The Drum Corps Discussion Group
Presented by The Sound Machine Drum Corps Scores Archive

Links to Other Sites: 

* FAQ   * Search   * Login   * Register 
It is currently Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:19 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: SH Jack's DCI Quarterfinals Cinecast Review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:14 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 11:19 pm
Posts: 3791
Location: Poway, CA
Well then!

Due to unfortunate scheduling conflicts, this was my only viewing of the corps this season. The theater was too dark to jot down notes except during intermission and after the show, so I don't have a lot of detail written down (and my memory is notoriously spotty). I did scrawl down scores/rankings in order of performance, but that's pretty much all I have to go on. Anyway, don't take offense if I don't comment on a particular corps. It just means that nothing stood out to me (or I've forgotten what did).

The Blue Stars had a very nice brass sound... when they were actually playing. The first half of their show seemed like pit, singing & narration with a smidgen of brass. The battery was also markedly absent in the top half of the show. And I don't know if it's because of drum corps' roots or what, but it seems like every "patriotic" show gets a few bonus tenths just because of the subject material. Blue Stars, welcome back to Division I. I'm still happy you're back, and I hope I like your 2007 show better. Oh, but lose all that talking.

I wasn't expecting a lot from the Crossmen this year, but I liked this show more than I thought I would. The "changing stations" section is utter genius and that part is only the second usage of talking/narration that I've heard that I can give a thumbs-up to. This corps is right where they belong, position-wise, because the Colts are a significantly better corps this year. They had some real icky visual forms, though. And unfortunate guard uniforms. Especially unfortunate for the amply developed color guard soloist who I'm sure wishes the damn outfits came with a built-in sports bra. Fun Colts show, though. Any other year, this would've made Finals (but don't we say that every year about someone?). Spirit didn't have my favorite show of the year, but they were unquestionably better than the Colts.

Not being a big Beethoven fan, I wasn't sure about the Glassmen in 2006. I'm still not sure. Those "hoop skirts" were ridiculous-looking and most of the music didn't thrill me. But the "deafness" section towards the end was brilliant and the corps executed the show well.

I love the Madison Scouts' new uniforms. The white tops and darker bottoms is a great look for them. I'll also go on record and be the only person in the United States to declare: I love the Scouts' guard uniforms, too. Very busy, but it fits the show. The show is PRIMAL FORCES, I don't want to see the guard in a monochrome unitard.

Carolina Crown is becoming a mini-Phantom. Their brass sound is fantastic and their low brass sound is better than anyone outside the Top 3. Why are they scoring so low? Sure, their percussion isn't great, but everything else looked good to me. I haven't liked their shows the past couple years, but I really liked this show.

The inverse of that: I loved the Bluecoats last year, and cheered their surge at the beginning of the year, but the show left me flat. Their execution is spit-shine clean, but other than that I came away feeling empty.

Vanguard got a very tepid response from the San Diego audience. A lot of BD and Phantom supporters. It just surprised me.

Come on, now: this Cadets show is better than people are giving it credit for. It's no title contender, but I think it is being underscored a little. Just a little. I agree with the haters that the brass is far too absent: the brass doesn't play for half the show then doesn't play anything impressive for the other half. Sure, they're in tune, but they aren't TRYING anything (ESPECIALLY compared to the Top 3 this year: Phantom's brass and the Cadets' brass aren't even in the same time zone). On the other hand, the wild, table-jumping, tea-time drum feature got the first big response of the night... from a noticably anti-Hopkins crowd. Even the BD supporters liked it. And while I was able to follow "the story" as it were, I do agree that there is just TOO MUCH going on in this show, with the costumes and the backfield props and the door and the tables and gah. And while I didn't LIKE the singing/talking, I didn't hate it with as much vitriol as I was anticipating. The show is so crazy the vocals almost fit/work. But like a twinkie, this show is all style and no substance. And someone needs to get rid of Hoppy's stash. First Jethro Tull, now a psychadelic Alice in Wonderland? Buddy, the 70s are gone. But still... only 93.5? Really? It still seems like too low of a score to me, even with my criticisms.

