Orlando, FL (DCI Atlantic)
Crowd was big, which was good considering it had rained hard on and off all
day. I was in one of the few seats that were covered by the upper deck, but
even that was not always dry, as the people next to me found out, the upper
deck leaks bad.
2.Teal Sound: I liked last year's Symphonic Metallica better.
1.Magic of Orlando: Glad to see them back, as was the crowd, probably
already better this year than in 1999. The have a great foundation on which
to work, good drill in the closer, and some great hits. The corps looked
pretty young, but could end up top 12 easily.
6.Kavaliers: Better than I remember them in previous years, but not as good
as Magic. Still had a pretty good show.
5.Spirit: Much better than in recent years, show will be good if they clean
4.Carolina Crown: I like the show better than last year, I think tonight
was the first show of the year for the corp, so you could see the jitters.
1.Cavaliers: Boy did I love this show, as did the crowd. Great music, and
wonderful drill. Scored over 81!!!
2.Cadets: Topped Blue Devils for the corps first show of the year, could be
good, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy was awesome!!!
3.Blue Devils: How come they always dress the guard like clowns? Liked the
show, but seemed to lack a large dynamic range.
This is being typed up at 1:37 AM so deal with grammar or anything else the
does harm to the English written word OK..
TEAL SOUND/ 49.80 (div2 SHEETS)
SMALLER THEN LAST YR.. Dave Matthews music. bit of a hard sell..some good
moments.. drum line is the jewel of the corps.. teal needs more horns!!!!!
BUT snares lose the projectors.. to to TO loud.. over all good show.
OH MY LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
what a difference 2 year off does... new unis ( I hated the bell hop suits)
you can tell gino is in Orlando.. almost the loudest horn line tonight..
drum line was tasty and the whole group showed a lot of emotions, they look
like and sound like they are out to prove something .. good to see you back
in action... I see a world title in the future( even if it is div2) its
still world champs.. MUSIC.. didn't really know what they where playing ..
but I liked it.
(GRIPE TIME) DCI WHY OH WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE THE FULL YRS PROGRAM OUT FOR
THE ORLANDO SHOW.. YOUR GOING TO BE IN ORLANDO FOR FINALS FOR CRYING OUT
LOUD WHY TICK OFF THE CENTRAL FL AREA FANS.. I FOR ONE WAS VERY VERY VERY
..P..O..ed (*CLICK GRIPE OFF)
KAVIE CANADASTYLE / 52.?
SUPERHERO SHOW??? very good crowd show. every one knew the music for this
show... heard it from the walk way..
CROWN / 62.5
I have to say I watched the show and I cant remember a thing about it other
then a smoking drum line.. lotsa meat in this show ... just the over all
package didn't make me retain the experience.. don't know if the show will
keep them in the top 12?? we shall see
SPIRIT / 63.50
the corps on the move .. cool show .. drum line was nice.. package had its
hiccups and pot holes but who doesn't this time of yr.. I see them moving up
BLUE DEVILS / 77.15
JAZZ is back and it is good!! wow drum line rocked. hornline loudest in
show..color guard clean a the unis are bright BRIGHT, did I mention
BRIGHT.. I see the top four easily. hard work and time they have a run for
CADETS / 78.40
FIRST SHOW .. and WOW they where good. you could tell they where having
first show gitters in some spots.. nice score for the first viewing. top 2 I
would guess.. the swing ending isn't done( source from the in side "old
marching buddy teching")yet. they should catch cavies soon.. good luck ..
(souvie note ) CADETS souvie staff ORDER MORE OF THE FLEXFIT MAROON HATS ...
these are the coolest hats I have ever seen. it looks like fitted hats but
they are 83% acrylic/15%wool/2%spandex so they FLEX to fit your head. WOW
neat idea. I have always hated it when my hair pops out of the hole in the
back of a one-size-fits all hat.. GET ONE YOU WILL LOVE IT >AND THAT I
AND THE SHOW IS THE SHOW TO BEAT THIS YR..totally new marching program from
what you have seen with cavies.. they are using the raw power in this show...
running their butts off ,, drumline: they are cloned from some weird drum
universe, ( MACHINES I TELL YOU MACHINES ) they are as clean as the hood of
a show room corvette.. hope the peek to early bug doesn't hit them like it
did devils last yr..
THE TWO LINE RUNNING INTO THE FRAMES DURING THE DRUMS SOLO .. OH MY GOD!!!!!
someone is going to die.. ( one move where the solo colorguard is on the
50 yardline before the big move he got tagged by a sop in the head (OUCH))
RETREAT.. THE AMERICA AND O CANADA... not the same, no volume, miss the old
one, I like my skin peeled off after a show... sorry rewind and replay the
Thank god the rain stopped I was going to go crazy if I didn't get to see my
one show of the yr.. buuuuttttt next yr I get a whole week. of corps in fl..
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! life will be good.. !!!!!!!!!!!!!! maybe
I will get another flexyfit hat from cadets??? who knows.. I swear it is a
Caption head Warner Christian Academy
The Citrus Bowl was packed down to the 5 yard lines--quite a feat considering
the day's rain. BD's scheduled clinic was reduced to a noisy standstill
under the stands. 75 degrees and clear at show time, dropping into the 60's
for a wonderfully entertaining evening of drum corps.
Teal Sound - Music from Dave Matthews Band. Beautiful blue flags in ballad.
Man in pit, flailing his long, curly hair was distracting and way "over the
top." This show is not yet complete.
Magic - New staff, new marchers, basically a new corps -- UNBELIEVABLE. Corps
proper has beautiful purple jackets with small red sash which look stunningly
vibrant and give a wonderful presence. Tight gray pants on guard guys looks
tragic. The crowd was quite enthusiastic. Impact points are well conceived
but need more volume to maximize their effectiveness. There were many very
clean rifle and saber tosses and some very effective and large drill moves
such as block forms that are twisting and floating. Some cool, well-written
arrangements -- particularly beautiful during the ballad, with horns sounding
so rich and nicely balanced. The horn's drill during drum solo was very
effective -- with drifting vertical line to box, to line, to new box -- the
crowd loved it! They have excellent field coverage. Then to cap off a great
show, they have a stunning final 30 seconds of kaleidoscopic visual moves --
reminiscent of Star's "Pines" ending (stars to boxes to crosses). Magic
ended in a block M to a standing ovation. Though they could have been
louder, they were very impressive and exceeded my expectations. Welcome
Kiwanis Kavaliers - Beginning of Superheros show starts haunting and
beautiful with many evolving geometric and block forms. They display
beautiful gold capes for about 3 1/2 seconds. There must be a better way to
utilize them -- such a waste. The music is quite recognizable and a real hit
with the audience. Impact points were louder than Magic. The slow song
needs something -- more visual intrigue. The musical book is fun and
well-written. It is challenging but not over their heads -- bravo. The
sextet in Johnny Quest with horn line doing a "monkey dance" had the crowd
howling. Horn sound was quite ragged toward the end. When the guard work is
complete and the show cleans up, this is going to be such a treat for the
Carolina Crown - Mythology. I think the guard was aiming for a Toga look --
but the pastel, one-shoulder, "pretty little sun dresses" on the guys are a
hoot (take your camera for this memorable Kodak moment)! You know what they
say about the ancient Greeks? I'm sure there were many in the audience who
loved it. Anyway....Crown has a cool show with well-written drill -- though
intervals are still a mess. The guard displayed some excellent tosses and
utilized lightning bolts and bows and arrows (sabers). Though incomplete,
they are going to have an excellent saber line -- and fun to watch. They
have a gloriously emotional and regal ballad. Unfortunately, the last 5
seconds of the show have no real feeling of finality and left the crowd
saying, "Is it over?". With cleaning, more guard work, better horn
endurance, and a "beefed-up" ending, this will be a very pleasant show.
