwork....with such a small hornline (maybe
14-15?), EVERYONE must blow and be good and you have to appreciate that.
DRUM CLINIC: we were entertained by the Cadet drumline in a little
clinic...it appeared they were about to do the whole section showcase
from last year (guard, horns, drums)....but after the drum showcase, it
was as if the folks running the show changed their mind! That was okay
with me, it was a fun diversion last year but I wasn't particularly
looking forward to seeing all of that again.
SPIRIT ATLANTA: Well, I suppose I expected "hot jazz" from them & that
was nowhere to be found this year Instead the rep was more symphonic
sounding, almost patriotic at times. I prefer the jazz from them, but
this rep sounds like it has potential. However, they didn't sell it too
well....seemed like they were holding back on impacts and weren't really
"blasting" you too much. Crowd didn't really go wild either. The
guard, usually I come to expect the "hot Southern babes." (Yeah, I'm a
guy being a chauvanist here I guess). Perhaps they are hot babes, but
they way they were costumed in pink, well it reminded me of toddlers
for some reason...so much for sex appeal! (Sorry!!) I doubt this show
will be Top 12, but they should certainly be somewhere in Top 17 if all
KIWANIS: They performed Miss Saigon & had their pit decorated
w/camoufloge. It looked pretty cool I thought. For some odd reason,
the pit players all did push ups and sit ups on the field prior to the
corps coming on....I guess to portray the Marine thing? Who
knows....but they didn't exercise like Marines :) Anyway, the show
itself was okay, but I found myself thinking of SCV's version throughout
their performance, so I suppose that's the risk you take when doing a
rep previously done. This corps could also benefit from cranking up
their sound a bit. I'm not sure how this one will turn out down the
stretch, but I think they could have decent success once everything
starts coming together better.
CROWN: This corps has a very good guard that really works to give this
program impact. Musically, not recogniable to me but it's appealing
nonetheless. Really enjoyed their ballad moment with the hornline right
up on the sideline playing their hearts out. Drillwise, I suppose they
are improving over the last couple of years, but still not in the same
league as, say, Cavaliers or SCV. This may be the barrier that keeps
them out of the BIG 6. But guardwise, they are definitely tangling with
the big boys. Great stuff!
CROSSMEN: For those hungry for "appealing" and "recognizable" music,
this is it. If you liked Crossmen 97 (which I did), then you will
definitely go bonkers for them this year. This show is very reminiscent
of 97 in that it is completely GE packed and the guard is HOT. Their
hornline put out a lot of volume today and had lots of impact moments,
along with a couple of great park&blow moments. The guard, well, their
impact cannot be underestimated....such high and numerous tosses with
constant energy....it's great now & can only get better as the summer
goes on. I know lately they have been in a score battle with Crown, but
I'd be very surprised if Crossmen don't start tearing away from them.
This show has a potential to be the incredible high point of the 2000
season. Congrats to all involved!
CBC: Looks and sounds like your typical Cadet show. Lots of quick
evolving drill and crazy horn parts throughout....tempo is not nearly
breakneck speed as in past years, but I can see where that will likely
change over the coming weeks. Guard, while excellent, didn't have the
impact that Crossmen did, at least in my opinion. The clock opener was
cool, but then an awful lot of backfield playing before getting things
started. I guess the most talked about portion is where all the
sections "do their thing." Yup, it was great and it's gonna rip the
crowd to its feet. Their hornline gimmick during this section will
unfortunately get drowned out by crowd applause because it immediately
follows the drum gimmick...and frankly I wanted to hear the hornline
because what they were doing & playing looked outstanding! As for this
show's potential, aside from the latter half of the show, it doesn't
immediately strike me as a Championship show yet....I know lots of
reviews here want to proclaim this, but I can't yet. Several corps out
there probably have the chops to pass this one by. Cadets this year
seem to lack the power moves they usually sprinkle in their show that
make you gasp and wonder how they did that. All those death spirals
and "toilet bowls," really nothing like that going on. If any show needs
a Z Pull, it's this one. Show could be great down the road, but my
first impression today is that someone, maybe a couple of someones, may
end up ahead of them.
Those are my personal thoughts....best of luck to everyone!
July 1, 2000 - Clifton NJ
It wasa great day for Drum corps as temperatures hovered around 80 degrees with
no humidity. Clifton Stadium is a great place to hold a show, and there have
been many good ones here (1993 welcomed Phantom Regiment, and 1994 Welcomed Blue
Devils, to name a small few). I and my friend had great seats on the 48 yard
line in the 30th (last) row.
This review is my opinion on what I saw, and what I believe to know. Alot of
you don't like me, thats fine, I may be critical at times, I expect to be
flamed, remember... flame my comments, not me. I'm a fan just like you.
First off I would like to ask why the Canadian national anthem was not played??
Did they think Kiwanis wouldn't show up?? I remember many years having to stand
for it when their was no Canadian representation.... oh well.
First off, Raiders now hailing from Lodi NJ marching about 8 in the guard 13
brass and 12-15 percussion. Guard were in Rust off the shoulder dresses, corps
was in black pants with deep blue tops, white flap folding over,and silver
accents. Their show was entitled traditions,and innovations, I was impressed
with the desire to do well each member showed,the ensemble sound was definetly
one of their highlights, at this point each section seems to be overpowering the
other at times.... a show with alot of potential.
Spirit of Atlanta were next, the first thing I said to myself as I saw them come
on was ugh!!!! What kind of guard uniform is that?? It is a hideous jumpsuit
type pink thing with tie-dye covering the calves,and lace?? Maybe on the front
- This did not highlight the members at all, and actually takes away from the
classy corps uniform...why???
Spirit's performance was muddled, and tentative, there were no attacks, I think
they horn line is young and are trying to learn/remember too much at once.
The show has some high points but lacks impact right now.
The drumline is...wow!!! Sometimes overpowering the Brass (only because of the
brass still learning I hope). The silks that the guard uses are metallic and
very effective, but as I sit here now, I cant remeber what they did.
This show has potential to do well, but sone staging has to be changed and some
excitement is needed...still, I was the only Dork that gave them a standing
a break was next......why I dont know
Kiwanis Kavaliers were next, and I must say that this kind of corps is one I
have always liked through the years, someone in the middle, that takes
chances, and has fun. I was not disapointed with this show overall.
