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The Sound Machine Archive Presents
2002 Drum Corps International
As posted to R.A.M.D. and submitted to Sound Machine
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 June 30
Kelso, WA (DCI Pacific)
Ok time for the review before I fall asleep.
Went to the show with my Dad and my friend Dave (FMM 90-92 Marauders, 94 BD),
& recently got back from the Kelso - my thoughts...
Stadium - freaking huge concrete with big overhang cover stadium. I wish my
high school had one. Great show site. Performed here many times and also sat in
the stands as a fan quite a bit. Good field & lights.
Show was delayed for a while after we were let in the gates. Provided with
some local high school 4some singing, but come on, this is a drum corps show.
Lose the mics and kids singing oldies tunes trying to play damage control and get
these shows working in proper order. Who's in charge anyway? Nice anthem though,
I guess. I would have preferred the Cascades horns to give us a repeat anthem from
Seattle's show or maybe another corps. No such luck, we get 4 dweebs in football
jerseys trying to win over the girls in the crowd...
Finally the show...
Northwest Venture Sr. Corps - Same as Seattle show, but brass soloists & guard
members weren't as sharp tonight. Wish they would do some drill, but then again,
they aren't very large and weren't very good doing it last year. They are
recruiting 24/7, so if you want to join a corps, here's your chance.
Oregon Crusaders - just as good as last night in Seattle. These kids really
try hard for such a small group, but again, I think the staff chose a show that is
just too hard to do. Btw, the show music is what Carolina Crown did in 95.
Stormworks I believe. Not very easy for a div III corps to pull off.
Intermission - ALREADY? WHY? Crowd starts to fall asleep... Zzzzzzzzzz
Seattle Cascades - looking to draw more blood... Crowd wakes up from their nap!
Drill much cleaner tonight, and starting to pump up the GE with the crowd. Still
the fav tonight. Hey, look what they did! Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but
they are the first corps from the NW to beat a previous DCI Champ! (barring
Anaheim Kingsmen, maybe). That's a nice record for the books...
Pacific Crest - Show's great, they need to tour! Drill very dirty though, maybe
they aren't really focusing on making the lines straight since they don't have many
shows left. Very entertaining but compared to last night, not as electric.
SCV - Saw more drill tonight than last night - stadium is closer to the field
here than at UW Husky Stadium. Maybe a little cleaner music & timing wise but
sheesh, if you're not going to march using dots, at least cover down! Lines are
not clean. Show still unaccessible to me, and counting the encores, this is the
4th time I've heard it. At least they don't sound as snooze-ville as people are
saying about Glassmen. I will say that their cymbal section is pretty intense,
more than usual. I think those guys eat and drink things we wouldn't touch.
They're monsters, in a good way.
Madison - They come onto the field playing a warmup and again blast the crowd.
Noticed many improvements GE wise, and had a hotter show than last night, but
drill is not clean - same problem that all these corps have - lines aren't
straight - and many members aren't even making it to their spots at the end of
each drill move. This is blatantly obvious to anyone who's marched before and
I'm guessing the judges notice too. Another problem with their drill is that
they tend to only go between the 30's and front half of the field. The top corps
are using more of the field and are probably being rewarded for it. Guard work
is lacking still. Madison's music is great, don't get me wrong, the crowd goes
nuts for what they are hearing, not what they're seeing. With this corps on the
verge of not making finals, and especially on their HOME TURF, I don't understand
why the staff designers are allowing this corps to continue the free fall. I was
hoping for such big things this year and am disappointed. I said it last night
and now I'm saying it louder - bring your riot gear if you plan to be in Madison
Retreat - YAY! Full corps retreat, olympic style? Corps came on one at a time
though... SCV's drumline played them on and went through the long cadence 8 times
at least... shouldn't they come on together if it's olympic retreat? It's not like
the track was too skinny to allow at least 2 at a time. Anyway... scores were
announced, and thankfully no "America" - everything I read says it sounds horrible,
so corps play themselves off. This is how it should be done folks. Why? Madison
came off the field and onto the track w/out hats to sing us their corps song "You'll
Never Walk Alone", which is very beautiful. We used to hear this at finals every
year. Not anymore, thanks to the chaos we call retreat. Sigh... it wasn't that
long ago that it used to be like this...
Biggest Beef - Almost every single drumline warmed up too close to the stadium,
which ruined alot of corps performances, especially during soft ballad sections.
You staffers out there really need to consider this, and so do the show coordinators.
Shame on you both tonight for not taking care of it immediately after the first show
was partially ruined.
Looking forward to the 3rd and last show tomorrow night in Woodburn OR. Wonder
if the show hosts are going to supply the corps members with the usual strawberry
shortcake. I'm not into it but the corps members love it.
Lodi, CA (DCI Pacific II / III)
The first show I see of the season, so here we go:
Venue: Grape Bowl, Lodi, CA
Certainly not a place for big Div.1 shows, but perfect for shows of
smaller character. Bleachers are high enough that you get the full
corps sound, while the are at such an angle that everyone can see the
field flawlessly. Too bad it was about 100 degrees when it started.
Still a much better stadium than Concord.
Roseville Independent Percussion Ensemble (RIPE): Exh.
Very nice "WGI" type of program. Played "Firebird" with just a drumline
and pit. Cool but lengthy bass drum groove intro.
Blue Devils "C": 34.15
Fantastic! I often wonder what it would be like if, say, BD "A" corps
played the music from their tiny brethren. These kids are way more
talented that me at that age. The marching was surprisingly good and
the musicality was better than past years. Color guard was very nice.
The spark on the wick visual during Mission Impossible was the best prop
usage I've ever seen. By the way, the only corps to leave to a cadence,
major points for that. Great Job!!!
Better every year in every way. This years "I Love Lucy" show brings
back fond memories of VK. The opening attack and other entries by the
brass were a little fuzzy, but recovered well. Their low brass are very
good. Lucy is absolutely hilarious. My fiancé laughed as if she were
watching a real tv episode where Lucy tries out for a corps, at all
positions! Major props to the drumline as it takes guts to march with
both powder blue and purple snares. Great grooves as well. The ending
was fantastic. Every year this corps looks more and more like the heir
apparent they desire to be. I can't wait for for the judges to get a
clue and realize Impulse is here to stay. Should have placed higher.
Blue Devils "B": 68.40
I'm amazed at how small this "feeder" corps has become. Seriously, they
marched a few more than their baby brother. Lacking in size does effect
their sound, as there is almost no low brass to be heard. The brass did
try there hardest, hitting most of their notes while projecting well for
their size. The drumline seemed a little over-confident as they rushed
a few phrases and were dirty at times. And what's with the guard
uniforms? They seriously looked like they were bought at a garage
sale. Did not flow. I felt Impulse was far better.
SCV Cadets: 71.75
Almost the opposite of BDB. They seem to get bigger every year. The
drumline and guard were solid as a rock. I liked the tom-tom intro. As
for the brass, I blame the drill. Maybe someone should see if the drill
designer for this show was on crack. The hardest drill of the night by
far. This seemed to hurt the brass as they weren't quite up to SCV par,
playing tentatively. The finish, however, was stellar as everyone hit
their marks with horns blowin'. Pretty good overall. If they could get
that drill down, they would be a definite contender. Might have to
change their name to SCV 2.
Alright, I'll try to hold back my bias towards my home town corps. If
anything I watched them a little more carefully. First of all, I don't
like the beginning. I know it's extremely difficult and impressive, but
it sounds garbled and doesn't really flow. The drill was a little
scattered with some spacing problems in the beginning, but really was
the best marched show of the night. It felt like the brass was a little
unsure about the notes or the drill or something, just didn't project as
well as I know you can. The drumline looked and sounded clean. Why no
bass drum solo? And as for the brass solos and duets, more volume
please. I could barely hear the sop duet by the twins both on the field
and during the victory stand-still. The guard, as always, was perfect.
Overall, I'd say the show is okay. I think Magic will give them one
hell of a run. I still think they'll be Div.1 champs in 2006. Nice job
for the kind-of-home town crowd.
River City Regiment Sr.: 53.65
The second senior corps to come out of NoCal, and the second best in the
West as far as I'm concerned. Great show for an upandcoming group.
They marched about 25 I think, and started their show off by reciting
the pledge of allegiance. Fantastic. The corps is shockingly well
balanced for a group their size, and with minimal drill sounded pretty
good. The solos were right on. Just remember, five years ago, the
Renegades were an upstart intermission corps with half these numbers in
their first season. I see a bright future as far as senior corps are
concerned. Way to go RCR!!!
Renegades Sr.: 66.20
Holy Crap!!! A tell tale sign a corps is too large: when you need 3
drum majors and 7 basses. Seriously, I think they have maxed out on
members. There is almost too much sound coming off the field. They
started with America the Beautiful while an Army Color Guard marched the
stars and stripes through the middle of the corps. Standing ovation
ensued. Everyone was on fire. Why they have a pit I do not know.
Bohemian Rhapsody was superb. Two words: goose pimples. Hey, maybe DCI
could lift the age and member limit so these guys could rule like Gods.
Hope you all find this review worth your click. My next and final
review comes a week from today after Pacific Procession. Can't wait.
~Nick "the Slick"
Beverly, MA (DCI Atlantic)
OK so it is late and this will have to be brief but the show was so great and
I am still so worked up that I must write some of this down.
6th Kiwanis 63.30
So much improved over the last three years. Very young corps. They must die in
those black uniforms and masks. Fun show but lots of dirt and book may be to
difficult for the members. Spiderman was great fun. Great colors in the silks.
Just might squeak into semi's if they can clean this up.
5th Spirit 72.10
Wonderful, energetic emotional show. Again much improved from last year at this
time. I thought they would be closer to Boston. The 'dark' a la Star of Indy at
the begining really works. Great body movement by HL. Nice balanced strong sound
and fairly clean as well. Visual and guart book much more aggressive than 2001.
The last two numbers were joyous and really woke up the crowd. This show must
4th Boston, 76.85
My second viewing in as many nights. BAC must be pleased with score (first show!)
and placement. I enjoyed show much better tonight. Opening soft chords of
'Appalchian..' really brought back memories of 1987 Garfield. 'American President'
opening statement sounded gorgeus. Hornline projected much better than Sat.
'Appalachian Spring' still has much dirt in it but is a extremely difficult peice
both musically and visually. Ending set looked much better than last night. More
hints of Appalachian''' into ballad. Singing was OK. White silks on guard boring.
Closer of 'Simple Gifts' effective but needs to be punched up or end with soft
3rd Crossmen, 78.55
Much more aggressive show this year! Pat Methaney piece as the opener was great
but HL still struggling and tempo problems all over the place. Ballad was gorgeous
love the poles. Arrangment of 'Strawberry Soup'mostly kicked ass. Some of it
sounded like the crazy meter it is written in was dumbed down. The crowd loved
2nd BD 81.85
Cartoony colors on the guard are wild! Do not believe what people are saying. This
is a top three show. Loved the Gershwin. Field coverage was at times huge. Major
phasing problem with 'Channel One'' very unlike BD. Arrangement does feel rushed
and a truncated but it was great hearing it anyway.
1st Cadets, 83.50
Again, very emotional show. My eyes welled up several times, and not just becauese
of the patriotic theme but because of the shear beauty of the music and performance.
Mime work and dance by guard in opening was brilliant. 'On the Town' was fun, ballad
very moving but as everyone has said. 'Bugle Boy' is simply the most entertaining
exhilirating number ever staged on a football field. Ending needs some re-writes to
push up the emotion (I hear they are coming) but watch out Cavies when they do!