Spirit - The Baby Blue looked great under the lights, with the guard in
pretty burgundy velvet. They wailed to "Georgia" -- Just kidding (wishing)!
"Darkness to Light" opens with such mean, violently aggressive sounds
building to a powerful climax in a cross formation (no -- not a religious
show). Excellently in-tune high soprano "stabs" were so accurate and strong.
Spirit's hornline has many impact points with fine balance and blend -- very
mature for this time of year. There is a lot of difficult backwards
marching, but not enough field coverage. Also, there are several short spots
that are too slow with small step sizes. However, they have some amazing
extended visual moves. There is a wonderful inverted chevron that rotates,
collapses, then reverses direction and unwinds (similar to some classic SCV
moves). The audience ate it up! Extremely clean for June - with nice
intervals throughout. The closing drill evolutions were super. Great job
Blue Devils - Guard has multicolored, paneled costumes in purple, red,
orange, and black, with red derbies (attractive, but different for Devs).
The show starts with excellent solos and very sassy, but cute ragtime with
adorably fitting Bob Fosse choreography (did I really use "cute" and
"adorable" to describe BD?). The crowd was instantly into this show. The
running spiral in the horns got quite a cheer. Even my Mom would love this!
-- (not your typical Devils opener). 2nd number had some very sultry parts,
skilled soloists, fun walking bass in "I got Rhythm." This tune "cooks" and
shows off great trumpet technique -- another happy tune, occasionally with an
"edge" -- certainly not straight ahead. Trumpet soloist squealed higher than
a dog whistle -- to the crowds delight. In the 3rd (production) number, the
hats came off the guard revealing 8 featured dancer babes with the most long,
beautiful hair in Drum Corps. This entire guard can really dance! "House of
the Rising Sun" has an ensemble trumpet feature that actually shows off pedal
tones -- and effectively, I might add! Tight "stabs" provide a very exciting
and cool transition into Channel 1 suite, which instantly provided chills to
the old-timers. The challenging and fast horn licks are so clean and
exciting and the drum line "rocks." The guard work (so fun to watch) is not
yet complete. The crowd remained thrilled and electrified until the final
minute in which the music seemed to lose its fun, jazzy, hip feel and was too
overwritten. It sounded as if they slammed in every Channel One lick in
every possible key with such "sophistication" that it lost the crowd. I hope
they'll rewrite the end - If so....they may actually win over my Mom as a BD
fan - MIRACLE!
Cadets - Their 1st show of the year -- and what a crowd pleaser! This is a
fun, patriotic, "pull the heart strings" production that had the audience
eating out of their hand from the "get go!" The guard, each in individually
designed 40's swing dance attire, is so skilled with character acting, dance
and equipment work. They are a blast to watch, yet do not overpower this
beautifully designed show, which starts with them in the role of busy,
bustling New Yorkers, but quickly breaking into a happy swing feel. Notice
the inverted American flag form with guard in its bottom right corner (many
subtle but effective variations to follow). First real impact point has
great power. They have such a mature, well-ballanced sound. The 2nd number
is filled with many fine soloists producing sexy, sultry feels followed by a
visual and musical accellerando that got the crowd buzzing. Then as the
horns play a gorgeous ballad, the drums produce an extremely effective
military rumble way backfield. The ladies in the guard are checking the
newspaper in angst. This is a cool effect. However, the guard guys are on
the front sidelines changing into soldier costumes (while stripping down to
their white boxers and T-shirts). The audience let out an appropriately
funny wolf whistle and lots of laughter. This really didn't distract from
such a fun-loving show. The ballad builds to a glorious crescendo. Wow! 6
drum sets on risers and 10 boxes for dancers fill the stage for the best
production number seen in a while during Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy! Done in
Cadets fashion with swing dancing, partnering, fun flag and rifle exchanges
on boxes (from guys, caught by girls), waillin' trumpet feature, waillin'
mellophone feature and "jam out" ensemble feature! Unbelievable energy and
so much to watch. There is a wonderful extended snare line feature -- so
cool. Builds to expected huge crashes on 2 and 4 with extremely
high-velocity guard work. The crowd went wild! - Standing O! The final
number has an amazing fast-moving, blurring block formation that morphs and
drifts and changes direction with pass-thru's and rotations while getting
louder and louder -- so well done. There is another huge Am. flag form with
guard in upper left corner spinning solid blue flags. Company front freezes
except for front line rifles who excellently execute silent spins and toss
while barking out "One, Two,.....Ready, Fire, Release!". So effective. The
show ended powerfully and emotionally with rifles flying, an Iwo Jima pose,
patriotic musical quotes, and a thrilled, screaming audience!
Cavies - Frameworks was spellbinding, brilliant, smooth yet powerful,
artistically mind-boggling -- yet accessible! Guard was in fluorescent
trimmed gray body suits that looked like TRON but provided clearly defined
lines and made them look so tall. The show's opening impact was not loud
enough, but very controlled and beautiful. The marimba sounds are so lush
and rich. There is almost a new age or hypnotic feel in the music. There is
a huge rifle toss into a hushed company front that is so effective and
brought big "OOOH's" from the audience. A large block form unwinds, then
rewinds into a triangle which stretches and includes some spooky body work in
the horns -- again, the crowd cries out, "WOO!" There was such control,
balance, and blend in this gorgeous musical section which brought the crowd
to its feet. Notice the many ingenious frames filling this extremely
creative show. Everything is so tasteful and artsy, mysteriously
awe-inspiring, yet shockingly stunning. I found myself holding my breath
through much of the show. Watch for the crab-walking block pass-thru's that
morph and rotate at varying velocities. The crowd went WILD during the chant
section as the guard forms a very tight block form that is double-framed by
the horns who are moving in opposing directions while pounding fists,
stomping feet, chanting ever faster, changing speed and direction while the
guard performs fast and frantic convulsions of choreographed cacophony! You
gotta see it to believe it. Brilliance. Did I mention the drums are going
wild?! Did I have to?! And what an amazingly clean percussion section. The
snare and tenor features are electric. This show has so many frames and
boxes wrapping wildly around and fighting against each other. This show has
ripples, company fronts, high speed - I was blown away. Artistry at its
finest! Visually enthralling.
Here is a review from the 5th row on the 40...couldn't see forms, but saw feet
and heard da sounds...
Teal Sound: Cool show. I was a little apprehensive about trying to pull off
Dave Matthews, but they did a good job. Only negative is the hornline needs to use
more air. They are small, but they can still put out more sound. "The Space
Between" is played by a good sop soloist or two, but there is zero support from
the line. Drum section was rockin, and the curly haired dude in the pit had our
entire section getting into the show. Visually, they looked good to the point that
we could single out the marchers who need work. This corps has a talented staff with
a corps director that takes good care of them, GOOK LUCK TEAL!!!!!