Miss Saigon was performed by SCV in 1991, and they did it well. Kiwanis kept
alot of that music and changed some of the arrangements. The opener actually
gave me goose bumps (I hope not only because of my memories of SCV) and the use
of propellers by the guard was effective. The pit was decked out in Army
garb, and the instruments we covered in camaflouge. The guard was dressed in
camoflauge also. Theu used big red/yellow silks in the
opener.... unfortunately, execution went down hill from there... the brass book
seemed watered down, the drill was poorly executed, and the guard needs some
new work to highlight both the music,and their talent.. this will be a great
show, but I guess needs some work, I still loved it and can't wait to see it
I would like to say that the reports of Crossmens death have been greatly
exaggerated. They are alive and well and WILL be living in the top 8 come Finals
night!! First off I have to say that no crossmen corps has been this ready
except the 1982,and 1997 versions... WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Where do I start. The very large(32)very mature,very exceptional color guard is
decked out in tones of Pink, Burgundy, red, maroon, champagne, velvet
thinggies everyone wearing something different and as an ensemble are
BEAUTIFUL!. In the mood is the OTL, the corps opens into a signature cross with
the guard taking the bottom "spoke" and they enlarge it, this is after an
opening horn staement with some high well executed guard tosses. This corps is
on fire. They have clarity, execution, inntonation, and deliver what is written
for them so well, I could have sworn it was August, Im not kidding, I'm so
impressed with this show, it reminds me of 1991,and 1997. If there is any fault
at this time, it might appear that the drill is a little muddy half way through
the show, but Im sue that will be cleane dup. Staging is well, use of color is
absolutely phenomenal, and the percussion and Brass play as one
unit, complimenting each other. The guard was by far the best of the night
highlighting each number well, and having an identitiy all their own.
I have heard Birdland so many times over the years, that when it was announced
i said to myself..again?? Well, not really again, this arrangement is fresh, and
exciting, and sells well to the crowd. I cant imagine how the crown ever touvhed
them, I dont think it will happen again, and I do feel they should have been
much closer to Cadets.
Carolina Crown is playing the music of the "Mask of Zorro"and the guard
is dressed in black, another big guard. I noticed right off the bat that the
flags were holding their silks idle for the first full minute of the show until
impact time. why?? The guards book is very effective,but execution is low. The
staging of the corps to coincide witht he impact of the music is well, but is
not really executed at this time. Ge is lacking and I was quite disappointed
after hearing that they beat Crossmen, I dont know how.
Cadets,this corps has a total show package again this year, way more
entertaining than last years offering,yet not extremely diferent than last
year, or any other recent year. not a negative statement considering they
always entertain. The brass has a full deep sound this year,however at times
they seem to lose steam during the show,the drill is standard issue, but a little
slower this year, at this time.Percussion is the highlight here.10snares,and
sounding very much like the CBC lines of former glory. One thing I must say is
the guard appeared tired and sloppy at times, the work is the same as it is every
year and it seems a little dated. This is mostly the flags. The rifle line was
awesome as usual, but one thing I noticed is that the guard as a whole has too
much down time where they have no equipment at all. The opener was played
entirely back field, and with the exception of the "clock" silks, there was no
guard, no GE from the guard. I see this show as right now falling behind to a
fourth or fifth place finish, I asked myself "Is thsi DCI's best corps this year??"
I dont think so, but with a few more changes/additions who knows, I havent seen
everyone,so its hard. I remeber in 1989 feeling that Les mis was the best,but they
were passed up. I feel that way this year. This is one of CBC's more crowd
friendly shows,and will take them far, demand must increase in the visual aspect.
Well, these are my thoughts,flame on,enjoy them, hate them.I will be going to
Bristol RI, Philadelphia PA,and Lakewood NJ this week, and I will have reviews
from them also....
I find it very hard to believe that it is July 1st and Boston isnt out yet (I
know they come out on the 2nd) How can a corps come out so late, and expect to do
well? Especially after making finals, being placed so high,and not being around
to boast thta in early shows... There is no momentum for them, and Im sure they
dont deserve to open over a 70!!!!! Oh well, we'll see.
I was at Clifton last night and I would like to say I had a great time last
night. I arrived at like 11:30 to have lunch with my friend who is in the
Cadets and ended up staying for most of the day watching their sectionals and
drill rehearsal and I was really impressed by their show. Before the show
started, I found my 20 dollar seat to find that I was surrounded by,,,how
should I say it,,,very outspoken people who were a little less then
appreciative at times...except for this one guy who was totally into it which
was great to see. All in all, a great night for corps and I had a great time,
except for unfortunately being seated in front of a guy who had basically
nothing postive to say and obviously has NO appreciation for drum corps and I
don't know why he paid 20 dollars to sit there and be unhappy. On to the
First the Raiders...
Hmmm, well the most I can give them is the fact that they played Led Zeppelin,
Kashmir. That was awesome!! I really loved hearing that. I heard them warm up
with that 1 hour before the show and I heard the sound of the brass and thought
it was the Crossmen or Crown playing that. You can imagine my surprise that it
was Raiders pumping that out. However, the rest of their show? Where does it
match with the first part? And even though they were loud, their tuning at
many moments were "less then stellar". I do give credit to the Raiders for
continually going out and doing their best.
Spirit of Atlanta...
Their drumline was awesome...I agree with Geof that they overpowerd everything
a little bit at times. Their drill was very sloppy. The music was a little
dull at times. They just didn't do it for me...but thats me.
The helicopter effect was the HIGHLIGHT of their show. AWESOME!! I even heard
a guy who complained the whole show say "Excellent" so they must have really
planned that out. Kiwanis, other then a lot of cleaning up to do, you guys
have a nice show and I look foward to seeing how you make it better.
THESE GUYS ARE BACK. With a terrible showing last year I think they know that
they have to make a name for themselves again. The music was a little simple
but effective...and I mean effective. Their sound?? HUGE!! The drill was even
pretty refined, for the crossmen. They will be a name in the near future.
The Mask of Zorro...I saw it done by the Hawthorne Caballeros who basically
make everything they perform HUGE...so I was going into this show thinking that
it would be massive sound and excitement...well that was not the case. The
music was good and much more complicted then the music of the crossmen. But
the performance aspect was not as good. They have a very good show and are
better then I can remember them being. But now that they have beaten the
Crossmen and are looking to be respected as a competitive corps then they need
more excitement, dynamics, and VOLUME.
The Cadets of Bergen County...
I don't even know if I should make this review because I am so biased to the
corps. But I liked their show last year a lot and I love their show this year.
CHAOS ROCKS!!! The baritone parts, sweet and powerful. Their drum solo was
far from "cutsie" but what I call.."balls". It was awesome...the kick was the
best part!! The drill needs some polishing though throughout the corps. The
Cadets have the sound, but...didn't seem to put it completely out in the
performance. I heard them really blast during practice but that was with their
instructor (who is awesome!!) pushing them too. Keep in mind though that they
had a long day of intense practice so they were probably a little fried by that
time. But the show is awesome and I think they have a great shot at
competiting for the top. Last night was only Clifton and they knew that was
really no competition so I expect that when they go up against SCV or the
Cavies again that they'll pump it out. To my friend Steve, awesome job man,
its always awesome to see you in a corps like that, I wish I could join you.