Hey gang.. JUST got in the door from my lil' trip to the land of forgotten
"r's", Boston... just some thoughts on the show overall and the corps that
first of all: Pahking (parking for the rest of the country) was horrible..
quite possibly the worst location I have ever attended based solely on this non
judged caption.. LOL Other than that? One of THE best run shows I have
attended.. they should teach the volunteers who handle the Barnum Festival
tickets how to do it right... I did on 'phone lobby' with these people for 40
yard line tix..and thats what I got... Last year (and why I will NEVER AGAIN
go to another show in Bridgeport..) the volunteer who ON THE PHONE LOOKED AT A
CHART... sold me 'PREMIUM' seats for the highest price and then sat me and my
extremely pissed friends on the 21 yard line!... regardless.. one of the most
proficient show crews I have seen.. kudos to them all!
Well.. due to the parking, I missed East Coast Jazz and the Boston Alumni
corps... sorry gang.
Kiwanas Kavaliers... well... they come across as VERY young and inexperienced..
they are the BIGGEST I have seen them in years... Its very early in the
season... and for that I give them a lot of leeway.. but those visors?
Please... come on...someone said it on here: they are a distraction at best..
Show concept is ok.... but again.. young corps.. if they can keep the numbers
'coming back'.. they should be better and better in the coming years.
Spirit... matter of taste on this one kids.. I, as most know, love this kind of
show.. music you have to listen to a few times to understand and follow.. and
they sell it VERY well... one of the most mature sounds out of them in
years..GREAT drill... wonderful sound.. guard looks sharp... percussion .. well
I aint a drummer.. but they sounded together to me! LOL
Boston... could be a great show.....one thing that stuck out to me: apparently
someone LOVES Zingali and the 87 Cadets show... 1) the seperation of the
battery sections only to bring them back together again.... quinisential
(spelling?) Zingalli in the 80's.... and then the variation of the
disapearing/reapearing company front... and all to the same music too... just
seems like Boston ran out of ideas to me.... not a slam.. I like the show..
just that it seems very blatantly 'borrowed' at points.. no? Probably will be
top 12.... but I think the visual team needs to set the bar higher.... maybe I
am wrong.. but thats what I saw..... I will say this: BEST guard unis I have
seen in years...
Crossmen... what can I say but HOLY Fin WOW. What a drill.. what a HORN
SOUND... for this early in the season? OH man... For those BD fans out there,
and Ill get into this more in a little bit: Crossmen have so much growth
there... and they are so good now... BD? They're 'clean'.. but theres
something missing... like I had said before mechanically proficient...
emotionally devoid... But this is about Xmen.. sorry... They are going to pass
BD within the next few weeks.. It might take them to finals to do it.. but I
think they have the show to jump over them... every cylander is clicking with
them... watch out boys and girls.. Crossmen are climbing up...
Cadets.... to those who have lambasted Geroge and his design team... to those
who say Bb's arent comperable to G's... to those who have done NOTHING but
complain on here and bitch and moan: see the Cadets. Quite possibly THE show
of the summer. No, I havent seen many other shows yet.. but folks, this show
at this early point has it ALL. Its BLOW YOUR EARS OFF loud...its amazingly
musical... its powerful.. WELCOME BACK MARK SYLVESTER AND A DRILL!!! YEAH!!!!
The percussion section.. the guard work.. you name it...The music is
accessable... (dont you old phartes even BEGIN to bitch about Boogie Woogie not
being hummable!) From start to finish... top to bottom... George heard your
gripes and whinings.. and the Cadets staff have laid the gauntlet....this show
is what EVERYONE has complained they wanted to see...and The Cadets do it..
.and do it like NO other.
BD... as you know I am not the biggest BD fan. And from what I read on here, I
wasnt really expecting much... I will say this: I lambast them for lack of
drill... well they FINALLY have a very interesting drill... unfortunately the
rest? Mundane at best... Like I said.. mechanically? They do it better than
anyone... its just that at 'those' points in the show? NO crowd response.. or
should I say... not as big as Cadets or Crossmen.. not even CLOSE...... If
they dont do something MAJOR soon... the Crossmen WILL catch them....Crossmen
are hungry... Crossmen want it... BD seems to have this attitude of "we're
BD... what are you going to do. LOL"... Just watch out guys... Crossmen are
anyway.. that was it...nice place.. Id go back again next year...
cant wait to see more shows!
Kiwanis Kavaliers - Moreenergy than last show. New flags added to Elfman-Batman
section work well.
Spirit of JSU - Brass is gasping through soft/mid-volume segments in order to
make big impact points. Guard dropped a lot, but is getting together better.
Boston Crusaders - Really good first show! 2000-ish, but should play the second
sung section. Good guard, strong brass.
Crossmen - Biggest problem is feet/drill. Messy drill lowers GE, messy feet hurt
brass' power/sound as well as drill.
The Cadets - Guard not so good tonight, but still right with BD. Drill looks
good. A few musical tears (snares, brass, full ensemble) towards the end.
Blue Devils - It's so good, but... Music GE getting better, GE Visual will improve
with attention to drill form intervals.
East Coast Jazz (exh) - Lots of indivual talent, but almost no blend, balance, etc.
Show starts with dissonance and darkness like Spirit's, but they're lacking the power
to execute it. Show ends jazzy and crowd friendly. Should be pretty good come August.
Boston Crsaders Senior (exh) - for those who may wonder, the point of this group is
not "execution" or "cleanliness" or "technique". The point is having fun keeping history
alive, and giving the audience a chance to remember and reminisce. THANK YOU Crusaders!
Submitted by snail mail from "On Tour"
Saturday June 29
Seattle, WA (DCI Pacific)
Just got back from the Seattle, WA show at Husky Stadium. Montlake Bridge was
closed for painting which caused a HUGE pain for most people trying to get to
the stadium. Was surprised to discover that Don Acheson was on hand in person
at the show. Scouting potential new venues for Championship week? He must have
been impressed by the crowd--the biggest yet for a NW drum corps show.
I don't have the scores at hand, but I'll review in order of winning...just
Vanguard - Neither my wife nor I could get into this show. Found myself just
daydreaming through it. The square boxes were weird. Color guard was top-notch,
though. Vanguard was a real come-down after seeing Scouts.
Madison Scouts - They are continuing to be scored low, this time getting a 71.
Biggest hit of the night, crowd favorite. Their entrance onto the field is even
a show. Big gap in the middle of the show with no horn work, just percussion.
There's a lot of cleaning to do. Saw Scott Stewart, yelled to him, "Thanks for
bringing the Scouts to Seattle."
Seattle Cascades - Extremely impressive and making the big leap into Div I.
Scored a 70. Loved the huge rotating wedge during the opener. Really, really
Pacific Crest - Where did these guys come from? Big corps, big sound---one of
the best drills of the evening, pulling everything together. Don't run to the
concession stands during this corps' show. Watch it. You'll be impressed. 68+
Oregon Crusaders - Fine job by a Div II corps. Rare sight to see a corp from
Rose City. Hope they continue to grow. 48+
Northwest Venture (Senior) - They have a good sized group and complete
uniforms, but no drill. Just did a standstill while the color guard performed
around them, half-lost in their own drill. Is the best we can do for a senior
U.S. Marines - Wow. Super Wow. No trap sets, no color guard, no junk on the
sideline. 40+ horns which sounded like 70, perfectly in tune, not a glitch,
zero. A taste of what elite drum corps was like years ago. Too much perfection
is a bad thing.
Jim in Seattle
I was at the show tonight, so please humor me while I attempt to rant and
review at the same time. Before I start don't look for initmate details because
that's just not me. I forget enough about a movie that I can enjoy it again 2
weeks later. Also I missed the NW Venture and Oregon Crusaders. Don't hammer me
for disrespecting the Div III and Senior corps I was stuck in our wonderful
Pacific Crest: This is a top 12 hornline. No exaggeration, no question. Their
score does not reflect the quality of sound they produce. Roughly 56 horns, great
percussion and really high quality show concept - music of Cirque Del Soleil.
These guys have much more talent than the Cascades, but their visual program
really hurts. The drill is adequate, but very, very easy. It's reasonably clean
but should be cleaner with the lack of demand. My theory is that a demanding
visual program takes a greater time commitment than a demanding musical book. If
this part-time corps ever goes full-time - watch out! They will be performing on
Seattle Cascades: This will be the best drum corps Washington has ever produced.
I saw their Memorial Day camp and they were not very good. I can not believe how
much they have accomplished. They are for real. The hornline is pretty good, but
definately not as good as Pacific Crest. However, the overall visual concept is
light years ahead of P.C. Very fast paced, demanding drill. They have technique
issues and the drill is very dirty. They have a ton of room to improve on a great
start. The judges seem to love the show concept while I just don't. It is a
'Garfield's Greatest Hits' theme (83 and 85 primarily). One of the brass guys is a
Garfield alumn. It's like he got ahold of a hornline and has them playing his dream
book from the corps he loves. It would be like me taking a hornline and presenting
Russian Christmas Music, Festive Overture and The Tender Land - not a lot of
originality. Don't get me wrong, I want the Cascades to do well. I want them to
make finals. My guess is they will fall just short.
Madison Scouts: My first WOW!!! of the night. In your face drum corps at it's
best. Wonderful latin conquistador theme. They grabbed me by the throat just
entering the field to Conquest. Teriffic hornline, very good marching technique,
drill is decent but dirty and the guard is very mediocre. The guard has a ton of
work missing. They stand around a lot. I don't get it. There is no excuse for that
in late June. FINISH THE WORK!!! The guard took dead last! The talent is obviously
there. Clean up the drill and improve the guard and they will begin to distance
themselves from the Cascades. The crowd boooooed loudly when the score was
announced. The spread relative to the Cascades was way too small.
Santa Clara Vanguard: These guys represent everything I love and hate about
modern drum corps rolled up into a single package. They were clearly the best
corps tonight in every caption. The show included an original piece by Gordon
Henderson (UCLA band guru and former SCV instructor), a Hanson piece and a Copland
piece. I'll use two words to describe it - flat and abstract. This corps is very
talented, the show is extremely demanding, they march exceedingly well, all
sections are very good BUT you still are left wondering what you just saw, what
was missing. The original opener was pretty exciting but the rest was just blah...
I will say that the visual program is everything you need to win DCI, but I don't
think this show is going to get them there.
xmenbari98 said: "Cascades have a more sophisticated and energized program than
SCV." That is absolutely nuts. Energized maybe, but sophisticated??? Absolutely
My results would have been as follows:
Pacific Crest 70
I think Pacific Crest is getting unreasonably held back because of the visual
program. The hornline does get enough credit. I think the Cascades are getting too
much credit for a good, but very dirty show. Clean it first and then the credit
should come. I don't know why the spread between Madison and the Cascades isn't
larger - it clearly should be. The spread between Madison and SCV is about right,
but overall I think the scores were a tad low. I'm guessing SCV and BD will be
pretty competitive when they get together next week.
Setting the stage: UW Husky Stadium is a great U-shape, with the open end
letting the breezes waft in from Lake Washington just across the street. The
track around the field is good for setting up and moving Pit and aux, but
puts the corps that much further away from the crowd.
Seattle's contest --my always eagerly awaited one live show per year-- has
historically represented a good cross section of drum corps, and 2002's
edition was no exception. But this year was for me a mixed bag of sighing
and frustration, interspersed with some genuinely uplifting excitement.