Oh, that Phantom sound. Let's be honest: musically, no one's close to Phantom this year. They should (HAD BETTER) win both brass and percussion Saturday night. But the visuals... well, they're fabulously executed. I've always scoffed at the people who've criticized Phantom's visual book for being "too easy." I don't agree: just because it's not as crazy as the Cavaliers doesn't mean it's "too easy." But watching Phantom's show last night, I finally hit upon what's wrong with Phantom's drill. Quite simply, it's unimaginative. It's not "easy" but it's not "unbelievable." This was put into stark relief with both BD and the Cavs following Phantom. Those later corps just had a much more creative set design and utilization of the field. Their execution is stellar, but they still have 5th-6th place visual design. Which is a shame, because this very well could have been the year the Phantom took it all. I don't think it's going to happen, though, unless they pull the Cadets' rabbit out of a hat on Finals night.

Does the cleanliness and precision of the Blue Devils ever get old? My god they're clean. This is a very nice rebound from last year's atrocious concept. Musical, visual, engaging and precise. The "gun" drill elicited one of the biggest responses of the night from the audience.

The Cavaliers are simply unmatched in visual creativity. Seriously, why don't we just elect Michael Gaines to the DCI Hall of Fame right now? But, per usual, the original music was pretty uninteresting. Really, I don't care if it's Saucedo or Poulan or Bocook, original music in DCI ranges from "mediocre" to "suck" 95% of the time. But they're definitely good enough to win.

I felt the bottom ten corps were scored/placed pretty accurately. The top seven, however, break into three very distinct levels for me: Cavs/BD/PR in the top three, then a significant drop to SCV/Cadets battling for fourth, then another significant drop to Crown/Coats battling for sixth. Or so it would be if I were the only judge.

I felt the top three all had different strengths and weaknesses. For the first time in many years there's no clear-cut champion. IMO, the Cavs have the best visual, Phantom has the best music, and BD has the best GE.

MY SCORES
97.50 Cavaliers (Visual GE, Visual)
97.25 Blue Devils (Music GE, Guard)
96.50 Phantom Regiment (Brass, Percussion, Music)
94.75 The Cadets
94.00 Santa Clara Vanguard
92.50 Carolina Crown
92.00 Bluecoats
90.25 Blue Knights
90.00 Madison Scouts
89.50 Boston Crusaders
88.75 Glassmen
87.50 Spirit from JSU
85.50 Colts
84.00 Crossmen
82.00 Capital Regiment
81.00 Blue Stars
80.00 Southwind

Shows that I liked LESS than I expected to:
Blue Stars
Boston Crusaders
Bluecoats

Shows that I liked MORE than I expected to:
Crossmen
Carolina Crown
Blue Devils

_________________
"I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am."
-- Joseph Baretti


Last edited by Hostrauser on Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:11 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:07 pm
Posts: 827
Thanks for your review. I enjoyed reading it. I thought the Hoppy Stash comment was particularly amusing.

On your musical assessment though- PRs drumline is good but is up way too much over the other lines this year. There isnt anything to point to and say that they should be drumline champions-- I mean not one thing in the show. In no way I am saying that they do or dont deserve to win ( yet-- I'll wait for the DVDs for a more indepth look)---just that there is enough strengths and weaknesses among the top 5 drumlines for a trade off that should leave them all pretty close. What we can point to is an entire drumline, including the pit, absolutely parked on the sidelines, not moving and not playing for minutes ( just watch the show)- as well as a fair amount of field drum downtime during much of the rest of the show.