Keep it up Cadets, I wanna see a championship this year!!!
Great job to all the corps...keep it up.
First of, I want to thank Tom Pohl for an outstanding review/format,
even though he left Crown out by mistake. I'm borrowing it for mine, so
if it looks familiar, that's why. Thanks Tom. :-)
The National Anthem was performed first, by a brass ensemble
from the Cadets. The arrangement was beautiful, though using five
trumpets and five mellos led to a bit of a balance problem
(portend of things to come!). The baris and tubas were very lush
and played in tune with a marvelous sound.
First corps: The Lodi Raiders (Tom's numbers: 13B/10P/3Pit/8CG).
The percussion, esp the front ensemble, did a great job. The
guard as well had some nice moments at various points in the
show. The brass, trying to play like more than their 13 (later
14) tended to overblow and by the end were REALLY struggling. The
show itself was nicely put together.One thing about NJ corps:
school gets out around June 20+/-, so they haven't had a whole
lot of corps-focus time yet. I bet this show is great by champs.
The odd way the brass held their hands during the percussion
feature was answered by Tom in that they will eventually be
carrying something for visual support. Right now it's "air
Up next: the Cadet battery section (10S/4T/5BD) as well as
instructor extraordinaire Tom Aungst. They ran through a few
exercises, 8 on a hand, accents, and a nice diddle exercise, This
was followed by a "percussionists dream" (Tom Aungst's words)
segment from their closer. A planted guy in the crowd (seated
right in front of me, almost) barged in and tried to "join" the
tenor line. After some goofing around, the plant and the tenor
captain did a nice bit with lots of sweeps and stuff. Tom ended
the bit by saying something like , "That's how easy it is in the
Cadets!" My 14-year old daughter got a kick out of this section,
so it served it's purpose well, IMO.
After the above came the Spirit of Atlanta (Tom's numbers:
46B/19P/10Pit/19CG.) There were either blansk in the drill, or
some folks have no ability to hold intervals. My guess is blanks.
:-). They had a nice show, though it may be too much for a young
horn line to pull off. Intonation and performance problems
abounded throughout the show, and their stamina will no doubt
improve by August, as they tired near the end. I was sitting on
the stage right side of the 50, between the 40 and 45, and I too
heard the very audible counting of the guard. Presumably this is
just temporary; if it were Auguest and they were doing it I'd be
more bothered by it, as loud as it was. For now, if it helps them
keep together it's worth it, IMO. Their percussion section did a
VERY nice job, BTW. They are at a higher level of performance
than the brass at this stage fo the season.
Kiwanis Kavaliers were next (Tom's numbers:29B/15P/10Pit/16CG).
Their show was "Miss Saigon". During intermision the front
ensemble came out and after setting up did some yoga and pushups.
They were dressed in camouflage and had their front equipment
camouflaged as well. My daughter loved the look, as well as that
of the guard, also outfitted in a similar fashion. The copter
blades were a nice effect for the guard. The front percussion did
a great job (my daughter eatched them a lot, as they did some
neat visual stuff as well). The field were OK, but had some rough
spots. The brass were VERY shaky; some of the music was
indecipherable in spots, and the intonation throughout needs a
LOT of attention. They appear to be in "learning mode" right now
(huge section of guard just holding flags); once the show is
mastered it will be a gas.
Following were the Crossmen (Tom's numbers: 54B/14P/9Pit/34CG).
They have a very entertaining show this year. Unlike most of the
corps, who got worse as the show progressed, they got better as
they went on. As of right now, "Birdland" is far and away the
best performed number, to me. That includes percussion and brass.
In this tune the percussion book really 'works', so that the
total music package ties together very well, and the audience
communication aspect is quite high, even on 7/1. "In the Mood",
on the other hand, is, to me anyway, the opposite. Right now it
just doesn't "swing" as it should. A single high hat in the front
(hi-hat?) provides the only swing feel to the piece right now.
The field percussion are just filling in a few holes, and not
helping the brass swing at all. They are marching a plates
section that the snares could be using in the opener, as they do
later on in the show, to kick the show into high gear and really
swing the opener. Right now it sounds tentative to me. This is
not the performers, who do a great job with the parts they have,
BTW; it's the book that's holding them back right now, IMO. They
do much better in "Caravan" , and even better yet in "Birdland".
I would guess that they will 'fix' the problems as they go
forward, and this show will REALLY be a fun show to see/hear come
August. The guard does a great job interpreting the music, and
the unis are great; there are lots of great built-in spots for
high poseer guard work and dance, and they are doing a great job
already, IMO. The overall drill nicely done, though in the middle
"Caravan": secition things seem a bit muddled. Might be
performance problems; might be the drill. I'm sure they'll work
THAT out.The "park and blow" sections were nicely handled; I look
to see them open their sound up even more as the season
progresses. Another field percussion book comment: there is a
short percussion break in one of the tunes, and it's not written
in a jazz feel; it's totally out of character with the brass
before and after. Hopefuly, they can "swing it up" down the road.
Next up: Crown (no numbers): They did "Zorro" music, and the show
has a lot of potential. Their performance level needs more highs
and lows; the show tends to have a sameness of sound right now.
However, it IS vey well played, and I'm sure they'll be widening
the emotional range as they go along. The drill has nice moments,
but at times there seem to be a stagnation where things sort of
just lie there, and then it picks up again. Staging the pit stage
right allowed the horns to come right 'in your face' (twice) for
nice park and blow spots.
The Cadets (Tom's numbers: 56B/18P/10Pit/31CG) went on last. This
show has LOTS or potential, both in demonstrating great technique
as well as entertaining the audience. The opening clock effect is
great, but then as others have said the show takes a bit of time
to get going. After that, it moves right along VERY nicely. The
field percussion have some great spots in the show to 'strut
their stuff', and they also provide some great enhancement to the
brass. They have this long open roll diminuendo that the 10
sbares play VERY nicely, right down to the release. The sweeps in
the tenors were very clean and nearly 'click' free. The lower
brass had a very nice sound, both tubas and baris. The trumpets
sounded nice in exposed sectons, but I think the mello secton is
stronger than they might have expected. It overbalances the
trumpets at times. Numbers-wise, maybe 4-6 fewer mellos and 4-6
more trumpets might have produced a better balance. I'm sure
they'll have it worked out if it remains a problem. Hearing the
brass in a higher stadium might produce a different set of
sounds, so the problem MAY resolve itself that way. They have a
nice visual program, as usual; the pass-throughs are a nice
moment. There are still folks running into spots, and one rather
short tuba player seems to have trouble keeping up at times, but
those things will be tweaked, I'm sure. Overall, there is some
dirtiness to the forms that will be corrected. The guard has some
nice spots, but needs cleaning, of course. They seemed a bit
tired, but they were practicing for quite a while in the
mid-afternoon, so maybe they were running on empty a bit by
After the show and before the awards, the front ensembles of both
the Cadets and Crown did their things. The Cadets did "Linus and
Lucy" while Crown did Tchaikowsky's "Trepak". Both were fun to
The YEA! combined corps did a great exhibition on the track after
the show. Talk about LOUD!!!!
