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The Sound Machine Archive Presents|
1999 Drum Corps International
Show Reviews - As Posted on RAMD!
Page Twelve 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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Saturday August 14
|Madison, WI (DCI)|
DCI Championship Finals
The weather for tonightís show was perfect. The high temperature for
the day could not have been higher than the mid 70ís, partly cloudy
skies, very light to non-existent breeze. It simply could not have
been better! All of the guards were much better tonight because of the
lack of the wind. The crowd was huge and responsive to all of the
corps performances - including the exhibitions.
The show was well run tonight, but once the show went live, the time
between corps performances was too long. Whatever they were showing -
cut it out and add another corps! I much preferred the rapid-fire
score announcement with the live broadcast to the long drawn out
routine from the past couple of years.
The show was fantastic tonight. This has to be perhaps one of the best
Finals I have been to. Great shows top to bottom, and the quality was
much improved. On to the reviews:
Colts - 86.0
The Colts have once again set the record high score for a 12th place
corps. They were fantastic tonight - absolutely smoking from the
start. Perhaps they were happy to have made finals and were just
relaxing and performing, or they were out to move up. Maybe they just
decided to play their hearts out. Whatever it was, they were amazing.
I thought they should have moved up a place because of the quality of
their performance tonight. My wife agreed that they were cleaner than
last night, and she thought they should have beaten both Crown and
Carolina Crown - 86.3
Crown did an excellent job tonight. They had a very solid
performance. The ballad is so beautiful, and the guard was so much
improved over yesterday. While their show was very good tonight, it
was just not as exciting as the Colts. My wife thought they were not
as strong as yesterday.
Boston Crusaders - 88.6
BAC was exciting tonight. They put out one heck of a show, but kept it
in control musically. There were a few more visual execution errors
drill wise, but the overall performance was a big step up from
yesterday. Their ballad is very beautiful as well. One of the really
high saber tosses was dropped, but the overall guard performance was
better. They deserved to beat Crossmen. My wife thought they were
better yesterday, primarily because the drill was cleaner.
Crossmen - 87.0
The guard was on tonight! The marching was bit rough - many visual
execution problems, one member of the horn line ate turf, and another
almost did in the closer and had a very bad recovery. The soprano
soloist in Blue Shades was terrific - perfect stylistically and great
sound. This was not their best show of the week, and they deserved to
drop a place. I thought the spread over Colts and Crown was much too
high. My wife thought the drill was sloppy, but the guard was good.
She thought both Boston and the Colts beat them tonight.
Phantom Regiment - 91.2
PR had a good performance again tonight. There were no major
differences between tonight and last night or the night before. All
three shows were solid, performed well, but had some sloppy drill and a
bit ragged sounding horn line at times. The show was excellent, and
the performance was very good, but they were in a class by themselves.
Head and shoulders above the 9th through 12th pack, and nowhere near
the 7th and up pack. They simply had a lock on 8th, and they did it
Madison Scouts - 93.4
Madison was ON FIRE! When they entered the field, the crowd noise was
deafening. As a result, part of the line did not hear the command to
march forward, so the file was a mess. They got it together on the 30-
yard line and completed their entrance flawlessly. There were a couple
of soprano soloistsí cracks, but otherwise, the show simply rocked!
Super charged by the crowd, they screamed through the show. They
received multiple standing ovations, and really laid it on the line.
They were rewarded with an increased score, and a well deserved 6th
place. My wife loved them too, and thought they were much better than
Blue Knights - 92.5
BK had a solid performance tonight. The horn line really sounded
terrific, as did the drum line. However, there was a bit more visual
dirt tonight, and the excitement level just was not as high as it could
have been. The performance was not flat or bad - just not cranked up
as high as the competition. They might have been psyched out by the
huge response Madison got, or perhaps itís just my read after being
energized by Madison. My wife did not care for their show, and she
thought it was dirtier tonight.
Glassmen - 93.7
What a performance! Excellent job tonight. The more I see and hear
this show, the more I like it - itís simply beautiful. No, itís not
Madison style exciting, but thatís OK with me. Not everyone can have
that style. I donít find their show boring at all. My wife thought
they had the best visual program of the evening. She thought they
simply looked beautiful, the drill flowed so well, and the colors were
all blended to perfection.
Cadets - 96.4
The Cadets were on tonight as well. A significant improvement over
last night - both in cleanliness and in the excitement level. After
the opener, someone screamed out "TAXI!" It was hilarious! I really
like the show - I just wish the ended were a bit more spectacular. It
just left me wanting a bit more. Overall, it was a remarkable
performance. I thought the 4th place finish and the score was dead
on. My wife thought they were much better than yesterday, and the
guard was absolutely spectacular.
Cavaliers - 97.0
Cavies turned it up a notch tonight. What a horn line! Not something
you often say when discussing the Cavaliers, but this yearís edition
was stellar. What an awesome sound from the line and what execution!
Truly beautiful and powerful. The drill is amazing, and they most so
fast with such incredible control. When they were done, I thought they
had a shot at the title if SCV and BD failed to turn it on. My wife
loved them. During the move in the opener when the horn line is in the
triangle and they rotate in blocks of four, back through the triangle,
she was asking me how in the world they could do that. Awesome job!
Santa Clara Vanguard - 98.4
MY, OH MY, OH MY! SCV threw down the gauntlet tonight! They laid it
on the line and just went for it. This was the absolute best SCV
performance I have ever seen. Just simply awesome! The control and
execution were simply beyond belief. The baritone soloist during the
Barber Symphony #1 was just incredible - gorgeous sound! At the end of
the Barber Symphony #2, someone was shouting out something for an
extended period of time. I could not make out what they were saying,
but it was loud enough to hear. No doubt it will make the recordings
(damn!). My wife loved them and once again, simply said, "CHAMPIONS!"
Blue Devils - 98.4
BD did an incredible job tonight - rock solid in every caption. I did
not think they had the same level of emotion in their show as SCV, but
they just performed the hell out of their show. The guard was without
a doubt the best on the field. I have not yet seen the caption awards,
but if they did not win best guard, some judge deserves to be shot.
The bad crowd screaming phrase of the year for BD? An unoriginal
"Spank Me". Unfortunately, I did not hear a "SHUT-UP" afterwards.
My wife thought they were good, but she thought SCV was better.
On the whole tie issue - I wish the judges could have selected a
champion, but I have to admit, it does not bother me all that much.
Both SCV and BD were incredible! How do you pick which one is best?
To be honest, I couldnít tonight. In Quarters and Semis, I thought SCV
had edged out BD, but tonight I really had a hard time deciding which
corps was better. When they announced the tie, I was not in the least
bit surprised. Iím glad they get to share the title, because they are
both deserving of it.
I believe this is the best Finals I have ever attended. Great shows
and exciting performances. Not a bad performance in the bunch. I hope
this momentum continues next year!
Sky Ryders 85-88
Various Others 78-84
Colts- What a cool sounding show, and from my vantage point,
Section EE, the drill looked cool. This is my favorite
Colts' show yet.
Crown- Having not seen this show before, I was impressed.
As previously noted, the guard was very good, and the flags
were beautiful. They weren't quite as exciting as the
Colts, but probably performed a bit better. The 11th and
12th placements were interchangeable, as far as I was
concerned. Liked 'em both.