-NW Venture: standstill only and unexpectedly small after last year: 19
horns, 12 drums [2, 3, 4 & 3 pit] and 5 aux. Horns and drums were reasonably
balanced but gave the sense of music learned not too long ago. Setting up on
the track instead of the field would have helped project their sound and
drawn the audience in significantly. Final piece "American Salute" was
easily their most dynamic and brought the best response. Just out of high
school, DM Stephanie Jacobson ["fsj6310" her bass drumming daddy] showed
very good control. One more contest Sunday night closes their three-show
-Oregon Crusaders: the third year I've seen them, and my consistent
impression for this still small and young group [13 horns, 15 drums & 7 aux]
is that a less technically demanding show would help their performances and
consequent progress immeasurably. Obscure music & theme mustn't be seen as a
prerequisite for all corps at all levels. More on this later.
-Pacific Crest: a suite of twelve, smoothly controlled excerpts from Cirque
du Soleil: refreshing. A wonderful rotating block form near the beginning,
neat rack multi-cymbal enhanced drum feature, smoooooooth 7/4 samba, and
exotic "Near Eastern" sound towards the end. Sure would like to see how
they'd fare at DCI.
-Cascades: finally jumping into the merciless fray of Division 1 this year,
Seattle demonstrably improves in technique and presentation with each
season... and is also beginning to sound "like everybody else" within the
-Madison Scouts: how absolutely and utterly neat! Hands down the crowd
favorite. The [brief] use of conquistador hats on the aux,
audience-understandable/followable melodic themes, TWO knock out Latin-esque
percussion features... thank you, thank you Madison! And if it doesn't
"win", SO WHAT? Scores be damned! Madison has the format and sound I pay my
money for. God... what a gutsy, exciting show.
-SCV: lonnggg sigh... which I never, ever, Ever, EVER thought I'd think of
the great SCV.
I thoroughly appreciate their technically razor-sharp presentation. But,
but, but... as I [obliquely] said of the Cascades efforts, and even of the
embryonic Oregon Crusaders, the steady, unending diet of choppy, fractured,
frantic, hyper-varied sound-bites that we're being lead to believe
apparently represents the zenith of championship drum corps music, comes
across even in its slamming, screaming, whispering, whooping spadefulls as
**still** nothing more than exercises in musical "intellectualism" [there's
likely a better word, but it'll do for here]. The overall music format has
impact, yes. But impact from, or of, WHAT? I expect Precise and Clean in
drum corps, yes. But I don't expect JUST precise and clean.
I don't understand this aspect of drum corps, in general. I don't understand
its rationale. I do not want obscure college wind ensemble/concert band
music on the field. It's becoming less and less and less interesting with
each passing season. I just... don't... get it.
-USMC: where Madison was absolutely neat, so the Marines were absolutely
classy. They all but oozed it. Brass and drums only, but calmly,
commandingly, professionally sharp to a fault. I was particularly fascinated
at how their drumline reinforced the music without benefit of the ubiquitous
Pit [other than two bell players] particularly in the eye-opening "American
Salsa" drum solo. Their DM expertly wields a great large mace... yet
otherwise conducts their very well thought out and marched repertoire with
one hand! The Marine D&B Corps is a class act of the highest order.
Foot note: on UW Husky drumline cymbal player shirts... "Play like you've
got a pair".
After a long drive home from Seattle and some much needed sleep, I'm ready
to input my review.
Stadium was great, though trying to get to the parking area was a bit vague.
Huge line for tickets but we lucked out with going in the credit card line...
everyone else wanted to use cash I guess! Excellent venue for a corps show,
olympic style track and ride opening on the right with a bay area view. Very
nice. I'm not an expert with numbers but I would guess maybe 5000 people or
more in the stands. Lots of corps jackets in the stands - saw VK, Star,
Troopers, SCV, Crossmen, Madison, and others... DCI - please continue to bring
Seattle Cascades hornline started off the show with a nice rendition of the
national anthem. Very good sound coming from the brass, I was impressed.
NW Venture - Ok senior corps but played in a concert arc while 5-6 guard
members danced and used equipment around them. Some nice soloist work in the
S.O. Crusaders - 2nd year I've seen these guys. The drumline to hornline
ratio is too big as far as volume is concerned, but the hornline has a pretty
tough book to play. In order to do well in Div III you really have to come to
perform every single night, and I'm not sure the staff gave them the type of
show that will let them excel.
Pacific Crest - These guys need to stop fooling around and go on the national
tour to Madison! Why they aren't planning to do so is beyond me. They have a
strong semi finals show and it would be great to see another Cali corps besides
the red & blue teams perform at championship week. HUGE guard. Great music from
Cirque Del Soleil. Yeah it might be stuff you've never heard of but it's pretty
darn exciting to watch. Standing O.
Intermission - Talked to another Cavalier alumni who lives in the nw area -
Carmine (1981, Baritone). Tried to reach SCV alum Jon Wagoner on his cell but
got his voice mail. Jon, we gotta hook up at tonight's Kelso or tomorrow's
Woodburn show! :-)
Seattle Cascades - Wow. I don't care if this is music that Garfield played
in 1985 & 91. These guys will be the best NW corps ever, and they pull the show
off quite well musically. Visually, the drill is still rough, but if I know one
thing about the guys who are on staff, they will make it clean. This show has
much more going for it than Spirit, Crown, Colts, Magic, etc... I will almost
guarentee you that they will make finals. Most enjoyable show of the night.
HUGE standing O.
Madison Scouts - It was pretty cool to finally have another championship corps
other than BD or SCV come to the nw since 1990. Corps didn't march onto the field
and form the fluer de lis, they had to give us a nice warm up right smack in your
face first! Loved it. Then they went to their positions ready to begin. Alot of
people don't really like the silver helmets and armor that the guard wears to
warmup, but I didn't mind. They remove both before the show begins anyway.
Brassline and drums were ok, but I was expecting a little more oomph. Marching
technique is getting there but saw alot of individuals brainfarting on direction
changes. Guardwork didn't look finished. They use orange flags in the opener that
didn't really work for me, almost too much red/orange on the field. Scott Stewart
sat right in front of me for their performance and was checking out the crowd for
reactions during other corps performances. Maybe he's desperately trying to find
that missing piece for his corps to stop free falling from the top 12. After the
show the drumline gave everyone a nice cadence beat. Standing O.
SCV - Well, the new uni's don't look like christmas trees really. Take the
shape of glassmen's uni, remove the color, put a bold white stripe from left to
right and then put bright orange/red on the right side and a lighter shade of
green on everything else, including the pants, and that's the uni. Modern, but
I preferred the 97-01 one myself. For the show... hmm well I'm not really sure
what to say. The performance is there, the excellence is getting there, but who
chose this music? AWFUL. The crowd sat on their hands. I feel bad for the kids,
they really do work their butts off. Probably the biggest complaint amongst DCI
show goers is that they don't know or enjoy the music. Me, I've enjoyed familiar
shows and even some obscure shows, like Pacific Crest's tonight, and even SCV's
shows the last couple of years. But this one just didn't do much for me, and
I've been a SCV lover for a long, long time. Guard has alot of new & strange
equipment - folding yellow/silver boxes, flags on triangle shaped pieces...
US Marine Corps - Great show guys. My cousin plays for the US Marine Band in
DC and said the corps has been rough lately, but they sure turned it on for
tonight's performance. Excellent blend of music with stuff we've heard from DCI
in the past as well as the traditional patriotic pieces.
Scores - Not really surprised actually. If PC went on tour and Cascades
continue to clean, both of these corps could catch Madison. They just have more
of a complete package than the Scouts. Be prepared for the hometown riots when
semifinals conclude in Madison. Unless SCV makes some major tweaks, this show
won't do anything for finals, and Xmen & PR will pass them up.
Encore - SCV played in concert arc first. I actually found myself enjoying
the music more this way. Not sure why. Maybe, and that's a BIG maybe, this show
will grow on me, but not yet. Afterwards a nice rendition of Send in the
Cascades also played in concert arc. HOLY @%@#!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear these
guys are loud, especially the bari line. Louder than SCV. Great sop & mello
soloists. Heard their corps song Imagine (John Lennon). Very nice. Talked to
a father of one of the snares and told him to let his son know that I loved the
show and to wish him the best of luck.
Again, the Cascades are for real people. Not a show to miss.
Disclaimer: I know squat about drums, and slightly more than squat
about guard. Sorry.
Venue: Husky stadium. I'm sure this is a great place to see a
football game, but I'm not sure its the best place in Seattle to hold
a drum corps show. The stands seem pretty far away from the field (by
virtue of the track and their recessed nature), and my-oh-my are those
bleachers uncomfortable. Score: 58.2 (high marks for GE, low for
Weather: Typical Seattle. Cloudy, sunny, cloudy, sunny, cloudy, sunny
etc. Some noticable wind at times, but not too bad. All in all, I
give the weather a 72.3 (with a .9 deduction for a wind penatly).
0) National Anthem, performed by the Cascades Hornline: I was a bit
dissappointed here. Tone quality wasn't as good as I was expecting
(considering their scores from the night before), attacks were
tentative, and they had some ensemble problems (baris sticking out,
etc.). I feared the worst for their performance after this. Don't
get me wrong: it sounded fine. But I was expecting more.
1) Northwest Venture -- Not much too say here, unfortnately. I was
both surprised and relieved to see they weren't marching. Surprised
because they marched last year, relieved because they marched last
year. Uniforms looked sharp. I appreciated the accessble tunes. The
quality of the musical perfromance varied. Although the hornline
didn't exactly embody musical exellence, they were pretty
entertaining, considering their size (around 20). A nice way to start
a drum corps show!
2) Oregon Crusaders -- Its great to see a drum corps from Oregon
again. Full marks to the staff for forging ahead and doing their best
to start something new and great! The corps looked good in the old
Marauder uniforms. Guard uniforms were class, too. Their show --
Stormsomething? -- was pretty demanding, esoteric, and, for me,
non-accessible. The kids did a better job with it than I expected.
The hornline -- I counted 13 of 'em -- produced some nice sounds. The
drum parts seemed over-written, though. Drums overpowered the horns
for much of the show, as well. There were some quality performers in
the guard (and some not-so-good ones, as well).
Mini-rant alert: I really wish corps like the Oregon Crusaders would
play music more in-line with the experience level of the corps. In my
opinion, this would benefit both the fans and performers. Let's face
it: smaller, less experienced corps like this simply aren't going to
overwhelm the audience with execution and precision. Its just a fact.
Playing simpler, more accessible music will win them more fans and
applause than their current MO. I can't imagine the kids like
struggling with the difficult music either. I had this same
observation last year. Obviously, drum corps is not so much about
what happens on the field as off it, but give the kids a show they can
play. No offense to the Crusaders intended. Just my two cents.
3) Pacific Crest -- Great show concept, great hornline, great
drumline, great guard, great corps. The show -- Cirque du Soliel --
was very well conceived. Music was accessible enough for the
audience, yet allowed the players to show their technical abilities.
Their hornline (they looked bigger than the Cascades, for whom I
counted 56 horns) had a very mature sound -- big, full, and rich.
Guard uniforms were these very cool tie-died unitard type things.
Their show wasn't all that difficult, but they performed it well. I
thought they had better marching technique than the Cascades, but
neither their drill nor music were as difficult. For some reason,
this corps reminds me of the Freelancers.