My daughter's favorites were the Kavaliers as she has seen "Miss
Saigon" on Broadway; she also liked the unis on the front
ensemble and guard, and the XMen becasue of their neat guard
costumes. Of course, she liked the Cadets best she said (but I
think that's because she knows I marched there!!).
One thing about the timing of the show and where the holes were:
at 4:30 the only corps "in the house" were the Cadets and
Raiders. The folks running the show were starting to get nervous.
But, all came off well.
This is my first review, so here goes:
First of all, I would have written this review earlier, but of course on the
day I was going to Clifton, I had problems w/ AOL and had to re-download it.
Oh well, belated opinions are better than none at all; and of course they are
just my opinions.
It was a beautiful night for the show. Clear not that humid, and in the lower
80s. It doesn't get much better around here in the summer. My father came
with me,he doesn't have any experience in music, but from me making him watch
countless drum corps tapes, and from him attending many of my high school
band competitions, he is a marching band and corps fan, and enjoyed the show
as I did.
Raiders (6th, 37.25): They marched a small corps, probably 25 or so on the
field. Their show was good, and there were some nice moments, but there were
the usual balance and tempo problems you would expect from a lower level
corps. Still an entertaining show, though.
Kiwanis Kavaliers (5th, 49.15): They were late to the show,so they performed
later than scheduled, and after a Cadets drumline clinic, which was
entertaining in its own right. Anyway, the Kavaliers had a good show-- there
was a very authentic army feel to their show-- there was camoflague draped on
the pit equipment and the pit did pushups before the show. The show was a
bit rough, but not bad.
Spirit of Atlanta (4th, 55.55): Spirit did their usual southern type show.
Their visual and music program was definitely a step up from the Kavaliers
and the Raiders. It seemed to be missing something, though, I don't know
quite what-- but the show left me a bit dissatisfied. My father agreed-- I
thought I might have been the only one who thought this.
Carolina Crown (3rd, 68.85): Very entertaining and exiting show, but lacked
some of the exitement of crossmen and CBC. The horn line was very good, and
projected the Latin theme of the music well.
Crossmen (2nd, 70.85): The Crossmen had a familiar show-- I knew almost all
the songs-- it was of the crowd pleaser variety which is always good now and
then. The crowd loved this show, as did I. This show was HOT!! It
would have been even if the music wasn't familiar to someone. The hornline
was great and was probably the loudest of the evening. My dad is a jazz
fan-- he thought the Diane Schuur song was great-- I hadn't heard it before,
but liked it a lot. Birdland had a great arrnagement, and was a super
closer. They might even get 7th or 6th with this show, if they keep claening
it, IMO. I originally saw a list or repritories saying that the Crossmen's
closer was going to be a Ricky Martin song. Maybe they changed it last
minute-- i don't know-- but I was relieved to see that they would be playing
Birdland instead. After seeing the show, I think it would have cheapened it.
Cadets (1st, 79.1): The Cadets had an excellent show. The hornline sounded
great ( sorry there are few perc comments, I am a trumpet player). The
clocks opening was neat with the fages showing the numbers. The drumline was
great. The part where the hornline played each other's valves was great, the
crowd loved it. It was very exiting throughout. There are no WOW drill
moves yet, but it could always change. There are thing to be worked on, but
I think that they are definitely top 3 this year. I think they sould have
cracked 80, though.
All in all, it was a great show with many great perfomances. The next big
show in our area is Giants Stadium in August. I can't wait to see how
everybody improved.Till then, everybody keep me posted.
|Michigan City, IN (DCM)
Hi everyone. I can't believe no one has posted a review of Michigan City yet!
You'll have to excuse the missing Lake Erie Regiment review, I missed their
performance. Here you go:
Cincinnati Glory: Nice work thus far! The corps suprised me very much, they
were quite clean all around, and didn't have very many ensemble rips. The brass
played well, in time, and with good tone quality, which was really nice to hear.
Many times the div II and III brass sections tend to favor volume over tone. Glory's
line had a very nice blend and did not overblow. Kudos to the brass staff. The drums
were pretty tight as well. Small, but VERY powerful.
Blue Stars: Loud and dirty. Those were my impressions of the show. Lots of
ensemble problems, especially between the pit and the corps. These issues will be
addressed I am sure, as the season goes on.
Pioneer: Pioneer has a solid hornline this year in comparison with the past few
years'. I always felt that the drumline overshadowed the horns in the past, but not
this year. Pioneer had several ensemble tears throughout the show, stuff that will
be cleaned as the season rolls along. The crowd seemed to enjoy their performance
tonight. Personal comment: why Irish music every year? Complaint: One of the lead
sopranos is out of control. When I say "out of control", I mean this kid needs to
have his ego deflated. Screeching and overblowing the entire hornline in warmup
(hanging over the chords by 3 seconds). After soloing, this guy rips the horn away
from his mouth and shouts at the crowd in a fervor. MARCH SENIOR CORPS DUDE.
Embarassing stuff. Pioneer staff - why are you allowing this?
Phantom: This was my first time viewing Phantom this summer. Initial impressions:
Loud and immoble. Getting the uniform debate out of the way first...I do not care for
them. The colors look fine together, but they just do not look like the Phantom
Regiment. They lose a lot of mystery, power, and intimidation by switching away from
the black unis. Heck, I would love to see them return to the white unis circa 1990.
Loved those. Ok, the performance: Pretty clean overall, not too many ensemble
problems. The brass is playing well also, MUCH better than the past two years,
maintaining a good balance of sound and playing together. The drumline has a pretty
easy book, but they are playing it well. (their line is playing MUCH better than
Madison's) I'm sorry, I am not a guard person AT ALL!! You won't see any guard
comments in these reviews...my apologies. Show design: Not crazy about it at all.
Some other RAMDers have commented on the "choppiness" of the music. I agree 100%.
The arrangements are way to segmented and vary widely from the original compositions.
Major crticisms: The corps does not move enough. The drill is not very challengin -
a big disappointment actually. Pioneer's drill is much more challenging, intricate,
and appealing. (Flame me please). Criticism #2 - The show is just way too loud. The
horns are blowing their butts off the entire show, with the exception of the ballad,
which is quite nice. But overall, the show is too loud! Not enough dynamic variations.
Despite my criticisms, it's good to see Phantom performing better this season.
