Atlanta Review

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Atlanta Review

Post by chadwick » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:12 am

Hey everyone...finally some time to sit down and type up a review (warning, kinda long). I took notes during the afternoon show so I will have more specific details on these shows. My mom and partner joined my friend and I for the evening show so I didn't really have time to take notes, I was too busy talking to them after shows to get their opinions.

I really enjoy having this show at the Dome. I frankly think the acoustics are nice...yeah, some echo, but not bad at all. They just finished renovating the Club Level and did a fantastic job. Very nice amenities in the concourses, very clean restrooms and the seats were very comfortable. I work next door at the Convention Center and we are under the same management as the Dome, so I spoke with the Coordinator at the Dome on how things were going during the Afternoon Intermission and she said things were going well between the venue and DCI. They hope to sign a multi-year contract...fingers crossed! She also mentioned that numbers for the afternoon show were about 5,000-6,000 and pre-sold tickets for the day were in excess of 10,000 which is more than last year. I am very interested to see what DCI announces as the final attendance.
Lastly, one rant, and this is more to DCI. The vendors for all the corps are on the Level One Concourse which is open to the stadium, there is no solid wall between the concourse and the arena. DCI placed the drum and drum stick vendors along the endzone side. Throughout the day you could hear kids practicing with the different drum sticks...very very annoying and distracting to the performances!!

Afternoon Show:
Pioneer, "Fields of Green": This was my first time ever seeing this corps and I was very excited. I expected them to be very young, and they were. The drill was pretty basic, and fairly clean. I enjoyed the fact that they had a cymbal line on the field.

Southwind, "In the Loop": Really like the new uniforms...they yellow looks great on the field! They also had a cymbal line and I noticed that their pit was not amped. They were a big step up from Pioneer, but I thought they weren't as good as they were last year. The show just didn't grab my interest as much as 2006. I was surprised they finished above Seattle.

Seattle Cascades, "3": I loved this show! The drill work really communicated their show title. Their guard was very good, especially their rifle line. They were constantly doing equipment work. The ballad was one of my favorites of the night. I thought this was a huge step up from their show in 2006. I was surpised that Southwind beat them and really thought this was a semi-finals show.

Troopers, "Awakening": Great to see them back on the field...and with big numbers! I did notice several holes though...about 4 in the corps, and 1 in the guard. They also had no amps in their pit (I them and Southwind are the only two now in Div I). I really liked the Drum Major uniform but thought the guard uniforms get lost on the field. They blended in too much with the rest of the corps. I thought this was a huge step up from two years ago and really enjoyed their pure and in tone brass sound. Definitely a semi-finals caliber show.

Madison Scouts, "Unbound": I was very anxious to see these guys given their disappointing scores so far. The show began with a very interesting opening drill with the corps all grouped up in the left endzone. They started with the entire corps singing (unamped) which I liked. They begin moving toward the center, and while it took a little while to take shape, the drill was very very exciting and reminded me of Madison of the 90's! I was very impressed with the guard work throughout the show; and while I wasn't a huge fan of the guard uniforms at first, they really used them to convey the theme of the show...well done! Great solos in the horn line too. The ending was very loud and in your face...loved it! Madison had great sound but their drill is still dirty. What was interesting was that some of the drill was crisp and clean and other sets were just way off with very crooked lines. If they can out!

Crossmen, "Metamorphosis": the capes!! The entire corps and guard came out with capes that went from their necks all the way to their feet. You could not tell who was in guard or what instrument they played as everything was covered by the capes. The pre-opening movements with the capes were some of the coolest effects I have seen in DCI. The crowd went nuts for it. I thought it was interesting that the guard had hats with shakos...neat effect. Crossmen also had a cymbal line. Their guard really impressed me as they were constantly doing equipment work. It seemed there was never a moment where you didn't see flags or rifles or sabres. The new flags are very pretty....toward the end of the show they have butterflies on them which goes well with the theme.