Crossmen- I wanted them to be more entertaining than last
year, and they were. Again, a first time viewing, not
counting from the endzone on Friday. I enjoyed a slightly
different take on Blue Shades. Is there a decent recording
of that song? The "Phantom Legion look" isn't the way to
Boston- Yes. Way cool. I've already gushed over this show
before, but it's worth saying again. This show rocks.
Regiment- What can I say, they did a much better job on
Saturday than the night before. This show was a tough sell
for me, even as an alumn, but by finals they'd won me over.
That high brass arc/low brass wedge in the middle of the
show was awesome. As would be expected, I would have placed
them a spot or two higher, but whatever.
Madison- Sorry, but I laughed my ass off at the field
entrance. After that, everything was great. I've loved
this show all year, even if the ending puzzled me. Gotta
give special congratulations to my college bud, Scott
Arnold, who aged-out after two years in the pit. He was the
timpani player. Great job, man.
Cadets- After being very disappointed with the Cadets at the
Stillwater, MN, show, they actually impressed me this
weekend. Besides the guard being spectacular (best guard
beyond a shadow of a doubt), the hornline improved some, and
the drill was cool. I'd just as soon hear some more melodic
music, but I'll give them props for changing my opinion of
Cavaliers- Whew, another big change of impressions! I saw
them at Show of Shows and both nights in DeKalb, each
viewing seeming less impressive than the previous, but from
up top on Saturday, damn. They had the best drill out of
any corps, and performed it well. The best part was that
they didn't just copy past Cavaliers' show. There were
atleast three brand new things, and, well, that
zipper/rotating block, whatever it was, was the coolest
thing of the whole night.
Vanguard- The winners. The only winners. I saw them first
in Stillwater, MN, and wasn't sold right away, but they left
me awestruck on Saturday. Just incredible. I wouldn't have
changed anything, I couldn't have improved anything.
To the members, staff, and volunteers of the 99 Vanguard:
you are the number one reason I'll be attending drumcorps
shows in the future.
Phantom Regiment 94,6,8.
Great show, great crowd...
All the exhibition corps were very good but I think that 4 exhibition corps is
a bit too much. I mean, come on, that's 16 corps. If I wanted to see that
many corps (+1) I could go to semi-finals! I think they should just stick with
the Div 2 &3 champs.
Here are my short thoughts on the corps. It's nothing detailed, just a chick
run down of what I thought.
Colts: Good solid show. Marching has cleaned up a lot. Nothing very memorable
about the show but still very good.
Crown: Like Colts, the marching has cleaned up a lot! Great Job tonight.
Guard, like always, was hot and proved it by getting 6th place. Hornline is
best they've ever been. My favorite from the bottom six.
Boston: HOLY S$&T!!!!! I usually don't like Bostons shows at all but when I
saw this one they blew me away. I don't know what they did to improve but it
worked. I knew they would be ahead of Crossmen. This corps deserves their
score and placement.
Crossmen: Guard caught my eye from the beginning. Unfortunately, that's about
all I can say. I did like the first piece a lot but after that I had a hard
time concentrating on them. Good job anyway!
Phantom: Show is much better than last years! Still has stuff to work on to be
a top 6 corps again but still a very good show. Loved every minute of it.
Madison: WOW!!!!! I think that pretty much summarizes it up.
Blue Knights: I liked the show a lot but I knew they would be down to 7th.
Cool visuals from the sop line. Oh well, this show got 7th in 94 so might as
well repeat history. You're doin great BK!
Glassmen: I'm usually not a Glassmen fan but this show totally won me over. I
don't exactly know what it is about it but it was great. The corps marches
extremely well! Great job Glassmen, you just won a new fan.
Cadets: Haven't seen them at all this year and wasn't expecting much but I
REALLY liked the show. I kind of thought that they would either pass the
Cavaliers by a tenth or tie them. Unlike everyone else I really liked the
tarps, it seemed to make the show more memorable. They had the best ballad of
Cavaliers: Hot damn, they've improved since i saw them in June. Back then
they were boring and the crowd wasn't getting into it but they really got the
crowd on their side tonight! Very impressive drill and a very impressive drum
line. Great job Cavs.
SCV: Like Cadets, I hadn't seen this show all season but I was expecting A
LOT. I was expecting them to be so damn good that I wouldn't be able see
correctly afterwards. You know what... they didn't let me down one damn bit.
They were actually better than I thought! This may be my favorite show ever.
Awesome job SCV. Whether you win, tie or get whatever place it doesn't matter
because you all are tops!
BD: Never really a fan of their shows but I got into this one like I did the
first time I saw it. Hornline is awesome like usual. This was a very
I was overwhelmed by how pro-Drumcorps Madison is....front page color photos
every day, welcome signs everywhere....really a nice experience. Special
thanks to the thunderstorms that decided to stay away.
I attended all 3 nights, section E midway up for 1/4finals...section FF, on
the 52, 2 rows below the pressbox Friday and Saturday....
I'll only comment on the finalists, as IMO there were a clear-cut top 12. I
will say, however, that I found SouthWind quite impressive.
Colts - loved this show! Nice sounds, great drill. They were a bit
over-the-top with the visuals, I thought. I love the red and white. I
preferred them to Crown, and just maybe to Crossmen.
Carolina Crown - Well performed show of music that really didn't interest me
much. The excellent color guard dominated to such an extent that I got the
impression of a WGI show on a field with live music.
Crossmen - Really liked the black and grey - I though it was clean and
stylish. I liked them much more at 1/4finals, when I was really surprised.
They didn't have quite as much impact up high. The drumline ended up 11th,
but I found their drum solo to me one of my favorites of the evening. Great
Boston Crusaders - I have them on a few CD's...but this was my first live
viewing. I was awestruck. I love the traditional look, they played music I
like (when I picked up my rental car, the first thing I searched for was a
classical station and they were playing Malcolm's English Dance...and it was
a chevy Cavelier!!). I really enjoyed this corps every night. Great color
guard....even with the drop he made up for it at the end. Thanks also to
whichever railway decided to join in during their semifinal show. I hope
they can build on this moment, I like their stuff...but please fans don't
sing along to Conquest.
Phantom - I must have blinked during the Tragedy, cuz all I saw and heard
was Triumph! If he were not permanently fixed in a horizontal position,
Petr himself would stand up and cheer. Big, powerful, emotional sound.
Great drill, color guard. This is one of my four faves of the night. A
very different show than what I saw a month ago. I was hoping they would
place ahead of the Blue Knights.
Blue Knights - I really did like this show...I just liked PR a little more.
They have everything going for it...talented horns and drums, a good color
guard with the prettiest equipment, great drill design. I just wish they
would select music that would "grab" me more. It doesn't have to be music
I'm familiar with, just something that makes me want to go out and maybe
finding a recording or wanting to learn more about the composer.
Scouts - Jesus Christ!!!! There are two ways to experience 11 1/2 minutes
of pure hedonistic pleasure and this is one of them. During the finals the
stepoff got messed up somehow, but on the 25 all was well and the crowd
really went wild. "I don't know how to love him" is my favorite song from
the show, and I was hoping that by the 3rd night people would realize that
the warmup was part of the show and stop screaming and talking cuz it was a
really pretty arrangement. Scoring is always a controversy with them, so I
guess I'll just congratulate them on placing in the top 6. There actually
wasn't much of the usual booing - I think the crowd appreciated their move
Glassmen - I have read about them being boring, but I didn't find this to be
true. Lots of power, I liked the music, and it was performed all around
quite well. I thought the hornline was more impressive than the Cadets.