Madison: This is my second viewing of the Scouts this suumer (Lexington KY 6/20
being the first). This is not one of Madison's most stellar years. Before I get into
the nitty-grittys, I just wanted to mention that I love the scouts and I enjoy their
shows very much from year to year. But it kills me to see the scouts performing the
way they are at this point in the season. The horn line is not playing nearly as well
as it has in the past, oh gosh....7 years? Still a lot of ensemble problems - ones
that I hoped would have been cleaned up since I first saw them in Lexington. The
horns are having problems, mainly, with the timing of attacks and releases. Their
sound itself is great, typical madison fireworks, but they are not playing together
very well. What can I say about the drums, they are not up to par with previous years'
lines. Really sloppy. Actually, I will make a guard comment here. I really enjoyed
the guard's comic relief in the middle piece, it worked very well! I laughed, as did
most of the audience. The Russian concept just isn't doing to much for me. Play jazz
please! That's what you guys are good at! The crowd dug the show for the most part,
but not like they usually do.
Cavies: GOOD LORD. The Cavies are out for blood this year. Their show is REALLY
cool and their are performing it extremely well at this point in the summer. What can
I say? The program is EXTREMELY well-designed. Very cool stuff. Yes, the show is
heavily jazz-influenced, as many reviewers have said thus far. I need to hear the
original Niagara Falls to hear how they have arranged it for the field, but the music
is a mix of modern wind-ensemble and jazz-ensemble sounding tunes. Very modern,
dissonant stuff. Listen for hints of Bill Chase in the 3rd (or is it last?) song.
This show is one of Cavalier's finest, without a doubt. I do not hesitate in saying
that this year's horline is the finest ever. Definitely the meatiest book ever
attempted by the cavies horns. They are playing it REALLY well for July 1st. Wonderful
balance and timing. The drums sound great as usual. The drill is a mixed bag of
classic Cavies geometric drill and the newer undulaiting, rippling moves (ala 1998
end of ballad, 1999 end of ballad) As little as I know about guard, they look great.
Criticisms: The end of the opener and the end of the closer still need a kick of
adrenaline, but I am sure this will be addressed. Not much else to say here, just
make sure you see them at least once this summer. AWESOME SHOW! Definitely top 3
this year, could take it all. Great job Green Machine.
|Waukegan, IL (DCM)
Well, it was a small show on a beautiful evening. Only about 300 in the
stands.... the sun blaring in everyone's eyes making it difficult, if not
impossible for marchers to see the drum majors, but a nice show, none the less:
Memorial Lancers: A much smaller corps than years past..... about 15 horns
7-9 percussion; 8 or 9 guard. A striking show...... with some great individual
talent in both horns and percussion. Youth and lack of experience are keeping
them back a bit....... but the crowd enjoyed them....... and I love their
enthusiasm and appreciate the work ethic they showed (we practiced near them all
Scouts are improving all the time. Still doing a gutsy perfromance of fun stuff.
The addition of a guard (about 6) helped them quite a bit. Drum line is doing a
nice job....... brass line is up to 13........ all continue to impress the
Delta Brigade: About 15 horns and 9 drummers with 3 or 4 in the guard. A
pretty clean show...... and again fun especially their feature of "Beatlegeuse".
Kilties: Well, a biased review again....... but the Kilts are beginning to turn
the corner. Problems with synchronization and tempo are slowly dissolving as the
drum line begins to put it together. Some minor musical changes in the brass
line help as well. Small guard is doing difficult show that still needs some
refinement....... a tough book for the entire corps. Kilts were really the
crowd favorite tonite and deservedly so.
Cap Sound: This corps is smooth as silk. A powerful drum line and a pleasant
and well balanced horn line should make them contenders at DCM and DCI. I like
this corps a lot....... guard still needs work, and the brass line needs to add
a little emotion, "power, pizzazz and all that jazz." They need to be turned
loose a little bit.........
Exhibition by "Bayou City Blues" as they prepare of DCA Class A: A very
entertaining corps. Strong horn line features great soloists. Crowd loved them.
In their first attempt at DCA...... well, the show moves a bit slowly and the drum
line needs some work to do well out East. A guard of 6 or 7 won't help
them..... and believe me, the Kilts know what large guards can hide in a DCA
performance. None-the-less...... the Syracuse crowd will enjoy the heck out
of this corps.
Well, not much of a review.......but I am tired and we have back-to-back parades
tomorrow, a show in Rockford on Monday and, of course, the Kiltie Klassic on
Tuesday.......... be at Horlick Field in Racine for the time of your life.
|Bridgeport, CT (DCA)
Bushwackers: Not too bad, but to be honest I didn't pay much
attention. I was busy finding a place to stand since they were
sold out and I had to sneak in. *grin*
Hurricanes: Well received by the crowd, naturally. In need of
work with drill and guard. But remember, the summer is still
Grenadiers: Great musical performance. The drill wasn't bad
for such a small corps. (good job, DD) They could have made it
to 2nd place if they had no guard. Like last year, their guard
really dragged them down. I was extremely disappointed and
embarrassed for them. But the uniforms are nice, even though I
liked last year's better.
Buccaneers: What was with those blue blocks? They were an
eyesore and distracting from the show. They weren't even used
much. The hornline played beautifully. But I must admit, by
the middle of the show I was, and the spectators around me were,
becoming quite bored. The drumline, which is my absolute
favorite part of this corps, was outstanding as always.
However, with this piece of music it did not give them any
opportunity to do anything decent. Clearly the drumline is the
Bucs' strongest section so they should choose pieces that
concentrate on it and let them show off as much as possible.
That would practically guarantee them 1st place every time.
The guard, I noticed, is considerably larger this year, but in
need of much more practice. Their performances were choppy and
too mechanical. It almost looked like they were clueless.
The drill was decent because it looked alot like Duane's drill
from last year...or a bad attempt to duplicate it. I noticed
that the Bucs didn't seem as proud to be "The Bucs" as they
seemed last year. They didn't march with the same style, pride,
or confidence. It's all in the body language. But hey, it is
just my personal opinion.
The Caballeros: They came out with both barrels this year!
Man, what a strong hornline. I enjoyed their choice in music.
Even though it was their signature Latin music it was energetic
and didn't sound like the same old stuff. The drumline was on
top of their game. The colorguard flowed like a well-oiled
machine and the weapons were strong, although they need to work
a little on timing. All in all, everyone looked like they were
having fun, and that makes my heart smile. The Cabs entered,
performed, and exited with the grace, style, and confidence that
IS the Caballero Family.