Magic: Can I get an Amen? They took the field with such poise, and the crowd
gave it up to them. I felt so proud to be an alumnus. Thier show is designed well,
and they play with good phrasing, although they have work to do. The soprano feature
was hot, keep that up dudes. Visually they have upper body control issues, but that
will be fixed I am sure. The battery was cool, but I found points where I needed to
be punched in the face, and got a love tap. I thought the timbre in the front
ensemble worked nicely, and it created a good color of sound to compliment the horns
in the mellow moments. My only big knock is they ran out of gas in the last minute
or so. I think Magic is going to make a good run this year. They have the elements.
They have the staff. They have the talent. We used to sing "God save those who dream
to fly"... Magic is back. I will agree that they are better now than any other Magic
at this time. They have a new look, new sound, and they are going to make a new path
Kawanis Kavaliers: Cool show!!!! The drumline was cool, and the horns had a fat
sound at times, but not at all times needed. They have a fun show with a lot of themes
folks will recognize, but they also capture the darkness of certain winged crusader
themes. Good stuff guys. My big gripe here is they were not too tight visually. Feet
were amuck and feet coming through the horns was more than abundant. I am sure they
will buckle down on those points and more to make this one fantastic show.
Spirit: Not too much to say. First viewing of the unis, and they look sharp. They
got the score they deserved and the placement to boot.
Crown: It was different. The package is there, but they need to work on it. I
enjoyed the horn book, and the drumline was solid. My dissapointment was with the
color guard. The one male soloist was the only performer projecting to the 'box'. He
was the highlight there.
Blue Devils: Jazz, Jazz, but no pizzazz............ c'mon guys. They had a lot of
awesome moments, but i wasn't taken anywhere. The phrases didn't evolve musically or
visually. I want Channel One to make me scream, and I yawned. The soloists were great
though. The sops where hot, and the low brass sounded like a big ole pipe organ. I
think I will love the show when they finish it. Some buddies indicated to me that the
show isnt complete...probably why one particular dance feature was less than stellar
for any corps. C'mon boys, reach down there and get it!
Cadets: Y'know....a lot like '95 (in fact nearly identical) BUT WHO CARES!!!! This
show is awesome! It was so much fun to see them perform. I was sitting in my seat
tickled that these young people can make an audience feel what they were generating.
Laughs, foot stompin, singin, and hootin and a hollerin!!! Good Show!!!! This show is
gonna rock every house it goes into this season! I simply adore the way thier color
guard performs. They all project, and they all bring the audience right on the field
with them! Way to go Cadets!!!!
Cavaliers: 3 peat is it? I noticed at one visual moment, the hornline was all
showing the three fingers thrust out to signify what they plan on having this season.
I don't think anyone will contend. Devs will be great, but the show doesn't have 'it'.
The Cadets will also be phenominal, but they don't have what the Cavis have.... a
production that is demanding visually, musically, and most importantly, on the
indivudual performer. If one person doesn't perform thier keester off, the production
is blown. So many nice moments. The soprano trio was in tune, balanced, and they were
about 15 yard from one another. The theme of the show is firmly adhered to by all
aspects, and the three elements of the ensemble (brass, drums, cg) make this production
Overall, I was proud to see a lot of guys and gals who were the little kids I aged
out with in some fantastic corps doing fantastic things. It was a great evening of drum
corps.... although there was no beer.... but it was worth the $18. Good luck to all in
A wet Citrus Bowl venue didn't stop the stands from
filling. My first show this year so wasn't expecting
much but fate had other ideas. A general note to the
Majors, put a little "UMPH" into it, otherwise I was
watching a breathing metronome.
Teal Sound - Has potential if they'd play something
intelligible, while I know Dave Matthews, this didn't
play well. Also, corps watch your Major. There were
synching problems (especially guard) and it showed that
the arranger, drill and guard were all in different
states when this was put together. Your Major is the one
who helps bring you all together on the field. This was
certainly in evidence during retreat when half went to
parade rest and the other half didn't even pay attention
Orlando Magic - Great performance. Shouldn't be back in
Div I until finances are in order for a year but by 2003
should be back as a tenacious contender. Great teamwork
and visual, keep it up and they'll be back Div I in no
time. Word of advice for the guard, if you're going to
keep the sprauyed on velvet look, dance belts for the
Kavaliers - Great music selection, everyone knows the
words, lol. Trick is to visually keep the audience
interested and paying attention to the music. Show needs
Crown - One word - mess. Change the guard uni's NOW.
Great golf tans on some folks but the guys need to not
look like Disney's Hercules cartoon. Also think of
COLOR. All those pastelly muted colors did nothing for
the show. Way too distracted by the guard to pay too
much attention to the corps.
Spirit - Did not remember much about their show except
that it was a college band, yes band, not corps. Needs
to get back to Atlanta. Did Ray Charles write "Alabama"?
Devils - Great jazz performance by the corps. The guard
could have been a bit more subdued (color) and
less "Fosse" but they melded into the show well. With
some tightening up could be a contender.
Cavaliers - Excellent blend of music and visual.
Wonderful musical selection and integration of guard
with corps. Frames is the drill to match or beat this
year. Crowd pleaser and motivator.
Cadets - Excellent emotional show and Cadets have the
talent to give it to you. For the 1st show of the
season, they rocked. Cadets need to tighten up the
ending and get keep the crowd on their feet after Boogie
Woogie. Their visuals are engaging and the music
stirring but it needs a punch "up" at the end to keep
the crowd on its feet.
Sorry I'm just a bit late getting this in, but was doing the "Disney" thing on Sunday,
then flying back home to Texas.
First, let me say that this was a great show! Nice big crowd in a great stadium. As
usual, the weather in Orlando was less than good, but once the show was ready to start it
more or less stopped raining for the night. It was obvious that wet guard equipment was
not easy for the guard members to use, but no falls in the horn line that I remember at
TEAL SOUND -- small corps always seem to be the most painful to watch in the early
season. This corps really turned it on towards the end of last season & I'm sure they
will again. It was nice to see someone doing "popular" music, that's for sure. And kudos
to the pit member who really "rocked out" -- long hair & all. If the corps can find that
kind of enthusiasm, they will be more than ok.
MAGIC of ORLANDO -- WOW! Are they ever back, and with a vengeance. I loved just about
everything about this show. They have assembled a "superstar" design team, and it really
shows. Musically, very, very enjoyable. Exciting, melodic & difficult. The drill is
demanding & interesting. Great volume from the horn line too. Are they dirty? Of course
-- it's June. I know they are going to destroy Division II (STUPID MOVE, DCI -- just like
your Quarterfinals decision regarding Div. II, III). Where will they place overall in
Madison? Really hard to say at this point. Could be anywhere from 16th to 12th, I would
say. Will say, it's one of the most enjoyable shows I've ever seen Magic do, one of my
favs for the night. WELCOME BACK!!!
KIWANIS KAVALIERS -- I guess I was expecting a little more from the merger & size of
Kiwanis. I think the problem for me was the musical arrangements. They don't go enough
places & only tease you with some really familiar stuff without ever playing full melodic
statements that were recognizable from Batman & Superman. That being said, this corps is
definitely moving in the right direction. It would be great to see a corps from Canada in
Finals again. This year? Probably somewhere from 16th to 18th.
