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 Post subject: 6/17/06 Toledo Review (Very Brief) [OK, Kinda Brief... :) ]
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:56 pm 
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For those of you who've been around awhile, you may know about my "issues" regarding opening weekend shows. My last taste of live drum corps was Championships where the winner goes away with a 98+ score.... seeing those same corps struggling to make it into the 70's is a little anti-climatactic, but there's nothing else I'd rather be doing on a mid-June evening! :)

I arrived at the UT campus with the sounds of drumlines and hornlines warming up. God, it was fantastic!! Got my ticket from will call and settled into my seat on the 40 yard line about 2/3rds of the way up.

SOUTHWIND: I liked the use of the black and white uniforms. The drill writer was very conscientious of the placement of the performers in order to maximize the two-tone effect. I won't mention dirty drill because everyone was dirty.... it's mid-June, duh! Overall, I enjoyed the show, but thought they relied too heavily on the two themes presented in the opener. Rather than hearing references to the themes, as if guiding the course of the show, it seemed more like the the themes were the entire show. It became very repetitious in my opinion. I think they have a solid shot at Semi-Finals, but I don't feel that this is the year that they challenge for that 12 spot.

PHANTOM REGIMENT: If forced to make a decision I'd probably rank them as my 2nd favorite corps of all time. I've heard a lot of hype coming out of their fan base this year and was expecting A LOT after finishing 3rd last year. They didn't deliver. :( It seems they move a lot, the ballad is gorgeous, and the hornline is agressively good, but the show just does not flow together. They used 6 gentleman in the guard (dressed very gimp-like in the opener :shock:) in order to help tell the story of Faust, but I never really saw any story being told. As well as they told the story of the American in Paris last year, this year's story-telling is the complete opposite. I'm going to hope that it's an early season thing.... I wasn't blown away by Regiment last year in the early going but they knocked my socks off by they time they got to Indy. Time will tell if they have the same sort of tricks up their sleave this year.

BLUECOATS: Absolutely deserved to beat Regiment, although they came up about 1 point shy. The show is very well put together... lots of great GE moments that aren't close to being maxed out yet. The ballad was absolutely breathtaking.... possibly beating Regiment for best ballad of the night! The hype out of Canton has been enormous this year and with good reason. They could be knocking on the door of their first top 4 finish. Time will tell.

CAVALIERS: "Machine". What a great title for a show. 8-) They exude a machine-like presence at least for the first half of the show. Lots of references to machinery - robot poses, industrial sound effects, even a conveyor belt reference (which actually looks more like a mosh pit than a conveyor belt....). The "stretching of the machine" will be the highlight of this show going forward.... awesome use of sound effects and visual effects in this section where they use a couple of guard members to reshape the horn block with somewhat unexpected consequences. Although I feel they performed on a higher level than the rest of the field, their were aspects of the show that left me flat (and I anticipate they will be addressed before too long). The first half of the show is laden with machine references, but the second half is completely void of them (minus the very last move in the show). What, did they suddenly turn mortal?? Also, the music is not very memorable. I was a big defender of their musical style during their title run to start the '00s, but last year and so far this year are definitely leaving me cold. I'll know come August if it's only a case of me "getting used" to the music.

GLASSMEN: A very good show filled with familiar tunes. I thought they may have been a little closer to Blooo and Regiment than they were. If I had one beef with this show, it would be that the guard is too noticeable. I'm of the opinion that guardwork accompanies the music, occasionally taking the spotlight but not dominating the show. It seemed to me that the Glassmen crosses that imaginary line. That's not all bad.... I did enjoy watching their guard act out some Renaissance debauchery, but still, it seemed like the rest of the corps did not exist at that time. Maybe, that's just me being picky, but hey it's my opinion! :lol: I definitely think they'll be a strong competitor for a sub-10 spot.

Given all the corps I haven't seen yet... How will the west coast corps fit into this picture? East coast corps? Southern corps? I think it's going to be another very competitive season! Can't wait to see how it plays out!!

PS - Please forgive any typos.... my birthday officially starts in about an hour and I've had my fair share to drink tonight in preparation for it. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:09 pm 
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Thanks much. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:49 am 
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Very good review, Machine. Thanks. I think it's tougher to write a detailed review of opening weekend shows than a late season one because it's all new to everybody. Sounds like you think Bluecoats' show may have more design potential than Phantom's at this point but aren't closing the door on Regiment making changes and coming back stronger yet. I think one always has to see what a corps does after its first set of rewrites, because some corps find a way to make changes that pull it together and others never do. Whether because they hear different complaints/suggestions from different judges in the same caption, or they don't have money for rewrites (which could be an issue for Phantom with off-season reports of debt trouble) or they can't figure out how to fix a flawed concept, some decide to play out the hand as dealt.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:51 pm 
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So, let's take a look back and review.....
Machine wrote:
For those of you who've been around awhile, you may know about my "issues" regarding opening weekend shows. My last taste of live drum corps was Championships where the winner goes away with a 98+ score.... seeing those same corps struggling to make it into the 70's is a little anti-climatactic, but there's nothing else I'd rather be doing on a mid-June evening! :)

I arrived at the UT campus with the sounds of drumlines and hornlines warming up. God, it was fantastic!! Got my ticket from will call and settled into my seat on the 40 yard line about 2/3rds of the way up.