Cadets - I kind of liked the blue tarps around the edge...don't know why.
This show was a real thrill ride, but I wish the music had more (or perhaps
some) melody. Color Guard is just awesome.....bested by BD by the very
slimmest of margins. The beginning and ending were very energetic, but I
think it lagged just a bit in the midsection. Movement was sooooooo much
better than in Denver, but still not the best of the night.
Caveliers - Another corps that posts on RAMD had described as boring. I
guess boredom is also in the eyes of the beholder. I was really happy for
them when they moved up Friday. Always such an eye-popping drill, great
hornline, great drumline, great color guard. A lot of humor, which isn't
alway present in Cavies' shows. A great show all three nights!
Santa Clara Vanguard - I thought the opener Thursday was a little
flat...but from there they just streamrolled! I thought the show was
exceptional and was hoping they would move closer or surpass BD. They won
ensemble music, and they were indeed tight tight tight. It was great seeing
the drill (and all the others) from so high up. I loved the new (from
Denver at least) ending. Color guard was great, not quite up to BD/Cadets,
and I LOVE the Martha Graham Goosestepping. SCV gave a fantastic
presentation that grabs me from the first snare roll to the final chord.
Congratulations on a very well deserved #6!!!!
Blue Devils - Awesome every night. Color Guard is just about as close to
perfect as humanly possible - it's easy to understand why they are perennial
WGI champs. Horns and Drums were what one expects from BD.
Congratulations on #10!!!!
The Tie - As a matter of purely personal preference (heretofore known as
PPP), I thought SCV had a more complete package, and had a more commanding
presence on the field. I think both shows were performed unbelievably well.
I'm not taking anything away from BD's show, which I also loved. There's no
need for me, or anyone else, to argue the tie - it happend and thats that.
Souvies - London in October is going to be expensive...so I limited myself
to a BAC tshirt with 9 rampant lions on it, a madison tshirt, an SCV seat
cushion (god I hate those metal benches!), and the Phantom Classic CDs I and
Good night....Don Davis / Long Beach, CA
Friday August 13
|Madison, WI (DCI)|
DCI Semi Finals
What a great day for a drum corps show! Overcast and comfortable
temperature wise. The predicted rain never materialized. Not too
cold, so as to cause intonation problems for the lines, but cool enough
to enjoy the show without sitting in a pool of your own sweat. It was
a bit windy today, and most of the guards had problems today as a
result. Generally speaking, Iíd say that most of the corps went out
and really tried to put on a good show today. Several of them ended up
getting a bit ragged in their performance while trying to put in some
oomph that might cause some movement in placement and score. Overall,
I thought the movement in both scores and placements was right on -
except for SCV and BD.
For todayís review, my family decided that we would all contribute a
brief comment on each corps. To put our opinions in perspective, here
is a run down on our exposure to drum corps. My daughter is only 7,
but this is her fourth time at Championships. My wife has been to
Championships in 91, and 93 to the present year. She is deaf, so her
comments focus largely on the color guard and visual program
(obviously!). I marched 10 years, and have been at Championships every
year since 78.
On to our reviews:
Pioneer - 75.3
He Said - Field entrance seemed rushed, but it did not seem to phase
the corps. They had an excellent performance, but did let down just a
bit - probably happy to have just made semis. Nice job!
She Said - Very nice performance for such a small corps
Out of the Mouth of Babes - I liked the color guard and they were nice
and loud for a small corps
Spirit of Atlanta - 76.9
He Said - They had a rough show tonight. Tone quality was ragged,
intonation suffered, and the marching was sloppy.
She Said - They seemed a bit rushed to get on the field, and they
Out of the Mouth of Babes - Kind of OK. The big flags looked pretty.
Southwind - 78.4
He Said - Excellent job tonight - as solid as last night, if not more
so. Performance level/energy was up.
She Said - Visually appealing show with a good drill. They have a lot
of potential for a corps just returning to the field.
Out of the Mouth of Babes - They were really good, and nice and loud.
The flags were really big, and I liked the guardís hats.
Magic of Orlando - 81.3
He Said - They gave it their all tonight, and the quality suffered a
bit, but the emotion was there - Great performance, and a stellar horn
She Said - Nice uniforms - always loved them as a corps
Out of the Mouth of Babes - Very, very loud, and the guard was
awesome. The music was great!
Bluecoats - 83.0
He Said - They seemed better tonight, and they really gave it their
all. The horn line at the end of the show got a bit rough, but overall
they had a really great show.
She Said - They were a little boring - didnít do much for me.
Out of the Mouth of Babes - I liked the music and the flags were pretty.
Colts - 85.2
He Said - I thought they had a solid performance tonight. The soloists
were on tonight. If they maintain tonightís execution, and pull out an
emotional performance tomorrow, they could move up.
She Said - The color guard was not together at all the first half of
the show, but overall they had a nice performance.
Out of the Mouth of Babes - So awesome, and they were so loud.
Carolina Crown - 85.3
He Said - They seemed a bit off tonight. The visual execution was bit
She Said - They have a great show. It is visually entertaining. I
could actually feel their music.
Out of the Mouth of Babes - The flags were really, really good.
Boston Crusaders - 86.5
He Said - Great job tonight! They had a very powerful performance.
The fans and RAMD cried for more volume from BAC, and then there was
volume. The drum corps gods have listened! BAC finally cranked out
some serious decibels tonight. During their ballad, another corps
warming up was ridiculously loud - they were drowning out BAC on the
field. They should have been penalized!
She Said - Excellent job overall. I liked the color selections for the
uniforms and the flags. The guard was a bit troubled by the wind
Out of the Mouth of Babes - Very, very good. I liked the really high
Crossmen - 86.7
He Said - They seemed a bit off from last night, and there was a bit
more visual dirt. They performed well - just not as good as
yesterday. If they perform like this again tomorrow and BAC, Crown and
Colts are on, they could wind up in 12th. If they rock, theyíll
probably be in 9th.
She Said - Good performance and they move very fast. I donít like the
uniform colors at all.
Out of the Mouth of Babes - They were god and loud, and the guard was
awesome, and so was the music. But where was Bones???
Phantom Regiment - 91.7
He Said - Rock solid performance tonight - a very confident and take
charge kind of a show. Visual execution is still a bit dirty, but it
was better than last night.
She Said - Good choice of colors for the guard uniforms and flags. A
very exciting show. One member of the guard was spacing out the entire
Out of the Mouth of Babes - Very good and LOUD - SUTA!
Madison Scouts - 92.2
He Said - HOT! HOT! HOT! I thought their performance was much better
than last night, and they should have been right on top of BK scorewise.
She Said - Awesome! I like the drill formations that fit the theme of
Out of the Mouth of Babes - SO LOUD - they were the most awesomest
today. But when are they doing the Pirates of Lake Mendota again? (She
loves that show)
Glassmen - 93.8
He Said - Excellent job tonight - a big improvement over last night.
There were a few tone quality problems in the opener, but the rest of
the show was terrific - perhaps a bit of the jitters.
She Said - Beautiful visual! They have beautiful flags, and terrific
coordination throughout the entire program. This is one of my favorite
Out of the Mouth of Babes - they had nice music and the guard was
really good at throwing their flags.
Blue Knights - 93.0
He Said - They were not as good today as yesterday. The visual
execution was bit dirtier, and the performance level was not quite
there. Crank out a great show tomorrow, and they might top Glassmen.