Cadets of St. Mary's (NJ) 1973-76
The Blue Max (NJ) 1976-79
Friday June 30
|Elkton, MD (DCI Atlantic)
Just got home from the show, so I'll make this quick. I took my mom to the
show tonight, and this was the first drum corps show she's been to(not counting
me maiking her watch lots of videos). She had a great time...it was an
Jersey Surf - I thought they were great, and their color guard was awesome. I
thought they should have beat Kiwanis Kavaliers. My mom described them as a
very good high school band without the woodwinds. Their show as far as design
and execution is similar to a lot of the high school bands in our area so
that's why she amde that comment.
Spirit of Atlanta went on next. I thought their show was good, and had them
farther ahead in score from Kiwanis than what they were placed. Their drill
seemed a lot cleaner at this time this year than last year. Their show has
Kiwanis Kavaliers - I thought the hornline sounded pretty good for it's size,
but the guard was nonexistant. They really didn't do anything to stand out
other then the helicopter things at the beginning. More guard involvement
would help to drastically improve their show.
Carolina Crown was great and I thought their show cooked. They were the first
corps that my mom saw that couldn't be described as a very good high school
band. The music is great, and they have a lot of good stuff happening
visually, and the drumline was very nice.
Cadets went on next and at the end my mom was in awe. She couldn't believe the
stuff they were doing. Their show is excellent and doing much better at this
stage in the season than last year, and once again will be contending for 1st
place at Finals without a doubt. Excellent show.
Crossmen performed last and I really like their show. I think they had the
loudest hornline of the evening, and are much improved over last season. They
had a great show in front of a great home crowd. I found it very difficult to
tell who was better between Crown and Crossmen. Both shows are great and much
better than last year, and I think it will be a dogfight between them all
Off to bed now.
Elkton pictures posted at corpsreps. Lighting was terrible so not a lot of
pictures came out great. The ones that were decent are at
http://www.corpsreps.com/pics2000. Lots of good Jersey Surf pictures since they
performed in the daylight. Hoping for better pictures at Clifton since the last
corps goes on at 7:30.
The following are some comments and observations from a fan of 28 years who
gets to 25-30 shows a year and wants more than anything at a drum corps show to
feel an emotional connection with the performers on the field.
The stadium was lined differently than last year. I'm sure the 50 was on an
aisle and centered with the press box. It was not this year. Ended up with
seats right next to some good friends, so that was nice since the person I was
bringing bailed on me last minute. Sold 2 of my extra tickets but the guys who
bought them never showed up! Had lots of room, though (and their money).
Missed the Bluecoats who are usually at this show.
Jersey Surf took the field first. This is the best I've seen this corps in
June. Another corps doing Carmen this season (Canos/GBV) but also very well
done. Drums are always impressive with this group and were tonight. Brass had
some great sounding sections and hopefully will be doing well come finals.
Guard work was very nice, though there were several sections of nothing that
I'm sure will change as the season progresses. A comment from someone behind
me: "looks like they ran out of material before they finished the guard
Kiwanis Kavaliers had some bus problems so there was a long delay and then the
Crown guard did a mini clinic. Because of the delay the Crossmen brass did
their clinic earlier in the show.
Spirit of Atlanta came out next with a show that I found difficult to connect
to, especially compared to last year. I understand there has been some
organizational difficulties and perhaps that is a factor. It just seemed the
energy they had coming out last year was missing. Perhaps it was the music
which had some familiar snipets but was largely new to me. I did think they
performed well and that they should have scored higher. I'm sure the show will
grow on me.
After the break Kiwanis Kavaliers took the field with their Miss Saigon show. I
loved the opening but after that the show seemed to go no where (except for
Morning of the Dragon which I thought was quite good). The guard really sold
their show last year but this year they are dressed in military combat type
uniforms and were very hard to see, especially with the poor lighting. Corps
seemed smaller and younger than last year. Lots of downtime with the guard. The
show has potential but is going to require a lot of work and would really
benefit from another 10 brass and a lot more guard work.
Carolina Crown went next and got the first major crowd reaction. The corps has
their pit off center to the right. The best musical moment of the night was
when the brass comes to the sideline on the left and plays *very loud*. I was
impressed with the percussion. Guard work seemed pretty clean and looked
difficult. Would hate to have to decide between them and Crossmen who seem
destined for a season long struggle. The show is exciting and well performed.
The Cadets were next. I bought the Disney CD so I knew the music. The show
sounded like a Cadets show - which isn't a bad thing. Parts reminded me of 95.
The "gimics" were great. IMO the ballad needs a lot of work, just what I'm not
sure. But it seemed like it didn't belong in this show. Maybe it is just my
anti-ballad bias coming through. I don't know why everyone has to play a
ballad. Not every show needs one. I'd rather see a *real* drum solo.
Brass had a slightly different sound but was fine by me. I think Crown and
Crossmen played louder but that might just be the way the show should be played
or the players.
Crossmen have a very crowd friendly show. Percussion seems weaker than past
years but brass is much stronger than last year - at least to my drummer ears.
Guard was excellent. I wonder how the change in scoring will impact the results
this year. I suspect Crown and Crossmen should really benefit since their
guards consistently outscore the rest of the 7-12 pack. Lots of equipment work
which fans like to see. Second best musical moment of the night was Caravan.
The Birdland closer was nicely arranged.
Before the finale all the YEA! corps pits each played something. Cadets played
"Linus and Lucy" from Charlie Brown. I would much rather have heard that heavy
metal number they did last year. Crown's pit was very good, though I don't
remember what they played. Can't even remember for sure if Crossmen pit played.
Finale had the YEA! corps on the field and the DM's from all corps (though they
were so close to the stands I didn't realize they were there). I thought Mass
Brass and Drums was MUCH BETTER last year. The music, while loud, just didn't
do anything for me. Drum section from just one corps was on the field. Would
have liked to see them all there.
Heard comments from people around me confused why other corps weren't out
there. YEA! should do a better job explaining what is going on. From what was
announced you would have thought all competing corps were going to be part of
the finale. I understand why they are not but this should be made clear. "The
YEA! affiliated corps - Cadets, Crown & Crossmen - will now perform Mass Brass
and Drums". They should also announce what the music is they are playing.
<more rant>I would MUCH rather hear a victory performance than MB&D. I would
MUCH rather hear one or two more small corps than the clinics or have the show
end earlier.</more rant>
All in all a nice night but my favorite show of the season is still Cavaliers.
|Streator, IL (DCM)
First time digging into RAMD this season...thought I would share a quick
review of the Streator, IL show (6/30) since I hadn't seen one yet:
Beautiful night for drum corps...great weather, little to no wind, sun
out of the way quickly, very few bugs in the air...you get the drift.
Streator folks love drum corps and know how to show it. They quickly
applauded at the appropriate times, immediately stood for corps trooping
the stands, and basically let the kids know that the crowd loved them
and appreciated them.
On to the show:
Kingsmen --9th place--27.25
From Joliet, IL, these kids were very scared --could have easily been
their first show...yet, the crowd encouraged them along and the kids
performed with more confidence as the show wore on. Nice effort, and
keep up the good work!