SPIRIT -- My, are they primed for a run a finals. As someone else in the stands said,
"they are going for finals -- picking music that says to hell with the fans, let's play for
the judges." Musically, they are ok, but not overly rousing or exciting (again, could in
part be an early season phenomenon). Drill wise, much improved. While guard is improved,
it is still a weak point in comparison. They bested Crown tonight, and should have -- but
remember, it was Crown's 1st show or the season. Will be an interesting battle to watch.
I think Spirit is definitely in the 13th-11th range.
CROWN -- Hmm, I wanted to really enjoy this show. Only enjoyed it though, not loved it.
(Again, it's early). Show does have some interesting potential. I was disappointed with
Drill (I miss the old, mid-to-later 90s drill with Crown). The worst complaint? THE
GOD-AWFUL uniform the guard is in. Actually so bad, it distracted me from watching the show
at times, with the soft yellow and "peach" colored attempts at togas. YUCK -- and especially
on the guys. As usual, the guard is going to be strong, and I was really impressed by their
drum line. Could see them anywhere from 13th to 10th by DCI.
CAVALIERS -- My oh my, what a visual show!!! Just awesome to watch. Musically? My oh
my, what a visual show!!! Uh...... Ok, I agree with what some other poster had said.
LOVED them in 2000, both musically and visually. Loved the visual show in 2001, liked the
music ok. In 2002, love the visual show and can't even find a musical show to evaluate.
Come on, Cavaliers! You are wasting a great visual show (Very exciting, all on it's own)
with sub-par music. Difficult, to be sure, but un-inspiring -- especially in the first half
of the show. And where oh where is the volume? THE CADETS (THAT'S RIGHT, THE CADETS) LITERALLY
BLEW THE CAVALIERS OFF THE FIELD WITH VOLUME). I noticed that Cavies are already selling their
new horns after this season -- maybe they are part of the problem. (Bb -- yuck!). All being
said, the visual is so strong, I still really enjoyed this program. The chant/box thing is all
it's cracked up to be and more -- pulls you out of your seat & makes you yell like Drum Corps
used to do! (God, I sound like an old-time when I say that, and I marched in the 90s!).
CADETS -- Wo-hoo! Is this going to be fun! After kind of making me waver in the late 90s,
they are definitely back in my "favorites camp" along with a few others. This show is good,
old-fashioned drum corps and George Hopkins -- THANK YOU!!! This show is wall to wall fun, and
they have one hell of a horn line (Remember, I think this was their first show of the year!)
The volume was just tremendous! When, before the last 2 seasons, could I have said that they
are the loudest corps at a show? Probably Never! But, they are "blow the house down" loud this
year, without losing musicality. The drill is great, and the show is moving and patriotic. I
don't think they know what to do with the end yet, as they have an unbelievable ending from the
95 show to live up to, but it's June. The guard is solid (I read where April is back?), look
out in Madison in August! The rifle spinning is chilling (why don't more corps do this? So
simple, yet so GE-filled) The corps is dirty, and I agreed with placing them below Cavies right
now, but not by the spread. Drill wise, I would like to see more "meat," meaning there are parts
of the show where they don't move enough, but I'd say they have a great show at winning in Madison.
And if not, who honestly cares, because they will win the heart of the crowd. THAT's what I used
to love about Cadets -- their "heart" in the 80s & early to mid 90s. AND it's back, big time.
Blue Devils. uhhhhhhhhh....hmmmmm..... well.... Ok, I have to say this. What the hell has
happened to this design team? Maybe the are bored, as others have suggested. This show has the
most poorly written music book I've seen in a top 6 corps in a long, long time (I can say that
because Glassmen didn't make top 6 with that yawner in 2000). It seems like the idea is "let's
see what great music we can take & make as uninteresting as possible. Careful there! that was
almost impactful & recognizable -- scratch it!". I was SO disappointed. I was starting to love
BD after what I thought were great shows in 97, 98, 99, '00, but after last season and ESPECIALLY
this one, all I can say is YUCK! Hopefully, it's just "June" and they can turn it around.
Otherwise, they may be looking at their lowest placement in years. I don't know if PR or Glassmen
have what it takes to push them or not, but this show goes nowhere until possibly the last 2
minutes or so. Downey put together a much, much better show for Magic than he did for BD.
For the night I'd have to say that the most enjoyable shows came from Cadets, Magic & Cavies.
Congratulations to their staffs for giving great vehicles to their kids to perform. From a
placements perspective, I really agreed with everything, except the spread from Cavies and Cadets.
They announced that Finals will be in Orlando next year. This show was great, but come on!
Orlando? I'd rather go back to Buffalo, Madison or the U. of Maryland, or try Denver or Lansing
before coming back here. The south is just not a pleasant place to be in August. Get your ponchos
Harvey "Bud" Phelps
Sorry this review is so late, but I was visiting family in Orlando and also went to
Epcot on Sunday.
It rained most of the day but stopped for the most part by show time.
Up first, Teal Sound...very young kids, very early in the season. They had a few nice
moments, but their intonation was a little off most of the time. They has some movement
and posture problems, but like I just said, very young kids and very early in the season.
However, big kudos to the kids for the effort that they put in to the show. The last
minute or so isn't finished drill-wise. I know that they will only continue to improve
over the course of the season.
Next, Magic of Orlando...I saw them at the Night of Magic in Haines City and they are
even more confident and clean now. I thought they did an outstanding job with the show.
The drill fits the music, the hornline has wonderful intonation and blend, and they march
really well for this time of year. The pit and battery have great parts and the weapons in
the great are very nice. Flags are also good but have a few weak spots. However, this corps
has nowhere to go but up. Thanks for an awesome show, Magic!
Kiwanis Kavaliers...I like the idea behind the show, Halls of Justice, and the music is
certainly recognizable, but right now the corps is way, way dirty. Feet were all over the
place, off step several times, and body posture was horrible. The guard has cool uniforms
and they use capes for the first few minutes of the show and that was pretty cool. They
have a very large drumline, SIX tenors! One girl on the end in the snare line too. Rock on!
I have read some reviews where people have said that the hornline sounded good, but tonight
I really didn't think so. They had a lot of feet in the horns, muddy runs, fraked notes and
a few people overblowing. I can kind of overlook all of this because it is still early in
the season, but the thing I cannot overlook is the sound of the hornline. They sound very
bright and crass through almost the whole show. I hope that the staff will jump on this and
start fixing it right away. When the horns stood still for impacts, they were loud and almost
had a warm sound, but there was always some bright soprano sticking through. I hope that they
have a successful season, they just need to clean, clean, clean, and add some more interest
during the show when the drill kind of lags. Good job to the kids for coming out on a wet
field and playing some cool music!
Spirit of JSU...Wow! They got my attention from the very first with some very jabbing and
fierce horn hits to open the show. Spirit is playing music that I did not recognize, but I
think I would have to hear it a few times, and then I would fall in love with it. I enjoyed
their show and think they will be in the hunt for a finalist spot come August. The horns
sounded really nice and I really like the guard uniforms and flags used throughout the show.
Like Magic they have nowhere to go but up. Good job Spirit and good luck!
Carolina Crown...Hearing that the were playing a show about Greek gods and goddesses, I
thought this show would be pretty cool, and I was right! I enjoyed the show concept and most
of the design, except for the guard uniforms. The tunic idea is fine, but not pastel colors.