Lay an egg, and they could be bested by Madison.
She Said - I was not very impressed. They seemed flat, and the guard
had a lot of problems with the wind.
Out of the Mouth of Babes - I didnít really like them. They were boring.
Cavaliers - 96.8
He Said - They really turned it up a notch tonight. Absolutely awesome
execution and performance from all sections of the corps.
She Said - Fantastic, fast, and truly awesome! Everything about their
show was wonderful tonight. The guard was fantastic.
Out of the Mouth of Babes - They were really loud some of the time.
The flag moves were good, and they march soooooo fast.
Cadets - 95.5
He Said - They had a good performance, and body control was better
today than yesterday. However, the visual execution was not as good -
more dirty sets tonight than yesterday. The tarps were blowing around
at the beginning the of the show.
She Said - They have a great drill and a really good guard. Why do
they need the tarps? And why donít they do something with the cabs?
Out of the Mouth of Babes - I lied the taxicabs - they were so cool. I
loved the guard. They were good and fantastic.
Santa Clara Vanguard - 97.6
He Said - Absolutely on fire tonight! They threw down the gauntlet
with this show. They performed like they wanted a Championship. Sum
it up in a word - EXECUTION!
She Said - Champions!
Out of the Mouth of Babes - They were awesome, and it was cool yelling
"Vanguard" in the first song.
Blue Devils - 98.5
He Said - A solid performance, but not nearly as emotional as SCV.
Their show is great, itís fun, and itís cool. I love watching the
She Said - They are good, but nearly as complex as SCV, Cavies, or
Cadets, and not as clean as SCV.
Out of the Mouth of Babes - Awesome dude! Liked the color guard
dancing so much. They made her ears bleed (so she says:))
Overall, this was a great show. Lots of potential for movement
tomorrow night, which should make things interesting. All of the corps
have something to shoot for and protect, so hopefully we will be
treated to some really awesome performances.
Sky Ryders 85-88
Various Others 78-84
Thursday August 12
|Madison, WI (DCI)|
DCI Quarter Finals
Here are my thoughts on Quarterfinals:
First off, the weather was great. It was overcast for most of the
afternoon and a bit cool actually. Overall, great weather for a drum
corps show. The Canadian flag was missing from the stadium today. I
guess the "I" in DCI no longer stands for International? There were
two corps from Canada performing after all! Stadium security was so
much better than the naziís in Orlando, but they did not do a very good
job of preventing people from entering the stadium when corps were on
the field. Concessions were good overall - very fast service, just a
Blue Stars - 70.2
The crowd seemed quite happy to see blue Stars in Quarters this year.
They received quite a good audience response, which was well deserved.
They put on an excellent show this afternoon. Their visual execution
was most impressive. Crisp execution, and the striped pants really
helped show off their marching prowess. I had them placed above Les
East Coast Jazz - 71.6
They have excellent music, and once again their soprano soloist was
amazing. All solos were nailed. Their guard was quite good, and the
overall program was written appropriately for the talent level of the
members, allowing them to effectively perform and sell the show - which
they did quite well. I really enjoyed their performance. Their visual
program was the weakest area of their show. I thought the score and
placement was dead on.
Mandarins - 73.9
All I can say is WOW! Great job today. I was not sure what to expect
from them because of their repertoire - rather aggressive for a smaller
corps. But did they ever prove themselves. The arrangements of both
Candide and On the Waterfront were fantastic, and the corps pulled off
an incredible show. Very exciting! The soprano soloist was fantastic
too. Score and placement were dead on once again.
Spartans - 73.7
This was my only viewing of the Spartans this summer, and I was
disappointed. They had one of the only performances today that I felt
was really off, and a show that I did not particularly care for. They
had almost 50 brass players on the field, but where was the sound???
They had intonation problems, sloppy visual, and several spaceouts.
The show was a bit abstract, and it was not sold very well. Sorry
Spartans, but I was very disappointed.
Patriots - 76.5
An excellent performance by the Patriots today. They were smaller than
the Spartans, but they put out so much more sound, and the tone quality
was still good. Their show was very entertaining, and the guard was
fantastic. The rifle line was very good, and there was a bit of humor
in the second number that was well received by the crowd. I though the
score and placement was too high, but considering how close I thought
they were to those I thought should have beat them (i.e., Tarheel Sun,
Kiwanis Kavaliers, and Troopers), this did not bother me too much.
Les Etoiles - 72.2
This was my third viewing of Les Etoiles, and I still do not like this
show. It didnít do anything for me. Overall show design was poor in
my opinion, and the members of this corps were sold a bill of goods.
They deserved better. I thought the Blue Stars beat them.
Tarheel Sun - 73.2
Tarheel had the first "Big" sound of the day. They had a good show
too. The repertoire was good - toe tapping tunes. The crowd liked
Bohemian Rhapsody. The horn line had a good sound, and the entire
corps put out a great excitement level. Overall and excellent job
today. I thought they had just edged out Patriots, but the fact that
Patriots beat them did not bother me. The spread in the score did - it
should have been much closer.
Troopers - 73.8
If you could say only one thing about the Troopers it would have to be
tradition - and the crowd loves them for it. Their entrance to the
field - marching in a file from the end zone - was dirty. They were
marching 8 to 5 straight across the field - youíd think a line would be
able to do that cleanly by this time in the summer. They removed much
of the really cheesy guard theatrics in the middle of the show, where
the guard was shouting "murderer" and putting Billy the Kid in jail.
The new version was MUCH better! The sunburst was met with the usual
rousing audience response. I had them over Patriots, but not by much.
Like Tarheel, the placement didnít bother me, but the point spread did.
Kiwanis Kavaliers - 76.3
This was my first viewing of KK, and all I can say is YAWN! They
performed very well, and the show was pretty clean. The show itself
was just plain boring. I felt like the elevator doors opened when they
were done performing.
Pioneer - 77.8
I really like this show. Their visual execution is nice and crisp, and
they really performed well today. The crowd seemed to like the show
given the response they received. The horn line balance with the drum
line is much improved over last month, and the tone quality has
improved as well. Their guard still does too much individual work.
The drum line is their strength - very good line indeed. Overall, a
great job by Pioneer. Iím glad I will be able to see them once more
Southwind - 78.8
Absolutely FANTASTIC tonight! They pulled off a really exciting
performance, and the crowd really got into their show - huge response
after the opener and at the end of the show. The drill was executed
very well, and was very exciting. This was the first show of the
summer for my wife, and after viewing them today, she could not believe
they were not finalists. I thought they beat Spirit be about 2
points. Welcome back Southwind and great job today!
Spirit of Atlanta - 78.8
Spirit did manage to clean a good part of their show, but there is
still plenty of dirt - in the drill, in the guard, and in the horn
line. Tone quality suffered when the line played loud, and intonation
became a problem as a result. I thought Southwind topped them without
Magic of Orlando - 82.6
I really like Magicís show. They performed well today too. The horn
line is amazing, and the arrangements are great. I still think they
sound like BD from the early 80ís - they style and flair to the
arrangements and in the playing. Itís a shame they wonít be making an
appearance in finals, because they have a hot show. I thought the
score and placement were dead on.
Bluecoats - 84.5
Strong performance in all captions, and a great show to boot. Iím not
normally a fan of Bluecoats shows, but I love this one. The last show
of theirs that I really liked was 86 - another year they were not in
finals - not a slam - just an observation. I thought the score and
placement were dead on. I donít think they will be able to move up a
place tomorrow evening, but anything is possible.