SOUTHWIND: I liked the use of the black and white uniforms. The drill writer was very conscientious of the placement of the performers in order to maximize the two-tone effect. I won't mention dirty drill because everyone was dirty.... it's mid-June, duh! Overall, I enjoyed the show, but thought they relied too heavily on the two themes presented in the opener. Rather than hearing references to the themes, as if guiding the course of the show, it seemed more like the the themes were the entire show. It became very repetitious in my opinion. I think they have a solid shot at Semi-Finals, but I don't feel that this is the year that they challenge for that 12 spot.

Southwind - Got the shaft if you ask me. But then DCI didn't ask me. 8-)
Quote:
PHANTOM REGIMENT: If forced to make a decision I'd probably rank them as my 2nd favorite corps of all time. I've heard a lot of hype coming out of their fan base this year and was expecting A LOT after finishing 3rd last year. They didn't deliver. :( It seems they move a lot, the ballad is gorgeous, and the hornline is agressively good, but the show just does not flow together. They used 6 gentleman in the guard (dressed very gimp-like in the opener :shock:) in order to help tell the story of Faust, but I never really saw any story being told. As well as they told the story of the American in Paris last year, this year's story-telling is the complete opposite. I'm going to hope that it's an early season thing.... I wasn't blown away by Regiment last year in the early going but they knocked my socks off by they time they got to Indy. Time will tell if they have the same sort of tricks up their sleave this year.

Phantom Regiment - I BELIEVE!!! :bow:
Quote:
BLUECOATS: Absolutely deserved to beat Regiment, although they came up about 1 point shy. The show is very well put together... lots of great GE moments that aren't close to being maxed out yet. The ballad was absolutely breathtaking.... possibly beating Regiment for best ballad of the night! The hype out of Canton has been enormous this year and with good reason. They could be knocking on the door of their first top 4 finish. Time will tell.

Bluecoats - Knocked it out of the park on Saturday night! Welcome to the top 4!! :clap2:
Quote:
CAVALIERS: "Machine". What a great title for a show. 8-) They exude a machine-like presence at least for the first half of the show. Lots of references to machinery - robot poses, industrial sound effects, even a conveyor belt reference (which actually looks more like a mosh pit than a conveyor belt....). The "stretching of the machine" will be the highlight of this show going forward.... awesome use of sound effects and visual effects in this section where they use a couple of guard members to reshape the horn block with somewhat unexpected consequences. Although I feel they performed on a higher level than the rest of the field, their were aspects of the show that left me flat (and I anticipate they will be addressed before too long). The first half of the show is laden with machine references, but the second half is completely void of them (minus the very last move in the show). What, did they suddenly turn mortal?? Also, the music is not very memorable. I was a big defender of their musical style during their title run to start the '00s, but last year and so far this year are definitely leaving me cold. I'll know come August if it's only a case of me "getting used" to the music.

Cavaliers - Truly a machine. I did get used to the music, the ballad was haunting as if assimilation were imminent. :whistle:
Quote:
GLASSMEN: A very good show filled with familiar tunes. I thought they may have been a little closer to Blooo and Regiment than they were. If I had one beef with this show, it would be that the guard is too noticeable. I'm of the opinion that guardwork accompanies the music, occasionally taking the spotlight but not dominating the show. It seemed to me that the Glassmen crosses that imaginary line. That's not all bad.... I did enjoy watching their guard act out some Renaissance debauchery, but still, it seemed like the rest of the corps did not exist at that time. Maybe, that's just me being picky, but hey it's my opinion! :lol: I definitely think they'll be a strong competitor for a sub-10 spot.

Glassmen - Ended up doing a great job squeezing a lot of Beethoven into 11 minutes. Ballad was one of the best of the year. Wish 3, count 'em THREE, groups of dumbasses wouldn't have ruined one of the best parts of your show. :hmrd:
Quote:
Given all the corps I haven't seen yet... How will the west coast corps fit into this picture? East coast corps? Southern corps? I think it's going to be another very competitive season! Can't wait to see how it plays out!!

PS - Please forgive any typos.... my birthday officially starts in about an hour and I've had my fair share to drink tonight in preparation for it. :)

All in all, this turned into a fantastic year of drum corps. I was skeptical in the early going, but I think more corps are catching onto the idea of layering more and more as the season goes on. So early season shows are definitely to be taken with a grain of salt now more than ever.

The outstanding battles across groups of corps, the seemingly more independent thinking from the judges, and the number of flip-flops in position made the competitive aspect of the season one of the best that I have ever witnessed in my 18 seasons of following DCI!

Thank you DCI, Thank you corps, but most importantly THANK YOU corps members for giving it all every day! :clap2: :bow:

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