Spirit of JSU, "Genesis": I thought they had harder drill than the past few years which I was happy for. But, this show left me very very flat. I just don't see this show making finals.

Glassmen, "Gitano": Okay, what is up with the guy and the British flag in front of the pit while the corps is setting up? Obviously a tradition of some kind because I saw him last year too, but can someone explain? Anyway, really liked the guard uniforms and the dyed black hair is a cool effect. They had lots of rifle and sabre work compared to flag work. I wonder if they are still waiting on flags though; most of them were plain solid colors. I was not sure if this was supposed to go along with the theme or if new ones were in the works. The music kept my attention and I really enjoyed this show.

Blue Stars, "Power and Grace": Great opener!!! This show was a HUGE step up from 2006. The music was so beautiful and kept my attention throughout. Their ballad was the best of the afternoon. The drill was a lot of fun and really spread the field from endzone to endzone. This is definitely a Finals caliber show and should have made the evening show.

Colts, "Equinox": Their new uniforms are perfect! That bright red with the red plumes is a very cool effect from the stands and was a big step up from their previous uniforms. The guard wore capes at the beginning of the show and used them very well. Colts also had a cymbal line. The flags were very beautiful and the rifles with the reflective tape gave a neat effect. There was one really cool move where a guard member tosses her flag over the corps while they are in the middle of a wild drill move....very very nice! I loved this show and can see this finishing as high as 8th or out Blue Knights and Boston!! What a great year for these guys!

Boston Crusaders, "Picasso Suite": My first impression of the guard uniforms was...hmmm, brown? But they really grew on me and by the middle of the show I was loving them. Great use of the easels throughout the show....this was a great example of using props well so they don't clutter the field and actually are used. I really enjoyed the music with a touch of Latin and the accompanying drill work. This show reminded me of 2003, one of my favorite Boston shows. This show could place as high as 8th in the end...but its going to be a shoot out between them, Blue Knights and Colts.

My placements for the afternoon show:
1st: Boston Crusaders
2nd: Colts (very close to Boston)
3rd: Glassmen
4th: Blue Stars (very close to Glassmen)
5th: Spirit of JSU (not close to Blue Stars)
6th: Crossmen (very close to Spirit)
7th: Madison Scouts
8th: Seattle Cascades
9th: Troopers
(Madison, Seattle and Troopers were all very close IMO)
10th: Southwind
11th: Pioneer

Evening Show: (As I mentione above, I didn't take notes on this portion of the show)
I won't re-review the four corps that performed in the afternoon.

Carolina Crown, "Triple Crown": LOVE this show. Love the guard work, the uniforms, the sound is incredible, and the drill was another step up from last year and a huge step up from the drill in years previous to '06. You just can't beat that sound! It is just so pure and in tune. Their attacks and releases are very distinct, moreso than really any other corps. I miss the purple, but think the brown goes great with this show and looks really good from the stands. The cream colored unis were my mom's favorite of the night. I see why the guard is placing as high as they are overall. Their equipment work is very challenging and exciting. The flag work through the picket fence props was very cool...though a couple of the members had some issues. Like the hair extensions with the female guard members and the mohawks with the guys...goes with the theme. There was one collision with a few corps members close to the end and at least one of them fell...but they recovered pretty quickly. I was excited that they beat SCV although I really enjoyed SCV's show as well. I really hope Crown can place 5th or 6th this year...they really have earned it IMO.

Blue Knights, "Dark Dances": Kinda like last year, this show fell a little flat on me. The drill is just interesting, not exciting and same for the music. I enjoy their dark, deep sound, but it just doesn't keep my attention. I like their hand painted flags and thought their guard was a step up from last year's. I noticed more male guard members than they had last year. I agreed with the judges in placing Boston higher than BK but I thought Colts should have been closer.