Maybe khaki, white, gold, or purple colors, but not pastel. This was their first show and
there were the usual problems, dirty feet and some intonation and horn players sticking out
of the ensemble, but I see a lot of potential in this show. Give them a few more shows to get
a little more confident and for the show to get cleaner and they will be in the hunt for a
finalist spot. Nice job, Crown, I enjoyed the show.
Cavaliers...Man, everybody is talking about this show, and now I know why. The show is
very well designed, it is innovative, and has some really nice visual moments. However, after
the chant section in the box, it just kind of lost steam all the way to the end. But it is
June and I cannot even imagine how good the finished/changed/better show will be in August.
Thanks for some visual treats, Cavies!
Cadets...HAHAHAHA!!!! Wow, what a show! I know poeple are going to compare it to the 1995
Cadets production, but man, who cares if it is similar?! This show brought tears to my eyes
a couple of times because of the American patriotic parts. I have the Andrews Sisters on CD
singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and it is the same arrangement that Cadets are doing. It is
such a fun, fun tune! And the costumes on the guard were quite good overall (we sell vintage
clothing - the actual stuff from the 1940s @ vintagevixen.com). While they were playing the
show, I couldn't help but think how fun it must be to be playing in this show. I loved it!
Seeing this show was worth the price of admission. I can't believe they are so loud and great
this early in the season. I can't wait till August! Thank you Cadets for a great show.
Blue Devils...I was looking forward to seeing BD this year. Sounded like there would be
some cool tunes. Well, it is clean and sounds nice. It is not very fun to watch. I was really
disappointed in BD's show. It seemed...sterile, generic, like you get it out of a box and it
kind of sits there. However, it is early and I know, as the old song goes, "There'll be some
changes made". Good job BD, I look forward to seeing you guys later this year.
While I was at Epcot (in the rain all day again) I watched Shockwave twice. The saxes took
a few minutes to get used to, but they really added some nice sounds. Shockwave is a nice
follow-up to Blast! and the audiences really enjoyed it. Bohemian Rhapsody is great! Nice bald
trombonist plays a big fat, opera lady kind of like VK and, "she's" after all the guys on stage.
They did Channel One Suite and that was really nice! They opened with God Bless the Child, also
very nice...and did an encore of the music that BD played in 1988??? as they exited the field.
Sopranos playing some licks while the corps is marching off, you guys know what I am talking
about right? Well, my only complaint is the sax soloist improv in the middle of the show. He is
really, really good but I thought he went on a bit too long for both performances. A little old
lady sitting next to me in a wheelchair was eating the show up! She was clapping and tapping her
feet, and she mustered the strength to stand up and clap at the end. It was cool. Go watch
Shockwave, I think you'll like it.
Sorry that the review was so long! And late too...
Hopefully, I will be able to get to the San Antonio show later this summer.
Thanks to all of the corps for a nice show in Orlando!
Probably my only show of the season. We may go up to the mid-season
My perspective - former magic brass instructor, director if Magic when
we had to make the decision with the board to keep magic home a few
years ago. Assistant Director of Bands at UCF, direct the student
musicians at Disney, write for a few high school bands.
I actually took a notebook and made notes and asked opinions of the
people around me (group of about 11 UCF band kids - some did corps,
others are total bando, a group of moldy oldies behind us, and some
newbies in front of us, and some pro musicians I greatly respect both
with corps and without corps experience.) Some interesting takes, and
thoughts. So for what it's worth, here goes.
Rain had me worried all day. Got to the stadium to catch the BD
clinic which had been moved under stands to save the field. Very
impressive number of people watching (seemed over 1000). They were
watching all around the corps and up in the stairs and ramps. Looked
like rock stars in a mall in japan - pretty funny. The content of the
clinic was all fluf, not much you can take with you to make your band
better, but the kids really enjoyed it. BD played, hard to tell
anything because of the venue, drum kids go crazy over mollar (sp?),
leads play thinnest double 'c' I've ever heard, but body english and
red faces inspire amazing applause. Overall, a great clinic for the
kids. I'm sure all of thier bands will be "just like that" this fall
Drumcorps shows are great because of all the old friends you get to
see and catach up with. Great to see so many former Magic kids and
UCF kids that are doing it - We've got kids in Magic(of course!!), BD,
Cadets, Cavies, Crown (drum major woo hoo), Southwind, and Teal. I'm
really proud of all of them and wish them well this summer - travel
safe guys! Band camp starts monday after finals.
On to the show. As luck would have it, the rain tapered off right
after the anthem. The anthem was outstanding - vocal quartet from
disney. I was most impressed by how well they handled to stadium PA
delay. Anyway, they were great. My seats top of lower tier, right 40
yardline (as you look at the field).
Teal Sound - the music of Dave Mathews is cool stuff. Don't know how
well it works outside on the field though in the competitive arena.
When you start adding all the drumcorps drumming, the tunes kinda lose
thier grooves (one of the attractions of the music in the first place
imo). The arrangements are excellent, but too hard for these kids.
The percussion line seems really strong but overpowers the brass for
most of the show(30ish brass, 20ish perc). Thats hard for me to say,
as the instructors are UCF kids and some of our best students. The
brass is weak, esp the baritones. I think the ranges in the charts are
about a 3rd too high for the trumpets and they struggle often. This
is not endurance issues, more technical shortcomings. The trumpet
soloist had major intonation problems in the ballad and pulled the
whole pitch center of the hornline down. The mellos have extremely
high parts on the colortones and exposed runs and just really fall out
of the pitches a lot. Visually, the drill seems to be staged well and
the colorguard performs extremely well in terms of projection, but the
work is more than 70% unwritten and what they have is pretty dirty.
The last 2 min or so was performed in a standstill company front as
the show is unfinished. I can't argue or defend the score as there is
just waay too much stuff not out there yet.
High points - Percussion, nice tunes, guard is good eye-candy
Low points - brass, unfinished show, weak performances visually
If I could change one thing - revoice the trumpets
Blue Magic of Orange County(grin) - Really happy to see them back.
This area needs a corps as there are probably over 140 local orlando
kids marching somewhere this summer and only 1/2 of them with Magic.
This corps will keep them home and that is a good thing. The show
left me a little flat. I may have jaded myself in thinking they were
going to just wax everybody, but it didn't happen for me. Wayne
Downey is my hero, and the hornbook is really excellent, but mostly a
rehash of Lassiter HS Boa championship show, so I've heard the
arrangements (kinda) before. He has made some different choices, all
good. Sometimes the 'drumcorps' musical inserts are a little 'too'
clever for this piece, kind of keeps keeps you off balance. You can
tell the design team has put a lot of thought into 'moments,' maybe
too much thought. They just didn't quite make it tonight. It could
have been our vantage point, because it seemed that the people in the
middle deck were going crazy. Around us it was more cordial. The
pleasant surprise was the percussion and colorguard. The guard book
is well thought out and has some excellent phrase endings that get a
nice amount of applause. The percussion are equally well thought out
and seem very prepared - dirt? yes. Offensive? hardly. The drill is
well staged and this is probably the biggest difference from past
magic's. The hornline is well trained, but not passionate at this
point, very robotic. The bari section is notably strong and has some
excellent soli work in the opener. It is a young looking group so
they will grow as the season goes on. The last 30 sec of the show is
very very very good. This is not a jab at Div 2, but Magic is
obviously a cut above. It is ridiculous that they are in this
division. A lot of you will say that I haven't seen cascades or
Mandarin, but the truth of the matter is, I don't have to. They have
never looked or sounded like this, ever. There is a different look
and feel to a Div 1 corps and Magic is just on another planet from div
2. To think of Americanos and Blue Stars having to follow Magic
later on is actually kinda funny. Sad, but funny.
