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First Weekend Reviews...

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:30 am
by chadwick
Okay...I am dusting off the cob webs of this forum and getting it ready for all of you who are lucky enough to be going to a show this weekend. PLEASE PLEASE give us some reviews!! :P

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:13 am
It would be nice to see some reviews for open-house events (which have already taken place for several corps).

I will be in Pittsburgh this weekend... so I will be sure to write up a Cavies, Cadets, 'Coats, Glassmen, Southwind review.

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:35 pm
by LAMystreaux
I've got some audio and video from Crossmen's preview last night. . .I just need to figure out how to share it.

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:15 pm
by Malibu
TXMystreaux wrote:I've got some audio and video from Crossmen's preview last night. . .I just need to figure out how to share it.
TX you can use Photobucket to upload your video.

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:27 am
by LAMystreaux
Here is a webpage where there are tons of video and audio of shows posted and more to be added from what I understand.

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:19 am
by chadwick
TXMystreaux wrote:Here is a webpage where there are tons of video and audio of shows posted and more to be added from what I understand.

Thanks Michael...this site is great!!!!!!!!!

Crown - NICE sound, so crisp and has become their trademark I think. And beautiful pieces too. There is much speculation that they will be adding narration to the show. :? I'll give it a chance of course when they do, but why oh why would you cover that sound with any vocals? I am not a drum person at all, but I do get surprised when I see their percussion scores lower than those just above them. From what I hear, it sounds pretty good...especially the front ensemble. Is the difficulty level sub par to those around them?

Bluecoats - Like the opening arrangement; very intense, very 'Criminal' sounding. The second arrangement sounds very jazzy; reminds me of the Blue Devils. I like the ballad too....keeps that jazzy sound. The few amped vocals don't bother me in this show. They are few and far between and came through clear and they are not an attempt to explain the show to me...this isn't narration. Hopefully they won't add much more than this. I like the runs at the end of the show and I can imagine a lot of movement must be going on to accompany this...but I feel like it still cuts a little short. I'm sure there is more to be added.

The Cadets - Hmmmmm...interesting way to start the show. Narration in your face...very 'DCI Documentary'. I hate to say this, but I had to force myself to listen to the whole thing....I really hoped to not be disappointed by The Cadets show this year, but right now, I am. The music, sounds great...volume is intense, articulation very clear. But the constant talking is just not for me, it sounds like the music is background to the narration. :roll:

Have to listen to the rest later :)

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:42 am
by rysa4
Thanks for the link. Really a good find. The Cadets are going to have a problem this year.

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:25 pm
by CaptnContra
Having finally heard the Cavaliers in a performance setting i can now say HOLY CRAP they sound just like late-80's Blue Devils, which isn't a bad thing. Ripping high brass and accessable melodies... very enjoyable.

Phantom Regiment. I love Phantom, always have. This show isn't going to win.

The Cadets actually hurt my ears (once again a show ruined by narration, good horns and drums). My girlfriend, whom I'm introducing to Drum Corps this summer for the first time, immediately asked 'What the hell is that?' when I played their clip. I said 'Thats the Cadets'. Her reply was 'Wow, I don't like that at all'. About sums it up for me.

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:29 pm
by Blurae1
Are the west coast scores running a little high or are they that good.............Bill

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:48 pm
by Hostrauser
Not that they AREN'T that good, but West Coast scores usually run a little high.

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:01 pm
by chadwick
Hostrauser wrote:Not that they AREN'T that good, but West Coast scores usually run a little high.
Have any plans on attending some of the California shows this June?

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:45 am
by Hostrauser
Nope. The San Diego show isn't until the last weekend before finals this year, and my schedule this month prevents me from taking day-trips just about anywhere, even L.A.

Stockton review

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:46 am
by abalone
Before I start, let me issue a caveat. I have been almost completely out of the loop, so I didn't know anything about any of the programs beforehand. A few comments on the three Division I corps from last night.