Santa Clara Vanguard, "Eureka!": The guard uniforms are crazy! But I like them nonetheless. They have one male guard member that is just flat out amazing! He tossed some of the highest tosses I have seen in quite some time and there is one where he releases is rifle then catches a female guard member and then catches the rifle behind her back while he is holding her...very very cool! The drill is typical paced and never stopping. The crowd ate this one up! Its hard to believe a show like this could finish as low as 7th this year!

Bluecoats, "Criminal": I was not sure what to expect with this one as I have read some reviews that it just doesn't do it for certain people. I ended up loving this show too. The theme is very well portrayed and the amped vocals (this is not narration IMO), are fantastic and work well with the show. My favorite part of course with the "Remain Silent" vocal followed by a pretty long silent drill with impressive flag work. The Dome remained silent during this move and when they finished and hit the next impact, the crowd went nuts. Very very cool move...the silent drill has become a signature move for Bluecoats the past several years and I like it. I can see this show moving up higher too.

Phantom Regiment, "On Air": The guard uniforms have been getting some slack lately and I sort of agree. The brown is an interesting choice and they do look a little 'Native Americanesque". But, they do work well with the show. I really liked the blue rifles and I have to admit that I like that they have more male guard members; it just adds more to the show IMO. The ballad was probably my favorite of the night or a close second to Crown. I also thought their drill was more challenging than I had expected. I see some changes to the end though...something was lacking; the drill just didn't keep moving at the pace of the sound which was loud and in your face.

Blue Devils, "Winged Victory": I think this is your winner folks. The sound, the drill, the effects, its all there and more. I really like the opening drill with the guard and the black capes that appear to be wings...very cool effects here. This is definitely a championship caliber show IMO. The real ending is definitely still in the was very obvious as the show just seemed to end without much impact.

The Cadets, "This I Believe": I tried to go into this one with an open mind. I had read many reviews that said the drill and music were outstanding and that the narration needed to be in the show or the drill wouldn't make sense. Are you kidding me?? The narration did absolutely nothing to the drill or music except distract from it. I felt like I had some annoying kid sitting behind me that wouldn't stop talking during the show as he explained to someone else what Drum Corps was....I just wanted to say, SHUT UP!. Yes, the music is nice, and the drill is very fun and challenging. But even so, I just don't have this one in the top three at all....the judges will likely disagree in the end. Last year the Atlanta crowd gave the Cadets a standing 'o' and went nuts...this year, it was very luke warm.

The Cavaliers, "Music of an American Icon: Billy Joel": I see why this show is scoring as high as it is as the drill is very challenging and exciting. The guard work is typical Cavies. But overall, this one just didn't blow me away as much as other Cavies shows have. It kinda reminded me of 2005 "My Kinda Town" where I just felt something was lacking. Like the Blue Devils, the real ending is not on the field yet...this was very obvious. I can see this one finishing second in the end, but it won't be at the top of my list of Cavies might grow on me more though.

My placements for the evening show:
1st: Blue Devils
2nd: Cavaliers
3rd: Bluecoats
4th: Phantom Regiment (very close to Bluecoats)
5th: Carolina Crown
6th: Santa Clara Vanguard (very close to Crown)
7th: The Cadets (very close to SCV and Crown)
8th: Boston Crusaders
9th: Colts (very close to Boston)
10th: Blue Knights (very close to Colts and Boston)
11th: Glassmen
12th: Spirit of JSU (as mentioned early, Blue Stars should have been here IMO)

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Post by Blurae1 » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:47 am

What a great review. I didn't care much for the Bluecoats. There executionwas great, I liked the vocalese but I just didn't care for the show, I guess I just don't like the theme.

Otherwise, I couldn't agree more woth your assessment..........Bill

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Post by Hostrauser » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:41 pm

Nice review. :D
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Post by BAA-GA » Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:54 am

Nice review Chad.

We were there the whole day and had great seats in the Club Level, 2nd row. The Dome staff did a decent job of monitoring the coming and going of people during the shows. Of course prices for food at the Dome was ridiculous. We did find some good things at the souvie booths.