I always have enjoyed Bandettes and this was no difference...I find that
they work hard for musicianship and to not overblow. The percussion was
having some trouble, but overall, an enjoyable score.
<just a note: even tho I enjoyed both of the above greatly, I thought
that the scores were overly generous>
Cincinnati Glory--7th place--49.10
A big jump from the first two to Glory. I have been a follower of this
group since its inception, and this is the best show that they have
fielded and with the most potential. The color guard is one of the best
I have seen this year in ANY division. They have at least one really
fine star, a couple of really good stars, and a solid total guard of 7
members. The 10 horns are all playing maturely, so they sound bigger
and fuller without overblowing. The drill is fairly interesting for
such a small group and once the intonation settles as they continue to
expand dynamics, they will have a really nice show. All of the music is
American folk song--especially like Copland's Zions Wall...The flags
used in the opener are the most striking flags I have seen in two
shows. Great work, Glory...keep up the improvement. Guard scores will
continue to help this group. They outscored (in recaps) Pioneer,
Tarheel Sun, and were right behind Southwind.
Great Bizet show. Lots of energy throughout the show, and interesting
drill. The arrangements are especially nice--quite tasteful. The guard
does lots of interesting work, but last night, it was no where
together. I heard a staff mention that the corps was cranking up tempos
and it showed in two places--the guard, who couldn't identify a beat and
the feet of the corps--where marching technique went south. The horns
were overblowing a tad, but you could tell that they were trying to hold
back overall until they get it in their chops. However, don't let my
critique dampen my enthusiasm...this is a really enjoyable show. The
pit does an especially nice job, and the show has potential.
Both Americanos and Glory (along with GBV, I assume) will be worthy
Midwest representatives in Div III this year.
Tarheel Sun--5th Place--56.4
I, a NC native, had never seen Tarheel Sun live, and was excited to see
them. They have a fun show of "suite" jazz, and they play with a lot of
punch. However, it did seem that they weren't as far along in
fundamentals and cleanliness as some of the other corps at this stage.
The guard was way over their head in the guard work at this stage. The
drill is somewhat interesting, and it has potential to grow. They were
enjoyable to listen to and to watch and the crowd appreciated this young
group traveling to the Midwest early in the summer. Good luck to you,
Saw them last week in Bloomington, and they have indeed improved in the
last week or so. Very entertaining and they sell their show. The guard
work is coming together and the horns were not trying to overblow last
night. I'm not as enamored with this show as some of Pioneer's shows in
recent years, but we'll see where it goes.
Interesting show...also saw them in Bloomington last week, and while
they have indeed improved...last night was a bit more sloppy. The guard
work didn't quite gel and the marching was all over the place. That
said, the show has lots of potential and will be a crowd pleaser by the
end. I enjoy the flags on the "Legends" segment. Overall, the show is
a bit more complex than last year's show (thought the 99 breakthru was
like a large high school band show). Once some of the Madison type
drill moves in blocks are cleaned up, it will be nice.
Welcome back to the DCM, Bluecoats, this is where you belong! I,
personally, have missed you guys in DCM, and was excited to see you. I
really like the show. I wasn't sure about the large stage props that
frame the front of the sidelines, but they were used nicely. I also
like the fact that the colorguard is just that!--first corps I have seen
this year that is using a lot of color variety in the colorguard and it
works well with your show. (Guard almost reminded me a little of Sky
Ryders in their heydey with all the color!). I especially liked the
purple "ribbon" flags! The hornline is BLUEEE all the way...lots of
tight high sops...doesn't quite swing as much as past arrangements...the
show is a step forward from the last couple of years and I think will
put the Bluecoats back in the top 12. Good things happen to those who
come home! :)
Psst... Bluecoats, ahem! I know you want to meet after your
performance and before finale and there was a crowd down at the end of
the football field, but NOT trooping the stands is a no-no...don't
forget to let the fans show you their appreciation. It does everyone
Again, saw'em in Bloomington, but was curious to see it again. I wasn't
as sold on the show as i was in Bloomington but that is largely because
I was in a lower high school stadium. They still march with some of the
best technique around and the guard is always fine. I understand the
choice of all blue/green/ish flags for the show "Niagra Falls" but can't
say that I love them or the guard uniforms. Overall, the drill has
potential but needs some oomph added in. Having seen Cadets, I still
think that Cavies will pass them and it seems from scores, that Cadets,
Cavies, and BD are the frontrunners at this stage. MUSIC? Hmmm...I
liked it last week, and they played it better last night, but I didn't
like it as much during the field show. The horns are strong this year
and mature. There is not a memorable ballad I crave from Cavies, but
the music grows on you. The solo parts are not memorable either at this
However, listening to the entire show's music during the encore, I
became a believer! The music has great potential when they round it out
and make it warmer in the spots where it needs to be warmer. In the
spots where it is harsher, it is coming along nicely. The arrangements
are such that the instruments are all exposed greatly. Also, the solos
need to be edited...nothing against the players, but they are not adding
a lot overall at this stage. If they clean the music, they contend for
the title. If not, they don't. IMHO, of course.
Best flags: Cincy's opener flags
Best guards: Cavies hands down, but Glory's guard is the best I have
seen in Div II/III ever.
Best drill, perc, horns: Cavies by a mile...but you gotta listen to the
"Niagra Falls" more than once to soak it in.
As usual, I am always hesitant to speak about percussion until I have 3
or 4 shows under my belt. Takes me a bit longer to focus on percussion
lines and pits.
It's going to be a nice summer...can't wait for DCI in DC...ergh,
That's all for now... Tim Hendrix
|La Crosse, WI (DCM)
The weather was absolutley perfect for tonight's show. Narry a cloud in the
sky, gentle breeze, and incredible temp. You could not have asked for a
better evening. The turn out was pretty good, and the crowd was very into the
show - good responses all around. My vantage point was perfect too - just off
the 50 yard line, about 5 rows from the top of the stadium.
Colt Cadets & Decorah Kilties - What can you say about cadet corps? The kids
are so young, they are trying so hard, and the scores just really don't matter.
The placement for these 2 corps was correct, but the scores were probably 10
points better than actually deserved - but who cares. They are cadet corps.
Both corps did a great job.
Governaires - they were so much better tonight than the other day when i saw
them in Rosemont, MN. They actually appeared to know the drill, and the
musical performance was much better. The big guy in the pit is histerical, and
he got a lot of laughs from the crowd.
Capital Regiment - This was the first time I have seen them, and I was
impressed. For a relatively new corps, they did a fine job. The design of the
show was really good, and they performed pretty good. they really did a great
job in ensemble visual. The forms were easy to read most of the time, and the
transitions were good. The drum line was good, and they knew how to perform
their book for the crowd. Overall, a nice job.