So just as you point out that the Cadets horn line isnt playing as much etc, the same holds true in reverse for Phantom drums. The interesting issue is that a drumline not playing for Phantom ( when this occurs) has no downward effect on their scores while gaining points in other more deserved areas, while the same principle isnt applied to other corps. Certainly the Phantom show isnt very controversial ( some might say boring although their hornline sounds great) while the Cadets are adding vocals and props in a non-traditional way and getting the big slam across all captions for it. The talent and skill required to do what the Cadets are doin this year is very very high, even if folks really dont like the show, itis in fact at this point being performed very well in a caption standpoint, gets a decent audience response in many instances, but simply isn't going to get the points. No big deal in the end but an interesting conundrum.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:26 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 11:19 pm
Posts: 3791
Location: Poway, CA
Well, being a brass player, my drumline observations are amateurish at best. :) Truth be told, I did *not* notice the downtime in Phantom's show (that's more a comment on my observational skill, not their book).

_________________
"I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am."
-- Joseph Baretti


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:06 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2002 12:43 pm
Posts: 831
Location: Sugar Land, TX
One thing that I truly disliked about the Cadet's show was the lack of ensemble. This show isn't about "the corps" it is about the soloists. The broadcast last night didn't do much to let us know that there was 131 other people on the field.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:11 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 11:19 pm
Posts: 3791
Location: Poway, CA
Fair enough point...

OH! One BIG point I neglected to mention: someone needs to sledgehammer SCV's amps. The pit was RIDICULOUSLY over-miked. :x

_________________
"I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am."
-- Joseph Baretti


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:45 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:07 pm
Posts: 827
Spring-Heeled Jack wrote:
Fair enough point...

OH! One BIG point I neglected to mention: someone needs to sledgehammer SCV's amps. The pit was RIDICULOUSLY over-miked. :x


Actually it was a combination of the amps and a change in sound balance-- all of the last 5 corps on the big screen had too much gain on their mikes dedicated to front ensemble. It was a striking transition. AS far as Kims post-- The Cadtes percussion section is well integrated and written as an ensemble, although they do have those section solo moments for sure ( like bass drums and quads for instance). The catch is, that unlike some of the other corps, their drumline actually plays throughout most of their show, so on the whole, you get both more ensemble percussion as well as featured sections. Actual drum soloists dont take up too much time as I recall. Of course when someones standing on a podium it may seem like ages.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:49 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 4:27 am
Posts: 1768
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Just an fyi.... Vanguard's pit "problem" was merely a product of the cinecast mic placement in relation to their amp speakers. Live and in person, their pit is not sticking out like a sore thumb. 8-)

_________________
Patrick
Image
Buy my art...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:53 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 11:19 pm
Posts: 3791
Location: Poway, CA
*shrug* It was FAR more noticeable during Vanguard's performance than any other performance of the night, before OR after. But there's only so much you can glean from a cinecast...

_________________
"I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am."
-- Joseph Baretti


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:14 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 9:07 pm
Posts: 827
Machine wrote:
Just an fyi.... Vanguard's pit "problem" was merely a product of the cinecast mic placement in relation to their amp speakers. Live and in person, their pit is not sticking out like a sore thumb. 8-)


No no. SCVs pit issues run far deeper than the amps for sure. Better than last year thought. The field drumming however, is in much better shape.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SH Jack's DCI Quarterfinals Cinecast Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:13 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2002 8:28 pm
Posts: 1450
Location: Vienna, WV
Spring-Heeled Jack wrote:
I'll also go on record and be the only person in the United States to declare: I love the Scouts' guard uniforms, too. Very busy, but it fits the show. The show is PRIMAL FORCES, I don't want to see the guard in a monochrome unitard.

My daughter and I also absolutely love the guard uniforms, especially the tiger skin capes. The opening sequence where they move around like tigers gets her very excited every time! My first impression of the look was definitely African, but the media guide says Pre-Columbian Americas?? Go figure.

_________________
Regards, Jazzman


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:15 am 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 12:40 pm
Posts: 1030
Spring-Heeled Jack wrote:
*shrug* It was FAR more noticeable during Vanguard's performance than any other performance of the night, before OR after. But there's only so much you can glean from a cinecast...