All the shows were excellent and I noticed this season that the smaller corps are really performing. As I sit here this morning though I can only hum in my head 2 pieces from the shows which were probably my favorite musically. Crown's William Tell closer and PR's Firebird, both of which were awesome. Amazed the movement that PR is doing and still no lacking of sound. Crown's Tell is very very clean in the articulation of the brass. I know Cavies are playing some Joel pieces but I wish more corps would play more recognizable pieces. I don't say this to take anything away from the great work these kids are doing.

My Overall Placements were:

(19) Pioneer - Impressed with the strength of sound. Their new uni looks very good on the field.

(18) Cascades - I thought this was the most poorly "performed" show of the day. We saw them practicing at North Cobb on Friday and they did a much better job with the expression of the "Sleep" (Whitacre) ballad.

(17) Troopers - Wow...great to have them back. For first year doing quite well and nice balanced mature sound in the brassline. I thought score wise the got hosed.

(16) Crossmen - Love the capes at the beginning especially the first move. Other then that I didn't really get into this show.

(15) Southwind - Some of the best soloists of the day. Enjoyed this show more then Crossmen and felt is was a bit stronger.

(14) Madison Scouts - This show was not performed as bad as I expected. The closer was really cooking and got a great ovation. Also really liked the pre-show singing and drill. They have the potential to move up. Not so much on the new uni's.

(13) Spirit - Much harder drill then previous corps. Unfortunately hard to get into this show.

(12) Blue Stars - Thought they should have been in the Top 12 on their performance level over Spirit. I like the new uni's. Closer needs more.

(11) Glassmen - Great guard and fits the show well. Musically it was ok but left me flat.

(10) Blue Knights - Show very similar to last year. Cool cross in the guard uni. They do have a dark sound and feel it is better show then last year overall.

(9) Colts - The new red shows well. Here is one show greatly improved from the day performance. Afternoon the brass sounded too edgy. They need to work on that. I didn't care for the guard look. This was really close between the them and Blue Knights. Soloists did much better job in night show. Nice groove in the closer.

(8) Boston Crusaders - A step above every one else at this point. Great job in both performances. First really unified look in body carriage. They look tough on the field. Loved the closer with a bit of La Fiesta.

(7) SCV - I love this corps. Just the traditions of course. Tough drill and all in all this show can really improve. First really big hornline hit of the night. Overall though I though the were a little flat.

(6) Crown - Well if there is a prize for theme this is one of the top shows. Guard does great job. The William Tell closer was a music highlight. I still prefer the previous uni but I see where this fits the horse theme.

(5) Phantom - This one really has the potential to crack the top 3. You can tell they are not there yet on performing the drill. Another music highlight in the Firebird closer. Guard uni doesn't really work here....yet. I heard there were changes coming.

(4) Cavies - Still the best visually. The guard is very very good with attitude. Not enough of the melody in the Joel pieces for me. I did hear a cool rift of "Angry Young Man" in the pit. The ending must not be finished cause it was flat compared to the rest of the top 6. This is tough..someone has to be 4th.

(3) Devils - Yes it is clean and clean. Why I put it over the Cavies. Guard wings in the opener is wow. After the great opener there is not much here and a lack of drill period. Loudest sound so far. They need to beef up the movement in this show.

(2) Bluecoats - I don't think they got their due. With Crown the best overall theme of a show start to finish. The best looking uni change by far. Guard fits and the narration fits. Silent drill was way cool. This is easily a top 3 show.

(1) Cadets - Well I did not like the narration at all. The beginning was ok as a setup but then it just got annoying after that. Towards the end it doesn't need to be there at all. That said the rest of the corps and show is amazing. What talent from this guys/girls. The best full sound of the night.
I was doing my best to pay attention through the narration. Loved Blue Shades. I give this #1 based on performance alone (minus the talking).
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