4) Cascades -- (56 horns, 10(?) snares, 5 tenors, 5 basses, bazillions
in the guard). wow. Any fears still lingering from the Star Spangled
Banner were put to rest as soon the corps turned front field for the
first time and blasted my face off with a great, perfectly balanced,
in tune chord. Their show is excellently concieved. I never saw
Garfield play this music, so I guess I don't bring the same biases to
the plate as others (and about those biases: didn't Garfield play this
stuff, like, 20 years ago? Can no corps ever play it again?). I
thought the Cascades were too esoteric last year, but this year that
is not the case. I went with two guests who have never seen Drum
Corps before, and they both commented that the Cascades had, in their
opinion, the most intriguing show as a whole. It is definately "fan
friendly." Their marching technique seemed very, very rigid. Of the
"corn cob up the butt" variety. Is this by design? I hope not. The
opener and closer were the cleanest drill wise, with some serious,
serious dirt in the middle. The Contra feature in Prelude, Fugue and
Riffs sounded like mud, while the baritone feature was awesome. Nice
solo work in the Mass. The closing drill is pretty sweet, but they
seemed a bit fatigued by the end (not a surprise, considering its
early and their drill moves). Some problems with overblowing and
horns sticking out here and there emerged toward the end, too (again,
not surprising). This show has plenty of upside. If they can get it
clean, they should have a good chance at finals.
5) Scouts -- I was a bit dissappointed here. I usually love Madison,
but this show didn't seem up their standards (I had no Scouts songs
stuck in my head on the drive home -- a very telling fact, no?).
Maybe they just weren't "on" tonight. I liked the guard outfits and
the helmets. Horn line only seemed to have two volumes: backfield and
loud. Marching technique was -- of course -- awesome, while their
drill was surprisingly clean (for this early). Some neat-o
pass-through type moves. Who knows -- maybe if I saw it again, I'd
love it. The show just didn't seem that difficult, and I fear if they
don't retool they'll max it out before finals.
6) SCV -- (65 horns, 7 snares (I think), 5 tenors, 5 bases, plenty o'
cymbals). I loved SCV last year, but was just dissappointed tonight.
Are the pink feathers in the hats new, or have I just never noticed
them before (I like them)? The announcer told us to watch for the
triangles in the opener. yeah, there were some triangles, and...? I
think they might be getting more credit for the potential of the show
than the execution. Plenty of dirt on the field. Music was pretty
inaccessible. No memorable riffs, melodies, or motifs. Worse than
that, it wasn't freaky-obscure enough to be memorable, either. It was
just sort of "there." Hornline played it well, though. I don't need
a corps to play music with which I'm familiar, but I would like them
to play music with which I'd like to get familiar. Madison, PC, and
Seattle all did this. SCV didn't.
7) Marines -- very cool stuff. The music, in a word, was great. It
was pretty weird to see them moving so slowly, though. After watching
the open class corps, all of which move around the field at a
blistering pace, their stately, reserved marching was very strange.
Firedance was excellent, and I even liked their rendition of Sousa
(never thought I'd say that, being a former french horn player). I
loved the two man xylaphone pit -- which, I might add, marched onto
the field carrying their instruments in step. I was hoping the Marine
Silent Drill team would perform like they did last year, but got no
Closing: I thought the point spread between SCV and Madison was too
large, while the spread between Madison and Seattle was just (a bit) too
small. The spread between Seattle and PC seemed more or less right.
All in all, a great show, and the one chance I get a year to wear my
Clifton, NJ (DCI Atlantic)
Well, after getting some sleep.... I was off to Clifton, dead tired still, but
if BD is here then I am there. Hot out, but not nearly as humid as it could or
Tonights line-up was generally the same as last night but without the Lehigh
Valley Knights. This review will be of Clifton with a little Lansdale thrown
As I was entering the stadium to catch Cadets practice... a few things were
going through my head. Crossmen are getttng a great start, probably the most
ready they have been since 1992, they have a show that can take them far, but
how will this fare for my Devils?? Cadets are also more prepared than usual,
and they have some schmalz that is really doing what it is supposed to do, it
is fun to watch, and those kids are performing the heII out of it! BD is at a
defecit right now, but this might be a good thing, it will make them hungry,
can they pull it off? My how I can not wait to hear Spirit again. They have
by far the most intriguing, beautiful musical book of the slate, and I can't
wait to get another show under my belt so I can become familiar with it.
Crown, that guard is hideous, what a waste of a concept.
I walked around a little, had a chat with Jimmy Steele of Spirit, what a
pleasure that was. A classy man representing a classy corps... this corps is
going places, mark my words!!!!
Then bumped into Jeff Mitchell and had a nice chat with him as well, all of us
"Jeff's " have got to get together soon!! LOL
Folks: The G vs Bb debate is just about dead and buried in my book. The brass
lines of yesterday and today are loud, melodic, deep, and rich......!!
Jersey Surf opened the show tonight with the music for Earth, or something like
that. A good performance that will only get better in time. Music is accessible,
and the drill highlights it well. One major bad point, Guard is hideous.... the
men put on pink Tutu's in "I feel pretty" ...umm, why?? I thought there was Maria
character, and a Tony character?? do you boys want to be women?? Did the desing
team think it was funny?? Well, I'm here to tell you that nothing but groans and
pathetic laughter came out of the stands tonight... It's not funny, it's stupid...
sorry but it was just as harsh to watch it, as it might be to hear what I have to
Kiwanis Kavakiers were next, and a better performance than yesterday.
Corps is big, 10 snares. Masks don't help, it makes them all look short and
frumpy. Brass needs to project more to the box, but I think that will happen as
they grasp their show a little more. Good , mature sound, and a good
drill...full of highlights, and once cleaned will have many "wow" moments!
Carolina Crown then took the field. You know, it's funny, last year they had
about one hundred useless props on the field to try and sell their show. This
year, they have a concept which could be outstaning, yet it seems no research
was done to try and capitolize in it. Their "Greek Gods" show sadly goes
nowhere right now, and the guard, instead of enhancing the package, sre just
plain silly. Brass plays well as does percussion, the drill is typical Carolina
"cookie cutter" drill, good, but nothing great, as of yet. The colorguard??
Who is responsible for these outfits ?? They should be bannished to hte galopigos
islands for eternity. They do not in anyway look like Togas or anything the
Greek civilization might have worn. Those colors were NOT used to make clothing
for the Greeks, or the Gods....They look like finnished products used to
complete the "fashions by Singer sewing" catalogue...hideous, emasculating, and
too thin.... no draping fabric at all.... WHITE is where it's at, why no
headpices?? why no Sandals?? Run as fast as you can to Wal-mart and buy
something, ANYTHING to get rid of these...and why is lightning now artsy and
curvy?? and Medusa had snakes in her HEAD not in her hands !!...... harsh, yes
but not nearly as harsh as the scores of people tskk'ing and shaking their
heads in the stands...... The show has potential, but I dont see them back on
top of Spirit anymore.
Sprit took the field next, and took they did with confidence, and a presence
not seen in this corps in a long time. What ever I write next will not do this
corps justice, you have got to see it and hear ot for yourself. So, not a fan
of wind ensemle ?? I don't blame you...Not a fan of "modern" drum corps and wish
for hummable meldies chock full of emotion ? who isn't and who doesn't, well......
Spirit delivers all that and a bag of shells. First off, Kudos to the staff in a
major way for designing what might possibly be their best gaurd outfit ever,
burgundy with highlights of I think Gold, but..... but.... they unravel throughout
the show to reveal colors, gradually getting lighter to enhance the theme
(beautifully) of Darkness into light. Opening silks have colors from the corps
uniform and the guard uniform blended perfectly... what a well written show, I
can't get enough. Flags throughout the show keep getting lighter too, and these
girls, these beautiful girls can spin their butts off.... WOW!! And you should
see what they can do with a rifle ! Brass is playing with such confidence and
emotion right now Bb sound is so sweet and rich... loud, yet dynamic. Melodies
are presented well, and enhanced by an outstanding drum line. The second number
is as beautiful as any ballad out there..... a little more fast paced than a true
ballad, but you WILL want to hear it again, and again. This show is by far the
most difficult they have had in a long time, and the key difference here this year
over last is they are grasping it, selling it and having a ball playing it!!
....See ya' Saturday night Spirit!!
After a break, Crossmen came out. They set up with the brass in the top right
corner, the guard lined up on the left end zone, one guard member in the middle
of the field, and the percussion up front and in the back. As the pit begins
it's stuff, the brass slithers in towards the center, the guard also moves
towards the center..... then, bang !! rich, full brass sound, and my GOD.... who
is this corps ???? This is the Crossmen, and mark my word, they will be near
the top this year. The main thing that stands out at first viewing is the intricacy
in the visual program, the second is how well the kids have taken the challenge to
master this program... it's 6/29, but they are in mid July form. This program
reminds me alot of 1999 SCV, it's fast moving, fast paced, in your face, and it is
awesome !!!! They took the best elements of Blue Devils, SCV, and Cavaliers
combined and melded them into something even better, and identinty all their own
that they started last year. Brass is using brand new set of Bb horns and you can
tell the difference, in a majorly good way !! Close your eyes, you would think it
was BD !!! this is a good thing... Second number is pretty, Guard uses thick silver
poles to full efect during this number.... crowd uses ooohs and ahhhs, to full
effect also. Strawberry Soup is both Loud and subtle, keeping tru to the
arrangement, yet becming a piece defined by this corps. As good if not better than
the 93 BD/Madison offerings. Guys, they can haul out there...this drill just doesnt
Crossmen: Listen up, if you can clean thos show like nobodys business,and then
sell that cleaned product to full effect, you truly can be the next DCI champion!!!
No, I haven't seen Cavies yet, but this show has it all, there is enough depth in
this show to take it all!!
Blue Devils were next.... and before they entered the field they gave a huge
yell at the back !! Yup, Devils are hungry, not winning a show is NOT characteristic
of BD, and they know it. The Guard is huge,and they dare you not to watch them as
they set up, and prepare. Guard outfits have grown on me so quickly, they are
becoming one of my favorites... This BD guard is already the best they have ever had
by far. They dance, they toss, they spin, they use hair for full effect. and they
take command of the field and never let go !! Tonights performance was miles ahead
of Lansdale in both an execution, and emotional standpoint. Arrangements are fast
paced, full of energy, and brassline really stepped up tonight, Vintage BD styling
here. Percussion can lay down some notes.... Music is very hummable not "chopped
up" or "butchered" as some have said. This corps was ON tongiht... they wanted
victory... it's coming,and it will happen, there is just too much in this show and
as soon as they can master it, make a few changes and sell it.... watch out !! The
introduction to Channel one suite is actually quite good, very suspensful,
inovative, and melodical, you know it's coming, but you just don't know when. I
can tell, and I heard there are changes in the works, and a new ending is on the way,
but what they have now is very good, this is a really solid show full of demand, and
full of GE....once they master it and sell it....w-a-t-c-h o-u-t!!!! I was sure
they were going to take the lead tonight, until..........
On came Cadets..... Excellent opening drill sequence, Guard is on FIRE, and the
movment fits so well, it is excellent. Brass is quality, sound is layered with rich,
deep,(yes those two words again) tones, and they are executing rather well for this
time of year. Cadets are on top of things this year, Drill is being performed well,
as is the playing by both percussion and brass...... Sylvester & co have done a good
job integrating the total package this year. The 95 boxes are back, so is the war
theme..... as much as I want to say "no way" or "too schmalzy" or "again" ?? I
can't...... I absolutely love this part of the show, Boogie Woogie bugle boy is a
show stopper, I saw some babies flying towards the field, and the kids are having
such a good time performing this show, you just HAVE TO BE CONVERTED !!!!!!!! It's
excellent and I got goosebumps tonight !! I could live with out the "Iwo Jima"
re-enactement, but...wow, what a total show !!! Blue Devils can, and I think will
overtake this show, but I hear changes are coming from both camps.
Well, thats all there is to say now, agree, disagree, it's ok..... all corps seem
to have taken a note and are playing more accessible music this year, all corps are
of a higher quality than last year..so far, Brass lines are LOUD this year, and I
don't mean overblowing, shows are being designed to be loud, and hte Bb are just as
good as the G.