Will they make finals? I don't know. It has that 'look' to it. The
staff is certainly capable of getting the kids to that level, and are
very experienced in critique (where this battle will be won). At any
rate, they are back, they are very good, and they will have a
High Points - training, sound, design, percussion, guard
Low points - seemed a little flat, I don't like the red on the
If I could change one thing - Lose the soft opening, put the brass on
the front sideline and blow the lid off starting at the first ff and
shoot a metaphoric bird at those who thought they would never come
back to the field - but that's just me :)
Kiwanis Bay - Love the music. Our group thought they had the first
'moment' of the evening. This show is also very incomplete and has a
lot of holes in the drill. Lot's of movement, some cool ideas(we
thought we saw the batman signal in the drill opening, but werent
sure) but they are filthy so it is hard to tell what is really going
on. Guard seems to perform well but again, an incomplete book. The
horns have a nice blend, but really break apart in the upper dynamics,
lots of individuals. The first 2 minutes of this show had us all
looking at each other with our eyebrows raised in a "hmmmm, they may
be better than Magic" look. About the 3rd minute, reality sets in -
not tonight. The show is just a really long blow for the hornline
right now. And the staging is not helping from a demand standpoint.
The spreads are HUGE and this really creates issues in the fuller
musical sections. Tonight it got progressively worse to where at the
end of the show, there is a really nice build into a company front
from the 15 to the 15 but we all looked at each other because we knew
what it was going to sound like - scary. The kids are out of gas, the
spread is immense, the corps is kinda young, and it just leads to
anarchy. Whether it's changed or not is not my thing, the design is
really nice, it becomes a staff decision if the kids can do it or not.
This will clean up into a nice package that the crowd will like.
But I don't know if they'll get the numbers.
High points - Music choice, nice beginning, drumline
Low points - the show just died about the 4 min mark
If I could change one thing - close some of the spreads in
Spirit - the first thing I wrote on my pad was "what in the 'f' is
this music??" The beginning is very disjuct, very disonant, and
nobody around us got it. I admit I don't know the piece and probably
should as Holsinger is kinda the flavor of the month in college band
music right now. I enjoy his music, but this version of his stuff?
Hard to tell. The drill is nice and the staging works well. The
opener ended to an ok amount of applause. Another very good drumline
that gives a great punch to the ending. The show gets much better
from here. The ballad is very very well played and I finally felt I
could compare them to last year. They have a much more mature and
warm sound and it is well blended. Trumpets are a little thin
sometimes, but low bras make up for it. Colorguard is very expressive
and have some beautifully designed equipment. The ending production
has a heroic and happy feel to it and ends the show off well. My
biggest beef with SOJS is that I think they should be much much better
this early with the amount of college kids in the hornline. That has
nothing to do with anything I'm sure, but I just kept having that
thought. The show ends nicely in the same position as it started.
They have articulation issues that may haunt them all summer. It is
improved performance wise from last year, but when you think back to
that haunting backfield train sound from last season (amazing!), this
years music choice seems like a step towards obscurity and
High points - nice sounds, good drill, beautiful guard
Low points - design team took themselves waaay too seriously.
If I could change one thing - play "Georgia."
Crown - First judged show of the year. Everyone around us was
giggling at the guard uniforms the whole show. Togas in pastel
colors. Tasty. I'm a huge fan of M. Shapiro, but the costumes just
don't sit right. It actually becomes a distraction. Too woodland
nymphy for me. The hornline had the most mature sound up to this
point. Very warm and full. They were nervous, they were messy, but
the show is very very cool. Drumline, again, strong. Very nice pit
writing, nice impacts, much better drill this year, Everybody kept
giggling at the guard. The equipment book is excellent. Some great
phrasing and nice impacts that got applause. But, at the end of the
ballad, when all the boys in the guard did this group jazz-run from
the front left 20 to the back left hash 40 through 2 rows of horns, in
pastel colored togas, it was a little much, I'm sure you can imagine.
I'm also sure there is more intended for this space in terms of props
or equipment, but right now - giggles. It's not something you want to
make an issue of, but it's all anybody I talked to remembered about
the show. I wrote down - really nice hornline, great drumline, great
drill. They are just dirty right now. I predict that this show will
place higher than Spirit pretty quick. There is just a lot more there
and it seems to be planned out a little better than Spirit.
High points - Great horns and drums, really nice total package
Low points - you know
If I could change one thing - you know
The big 3. Before I go on, I want to give Cavies, Cadets, and BD high
praise for being so prepared this early. The shows are nearly
complete and very entertaining. This is soooo important for DCI as
the early season has always been terrible in terms of performances and
achievement. Everybody tonight was better than last year this time,
but these three showed a commitment to putting out a complete and well
performed product from day one. THANK YOU!!
Cavaliers - Best visual program of the night. How does it compare in
the cosmic scheme of drill designs? don't know yet. We'll see as the
summer progresses. Hornline is warm, in tune, clean, and..... safe.
Percussion is outstanding. The pit has a warmth in the metals that is
just beautiful. Colorguard looks like extras from Tron. The program
is well thought out, fun to watch, and enjoyable for the crowd. The
valve tapping thing, and the follow the leader into the 'frame" and
choreography is a '10.' Cavies has found a great way to be highly
entertaining while keeping to within thier chosen style. The crowd
went absolutely berzerk. Cavies also seem to be slipping into formula
writing because it gets them results. Kudos to them for keeping it
fresh. During the whole show, I couldn't help but feel that something
was missing though. I loved it, but couldn't get totally behind it.
It is soooo abvious that they are playing the hold it back game at the
end of the show. The last big front is mf to a fault and it goes
nowhere to the end. I'm sure there are a few changes or additions
coming, as well as gently pushing the volume through the season.
Great ending design, great standing O - well deserved.
High points - Unbelievable visual package, strong in all sections
Low points - obviously holding back at end(or they are all equally
If I could change one thing - make the 'dance' feature longer with a
Cadets - Cadets have gone through a huge upheaval this offseason.
Losing both the brass caption head and drill designer to Magic and
having thier music arranger for a very long time retire. They were my
biggest question mark going to this season. Combine this with thier
notoriety for being very dirty and incomplete early and you can see
the recipe for disaster. How do they handle this? By being the best
sounding, cleanest looking, most entertaining corps at this show.
Congrats George and crew! Well done! Exciting from count 1. Don
Hill is my new favorite arranger. the book is fantastic. Reminds me
of Jim Prime back in the day (Cadets, Star). You will miss the
traditional mello runs, but texture and voicing more than make up for
it. They were, by far, the fullest and most aggresive hornline of the
evening. If Cavies and BD played like this, I could live with the
Bb's. Just amazing. I was sooo happy for those kids. Feetwise, they
look much better than usual. The drill, I'm sure, is a work in
progress and Marc Sylvester is probably the only guy that can come
into cadets and actually be as good or better for them than saktig.