Colts - 85.8
Awesome job by the Colts today. I love the new closer. The show was
exciting today, and I was very impressed overall with the sound of the
horn line. The arrangements and the brass performance were truly
amazing. My first reaction was that the sound was uncharacteristic for
Colts, but then after thinking about it, they have changed styles and
sound every year now for several years. So perhaps this is in fact
characteristic! Whatever the case, I like it.
Boston Crusaders - 87.7
This is the first BAC show and performance that I have thought was
deserving of a top 12 spot, and they will most assuredly receive one
this year. Great job tonight BAC! The guard is great, and the musical
is nice. The brass line sound is fantastic - just not loud enough for
my tastes. Their marching execution is not as clean as some of the
other corps they beat, but their overall package is excellent.
Carolina Crown - 86.5
Guard and drum line - Crownís strengths this year. This was my first
viewing of Crown, and I liked their show. The music was good and the
show was interesting. I liked the guard uniform changes - from the
half black/half gray to the half black/half white to the red. Great
job! I though the score and placement were correct.
Crossmen - 88.5
Great show, awesome guard, ugly guard uniforms. Their drum line does
not have the groove from years past, but it is still quite good, and
they play some exciting licks (even if one of them is just a warm up
exercise heard endlessly in my years of marching). I thought their
score and placement were correct.
Phantom Regiment - 91.7
This was my first viewing of Phantom, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Based on everything I had heard, I was expecting a really filthy show.
There was some visual dirt, but overall, the show was excellent. The
opener was really exciting, and I didnít find the middle boring as I
have read on RAMD. I though their score was high, but their placement
Blue Knights - 93.4
Incredible show and performance. Their arrangements are much improved
over the 94 version of Trittico. The guard is terrific, and the flags
are cool. The drum line was wailing tonight - one of the best on the
field I gather. The horn line can really wail too. My only complaint
is the shoes - why did they go to black? They look terrible! The
white shoes looked 10 times better. Placing ahead of Madison I agreed
with, but Glassmen? I donít know about that.
Madison Scouts - 92.1
Madison was ON FIRE tonight. They were obviously energized by the
crowd, and by playing the hometown gig. If they play with that level
of excitement tomorrow and can clean up just a tad here and there, they
might be able to pull ahead of both BK and Glassmen.
Glassmen - 93.3
They had the unenviable task of going on after Madison, and they did a
terrific job. I know their show is not for everyone, but I absolutely
love it! The visual program - both marching and guard - is absolutely
beautiful. This is one show I know I will be listening to again and
again when the CDís are released. I thought they were 5th tonight, but
they were awfully close with BK and Madison. Depending on how they
perform, they could be 5th or 7th - itís up to them IMO.
Cavaliers - 95.8
Cavies had a wonderful show tonight. Lotís of oh's and ah's from the
crowd. 2 members of the horn line ate turn in the opener, but the
recovery was almost instantaneous. A most enjoyable performance from
them. They really fly at several points in the show, and they have
such excellent body control, you donít see the speed in the way they
carry themselves or in the music. I thought they beat Cadets tonight -
or at least were within a few tenths of a point.
Santa Clara Vanguard - 97.0
SCV too was ON FIRE! The crowd really got into their show, and they
got two standing ovations. A soloist in the opener cracked a few
times, but the rest of the soloists nailed them all beautifully. They
really fly at times, and have some very scary pass-thrus, but they
execute with such precision and control. The drum line is amazing and
they really show off too. You could tell they really wanted it tonight
- but they were denied! My bet is they turn it up another notch
tomorrow night and win it. I thought they won tonight.
Blue Devils - 97.8
BD was hot tonight, and their guard was on. They really have a fun
show. I love the third number when the horn line is in 2 triangles on
the front side of the field and the guard is in a triangle behind the
horn line dancing in unison - it just looks cool, and itís fun. I
thought SCVís marching execution was cleaner, but BDís horn line was
the best tonight. I had them in second place overall.
Cadets - 96.8
Cadets performed well tonight, and their guard was on. They will be in
the hunt for the guard title thatís for sure. They added some light
blue tarps around the outer edge of the field. My guess is this is
suppose to be the NY skyline and the sky on the outside of the
buildings, but you could not really tell. They didnít really add
anything. In fact, I found them quite distracting. The taxi cabís
didnít really add much to the show either - yes it worked with the
whole NY theme and all, but simply walking around with pieces of taxi
cabs? Sorry - it just didnít work for me. There was plenty of dirt in
the marching, and you could hear the marching demand in their horn
lineís playing. They lose body control while marching fast, unlike
SCV, BD, and Cavies. I thought Cavies beat them tonight.
Overall this was a fantastic show today! Great shows and performances
top to bottom, and most of the corps really cranked out great shows. I
am really looking forward to tomorrows shows, and I really hope SCV
takes the title. I simply think they are the best overall corps on the
field, and they deserve recognition for it.
Sky Ryders 85-88
Various Others 78-84
Tuesday August 10
|Madison, WI (DCI)|
DCI Division II Prelims
It was a pretty good show overall. All 12 corps put on their best
shows. All were very energentic, even Dutch Boy who went on at 7:00!
Dutch Boy---what a nice way to start a morning! They surprised me
with their show of melodies by Lerner and Loewe. I hope these kids
stick it out, they're young and they can only get better.
Les Stentors---This was the first time I had seen them. Overall a
decent performance. Not as entertaining as Dutch Boy but you could
tell that they are a tad better.
Kip's Bay---Nice nice job! Very nice sounding hornline! I wondered
about the use of six snares and only one tenor but I suppose they have
their reasons. The nightclub scene was very well designed. I don't
know if I would have trusted those folding chairs enough to dance on
though!! Good job!
Teal Sound---what a wonderful first year they are having! O Daddy O
was a gas!! I hope they stick to this style because it works very
well for them. Welcome to the activity Teal Sound, I really enjoyed
Allegiance Elite---when I first saw they were going to do Bye Bye
Birdie, my first thought was "why?" Tell ya what, I really like what
they do with it! By far my favorite editon of this corps!
Capital Sound--They rocked the house--granted many family members
there, but they grabbed everybody who was there and just put on a very
good performance. The hornline was very good..marching had some
problem areas. But still quite the show today! Too bad they're not
going on to finals.
Cascades---definately different. They performed well but I just don't
know about this show. Not that it's totally weird or anything, just
different from anything I've seen--in a way that's a good thing though
as it's becoming more difficult to be original so the Technology
concept worked in that regard and I suppose in other areas too.
Nice drumline!!!! Those of us sitting together were trying to figure
out all the auto parts hanging off that rack!
Yes a good performance and I'm glad to see them doing so well after
their year off a couple years ago.
Jersey Surf--wow! Entertainment to the max! The different variations
of Summertime and A Night in Tunisia were very well written and well
performed. I'm glad to see them make it, their first DCI finals! Very
Americanos---this was only the second time I've seen them all year
since they were always on before us in shows. What control and what
great ensemble!!! That is what puts them above Capital Sound in the
midwest and now has them reaching for the top nationally. The guard
is very good as is the design of the drill. I like! Good luck
East Coast Jazz----I was really looking forward to seeing them. We're
they what I expected? Well...overall it is a good show, great
soloists!!! I was hoping for Fanfare to be truer to the original.