I think whoever wins this year will be deserving of the prize.....
I see Spirit in the top12,at least...Crossmen makin a major step up, and BD and
Cadets fighting for the big prize......
Well, it was my first show of the season, so I can only tell you how I thought
everyone did on his particular evening. Also, I had a first-timer with me who has
absolutely no background in band, so it was interesting to get her reaction since
the issue of reaching new fans is one of DCI's problems.
OK, after difficulty finding parking we finally got to the stadium while Kiwanis
Kavaliers were starting, so my review will not include Jersey Surf (but I will say
the pink tutus their guard wore looked really goofy).
Kiwanis Kavaliers: Much improved from last year! A nice full horn sound and a
pretty interesting look with the visors and hoods. We watched from down front, so
I have no idea what the drill looked like. The biggest flaws I noticed from where
I was included individual marching technique and incomplete guard book. It's almost
July, I really don't think guard should simply be marching without work at this
stage of the season. And the individual techniques! Ouch! There is too big of a
difference between their sound while moving and while standing. The staff need to
absolutely get this problem taken care of immediately. My friend actually really
liked them and thought they should have placed above both Spirit and Crown (but
we'll get to that in a moment). Overally, this show has great potential and it's
great to see KK back in the mix.
Spirit of JSU: The ballad was gorgeous. I really thought the hornline was very
strong. But it is not just a strong hornline, the drumline has some really nice
exposed features that worked well. But by far and away, the biggest improvement for
this corps from last year is the guard. I really liked the look of the guard and
thought that they provided a nice visual element to the darkness into light theme.
While at times the drill is a little pedestrian, overall I thin kthis program works
for them. If they can get the opener and the closer anywhere near the level of the
ballad, watch out! They were easily 3-4 points better than Crown tonight.
Carolina Crown: Where to begin . . .. You know, maybe it was just a bad night,
but this program really does nothing at all for me. I think the least of their
troubles is the guard outfit! The Zeus section goes nowhere musically and the guard
simply could not hold on to the lightning bolts. The ballad never really "flew"
and the guard running through the two lines just offered nothing visually. And what
is with the bit of "When a Man Loves a Woman?" I'm sitting in my seat being lulled
into a mf coma and out of nowhere they bust out WAMLAW?!?! And 4 bars later, it's
over and I go back into the mf coma. I thought the Medus section could really bring
a big finale to the program, but it just got worse. They had nothing left at the
end. They were completely out of gas. It may have been a bad night, but between
the poor arrangements they have this year and the fact that they too seemed to have
extended periods with no guard work I just don't know if they are going to do it
this year. It's really early, but with the race for the top 12 so tight, my
prediction is that this show will not keep Crown in.
Crossmen: I love this show! The total package is absolutley fantastic. The Heat
of the Day is an absolte treat. It is sooo intricate and difficult to do that cleanly
because the brass and percussion need to be in perfect synchronization. Tonight they
had some small gliches, but boy the way they move during this piece made the gliches
excusable. The ballad was the moment of the night. My friend loved the poles and it
is amazing how simply playing a great tune and using a good, simply visual technique
can be so effective. I really liked the fact that they just played the song -- didn't
over arrange it as is so often the case in drum corps, it was really good. I see great
things on the horizon for the Crossmen. They have truly offered us something new and
exciting this year, and I think they are going to be well rewarded for it.
Blue Devils: I was expecting to not like this show, since I typicaly don't like
the Blue Devils and it seems that everyone has bed things to say about it on here.
But what is the problem? I really liked this show too. The Ragtime opener is the
best Blue Devil opener I've heard in years. It took all the way to the second song
before they played the typical Blue Devil stuff, but they purge themselves off it
pretty quickly. Yes they have overarranged the pieces and yes they don't move as
much as the Crossmen or Cadets, but I really liked this drill and the total visual
package. And Channel One will be fantastic by Finals. So all of you who have
deluded yourselves int othinking that the BD will not be in the Top 4 at Finals,
get over it. They are fine and I think this is my favorite BD show in a long time
on a first viewing.
Cadets: A lot of fun, but the NEw York, New York material doesn't do too much.
Also, you can barely hear the guard singing the song becasue the corps is playing.
Why bother? The ballad is outstanding and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy is hot, but the
tranition from one to the other needs some work. The ballad ends and the mood is
serious and somber and then all of the sudden they all scream and the party begins?!?!
We need a denouement from the ballad before the sudden jolt to the party scene. But
it's early and the Cadets are well on their way to a great year.
OK my friend really liked the Crossmen, Cadets, Devils and KK, but really didn't
like the Crown and Spirit programs. She actually said that she didn'tt like these
programs because they were a little too far away from what she thought a traditional
band should be. She likened it to a ballet program instead of a "band" show. So I
think what we are seeing this year from some of the top corps (at least those present)
is a return to a musically driven program. Yes the visuals are there, but the key is
the music. That's why someone who has never attended something like this can enjoy
these programs, becasue they are driven by the music! It will be interesting to see
how things shake out at Finals, but I really have to say that this is the first time
in a while that I actually enjoyed the corps from the upper echelon on a first
viewing. It's nice to not have to work hard to understand the program.
Went to the Clifton NJ show last night for my first dose of Div. 1
performances. Weather was warm through the day and pretty comfy at show
time....maybe 74 and very little humidity. I am not the best reviewer (By any
means) but feel that it is my duty as a fan and RAMD subscriber....I'll try to
Played by a few members of the Cadets ...nice job. BUT....my fellow
fans....please look at the American Flag when the national athem is being
played and not the group playing it (Unless the group is sporting an american
flag...which they weren't).
I saw this corps about a week ago in a GSC div. 2/3 show and I thought they did
a pretty good job. Last night they were a bit more tenative for some reason.
The drumline is the strongest performing part of the corps right now and they
did a great job. I think that once the members are a little more comfertable
with the drill this show will be pretty nice. I do have some concerns about
some of the higher notes for the upper brass....sounds like it maybe a little
to tough for them. The tu tu's on the guard has to go.....as another poster
metioned. I think the tu tu's were intended to be comical but they are not.
After reading some reviews on RAMD I was looking forward to seeing this show.
Somthing that wasn't metioned out here before the Clifton show is the fact that
the Kavaliers are sporting 10 snares 6 quints 5 bass and 4 cymbal. What A HUGE
drumline. The show moves along quite nicely and the music is instantly
recognizable. The corps seeemed to perform better as every minute passed. They
are well balanced across all areas (Horns,Drums,Marching Guard Pit.) This will
definatley be a show to check out come August. Great effort. I enjoyed them.
Another corps that I was eager to see. I reealllly enjoyed there show
(Musically) last season. Last years show grew on me over the coarse of the
season. This year......I think it is a pretty good show and look forward to a
second viewing (AKA Bridgeport). Strong brassline, the drumline lets you know
they are there with a couple of nice drum features and guard uniforms are nice.
The corps seems to be marching really well for the end of June and the show
moves right along. The hornline does a pretty cool triangle form in were the
members do a 360 at different intervals at which they hit you with some
sound....nice effect. Spirit has a real good chance of making it into the
Saturday night show at seasons end.
STAFF, PLEASE GET RID OF THE CORRENT COLOR GUARD UNIFORMS. This uniform choice
for the guard is HORRIBLE.....especially for the guys. Now onto the rest of the
corps. The hornline seems to be strong and the drumline and drill seem to be
right about were it usually is. The problem I had was the musical
choices......it did not make any sense (Nor entertain). It is supposed to be
about Greek Gods and in the middle of this show the hornline leans back and
plays some jazzy jam licks...?????? IMHO This is a good example of a waste of
talent...members great job.....staff......go back to the drawing board. May
drop out of the top 12 with this effort and all of the competition that is out
What a corps and what a show. Somthing that has not been mentioned in any
reviews yet is the Crossmens Awesome drumline. The drumline has that groove
about them (Sounds like 90,91,92). The horniline is real strong and the guard
ain't to shaby either. I think this show is going places and will suprise many
as the seasons progresses. The hornline seem to be a little weak in the last 30
or so seconds of the show but this will be cleaned up in no time. Its just that
the drill demand is so hard at that point of the show. A must see. Could
suprise a couple corps (And Fans) in August.
Show boring....NOT (IMHO). The guard alone is enough to make you druel. The
guard is so good that its scarey. The hornline is smoking and the soloists are
incredible. People have said that the drill demand isn't so high but I'll tell
ya that this corps is movin out there. There was a little hornline to drumline
phasing but I am sure that will clean this up soon. Don't know if the show is
good enough (Concept) to win it all but BD will be in the hunt. Liked the show.
Well the Cadets have definatley put together a nice show in a areas. A rehash
of the 1995 show.....I wouldn't say so. The drill is totally different and not
one musical not is the same. This show is very well intigrated (Visual,Musical)
and you can tell that April G. is working the guard. I heard earlier in the day
that the last 30 seconds of the show is going to be rewritten and some other
isolated spots are being changed as well. Bugle Boy is a HIT and the crowd and
corps enjoy every minute of it (Duh...isn't that what all the shows are suppose
to be about). Can't wait to see this show again....really nice.
Even though this show is the Cadets home show and a lot of Cadets alum and
fans were in attendance I think that the crowd wouldn't have been suprised if
the Blue Devils won. Both corps performed great and will probably beat each
other a couple of times before the season is out.
On my way out of the stadium I noticed Spirit's hornline arced up and were
playing. I thought cool.....gotta check this out. The hornline played I guess
one of there corps songs....then played there on the field warmup and last but
definatly not least........GEORGIA. That was the best was to end any show.
Well, this isn't' a real review, just some comments on Clifton.
To start with, it was just gong to be my daughter and I going to the show, as
my wife hasn't gone to a live corps show in over 20 years. My daughter, bass drum
section leader last season and now drum major of our HS band, has gone with me to
Clifton in 2000 and 2001. Her goal was to watch drum majors to start to learn the
ropes. We couldn't go watch any rehearsals this year, as she is now a lifeguard and
had to work until 4:00 PM. So, as she and I were about to leave, my wife shocked
the both of us and decided to come along. So, it was the three of us, and we had a
great time. We ended up with sets on the 50, and about 16 rows up. Great seats!
Prior to the show my daughter searched for shirts... but sadly on all the shorts
she liked, NONE of the booths had medium or large, just small or XL/XXL. She
decided to wait until the West Chester show, as she will be attending with the rest
of the Vivace Marching band camp.
On to the show....
First corps up...Surf....
Did their own take on WSS. Very interesting show, and I think they wil eventually
nail it. A lot of performance "stuff" to clean, esp in visual perf and brass. Perc
really cook for early-on. Guard: all black, but for some odd reason they put
everyone, including the guys, in pink tutus part way through. Very disconcerting.
Their guard work is obviously not yet done. For one number, they carried around
sports equipment, like baseball bats, tennis rackets, and lacrosse sticks, painted
taxi-cab yellow....though I hate to use the word "taxi-cab" anywhere near a post
that will mention The Cadets... They didn't do any work with the stuff, so I
assume it's not done yet. Their closer ("Somewhere") needs more to it as well, as
it ends pretty abruptly. All in all, some REAL nice playing showing lots of
potential and a dynamite show, so I think they'll do just fine.
My daughter's fave in 2000, as she had just seen "Miss Saigon" in NYC with mom and
loved what they did with it. This year the corps is HUGE, with the merger. Battery
perc esp. 10 snares??? Very neat show, with superhero music. All black unis with
visors in the brass/perc and all black on the guard. One spot I had some trouble
is when the corps proper is in some sort of 'S' shape with the guard layered inside
the curves. The black-on-black almost turns the guard invisible, as they are not
doing any equipment in that spot. I'd highlight the uni somehow to bring them out,
or give them some equipment. Actually, I liked what they were dong, but I had to
look real hard to find them. All in all a very nice show. Lots of performance
opportunities to work on, as all the corps showed; it WAS still June, after all.