They still look great. Colorguard - great, emotional, fun, exciting,
pretty clean, excellent phrasing and impacts. Drumline is just great.
Energy, fun to watch. But the story for me was the hornline. Boogie
Woogie Bugle Boy is going to be THE moment of the summer when they get
a few little theatrical issues worked out. The key change is a '10'
and it just rocks. The crowd didn't give them what I'm sure they
design team wanted, but they will figure out how to make that pop.
People in the stands were funny about the drumset thing - "oh, WE'VE
seen THIS before!" and then saying "Why can't BD go back to what they
USED to do??" Just makes me laugh. Everybody just wants to find the
fault in everything rather than whats good in it. Back to Cadets -
It's hard to comment on the visual because you know it's going to
change. But I feel comfortable saying that this is the strongest
'first draft' they have had in a few years. Before they performed, we
were all thinking 3rd, during and after, we thought they would be
close to cavies and maybe finish 1st. I consider myself a convert for
High points - Best Hornline of the night, most fun program, most
energetic colorguard, most fun drumline, best music choice by far.
Low points - drill is a work in progress, a few programming issues in
the theatrics of the presentation leave it a little short in the crowd
department from what it will be.
If I could change one thing - Get the drum major involved with the
crowd before the tpt feature and that will solve most of the problems.
More whooping it up from the field!!
BD - Again, Wayne Downey is my hero, but whoa. This is his most
disjointed musical program I remember from him. I actually like the
ragtime opener, kinda different in a refeshing way for BD. But that
music with the BD style just doesn't seem to fit. The title of the
show "Jazz, made in america" or something conjures up totally
different images than what they put on the field. Not enough swing,
then again, they haven't really been swinging for years. The drumline
seemed unusually dirty with lots of fuzzed rolls and some missed
attacks. There also seemed to be a 10 sec tear in the closer which
I've never heard from BD. The hornline, is playing the crap out of
the book. It is one of the stronger lines I remember from them in
terms of confidence and sound. But the book is wasting the talent.
Top 5? for sure. Top 3? maybe. Winner? Not without big changes
(which I hear are on the way). Colorguard is typical BD and the Fosse
comparisons are acurate. They move extremely well and the
long-hair-as-a-prop is pretty cool and very sexy. Extremely strong in
equipment and writing. The horns and drums still have the strongest
movement style, but they have more individual issues this year than
last I think. Lot's of follow the leader drill. The soloists are
strong, but they aren't 'real' lead players so the high notes are thin
and strained. But the kids love it. The show sadly, is not very
memorable. All I remember is that I thought it was performed well,
but I didn't dig it. They are good at the game, they will be fine.
High points - Horn sound, colorguard
Low points - not very exciting, some timing issues, perc dirty(????
If I could change one thing - Loosen up the demeanor, take the hats
off (when a man.....) more interaction between the horns and guard.
We had it cavies/cadets/BD, so we lucked out. I haven't seen the
recaps, but I would bet the brass spread was a little excessive as
well as music GE. We had Magic in 5th overall
(cav/cad/BD/Crown/Magic/Spirit/Kavies/Teal). Magics numbers are low
for the div 2 sheets, they should be in the 80's like cavies.
Announcement of finals in 2003 here was received well (of course).
What struck me weird about cavies was made clear during the victory
concert. The music doesn't work without the drill. The original
compositions don't have much melody, and not much musical impact. I
thought it was just me, but many people around me said the same thing.
They played some of the ballads from past years (all things bright
and beautiful etc.) which were pretty, but safe. Very little
applause. More polite. The show excerpt was the closer I believe and
it really was kinda boring. Again polite appause. Over the rainbow
was beautiful as always, but safe. It was the most subdued I've ever
felt a crowd walking out of a show - pretty weird.
Talked to Dan Acheson after show, he said attendance was about 6500,
pretty amazing for an early season show. He said numbers are up
across the board in the early season so far.
When you order your seats for next year. Section 132/232/and 332 are
the center sections. 30ish seats per section numbered from right to
left (as you look at the field). Seat numbers 12-18 are in the center
of each section. x31 and lower - you want high seat numbers, x33 and
higher you want low seat numbers.
Parking lot quick takes:
"Crown has more BD moments than BD."
"Cavies Visual or Cadets Entertainment will decide it."
"Magic is BD-Lite"
"Spirit's guard is hooooooot!"
"Hopkins looks heavier" ;)
Hope everyone has a great summer, travel safe, give it up for the
Assistant Director of Bands
University of Central Florida
Waterbury, CT (DCA)
Just one man's opinion on the 6/22 Waterbury DCA show. Please note that my
vantage point was not the greatest, and that I am on staff with the Jersey
Surf. Just wanted to give full disclosure...
Relatively small corps here, horn line about 20, give or take. But I did
think the corps was well balanced, and for opening day, the kids did a great
job. 2nd place, 57.35
I thought the corps did as well as I expected them to, given that we only
played six minutes of our show, and the props and gagetry are not in yet.
Kids marched real well, guard was together, and the crowd responded
favorably. 1st place, 65.80
Corps is significantly larger than year, and their music, especially
Firebird Suite, was easily accessible by the fans. The corps seemed a little
tentative tonight, though. 3rd place, 66.20
MASSIVE improvement over last year. Horn line is much larger (42 tonight I
think), and the drum line has grown. They should easily improve over last
year's finals finish.
I just have to make this comment about their show. As one who saw the 1975
Muchachos many times that year, the Cabs show is just well, its just so
weird actually hearing that show live again. The crowd LOVED it. They have
done a very good job resurrecting that show. 1st place, 69.95
Sky performed a standstill exhibition at the end of the contest, and the
crowd was very much into their New York-themed musical book.
It did NOT RAIN on Waterbury this year; which was truly amazing. I
intentionally didn't make any in-depth commentary about design, and
performance of what section vs. another etc, because this is show #1 for
DCA, and it was a given that NO corps would be very clean, some shows
incomplete and every corps doesn't have all their design elements programmed
in and on the field yet. So, I look at it as just a peek of things to come.
And it was a larger than usual crowd for Waterbury, so it was real nice
opening day for DCA.
Ok, so this was my first DCA show ever as a spectator, and I'd like to offer my
unbiased review for all to take a gander at. First off, getting used to sitting
in the stands, and watching other DCA corps, has not been something I've done
since I was in the Sunrisers in 1995. Since then, I've been in the position to
be performing later in the night where I didn't really get a chance to see
Well as we all know (that have attended this show in the past), the town of
Waterbury usually has a dark cloud hovering over it during the show, usually
spitting down rain on the performing corps as the night goes by. Although the
threat was there this year, and I did feel a couple of drops around 7:00PM, the
rain held back, and the night began.
8:00PM - oh my God, the show starts on time with a lovely and chilling
rendition of the Star Spangled Banner on trumpet, echoing throughout the land
and silencing even the most unpatriotic of souls. Did I paint a lovely picture?
The night was hot...no...the night was wet...no..the night was
humid..no..sultry..no...moist. Yes, the night was moist.