Capital Sound - To be honest, I don't like their new uniforms. The ones they
had last year were much better. the horn line could put out some nice sounds
at times, but at other times, they were a bit tentative. Overall, they seem to
lack confidence in their performance, both musically and visually. They have a
nice show, and if they can solidify their performance, we just might see a new
face on Thursday night this year.
Colts - Here is another corps where I don't like the new uniforms. The pants
are off-white, the tops are half off white and half red, with either navy blue
or black sleeves (I could not quite tell from the stands), and navy blue or
black shakos and plumes. After reading how boring they were on RAMD, I was not
expecting much; however, I was pleasantly surprised. I did not find their show
boring at all. They are not as strong this year as they have been in more
recent years. I thought they were a good 10 points below Madison. Overall,
the corps lacks confidence. They really need to spend a few days just doing
run through after run through - just getting the show down. They also need to
spend a few days in marching block working basics, in the horn arc working on
tone quality, and hte guard and drum line simply need to work timing. Thye
have potential, but really need to focus on getting the basics down. Once they
do this, their performance would improve so much.
Phantom Regiment - After several viewings now, all I can say is that I do not
like the show design. The music is simply spliced and diced to death, and hte
visual just does not match the music well. The marching is so dirty - the
rotating blocks look like rotating blobs. It was so hard to read their drill -
even from an excellent vantage point. The horn line has the same tone quality
problems that have plagued them for the past several years, and surprisingly,
the mellophone line is about the strongest section. The drum line is pretty
good this year. During the opener there continues to be some pretty bad
phasing between the horn line and the drum line. The show has a lot of demand,
no question. The execution is simply not there - certainly not enough to
deserve the scores they are receiving right now. The ending of their show
tonight was just a mess. I don't know how they are scoring as high as they
have been given their performance level and design problems.
Madison Scouts - Generally I agree with the judges on score and placement when
it comes to Madison. Tonight, they clearly deserved to top phantom, and they
did - but not by a mere .05. It should have been more like 5.0 over Phantom.
They are so much cleaner than Phantom. Their drill is readable, their horn
line is not better or worse than Phantom's, their drum line is not as good as
PR's from an execution standpoint, but from a GE standpoint, they rock. Their
guard is not as good as it has been in recent years at this point, but it's
really not better or worse than PR. I simply cannot see or hear why PR was
anywhere near Madison tonight. I love Madison's show. It's very entertaining,
they have some great visual moves, the guard has some fun in the middle of the
show, the drum feature really cooks, and the horn line wails. It's a typical
Madison show - raw entertainment.
Blue Stars - They have a good show again this year. The musical selections
from Carmina Burana are the best pieces in my opinion, and the arrangements are
good. they too lacked a bit of confidence in their performance, and could use
a couple days of back to back run throughs to help the members get comfortable
with the show. They made a few changes to teh uniforms this year that I don't
particularily care for. First of all, the plume was blue this year instead of
red. Second, the got rid of the stripe on their pants. They really march
well, and the striped pants showed that off in prior years. By eliminating the
stripe, it was more difficult to read the drill with all that navy blue in
their uniforms. My only other criticism has to do with snare tuing. The
tuning is so low, and the sound is so wet. It's really hard to hear the snares
unless they are playing rim shots. Overall, they ahve a great show, and they
look like they are well on their way to maintaining a quarterfinalist spot this
Overall, it was an excellent show. The corps from teh midwest are shaping up
nicely. I can't wait to see Glassmen and Bluecoats to round out the midwest,
as well as the west and east coast corps. I just wish I could see Impulse,
Pacific Crest, Tampa Bay Thunder and Teal Sound. These guys sound like they
have some great shows going this year.
Thursday June 29
|Lynchburg, VA (DCI Atlantic)
Scenic City- Had an overall decent show for a small Division III corps. lots
of fracks in the Sopranos but overall not too bad. The percussion was good
but snares got off in a few spots. They need to work on keeping their horns
to the front because alot of times horns were below the 10 degree angle and
pointed to some direction other than to the audience.
Kiwanis Kavaliers- Overall not bad. I liked the army idea to the show but
the music did not really go will the look of the guard and the pit. Brass
was not bad having only a few fracks in the Sops. Drum line was good and the
guard was not bad also. However I would have liked to have seen more
impresive guard work for a Division I Corps. I would like to see this show
again in August.
Spirit Of Atlanta- One of the best shows I have seen Spirit do in a long
time. Although there were quite a few holes on the field, this show was
better than they have been on the past. Nice percussion work along with
guard. Brass was also good for this early in the season. This show may have
Finals Potintial(spelling), but that depends on how hard they push to make
this show what it could be.
Carolina Crown- WOW!! This is a whole new Crown. The Brass, the Guard, the
percussion...WOW!! Before the season started and I heard that they were
doing "The Mask Of Zorro" I was like, that is pathetic. I did not expect
what I saw tonight. They were the crowd favorite tonight(along with Cadets).
And Drill...well for the past few years Crown has done High School Drill. Im
sorry, dont get me wrong but I have seen High School Marching bands do
harder drill than Crown. But this year it was much much better than others.
And the Ballad...well it was the biggest musical effect of the night. I felt
that they shoud have scored higher than what they did. they should have also
came in front of the X-men. This is the best Crown yet.
Crossmen- Other than the big accident in the middle of the show where a few
brass players went down(no one was hurt) it was a nice show. Certainly not
as good as Crown but it was nice. I dont like the fact that they are playing
music that they have played in 97' and in earlier years, it was still nice.
Guard was good and it is the strongest section of the Corps. I like the
Crossmen back with Jazz and I think that they shoud stay there. But they can
do better than "In The Mood". There are many other great jazz peices out
there, they need new sound.
The Cadets- WOW WOW WOW!!!! This core is looking at possibly another title.
I was on the edje of my seat from the beggining to the end. The opener was
great but the only problem was there was TOO MUCH back field playing. The
second part of the show is what you would expect from the
Cadets...FAST,loud, and with great Mellophone playing. I was hoping to hear
a great ballad after that but I did not and i feel that it was the only
thing missing from the show . The greatest point in this show would be the
-anything you can do I can do better- section. no challanging drill but what
went on during this section was the most fun I have ever seen in a drum
corps show. The percussion lit the stadium on fire. The crowd was on their
feet through the whole thing. If they do not win Best percussion award thos
year I will be shocked. And then the brass had their fun. When they played
each others vales and did 16th notes...no words can desribe how great it
was. That has to be one of the most difficult things I have seen in a show.
This show has alot to offer and I can not wait to see them in finals. It is
not my favorite Cadets show but it could be by August.
I thought the scores were on tonight with the exception of Crown. All shows
were great and had alot to offer.
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