One of my three faves last year. I've watched them the past three years and have
marvelled at the intelligence of their admin, as they give the corps enough show to
help them grow, yet not over their heads so it becomes a frustrating exercise.
This year, they hit the big time, IMO. The Holsinger music is wonderful. The play
the heck out fo the opener. I love the horn effect as they twist left and right in
the wedge. VERY neat. The "ballad": Once they add some more expressiveness and
emotion, watch out! It came across a bit "by the numbers", but if they can get it
up to the performance level of the opener, they'll REALLY have something. Finale:
Seemed to run out of gas. The trumpets esp started to fade in and out. Overall a
very well put together show, for sure. The visual design is wonderful, and the guard
does an outstanding job.
Greek Gods show. Last year's show was one of my VERY favorites, and I thought they
played the heck out of it. One of my top three favorites of the year. This year...
not really. The brass actually seem to play with better intonation than the past,
but they still have to project more feeling and expression It comes across a bit
dry. One long spot the pit isn't playing at all, but standing near sus cymbals
watching the DM for the end of the tune, where they contribte a short sus cymbal
roll. The players seemed unsure of themselves, as they were looking at each other,
and then up at the DM. I wonder if it was a new part. Some visual problems, and a
few folks had to REALLY run at times to hit their spots, horns swinging to and fro.
They did the "park the battery in back for a while" bit, but the way they integrated
them back in to the show was so neat I forgave them for that. All in all, I liked
them better last year. They really need to cut loose more, IMO, esp the brass.
My other fave from last year. This year, I loved the opener. There are some problem
spots performance wise, esp the first 30 seconds or so. More iterations will work
this out, I'm sure. The Linda Eder ballad will be VERY nice once they get more
emotion in the performance. I thought the flugels came across thin and breathy a bit,
not dark and warm. Once they learn what they are SUPPOSED to sound like, I'm sure
they'll be fine. Some to the background to the flugels sounded unmusical in the lower
bras, sort of just notes plopped down, not really performed in a musical manner.
Again, something I'm sure they'll work on. Strawberry Soup was a gas. They REALLY
laid it out on that tune. The members must really like that tune a lot. Battery perc,
esp the snare rides on cymbals, get lost at times. Was a cymbal missing? There didn't
seem to be enough cymbals for all of the snares. The guard was great, but there was
one move near the start of the show (I think it was Crossmen, but I might be wrong;
it might have been Crown). where they do a two-person flip over move. It really looks
clunky, almost as if I was on the field dong it ( a sight NO ONE would want to see,
There seems to be complaints about their show in these newsgroups, but IMO this was
the most fun I've EVER had watching a BD show, gong back to the 70's. I love the
opener, but then "Ragtime" is my favorite Broadway show of the last 5 or 6 years.
The spin around collapsing hornline is a VERY neat visual. I wish I could figure
out what the furor is about "Channel One". I loved the chart. I'd rather not hear
the version from 19XX; I want to hear a new take on it. Guard: as last year, one of
my all time faves. I love the theatricality of their show... mixed in with great
equipment work. Just wonderful. Percussion do a nice job, though I'm not sure it's
one of their best percussion sections. One neat moment is the switch to the
percussion in the opener from the brass. My quibble with Ragtime....maybe TOO fast,
as it looses a little of the rag feel whe t gets going. Then again, as I said I love
the show, so it's probably just me. I wish they had done their entire show on Ragtime,
My goodness, what a great entertaining program, performed very well. The Bernstein
opener took MAYBE a fraction too long to unwind, but once it hit it's stride it was
incredible. The Field of Dreams ballad is beautiful, and they already have a good
bit of emotion and expression in it. It still needs more, but the structure is there,
so I'm sure it will be great by August. Boogie Woogie.. is so good it leads to a
problem..the closer. After such a hig energy number, just about anything will be a
let down, and for me the closer was, to an extent. It needs more visual enhancement,
and maybe even some rescoring to get it back up to the heights of the rest of the
show. It never quite gets back to the heights of BWBB and the rest so I was left
just a little "off" at the end. I'm sure that will be fixed. I love the high leg
lift spot, and the REAL neat 'old style' drum feature. It shows that today's kids
can play ANYTHING thrown at them, IMO. As I said back in 2000, I still think they
may have too many mellos to the number of trumpets, as the trumpets get thinned out
a bit and lose their presence in a few spots.
A general comment
Seems to be the year of placing the tubas on the sideline and letting them do a
walking bass feature. I think at least three did it, and maybe four.
I don't know them off the top, but the placements were accurate, IMO, as were the
spreads. I thought the BD did a great job and should be close to the Cwdets, as
did Spirit in their 3-point relation to the Crossmen.
Blue Devils (which has NEVER happened for me)
The show site is awful. No Parking, traffic is horrid, and corps have no place
to warm up except where their noise will interfere with performing units.
Jersey Surf - Even dirtier than KK, but also had an enjoyable show. Effort
was obvious, even if execution was not.
Kiwanis Kavaliers - Nice show. Loved the lightning bolt rifles in "Flash Gordon."
Lots of dirt, lots of youth.
Spirit of JSU - Their brass must carry this this show, but when they get
stronger/cleaner they will NOT be budged from the Top 12.
Carolina Crown - Not as good a show as Spirit and previous Crown shows, but I
thought cleaner than Spirit. Brass is solid, Percussion and Guard also good, if not
Crossmen - Lots of dirt, but lots of drill still readable and effective anyway.
Guard looked "on", Brass needs to finish their phrases. Best show ever, bar none.
This will take them as far as they can clean it.
The Cadets - Who are THESE guys?? What adifference a week makes.... More dirt
than BD, but FAR more GE and interest. First two tunes still end weakly, but beginning
and end of show cook.
Blue Devils - Obviously good, but are only beating Crossmen because of executuon.
More light-hearted than in past years. BD is cleaner than Crossmen (Guard is phenomenal),
but not as good a show. their show has little pop, not very much interest. Lots of NICE
things, but almost nothing MEMORABLE. Will lose to Crossmen if they ca't pull some GE
from somewhere, because there's not much left to clean.
Submitted by snail mail from "On Tour"
Malden, MA (DCI Atlantic II / III)
OK - never done a drum corps review before, so here goes.
Music on Parade, Macdonald Stadium, Malden, MA
29 June, 2002
"Drums Along the Train Track" - 2002
The stadium is alongside the Orange line of the Boston Metro "T" - convenient if
you have to get back in town to get a train - a distraction if you're out for a night
of drum corps - oddly, it seemed that one of the train drivers got into the show -
every 4th train would honk its horn as it drove by - still a distraction, but a neat
one. The stands are set back behind a running track, about 15 or 20 rows high,
SPARTAN CADETS - Nashua, NH - (10 hn., 7 SD, 3 BD, DM, no guard) Exhibition:
This was the kids' first time out this season - they march parades and occasionally
double-practice with the big corps. Solid black unis. with the trademark Spartan
plume? boa? A patriotic show - Gould's "American Salute" ("Johnny Comes Marching
Home"), some Sousa marches - including "Stars and Stripes", God bless ‘em. A
surprisingly clear sound, a good ensemble instrumentation, contra to soprano, balanced
- very out-front group of young people - bodes well for the consistancy of the Spartan
Organization. Solid arc on the track, almost under the stands - wish they had stood a l
CITATIONS - Burlington, MA - (5 pit, 5 Battery, 4 Guard, 5 Horns) - Exhibition:
This group had taken two years off to fund raise - watching their website evolve with
fundraisers has been a testament to manager Donna Monte's drive to keep this group
going. A standstill with the corps proper centered on the 50, the 4 very young guard
members to stage left (or "Side Two" back in the day) - from what I could tell, every
count of music was covered by some kind of guard action - a record that some of the
later competing units couldn't claim. They played selections from Copland's "Red Pony"
and "Appalachian Spring" as well as a surprisingly full-sounding version of "Take Her
to Sea, Mr. Murdoch" from "Titanic". I got the impression that the drum section,
articulary the pit, was well-trained - they have an active winter percussion ensemble
and it shows. Fun to see them back in such comprehensive form.
SILVER KNIGHTS - Ludlow, MA - (3 pit, 2 SD, 3 BD, 6 Horns, 3 Guard) - Exhibition:
Scheduled later in performance order, SK suddenly appeared on the field - the music
taken mostly from Holst's "Planets" Suite - Jupiter, Venus, Mars and then, surprisingly,
"You'll Never Walk Alone" - centered on the 50, from a standstill set, they generated a
surprisingly clear sound - the baritone player was worth her weight in gold in terms of
projection. The guard was very active, both in equipment and dance work - from what I
could tell there was work throughout the show. In general I thought they had a wonderful
energy - this was the first group to catch the crowd's interest. My assumption is that
their drill simply wasn't ready at this point.
QUEST - Brooklyn, NY - 7th place - 49.10 - (10 horns, 5 pit, 6 Guard, 8 Battery):
My first impression is that these kids were standing tall - either very well trained or
new unis or both. I believe this show is not finished yet, but complete enough to march
with what they have. The stepoffs and body carriage spoke of tentative command of the
show. I would like to have heard more sound from each of the horn players. Percussion
carried to the stands really well, the first of the night to do so, especially on the
"Danse Macabre" feature. The color guard carried a lot of impact in the show design, and
did it well. "Begin the Beguine" struck me as an especially snappy, much better thought
out arrangement that either "The Lost Children" or "La Suerte de los Tontas" - I'm
guessing on the end of the show, but I don't think they got to "The Heat is On"
TARGETS - Springfield, MA - 6th - 52.60 (4 pit, 3 Battery, 8 Guard, 14 Horns):
The show was a "Mangione Encore" - they won this Blue Devil's heart with "Legend" - hard
not to look favorably - they hit all the songs that Chuck M. has ever made an impression
with - "Legend of the One-Eyed Sailor", "Bellavia", "Children of Sanchez", "Land of Make
Believe", "Chase the Clouds Away" - like listening to a 70's/80's drum corps retrospective.
The guard made a great impression with very nice ensemble movement and equipment work.
Their horn line had the most developed sound to that point and was the first to get a
really solid crowd reaction just from horn impact alone. This show was complete, forms
were mostly inside the 30's, from the low stands, bad body carriage made it hard to read
some of them. There was a young pit cymbal player who was having a great time jamming the
ride part in "Chase" - it was fun to watch him and he nailed the part.
CADETS OF NYC - da Bronx, NY - 5th - 59.55 (10 Pit, 15 CG, 19 Horns, 9 Battery):
"Incantation and Dance", "Cadillac of the Skies", "Platt Opus" and "Nights in White Satin".
I think NYC has new uniforms as well - didn't see them last year, not sure - deep blue tops,
white pants (white pants seem to be surviving in the Div. 2/3 part of the activity) with a
pink and silver baldric. Classy and clear on the field. It was clear we were moving into a
new level of show here. The guard can seriously dance - their equipment work - particularly
the bright pink flags in the opener - really made the crowd notice. "Nights" was played from
a standstill, which shows how strong the rest of their performance was - if a consistant
level of energy and power can be maintained to this point of the show, it's gonna be a hot
little closer - sometimes there were horn ensemble balance problems, sometimes problems from
drums to horns. Very good connection with the crowd.