I'm not going to comment on Phoenix or Jersey Surf for two reasons. One, I
wasn't really paying attention (no offense, but I came to watch the senior
shows), and two, I was too busy waving hi to friends, and chatting with my wife
Terri and my friend Patty whom I was sitting with that didn't come to watch the
juniors either. And what's the deal with the yardlines? Most of the corps were
complaining that they either couldn't see them, or they weren't there, and half
of the yard markers were kocked over, AND the pitching mound wasn't leveled out
- come on Waterbury - how long have you been hosting this show? These should be
no brainers by now!
Okay Hurricanes, here we go. First off, you had me in tears during Fanfare for
the Common Man and 3rd Symphony. Those 2 numbers hold a special place in my
heart, and as you may know, it would have also been the Sunrisers' first two
numbers in 2000 if they had gone out. The arrangements were chillingly similar
to the ones we had learned that winter. Brass line sounded pretty good except
for a few alumni-corps-sounding sopranos and mellophones which really stuck out
of the blend along with a lead baritone that was playing WAY too loud for most
of the show. (the alumni sound i refer to is playing everything with vibrato -
what's that about anyway??) The drumline surprised me though - very well
written book, and a very demanding bass book, which is being executed rather
well for this early in the season. (Keep in mind that I am a horn player, but I
know good when I hear it) Expect great things from this drumline. I counted 42
horns out there and 7 snares, 4 tenors, 5 bass, and a nice sized pit - who was
amazing by the way, and flying over the keyboards - NICE book for them! Very
impressed, I must say. Excuse me if I don't comment on the guard, because I
never watch the guard. Sorry about that, but like I said, i'm a horn player and
usually just am watching the musical ensemble. One of my faults, please don't
sue me. The one problem I did have, is Ballet Sacra. IMHO, this piece is being
butchered by the hornline, and although it is early in the season,
articulations need to be worked on BADLY, and sustains and attacks/releases
should be a bit better at this point. The backfield section was nice, however.
The end of the Hurcs show is not done as of yet drillwise, but it sounds fast,
loud, and exciting. I coulda swore I heard Mag 7 when you were playing the
isolated attacks in the closer. Maybe, maybe not. In my opinion overall though,
a nice show with alot of potential. Lots of cleaning to do, as with everyone
else, but I think Hurcs may be looking at a top 6 spot this season. Thank you,
Bush, Bush, Bush..ahhhh. Okay here we go. Low brass, low brass, low frickin
brass. I've always loved their bari/contra sound, and this year is no
exception. I saw this corps about a month ago at Harrison Tri-Chem, and between
that viewing and the show, I must say I was disappointed, guys. Maybe it was
the field, or the long, hot practice day, but I was much more impressed
watching you in the parking lot than on the field. Honestly, at that point, I
had you beating the Caballeros. Maybe your show is too hard again - is that a
possibility? Here's what I figure: One of the, if not THE hardest horn book in
DCA this year, so it'll take longer to clean...and it WILL get cleaned, and
you'll get the numbers for it once you sell it. The drill is a b#### too, it
seems, and that will take longer to clean too. If I know Jim Duggan at all
(show coordinator), I know that he doesn't ever want to play the 'DCA game' and
do hokey s### out there just because doing less and cleaning it gets the
numbers faster. The opener is hot however, and sounds alot tighter than the
rest of the program. I also know that the drill just got finished recently, so
maybe the confidence is not 100% yet, as to be expected. Transitions into
Firebird are shaky at best - not a good transition at ALL into the closer - it
sort of just 'starts' without any fanfare or pit intros...something missing
there. Also, I DID watch the guard here shortly, and in my opinion, you guys
LOOKED pretty ghetto with the temporary uniforms that you wore. Also really
don't agree with those tiny orange traffic waving flags. What's the deal there?
Don't have the equipment yet? If so, understandable. I was picturing dark red
big ### nasty lookin' flags and mean ### faces on the guard in the opener (ala
Bush '1994, hehehe), but again, I'm not on your guard staff, and you can count
your lucky stars for that! I have to comment on the marching for Bush also -
folks, this is what marching style is. Watch Bush. Great feet, everyone's
attempting to do the technique, and it looks pretty tight. What a refreshing
thing to see in a DCA corps. It's few and far between these days, really. Okay
Bush, overall, I had you beating Hurricanes, and so did most of the people
around me, but as you know, this is Hurricane town, and a Hurricane crowd.
Let's move on.
Rump rump rump...no wheel? What's going on here folks? This is not your
father's Caballero corps ladies and gentlemen, but lemme tell ya - it sure
reminds me of the 75 Muchachos! There's a good reason for that, fans...the
corps is playing a tribute to the 1975 Muchachos program this year. All your
favorite tunes out for another shot - and I bet THIS version makes finals!
Ooooh....Okay, to be honest, most of you know that I marched with Cabs in
2000-2001, but I'll try to be as objective as possible here. The last time I
saw Cabs was also about a month ago, because in that time, I've been a bit busy
with my newborn son, and just haven't had the time to get down to the post to
watch rehearsal. Having a kid is hard work!! Whew! Enough about me. Spine
chilling opening sequence with the corps playing backfield, side to side -
echoing against that back outfield wall in Waterbury always sounds great for
every corps - kinda makes you wish you could take it with you to every show!
Just don't phase! The opener was pretty hot though - alot better than when I
saw them last. Pictures of Spain is a drum corps classic, along with most of
the other tunes in their show, and it's all pretty hummable for the ride home.
The Cabs have been working their ##### off this past month, with the addition
of Mike Longdo full-time to the horn staff, and finally solidifying a drumline
out of nowhere. Hornline is working hard, and the drumline sounds as if they've
been together as a whole for a lot longer than 2 weeks!! The drumline came in
2nd to Hurcs by only .25 - not bad at all. The corps is still in need of a
couple of drummers - mostly a tympanist and possibly another tenor player (for
those on the fence). On with the review: Pines of the Appian Way NEVER fit this
show, imho, in 1975, or today, but it's there, and needs to be worked on. La
Fiesta was in need of some groovin - it's still a bit L7 (boxy, or unjazzy at
this moment). The drum solo is SICK - there's more notes in that SOLO than
there is in some of the other corps total books - you gotta see this one
folks!! Marianne (Carnival) is a fun tune and features an amazing sop solo that
had me peeled back in my seat. Maybe he was a little too close to us? Hehe,
nice job Russ! The closer is different than 75 though, and it's fast, and hard,
and loud, and ooh ooh!!! WOW! I almost blew my wad watching that ending -
really very exciting stuff. Overall, with alot of cleaning, this show could
very well be a viable contender once again for the DCA crown come Labor Day.
Lots of potential here, but watch out for these other corps from tonight -
they're right on your ###, and you'll have to keep working hard, because you
know they'll be working hard to catch you!
Skyliners: Sorry guys, I didn't see you. I know they performed a stand still,
and that's all. Please excuse me.
All in all, Cabs ended up taking every caption except percussion...Cabs won
color guard by .4 as well, and in total, ended up with a 69.95. Hurricanes took
percussion and best drum major (WOW, Russo didn't win it!), and Bushwackers
took 3rd. A great start to a great season for all the corps. It's going to be
very exciting at DCA this year if this show is any indication, and it looks
like it is. Anyway, thanks for reading my review. Have a great day!
Sunrisers 1994 - 1999
Caballeros 2000 - 2001
Cabs 2003 - forever