But "Invitation to a River" I just loved! Wow, they nailed it!
Spartans----speaking of control they have it. Everything fits just
right but I would like to see more emotion. One person told me they
were flat. Since I have no other viewing of them this year I have
nothing to compare today's performance to. Other than that, yes they
are a contender, they are very well controlled. Is that all they'll
need to repeat? I don't think so, IMO they need the emotion factor.
Patriots---WOW! One of the best shows I've seen in my years doing
this. I love Russian music to begin with and what they did out there
this morning was nothing short of wonderful. The visuals were a
gas--the wave with the water coming out of the jugs was just plain
awesome!!!! Good luck Patriots tomorrow night--it's your title for
I have to say, all in all, that division II corps are on the right
track. Sure Spartans and Les Stentors have shows that I wouldn't call
audience movers, they still present well designed shows. I had a very
enjoyable experience this morning from all, thank you very much all 12
corps! Good luck to the finalists!!
Saturday August 7
|Allentown, PA (DCI) #2
A great night of Drum Corps. I got there late so I didn't get to see
Southwind or Tarheel Sun. Sorry.
Pioneer: Good GE for the amount of horns that they put on the field. The
crowd loved this corps, and I couldn understand why....it was obvious the
kids were leaving it all on the field. They really had one solid Sop, and he
carried the corps throughout the show, but it was a good group effort tonight
none the less. Crowd was pleased with the score, but it seemed fair.
Spirit of Atlanta: I have been hearing all these horrible things about
Spirit all year. I heard they were the dirtiest corps in Division I, and
that the arrangements were too hard. However, I was pleased with what I
heard and saw tonight. This is obviously a lost year for them, the guard
unis are still horrible, you can tell the kids are dimoralized from scoring
in the low 70s all summer. However, they brought a strong performance
tonight, musically and visually. Glad to see them at 77.0, crawling closer
Magic: I usually love this corps, but I loathe this show. The show
announcer pronounced the composer of the music as "Chuck Man-gionie", and it
was all down hill from there. Not much spirit from them tonight. It sounds
like they have the 9th or 10th most talented horn line this year, or better.
But the show is not good, and they will miss finals again because of it.
Crown: Typical YEA thing going on here. The horn line is better than in
past years, but I still think their show is dry and I can't get excited about
it. Nice Guard tonight though.
Phantom: Just a quick word on the uniforms....it looks like they are
strutting around in black body suits from the press box. The small amount of
red outline on the cuffs of their sleeves can't be seen with the naked eye.
They look like shadows. Anyway, I like there show better than last years.
Solid job visually. I always like the way they march. Good GE musically,
even though I don't like music, the horn line is good enough to pull it off.
Cadets: Even though I struggle to stomach the same show year after year
after year, there are certian shows that the Cadets bring a level of emotion
that no one else can match. Tonight was a night like this. A similar thing
happened last year....the Giants Stadium show the day before Allentown they
were horrible, no energy, losing at their home show to the Blue Devils.
Allentown arrives and they give an unreal performance. This year they lost
to SCV at giants stadium, show up to allentown and even though they didn't
win, they had much more energy than BD, and as the recaps show, tied them in
GE for the first time, and beat them in ensemble. The guard is special this
year. I am surprised the Devils beat them in guard tonight. I don't know if
they can deliver a better show than tonight in madison, but this is the
cadets, and they do tend to pull things from you-know-where.
BD: This was the only corps I had not seen up to this point, and it is all I
have been thinking about for a few days now. I was so excited from all the
things that I have been reading that anything short of the '94 show would
have been dissapointing. And it was. Don't get me wrong, they have the best
show this year, they were extremely clean, and the guard was strong.
However, I expect more from a BD show. The horns were great, but the show is
not enough of BD's style. It can win, but it will not be a favorite of my
Devil's 90's shows. Drumline was clean. Should give glassmen a challenge
for perc. caption. The best part of their performance was the winner's
encore, WHICH WAS UNREAL. Their lead Soprano is my new hero, this guy can
wail...and he knows it. Maybe I just caught them on a not so good night.
Thoughts for Madison....I hope the cadets don't win, I am so sick of the same
show for the last (fill in the blank) years. The execute well, but still....
SCV should win, I don't care what BD has been doing to them. They are too
clean. And they own the next trend in marching with the opening T.
I have been reading reviews on this website religiously over the summer so
first a big thanks to everyone for keeping me posted as to what is going on.
I just thought I would throw out my own thoughts on the 2 shows in Allentown
this weekend. I've been following Drum Corps for 19 years since I first saw
the Scouts as a Junior in High School at a show in Columbus and I've been
hooked ever since. I was really looking forward to Allentown in that I
didn't have a chance to catch many shows this year and I was not disappointed.
For those of you who have never been to Allentown, J Birney Crum stadium and
the Park with it's surroundings is a great setting for a weekend of Drum Corp.
The show is well run and the stadium is ideal for DCI (except for the old wood
seats that gave me a couple of splinters). The crowd was knowledgable and
pretty much into all the corps.
Friday opened with TROOPERS. (71.0) - Nice show but it looked like they were
trying to put on a show that was a little too difficult for their level of
expertise. I think I expected to like the show more since I'm a fan of Billy
the Kid, but it didn't do much for me. It was nice to see Troopers again in
that I hadn't been to a show with them in quite a few years. I hope they keep
building back to the level they once were back when I started following Drum
LES 'ETOILES (68.7) - I actually liked the show more than I thought I would.
After reading the reviews all summer, I expected something a little more dreadful
than I saw. Don't get me wrong, the scaffolding was just stupid and annoying
but the music wasn't too bad and I was glad to see they gave up the spinning
drummers. Maybe they'll stay away from the gimmicks next year? Doubt it.
KIWANIS KAVALIERS (74.0) - Nice show but fairly uneventful. Horn playing was a
little sloppy for this time of year but definitely a step up from the first two
corps. Nice hornline and I did enjoy the music.
BOSTON (85.2) - Previous reviews had me ready for something special. I guess I
just wasn't prepared to be blown away and wow these guys did just that. Kind of
reminded me of Crossmen a couple of years ago. What an entertaining show and the
music was great. A couple of weeks ago it looked like they were fighting for
finals. At this point, I think they've pretty much stormed in. The crowd loved
them! They're strong in all areas and I had never seen a Crusaders corp this
good. Not sure what they did in the off season to get this show on the field
but keep it up.
BLUECOATS (82.0) - I'm usually a big Bluecoat fan but I thought the show was kind
of flat. Horn line was vintage Bluecoats and the guard was pretty good but they
just didn't seem to have much of the spark they usually have. Not sure if it was
an off night or it's just not their year.
COLTS (82.8) - OK show, but like Bluecoats, didn't do much for me. Good horn
line, played very tight, but music selection didn't do much for me. Can't
really think of many highlights that stand out in my memory.
BLUE KNIGHTS (90.2) - I'm not usually a fan of BK but loved their show.
Excellent quality throughout all the ranks on a difficult program. I wasn't
familiar with the music but it was accessible.
CROSSMEN (86.9) - I always love these guys and they didn't disappoint me.
Difficult horn work was performed very well and the guard was in top form.
(they took high guard honors for the evening) Loved the music and drill.