RAIDERS - Lodi, NJ - 4th - 62.20 - (6 pit, 8 CG, 21 Horns, 9 Battery):
Striking in dark blue tops, black pants with a black shako topped by a white plume, Raiders
looked a little too much like Blue Knights - the black baldric is a welcome addition. The
"Festive" opener was strongly projected, commanding immediate audience involvement - in
other words, people finally shut up and started listening. The arrangement led you to
believe that the runs played by the pit would be done by the horns - it struck me as an
obvious cop-out on a difficult part - when the horns did take them up near the end it was
woefully undersupported. I studied and conducted "Masque" by W. Francis McBeth, he got me
started as a composer - the arrangement seemed to deconstruct the music too much, too
confused, too involved - when the piece did come together the impact was quite strong - I'm
sure Dr. McBeth will be interested to hear how they do. By the time they hit the
"Shostakovich 5th" they were tired - but when they all hit together, the hornline has quite
an impact. It all seemed a little frantic - BUT - when they came together into an
honest-to-God company front - the audience went - well - wild, yeah, wild. I wish the show
was a little less clever and more direct, but it will develop well.
PATRIOTS - Rochester, NY - 2nd - 69.15 (6 pit, 15 Battery, 22 CG, 28 Horns?):
Another show featuring music of W. Francis McBeth - about time - based on "Through Countless
Halls of Air" - somehow this show didn't seem to gel for me - maybe they're still tentative
and working out how to sell it - the horns were generally well balanced - the guard very well
thought out - black/tan unis, with purple skirts added halfway through - impressive field
coverage in the guard. The finale drill wasn't done yet - I love esoteric shows when thought
through and well-presented - I think this one will need to be developed, but the technical
training of the kids will carry them through.
SPARTANS - Nashua, NH - 1st - 73.30 - (10 pit, 29 Horns, 20 CG?, 17 Battery, 9 Snares!):
Wow - 9 snares - taking a big chance, hanging it out there, laying it on the line - kinda
raggedy at times, but yeah, I think they pulled it off (I was a baritone player, what do I
know?). Music runs true to their style - "Gladiator", "Ben Hur", "The Mummy Returns" (!?!),
and "Samson and Delilah". Their opening from the endzones looks almost 60-ish, results in
instant field coverage, movement straight left to right, which you don't see a lot of these
days. The guard rifle work, tosses especially, was very arresting - gosh, those girls toss
a LOT. Generally, and this was agreed to by folks sitting around me, this was a SHOW -
beginning to end, active every minute, something missed if you looked down to see where your
popcorn was. I have no clue how it stacks up to other Div. 2 shows, but it had better do well
or I want to see the corps that beats it.
EAST COAST JAZZ - Malden, MA - 3rd - 68.60 - (6 pit, 23 horns, 12 battery, 11 CG?):
The host corps for the show - extremes of confidence in the show - so much of their repetoire
- "Aspect", "Pegasus" and "Music From an Unwritten Play"- all demanding Stan Kenton stuff -
seemed to depend on their leaning back and floating the music - especially the swing feel of
"Pegasus" - up to the crowd - I think they weren't swinging, they were sweating - ECJ has the
rep of steadily building through the season, almost being a different corps by August - a
shaky contra attack on the first note of "Pegasus" unstablized the whole first part of the
tune - but you can also see what they're demanding of the kids - since I know they can bring
the kids up to the level the show demands, this is a good thing. Maybe they're trying to be
"esoteric" - the time between musical impacts is longer than Nashua or even Patriots - - I
can't wait to hear what this will sound like in a month.
In general, you could tell it was the first show of the season - not everyone was ready,
not everyone was tight, but by Dunn and Bradstreet, they were THERE. That says a lot. I wish
everyone in the crowd would shut up and listen, then stand up and stomp and cheer and carry
on like crazed baboons - these kids deserve it. The shows were varied and well thought-out.
After a while, you didn't even hear that damned train go by.
Man, THAT's entertrainment.
Oh yeah, the Boston Crusaders were there too.
Toledo, OH (DCM)
(Please note that most parts of this so called review are of a tongue-in-cheek
It was a warm evening with a slight breeze on a Saturday night in Toledo,
Ohio. People frantic to escape listening to John Denver tunes broadcast from
every street corner in town, rushed the gates of the Glass Bowl at the University
of Toledo, trying to escape the embarrassment of having nothing to do. Like
vultures the 50/50 ticket hawkers and program salesmen descended on the madingly
small but persistent crowd. It was as it always is a "drum corps" crowd, people
with no real home during the summer traveling from place to place (vagabonds on
the Ohio Turnpike) with not much else to do. Their mood was, in a word, bitter,
bitter at being forced to attend the only drum corps show in town. Routinely law
enforcement officers driving by dropped off car loads of the dreaded "out-of-towners",
lost and bewildered people trying to find "their own kind" and they each made their
way meekly to the gate trying not to attract much attention. You could see it in
their eyes, by the way they looked with a sort of far off distant look. Asking was
it okay to go in now? They were hoping, even begging for good old fashioned
entertainment, it had been sooo long. But it was not to be tonite.... no it was not
to be. For the Glassmen were here... and although they were last on, we all knew that
our hopes would be shattered and our fears would come true. All throughout the
grandstands, you could see mothers covering their infant children's ears and saying
very quietly... don't listen, don't listen for you will turn to stone for the
Glassmen are here sucking all the excitement, all the enjoyment yes even all the
warm pop out of the bottom of the cups... The audience was in a restless mood.
Afterall, they had come for a show and they were going to get it. So much for
ambiance.... it was time for the show to start.
Bandettes (they don't much look like a band...not that that's a bad thing)
The last All-Girl Corps in existence was the first on and played to a rather
small but eager crowd in Toledo. With 9 horns, 5 guard, 9 pit , no marching drum
line and 4 standing on the sidelines, this corps gained the audiences attention
right away. It takes a great deal of guts to not only start off the show but to
draw the audience in. The mellophone solists did a fine job. A few rough spots
were over looked and the audience clapped every chance they could. We all cheered
them on, hoping for them to succeed, and they did. Have a fun and safe journey
Bandettes, we enjoyed what you had to offer...we love you. Please come back again
and remember "never give up".
Lake Erie Regiment
I did not see this group but heard that they did get a standing ovation having
also only 9 horns.
As a volunteer for the home town corps (whisper it very oh so very softly....
the Glassmen) I was hawking programs and 50/50 tickets and trying to convince small
children that these were "collector items". No one escaped my charming advances,
the young and the old. Even the t-shirt venders looked at me in disgust. That's why
I missed the show, I was so ashamed of myself, while I was looking down at my feet
I walked right into a wall and knocked myself out.
Sorry, I missed Capital Regiment but many in the crowd tonight sincerely enjoyed
their show and thought they have great potential.
WE are truly lucky here in Ohio (round on the ends and high in the middle O-Hi-O,
sing it O-Hi-O) sorry... I need to take my medicine. As I was saying truly lucky to
have such a fine organization as Capital Regiment here in Ohio where drum corps was
born. Home of the tallest drum corps kid ever to march and also the fattest. Home of
the first double tenor bass snare drum. WE also invented the 50 yard line. Heck,
we've had more drum corps here then you can shake a stick at....... O-Hi-O... gawd
... I, I love that song.
Pioneer (they don't really dress like pioneers do they?)
What can I say that has not already been said. Much better tonight then 2 weeks
ago, balance between the horns and drums was way better. I do not think the tables
are an effective prop but the members seemed to enjoy it ...so that's all that
matters to me. I enjoyed the music selections and their performance.
Bluecoats (those white pants and white shoes and white hats and feathers... its
almost like they are the good guys)
Watched this corps with sheer delight. A very entertaining vehicle, the show has
music you can tap your toes to. A strong performance of the horn line, a little
heavy by sopranos. They are enjoying their performance and drew me in to a new level.
Predictions.... Top 6..... No, not unless something more spectacular can be done
somewhere. A good show but not a great one yet. Hard to believe they had a better
horn score then Glassmen but heck, I'm bias. Another great Ohio corps.
Ever been to Canton... I have.... not that far from Akron... can't really miss it
yes Hall of Fame, Football I could go on and on.... Go Bluuuuuuuu. My Dad was asking
me after the show why everyone was booing them. With a straight face, I told him
that this is the only corps that memorizes their music. He bought it..... it's
probably not right to mess with senior citizens. He should have bought a 50/50
ticket from me.
Anybody have that Trooper album from the 1960's where Walter Brennen narrates....
it is gold. I can't forget it. He says "The Troopers,...in name and appearance ( in
the background the Magnifcent Seven is playing ) are what the west was like." Or
something to that effect.
"Troop Whoop" said the t-shirt. I love the Troopers and I enjoyed the show. A
nice show design but only 36 horns and a little thin. They play a little tentative,
so cut lose guys and gals and let er rip. Not being a drum guy, I don't often find
problems but F-Troop has some butterflies here. Can you say MUDDDEEE YEOW.. Well
enough said it was only their second or third show. No sunburst, please, we all
want to see it even if we know its coming. We're very simple people. "Troopers
make DCI TOP TEN". I have to see that one day again before I retire. Same guy as
last year selling t-shirts and he always looks like he is half asleep. Now that's
A greatly improved performance from 2 weeks ago. All the music is familiar but
played without much feeling. The drill relies too often on the "block formation",
not very drum corps to me. I look forward to seeing a much more emotional
performance come finals week.
Booooring, Boooooring, Boooooring. The crowd began to chant. Boooring,
Booooring, Booooring, bus engines started simultaneously all over the parking lot.
The audience was in almost a hypnotic trance. Young children stopped crying and
couples in love stopped...... well they kept doing what they were doing but
everyone else stopped doing stuff. An then a hush fell over the crowd. "Glassmen,
are you ready for competition?" cried the announcer, as he muttered under his breath
"hurry hurry before they all leave."
Now this is the part I hate ( I'm being serious now) Why does the guard have
to fiddle around with their flags on the sideline and make everyone wait...
Back to the show. I looked over the crowd, many had begun to yawn. Some glanced
nervously at their watches other glanced at the exit ramps looking for a way out.
But trapped they were... all gates had been padlocked shut after intermission and
us ushers were instructed to silence those who went out between corps. I tried to
stifled my over-whelming urge to yawn but it was too late. It all started when the
drum major saluted, removed his shako placing it on the podium he stood up and
then it happened. Putting a gloved hand to his mouth as if to stifle a small yawn
the whole audience almost subconsciously if by some magical stroke began to yawn
simultaneously. So much oxygen was removed from the air in those few seconds that
3 or 4 judges instantly passed out..... BTW that's how we get such high scores.
So much has improved in this show in two weeks that it almost elevated me out
of my seat. Wow they have a guard now and they are doing lots of neat things. When
they get their moves to reflect the music they will change this show into the next
level. Listen to the music several times. It is so much more interesting with
layers of depth to it. Soloists are almost drowned out by the monster pit. Lovely
opening, by the pit and a full field drill set with drum and guard integrated. Of
course a moving block, a picture frame and the reverse. This show needs something
else, some element to lift it into the top three. Course I am biased but I think
they will square off with PR, SCV and Crossmen for 4th through 7th. It's gonna be
Binghamton, NY (DCA)
Wow! Had a great time in Binghamton!! First thing we did was go
check out the new stadium.... Very nice btw. It's a shame that there
is such a great facility, with no real parking.
Then we were off to Hurcs. practice. Had lunch and hung around for a
while watching. Everyone was working hard even the Honor Guard! It's
June....but, they were looking good. They should shape up just fine!
Nice show! Man, they sure have a couple of great soloists!! Looked for
you Liz.... oh well, maybe next time.
Next, we headed over to see what the Brigs were up to. For the little
amount of time we were there, the corps was working on a few trouble
spots.... and I must admit with each try they did get it better and
better. We didn't stay very long, we were being attacked by bees
(thankfully, none of us got stung!). 12 contras Oooof!!