The visual program is not usually the first thing that impresses me, but the Mandarins look good. I love the way their dark orange uniforms blend with the guards orangish tin foil spandex and that blends with the bamboo props and other woody stuff they have on the field. It all makes for a very organic feel. The other thing I really liked was their bamboo forest. They placed bamboo "trees" on the field about halfway through the show and then marched through and around them, somewhat like the Cavaliers and their ladders a few years ago. However, the bamboo wasn't all standing straight up and some of it was swaying in the wind, so this felt a lot less mechanical than the Cavies show. I could actually imagine being outside in a forest. The music fit the show very well. I really liked this show.

Blue Devils
The dressed as butterflies for the opener, but the music was not butterfly-ish, unless butterflies have suddenly become symbols of dark aggression and violence. That's not to say I didn't like the music, just that the butterfly seemed out of place. The opener was the high point for me, and after that my attention waned. At about eight or nine minutes in, I realized I was daydreaming. Not good. Near the end, I thought I recognized a few measures from the Firebird Suite, but then they went off into something else. I remember thinking that Firebird would have been a strange choice for the Blue Devils. But that was my overall impression of this show: it didn't quite fit together. They didn't develop any single musical theme sufficiently and never really grabbed hold of me. One other thing about this show, during the onfield warmups and through the beginning of the show, the pit plays mood music. I'm ambivalent about this. What I didn't like was that it sounded like speaker, not like xylophone (if that makes sense).

Santa Clara Vanguard
WOW! This show was musically spectacular. They grabbed hold of me right from the start and never let go. I think this might be the year that I change my answer to the burning question, "BD or SCV?" The drill in the opener was difficult, but it was moderately to very easy for most of the last 2/3 of the show. There were several places that made me think they must be planning to write new drill for that section. Overall, let me say that this is easily my favorite early season show since Phantom Regiment visited California in 2003.

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:15 am
by sproutko
At Saturday's Annapolis show, I was impressed with the Bluecoats, Cavies and especially Crown.

Bluecoats continue to improve in both musical and visual design over the past several years. They have a solid horn line this year, and although they overblew a few times on Saturday night, they really interpret this music well. Hoppie needs to take a lesson from them on the appropriateness of voice-overs (more below on this). And whoever planned the rescue squad siren drive-by about 2/3 into the show is a genius!! ;)

What can you say about the Cavaliers? They are amazing technicians from June to August. The show certainly needs a much better ending to compete in the top 3, but all the elements are there in the rest of the program. And kudos to the baritone (?) who fell, rolled right up and just as he caught up to the line had to pivot and go the opposite way - great recovery!!

Crown's fantastic horn line, combined with smart writing and a clever, accessible show will take them a long way this year. Even though there's some dirt (it's way early!!!), I really enjoyed this show and look forward to hearing it on CD.

Now as for Cadets. The real shame of this year is that they have a GREAT horn line. While they didn't have the best blend of the night (see Crown), they can all obviously play with technique and dynamic. Frankly, what I felt from this show was embarrassment and pity for the members to whom the staff has subjected the narration. The script consisted of hackneyed, cheesy catch phrases, delivered with over-the-top sentimentality. All of which was compounded by the sheer AMOUNT of narration. The people around me were either shaking their heads (me), snickering or just dumbfounded. The problem is, as a seat neighbor and I discussed, they've built the show on the voice-overs, so if you cut some of them, you render the concept utterly lame. Hopefully, for them, the staff can find some creativity to figure out a way to salvage it.

To add to this, from admittedly just one look at the show, I got the sense that I could have overlaid the drill on a number of previous Cadets' shows. The transitions were staid and predictable. Although performed pretty well for early in the season, I wondered if the members realize there is nothing new. Ironically, Cadets sell a few t-shirts at their souvie trailer speaking of themselves as the true innovators in the activity. It's true that Zingali and Sylvester and Hannum, among others, have propelled Cadets in this direction. However, after seeing this year's show, I'm starting to believe that they've relinquished the right to their claim.

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:07 pm
by chadwick

Thanks for the great review and welcome to SoundMachine...hope ya stick around!