And actually liked the new uniforms. (sorry to most of you out there who seem
to not like them)
SCOUTS (88.9) - The Scouts were what got me into DCI in the first place and I
would travel across the country to see these guys. Too bad they don't have a
caption for crowd appeal because they would win all the time. Great show,
great music, great guard.....there really isn't much else I could say that
hasn't been said so far in past reviews. The crowd just loved them and
soundly booed the scores and placement. Although a huge Madison fan myself,
I agree with the placement. Maybe not the spread in scores but the 3 that
scored above them all put on more difficult programs. The music was the most
hummible and accessible of the evening and they will definitely bring down the
house at finals in front of a home town crowd. These guys are straight in your
face entertainment. As a fan, that's what keeps me coming back.
SCV (94.8) - Tremendous drill, wonderful music. It seemed like the show had
just started and then it was over. They made a 13 minute show seem like it
lasted only 2 minutes and I wanted to see more! The hornline sounds amplified
compared to everyone else for the evening and the drill never stops. Loved
the split "T" move and although not a fan of repeating moves in a show was glad
they did it again because I kind of missed it the first time. With so much
going on, I actually missed most of the guard and that's probably a shame since
I assume they're probably good, but the drill was just phenomenal and they
obviously have the goods to win it all. And for everyone who left after scores
were announced, you missed one hell of a victory concert. It was breathtaking
to say the least.
GLASSMEN (90.9) - The only problem with the Glassmen was that they had to come
on after the Scouts and SCV. Great show but I think the crowd was pretty
much spent from watching the other two. Percussion is tremendous and all
sections are top rate. I didn't like the music as much as last year, but
that's probably just the "casual fan" coming out in me since last year's score
was a little more recognizable. They deserved every bit of their placement
and are the real deal.
Saturday opened early with a fan/judge clinic that was a lot of fun. Everyone
not only had a chance to ask questions of the judges but they also presented a
pretty clear and concise explanation of the entire judging process. The
Crossmen took time out of their schedule to participate as well, letting the
fans hear from the show designer's what they wanted to get across to the fans
and judges and the judges explained what they see. Not only was it a great
chance to hear what goes on in the minds of the judges but we got to see the
Crossment perform again. The clinic was a great idea DCI. If anyone out
their with clout is reading this, keep it up!!!
Saturday opened with SOUTHWIND (76.1) - Very good show and entertaining. I
think these guys are a future powerhouse and their affiliation with Madison
is obviously paying off. Whether or not you're a fan of YEA! or the Scouts
Association, you have to like what you see when corps' like Southwind can come
out of retirement and field a show like they do. They're solid in most
categories and obviously have telented kids in the organization. I like to
be surprised and Southwind surprised me with a great show.
TARHEEL SUN (71.7) - Nice show and interesting mix of music. I wasn't sure
how it would all work together but it did. The corps looked sloppy and the
sound wasn't all that great, maybe trying to tone down the difficulty of the
score and drill would help. It almost seemed like they were trying to play
something that they weren't quite up to from a talent standpoint. Don't get
me wrong, there were times where they sounded great, but other times where I
kept thinking a slower drill or easier music would have lent itself to a better
performance. Not everyone has to perform like the Cadets do. Play at your
level, and the crowd will be entertained. (just my opinion)
PIONEER (75.5) - Case in point. Pioneer did not perform a particularly
difficult drill, music was sound, hornline handled everything tightly, had a
great guard for a corp at this level and flat out put on an entertaining show.
The crowd really liked them and even though they were not my favorites of the
evening, I enjoyed the show. They were smaller than in years past? At least
from what I remembered from seeing them 2 years ago.
SPIRIT (77.0) - After about 2 minutes of their show I started to wonder why
everyone seemed to like them in other reviews. But then they turned on the
power and put on one kick a$# show. It was nice to see them turn up the horn
line and blast a little bit. I saw a lot of vintage Spirit in the show and I
hope they keep it up. As for the guard uniforms, can anyone honestly say what
they're wearing now is better? I didn't see the old ones, but from the sound
of things I guess I'm better off. And what's with the spandex craze with
guards? And I'm not just picking on Spirit. Tight spandex is not flattering
on most of the world's population including quite a few guards that seem to be
sporting this type of outfit. I'm not a prude by any standard, but the guys
and girls running around the field in some of these uniforms ("costumes?") just
don't quite cut it. It's a distraction to what's going on during the show.
(sorry, I'm digressing here)
MAGIC (79.7) - Is it just me or do they seem to be kind of going backwards?
I think I've seen these guys every year over the last few years and I like them
less each year. I love the music of Mangione, and maybe I expected more, but
it just didn't do much for me. On the contrary, their hornline is a strong
point. I had come to expect exciting and different things from them and I
guess I was just a little underwelmed. It seems like they have the talent so
I'm not sure why things aren't better.
CAROLINA ( 84.6) - I can usually judge a show by how fast it appears to have
ended. When I'm really into a show, it seems to flow by seemlessly until I
can't believe it's over. Crown's show did that for me. Even though I don't
know the music, I enjoyed it very well. I often hear fans complaining that
crops play too much obscure music. Well Crown is able to do that and pull it
off wonderfully. Great drill, great guard, strong show.
PHANTOM (90.3) - Love the hornline. Always did, always will. They always
pull off a deep rich sound that just gives me the chills and I have to thank
Phantom for introducing me to classical music when I was in high school. I
nevered listened to what my parents wanted me to and listened to stuff like
AC/DC, but Phantom showed me classical could be cool and they never fail to
get to me. Classical music has moved into the scores of many corps this year,
but in my opinion, Phantom still does it best and with a unique style that will
always be classic Phantom. So many other corps' have changed styles through
the years. Phantom hasn't and I hope they never do.
CADETS (93.8) - It's funny how critical we can all be of the Cadets. What a
show! They continue to amaze me on the field and whether your do or don't
like their style, every drum corp fan has to appreciate what they do on the
field. Musically, I think I liked last year's show better. But ther drill
is still spastic and the guard is wonderful. I'm not sure why the Cadet guard
did not take high honors tonight but that's just my opinion. I'm not a "guard
person" but they were nothing short of perfect and the rifle work was phenomenal.
The hornline wasn't in top form, but then again, I'm being picky. They
probably won't win this year, but definitely deserve to be in the same class as
BD and SCV.
CAVIES (92.8) - Saw them earlier in the year and was disappointed but loved them
this time. Very complex drill that wowed the crowd high up in the stadium.
Great music and usual great guard. They only scored a point behind Cadets but
I'm not sure if they can go much further with the show. They have definitely
kept the "Top 4" intact in DCI. Not quite sure they are ready to break into the
top 3 yet.
DEVILS (94.4) - Not sure what else to say other than they rocked the house!
The hornline is wicked......drums, guard and drill aren't far behind. Soprano's
kicked major butt and they brought the house down. Not only once but twice.
The victory concert was awsome and unlike the night before, most everyone stayed
to be blown away. I don't think anyone was disappointed.
There's major competition heading in Madison, can't wait to see the results.
And good luck to the Division III General Butler Vagabonds, who are pretty much
my home town corp here in Western PA. Kick some butt guys. You have a great
show! And congratulations to anyone out there who marches. What you do is
tremendous. Whether you win the championship or not, you make a lot of drum
corps fans out here feel really good. It was a wondeful weekend in Allentown.