For reasons I choose not to go into.... I had to miss out on Bush and
Cabs rehearsals. My apologies.
So we went back to the stadium to claim Mom's parking spot. She wanted
that spot and she got it. It was a perfect spot up on the hill, in the
shade, with a great view of the field. So, we set up camp and watched
the rest of Magic's rehearsal. Wow! Hard working corps! Great
The corps started to show up and we walked around the stadium and
facilities to see the souvies and visit with folks and take in some
warmups! Got to have a nice lil chat with Susan Zellea(sp) from Cabs.
she's always a pleasure to talk to!
Tom, the only time that I saw you.... they were pushing us out the
gate to clear out the stadium for the show to start. I yelled your
name three times..... but, you didn't hear me. You were standing in
front of the souvies stands, in your khaki shorts and white shirt! I
told ya I saw ya! Have to catch you another time!
We (my daughter and I) then ventured to the front of the school where
the Cabs and Hurcs were warming up. Hurcs we really like those new
unis. Very sharp looking! Yet still very recognizeable.
On to the Cabs. ran into several people I know! Finally met Glen in
the flesh! (Nice *do* Glen)lol. Took his kids over from that point so
Daddy could do his thing with the drum line. Mindy and I had a ball
with Justin and Kevin. They are a riot. Nonstop typical lil boys.
Kevin told us that when his plant starts to grow... he wants me and
Mindy to come to the house and see and smell his beautiful and
delicious flower. Kevin a seeded dandelion and insisted that I make a
wish and blow it out. He promised my wish would come true! Justin
wanted to go watch the guard so we did (nice guard Cabs), Justin soon
went on a treasure hunt for his special rock collection. Meanwhile,
Kevin and Mindy had a contest who could dig up the buried treasure
using only the magic sticks (no fingers were allowed to touch the dirt
or the treasure would turn to mush that wouldn't make them rich) Lame,
but it helped keep them kinda clean.... cause Dad didn't want them
dirty. Kevin informed me that Daddy doesn't like the Cabs., his
favorite is the Bushwackers! hehehe Glen, just to let ya know....
Justin is quite *handy* with chicks in EVIL tanktops. Did you teach
him that???? No wonder he wanted me to carry him a lot. Eventually
took them up to the car so Daddy could go on the field with the corps.
When asked is they wanted a drink, Kevin said, "no, thank you" and
Justin said, "yes please". Wow! How polite!!! Then we watched the
green guys(Hurcs.) Nice show Hurcs.!!! Then came Daddy's corps we all
yelled and clapped. Then we were off to find Daddy.
Mindy asks... who is that? I look over..... and I tell her I have no
idea.... its either Brigs or Bush??? Then I recognize some of the
staff and I say..... Bush??? What's up with the uni change? Bush used
to have such a recognizable and diff. uni., You could always pick them
out in a heartbeat. Sorry Bush, although I liked your show, I must
admit.... I do not care for those unis. Oh, and Jerome.... I believe
you still owe me!!! The beads were nice....yet that didn't take care
of our debt! (hehehe) It was great to see you again tho!! No wonder I
couldn't find you anywhere... I was searching for you in one of those
(blah) unis. (sorry, but I miss those classy unis. they were not only
nice looking but they showed very well on the field!!) JMO.
It was great to see everyone Rose, Brad, Jack, Tony (very cool that
your daughter is marching with you this year!!!), Kay, Nicole, etc.,
Under the raining bugs (UGH), I took over again with the boys so Daddy
could go to the meeting. Glen, don't feed them Kitkats just before I
take charge please?! Whew! Thanx for allowing me the pleasure of
watching the boys (just hope next time, I get more than an hour and a
half of sleep the night before). I'll need it! Give them both a hug
and kiss from me and Mindy!
Brigs Nice unis. And I love the fact that the Honor Guard has the old
unis. nice touch! Rick sorry I didn't catch up with... you were always
busy when I saw ya! Nice show! Only one tune that I had any real
problems with..... But, that is probably more on a personal level.
All n' all, it was a great show! Can't wait till the next show and the
rest of the season to see how things shape up! Ok, I've babbled enough....
Everyone have a great season!! See ya soon!!
Almost a perfect night for drumcorps (about 5 degrees cooler, and it would
have been absolutely perfect). Nice new stadium, but have been in more
intimate ones. The stands were set back pretty far from the field because
of the large track and a large walkway at the bottom. I haven't been around
sr. corps for long, so I might get some of the traditions or histories
First, what happened to sky? I enjoyed this corps last year and I hope to
see them again this year.
First on, Hurc's. Got to see them in warmup. Drumline played quite well in
warmup. So did the hornline. After listening to warmups, I was really let
down by there show. I know, it's early so they haven't had much field time,
but they play way, way better standing still. I thought this show was by
far the dirtiest of the night. Huge pit/battery phasing in the beginning.
Drill spacing was not the best at more than a few times. Hornline had some
intonation problems, along with quite a few minor breakdown (dropping
phrases, blowing releases). The guard was quite good, and large (over 30).
The drumline also played pretty well. I think this show will be quite good
by the end of the year, probably top 7 by finals. I would put technical
demand in the middle of DCA corps. I have no idea how they are scoring this
well now. I thought this show was very dirty, but when they clean it up,
they should gain quite a few points. Have a lot of easy fixes, definitely
want to see this show at finals.
Second on, Cab's. This show was typical Cab's. The will definitely remain
in the top five this year. Liked last year's show better, but this was
still very enjoyable. The hornline played very well, had a very well
balanced sound throughout the show. I remember the sop line being better
last year (but it is still very early in the season, and I'm can only
remember the end of last year). Can definitely tell this show is from old
school dci, it had some transitions I didn't like. Guess I actually got
used to having all these themed dci show that flow so well throughout the
show. They seemed to march well, and drill cleanliness was typical for this
time of year. Guard and drumline seemed to be around the same as last year
(I'm a horn player, so always pay to much attention towards hornline). Good
show. Thought the got the right score.
Third on, Bush. A great show. Liked the red uniforms (instead on blue and
white) to reflect the inferno theme. Hornline sounded great. Probably the
hardest hornbook for the night. Sop had some great double tongueing licks
in the front half of the show. Pretty well balanced. Had a lot of good
runs in the upper bari's and mello's. Drill looked great, although it was
somewhat dirty (because of technical level). They really dropped the ball
in the last tune, but it's June. I'm sure they will have that cleaned by
finals. I don't remember the guard at all. I don't think they had either
the flags done or their work done for most of the show (I think they didn't
have the flags done, only had a yellow a white flag). Guard had some good
dance moments through the show. I don't think this show has the punch of
last years show, but I do think it is more difficult. Only bad thing I
remember (except for the closer dirtiness), is the transition into firebird.
That was about the only thing that left a bad taste in my mouth. I thought
they did a great job, but are the 3 points behind cab's right now. Don't
understand how they are losing to hurc's right now. This hornline sounds
way better than hurc's, the horn book is way better than hurc's, the drill
is way better than hurc's. But, hurc's do have a better guard and drumline.
I really felt this show will score better than last year. The difficulty is
there. Great drill and love the hornline sound.
Fourth, Brigs. Remembered the first half of the show, BD 94. Did a good
job with it. Hornline book is definitely harder than last year. Played all
the runs BD had in there opener that year. I thought it was A LOT dirtier
than last year's first show (which doesn't bode well for the rest of DCA).
Hornline, guard, and drumline all as good as last year. Hornline book is
definitely a bit harder. I still have problems with there drill. Just like
last year, it just doesn't do anything for me. Don't remember much
velocity, except for a few moves. Didn't like the pit being on the front
half of the field, it took away some of the field for this bigger corps.
The drill always seems too tight, too many people in power alley. But the
show is still great. Very enjoyable. Hornline (mostly uppers) was dirty,
but they still are way better than almost everyone. This book should sound
GREAT by finals. No one should catch them musically, but they should be
beaten visually (just like last year).
Last, magic. Too much hype. This corps is very good. Hornline had a great
sound, nice and dark. Drumline had some fuzz at times. The drill looked
good, spacing was very good. This show is definitely a div II show. It is
not that difficult horn, drum, or drill wise (as compared to the div I
corps). I remember magic's hornlnies being dirty, but playing one of the
most difficult shows out there. Not this year. But, this is the best div
II corps I've ever seen (in June). Don't understand the 75 score on div II
sheets. This corps is as good as many div II corps I've seen at div ii/iii
finals (corps that come to mind would be Tarheel 98). The should win div
ii. They probably will not make div I finals. Just not enough technical
stuff there to get them there. This corps could end up finishing as high as
14th though. Don't think they will beat colts, madison, bk, seattle, crown,
or spirit. Good show, very enjoyable, and pretty clean.
All in all, a great show. Every corps was good and entertaining. Can't
wait till Hershey next week.
Andover, NY (DCA)
Perfect weather. Great stadium. Show started with a great opening ceremoy.
Very patriotic with all 50 state flags.
Two exhibition corps:
White Sabres fron Dannsville, New York. Looked very neat and played very
recognizable music including "New York, New York".
21 Horns, 8 Guard and 6 percussion
Thunderbirds Alumni from Erie, Pa.
WOW. Really lit up this "novice" audience. The announcer asked just before
the show started -- How many were attending their first drum corps show --
seemed like half of the stands responded. Anyhow, Thunderbirds are very
talented-both horns and drums. Very comfortable in what they are doing.
19 Horns, 10 Perc. and 5 in the Honor Guard
Four competing corps:
Small, very small again this year. A senior Division III corps. I think
they're better than the last two years.
9 horns, 7 perc. 2 pit, and 7 guard. 4th-56.6
Kingston Grenadiers--Kingston Ont., Canada.
Had to wait for yard markers for about 10 minutes and may have lost an
"edge". But not much! You will like this corps! New hats seem just right.
Music is really enjoyable. "I've Got Rhythm", "Embraceable You" and
"Rhapsody in Blue" all were well done.
33 horns, 11 perc., 9 pit, 6 guard and 3 Honor Guard. 3rd-65.35
Crusaders--Rochester, New York.
Their "Key of S" show works well for them. I had heard most of the music
this winter and spring and wondered if they could "sell it". Let me tell
you--they do! Some great solo work. Horn line seemed to be dying out
towards the end of the show but they were saving it up(so it seems) for the
finale. A very junior(BD) like ending. The horn line starts out center
right in a tight ball and unravles right across the front side line. Loud
and well done. I usually like their guard alot. Not this show. To begin
with--I didn't like the uniform. They also seemed a distraction sometimes.
Too much "in your face". Just my opion and just trying to be honest. All
in all--a better show than last year. You will like this corps, also.
38 horns, 8 pit, 14 perc., 21 guard
Empire Statesmen--Rochester, New York.
Watch the (young) pit! It is great! Drum line is young and very good.
Horn line is as talented as ever. Guard is good but the opposite effect of
the Crusadres--needs to be integrated with the rest of the corps more.
Maybe the best all around Empire ever.
"Begin The Beguine" rocked! "Summertime" was pleasing but the very end of
the show seemed incomplete and was quite muddled.
48 horns, 20 perc., 11 pit, 21 guard, 5 Honor Guard. 1st place--72.95
Exhibition by Mighty St. Joes.
Were will it end? Still getting better every year. You can tell these guys
and gals really are working hard. Their patriotic medley is as good as I've
ever heard and played well.
54 horns, 15 guard, 17 perc., and 9 A Guard
Every drum corps fan I talked to was impressed at how good the corps were
for this first show and tis early in the season.
See a DCA show--you'll be glad you did.
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