When I first noticed the sound issue in the theater, I looked at where the SCV pit had set up...

They were a lot further off of the front sideline than most corps...plus they arced the pit as well...the pit, and speakers, were therefore a lot closer to the mics being used for the theater audio.

Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:00 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 4:27 am
Posts: 1768
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Wow..... I'm listening to SCV's APD from Quarterfinals and the mix sounds terrible! Although the pit doesn't sound as over mic'ed as the 1995 CDs, it's still out of whack and the hornline sounds like they're standing in the bottom of a deep hole. Hopefully the Finals recording is better. I noticed on Saturday night, SCV had their speakers pulled back away from the mics (which were also located differently than the previous nights).

PS - Yeah, they sounded WAY better live, although the hornline wasn't as powerful as I would have liked. (Not like '04 when they could peel your face off.)

_________________
Patrick
Image
Buy my art...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:11 pm 
Offline
All Star
All Star

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 5:47 am
Posts: 2281
Machine wrote:
Yeah, they sounded WAY better live, although the hornline wasn't as powerful as I would have liked. (Not like '04 when they could peel your face off.)


I thought that too about SCV. I didn't they their horn line projected into the stands nearly as effectively as, say, Crown. With their drastic improvement over the past two weeks, I was really looking forward to seeing what the buzz was all about. Frankly, I was underwhelmed.

_________________
Jim Anello


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:11 am 
Offline
All Star
All Star
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:00 pm
Posts: 4374
Location: Leesville, LA
Count me in as someone else who does not get it, Jim. I see a Cavaliers-ish drill (isn't their director a former Cavies DM), along with for me, a fairly forgettable music book. This show was a solid middle-tier show, but I will long remember what Crown and BK put on the field before I think about SCV's show.

_________________
Just because your hate is masked by "free thinking" or being "open-minded" does not make it right.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:31 am 
Offline
Rookie
Rookie
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 69
rysa4 wrote:
Thanks for your review. I enjoyed reading it. I thought the Hoppy Stash comment was particularly amusing.

On your musical assessment though- PRs drumline is good but is up way too much over the other lines this year. There isnt anything to point to and say that they should be drumline champions-- I mean not one thing in the show. In no way I am saying that they do or dont deserve to win ( yet-- I'll wait for the DVDs for a more indepth look)---just that there is enough strengths and weaknesses among the top 5 drumlines for a trade off that should leave them all pretty close. What we can point to is an entire drumline, including the pit, absolutely parked on the sidelines, not moving and not playing for minutes ( just watch the show)- as well as a fair amount of field drum downtime during much of the rest of the show.

So just as you point out that the Cadets horn line isnt playing as much etc, the same holds true in reverse for Phantom drums. The interesting issue is that a drumline not playing for Phantom ( when this occurs) has no downward effect on their scores while gaining points in other more deserved areas, while the same principle isnt applied to other corps. Certainly the Phantom show isnt very controversial ( some might say boring although their hornline sounds great) while the Cadets are adding vocals and props in a non-traditional way and getting the big slam across all captions for it. The talent and skill required to do what the Cadets are doin this year is very very high, even if folks really dont like the show, itis in fact at this point being performed very well in a caption standpoint, gets a decent audience response in many instances, but simply isn't going to get the points. No big deal in the end but an interesting conundrum.



Have you seen any videos of Phantom in the lot at all? If you haven't, you should....and you'll see why they won drums this year.

They play a different style of book...and it's challenging in a different way. They play very musical stuff...lots of dynamics and shaping, and were EXTREMELY clean this year!

Blue Devils had a solid pit this year, but with their very un-musical battery book, it was hard for them to contend with Phantom. I think that the Devils easily COULD'VE won the trophy this year...if it weren't for the battery. Oh well...they seem to not learn that...as it has been a 9 year drum trophy drought.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group