Friday August 6
|Allentown, PA (DCI) #1
Hello all. This is my first attempt at a review so I hope all of you will
be merciful towards it. As for background, I'm a HS Band Director (The Heat
Shield is in place in anticipation of the flames now being sighted on yet,
another "Bando") and my spouse aka Guard Instructor. We are both avid
fans/supporters of corps and make it to several shows, and to several
Day 1. (Was sitting in Row 1 on the 48 right in the "Power Alley"
Troopers: It was nice to see the strong development from last year's
addition. Mostly young kids, with some determined older section leaders and
DM. Music worked well for them, although endurance/intonation began to slip
towards the end. Guard work was very two dimensional w/o much lower body
work. Will someone buy or donate some silks and 6&7 foot poles for this hard
working group? Always nice to see the nod to their tradition w/the Sunburst
at the end of their performance.
Les Etoiles de Dorion: Hmmmmm. First thought was "Where did all of the
players go?" 2 Contras trying to support Ensemble sound? There were, of
course, the now infamous scaffolds which I did not find distracting (and
only minimally enhancing). My spouse found them to be a huge impediment to
their performance noting on several occasions that significant parts of the
drill were obscured from most of the audience and we could only see it at
all by being near to field level. Not a deep sound, and ensemble was
suffering w/lots of individuals popping out from time to time. Daring move
to play original music but question why they would compete open class w/this
Kiwanis Kavaliers: Definitely not the same Kaviliers I saw at Falls Church
in July. Better sound, good flow, and a more mature sound. Aux. work was
convincing even if on the simplistic side. Tempi now at reasonable settings.
Sorry, nothing more comes to memory.
B.A.C.: Two words, God and D**n! These are the 'Saders? Words cannot
describe their performance this evening. M&M was TIGHT!. A rich, full
ensemble brass line w/good control of dynamics, and a battery not far
behind. Auxiliary added the the show unlike other editions of BAC. Was the
first "goose-bump to goose bump" Corps of the year for me. Corps fed off the
crowd response and kept elevating their performance as it went on. Thought
the DM was going to either launch himself off of the stand at the end, or
that he and a number of the corps members would be stricken from strokes as
their complete, total concentration was transcending the entire venue! Veins
were a poppin'! Reed works well as literature and of course, the place went
wacky w/the Conquest tease. If these guys aren't on the field on Sat. nite,
it will be a travesty!
Bluecoats: Opening impact and that typical 'Coats jazz style and sound.
Unfortunately, it was to me a tease of the show that was never to develop.
The rest of the show sounded like the development sections of many of their
favorite pieces. No real beginning or end, but lots of the stuff in the
middle. Sops dominated their brass line and at times, they sounded a bit top
heavy. Beautiful outfits on the guard, and they gave a solid performance.
Somehow, the show didn't connect w/me and most of those around me despite
the familiar nature of their repertoire. Perhaps the corps is trying a new
direction? Oh, by the way, the black gauntlets do work for the group as they
match the epaulets and the pant stripes. Also, they serve to help cover up
some of the inconsistencies in the corps numerous uses of arm and body work
throughout the show.
Colts: Wow! The corps continues to up the ante in complexity w/their book,
and the guard is MEAN! They've found a niche in their music/show selection
that really works. This is not a flashy show, but a solid performance of
well executed, solid literature. Stretched the limits of crowd appeal, w/o
beating them in the face w/complexity for complexity's sake. It is fun to
watch this corps, w/their obvious long term vision, develop from year to
year w/relentless progress. Perhaps a lesson to be learned from this
X-men: The guard is OUTRAGEOUS although, IMHO, the nites' performance was a
bit off. Solid rendition of Shades of Blue w/most impressive opening licks
of the evening so far. M&M is obviously this corps weak link. Are there
holes? Can't explain the problems w/interval as they seeming open and close
w/o rhyme or reason. (Contras were the prime offenders here) Corps appears
younger, and less mature which might explain their "down" year. Battery was
their same solid selves and offered the first "prime" percussion feature of
Magic: I want to like this corps. They've had, as I'm sure all of you know,
a rough tour this year. Like the new uniform variant, loved the guards'
look, (and their performance) and their Premier equipped battery was by far
the best sound of any of the other corps saddled w/that brand. It's the book
that I can't get into. A great lead sop, and a lead mello to go w/him, and
the music is pleasant sounding but it's not really what I expect to hear
from their selections. Excitement for sure, but missing some sort of oomph?
An iffy selection for the 12th. spot for finals IMHO but I hope they make
Scouts: Crowd favorites as they should be. JC Superstar is a gas to watch,
and what else can be said but that the Scouts are still the Scouts! Their
emphasis is on entertainment, and the members show it to the core. Tasty Sop
licks, humor, and a guard that never gets the recognition they deserve.
(Will someone look at these guys, please?) Sure, you could pick on them for
little problems and some drill dirt, but hey, they're there to perform for
the crowd and themselves. If making that pitch to the audience comes at the
expense of something else I say it's more than a bargain!
Blue Knights: Trittico in all of it's glory. These guys may be trying to
"out-phantom" the Regiment's approach on GE music and ensemble. A SWEET
Contra section especially) A full, mature, balanced and dark sound from the
brass. Lush would be another way to describe it. M&M and drill design was
another definite strength. Perhaps not the whiplash effect of CBC, but a
complex, and well executed show. Was first viewing of this year's show, so I
was just soaking it all in, and definites are hard for me to remember.
SCV: OK, here's where I'm gonna' get flamed if I haven't been already. As a
musician, I can appreciate the intricacies, subtle nuances, and musicianship
necessary to pull off such a show. There is absolutely nothing wrong with
contemporary music w/it inherent difficulties and it's surely a resource for
any musical endeavor and at least there's someone out there to give modern
music exposure. W/contemporary marching, both corps and band, the balance
lies between "What do the judges like?" and "How does it effect our
audience?" The Scouts are representative of one polarity, and with it's
recent editions, SCV would seem to be leaning towards the other. Is this a
good move for the members of both the corps and the crowd? It's certainly
not for me to decide and only time will tell. I personally found myself
trying very hard to appreciate this show rather to enjoy it. There were of
course, moments. The Guard was killer. Velocity, difficulty, and execution.
The battery has Serious chops! The music was certainly quite effective for
the genre and I feel well representative of the original compositions. Is it
awesome? Yes. Does it stretch the boundaries? Yes. Will it win at finals? I
think it probably will. Can I remember a single lick? Hardly.
Glassmen: See above re: content. There is one note that I wish to add
however. I was sitting directly behind the staff viewing area the whole
evening. These kids went on to that field and gave it their all. As w/many
of the staffs, the G-men staff would look expectantly at the crowd after
major hits, and at the end of songs. Like most, they were eagerly looking
for a response from the spectators. When there wasn't much response to the
moments that the kids and the staff were juiced for, the crestfallen
expressions on their faces told the story. They get it, and the corps
obviously does, but on this nite, the crowd didn't and I don't know if they
understood why. Battery is killer, and brass is good as well. Uniforms and
Guard outfits were working great. I'm sure that they felt that the music was
working at least as well.
Well, that's it. If I have time, I'll try Day 2 later on, but I saw
that there wasn't a word about Day 1. Looking back, it seems I've written a
tome rather than a review. One last word. It is amazing to me to have
witnessed the overall increase of the quality of performance from ALL of the
corps. Sure, the elite 6 have always been there w/quality it seems, but the
rest of them are far and away better than ever before and are continuing to
improve. What a great activity for all of the folks involved. Kids, Staff,
Volunteers, etc., we all owe a debt to you all. Good Luck to all of the
corps at finals. We will all be rooting you on towards excellence!
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