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 Post subject: San Antonio Morning and Night Show Review
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:44 pm 
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San Antonio Review (morning and night shows combined)

Some of the corps I did not get to see for various reasons. It was a great day of drum corps. We had great seats right near the 50 in the upper deck so we had a great view of the drill.

Cascades-The opener and about the last minute of the show are fantastic, but the ballad and most of the closer are poorly designed and at this point in the season not performed very well, especially the ballad.

Troopers-The dome was electric when the Troopers came on the field. The best way to describe the show is inspirational. The staff was smart in designing the show within the capabilities of the corps. I wish they would do more in terms of visual design though, especially with the guard unis and flags. Otherwise, a great show by a corps I truly missed.

Crossmen-With Troopers being followed by Crossmen you could really feel the electricity and excitement in the crowd this morning. It was something special. This show has come such a long way from even Thursday when I saw it in Dallas. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but this corps is being scored way too low. Yes, there are still some execution issues, but compared to every single corps in their “grouping” they have such a much higher level of difficulty and there should be some consideration there. Also, I think the design is genius and their GE scores completely baffle me. This corps should be no lower than 14th right now and possibly higher.

Southwind-Really good and interesting show. I am not sure they had the same energy today as they had in Dallas two nights ago.

Madison-The crowd really enjoyed their field entrance. Musically one of the more exciting corps of the afternoon, but I am still not sold on the visual. I know their was much excitement in the past two weeks with their rise, but having seen everyone now I still think this corps just needs to be happy if they make semis in Pasadena.

Blue Stars-The Achilles heel for this corps is the visual. But I still see them possibly sneaking into Finals. The guard though seems to be an afterthought for much of the show and the drill while effective is just a bit too easy for a div 1 corps. They have a very enjoyable show though.

Spirit-I had a feeling this show had been over scored much of the season and I was right. The show does not flow very well and I saw way too many individual marching errors today from this corps. Also, the music arrangements, especially Hide & Seek leave much to be desired. The new uniforms look bland for me on the field and don’t give the corps any of that Spirit identity. I see this corps slipping even further in the next couple of weeks.

The Academy-This is a very talented corps that is performing a very cheesy show. I know this opinion is not going to be popular with a lot of you, but I have seen much of what they did in this show in waaaaaaaaaayyyy too many high school halftime shows. Also, the hornline is way too bright for my taste. It seemed like they wanted their Bb hornline to sound like a G hornline. I feel like the new corps on the block is getting a gentle nudge from DCI. I am glad to see them on the field and in Div. 1, but this show does nothing for me.

Colts-Another solid show today. I really enjoy this show and hope they stay locked in for Finals. They deserve it.

Glassmen-Although I really enjoy the way this show starts it goes a bit downhill from there. They have improved some since I saw the webcast from ATL and have made some changes, but the drill is way easy and its not being performed as clean as it should be given its so easy. Also, their hornline has some major issues with intonation and balance. I am still baffled why this one is in the hunt for Finals and I will be shocked if they stay where they are.

Blue Knights-Another fantastic show from a great corps. I know some people don’t get it, but I don’t get how people can’t get it! I think they are so sophisticated with the music arrangements, the ballet, the guard, etc. I love this corps!

SCV-I liked them much more tonight than I anticipated having seen many videos of them. I still have big issues with the music arrangements. Visually, easily one of my favorite shows of the summer. . . .musically easily one of my least favorite and least memorable shows of the summer.

Boston-Great show although they had some guard issues tonight. Maybe they have a new member in the guard who recently joined up, but there was one girl who was behind the entire show, no matter what she was spinning. Also, several drops in the guard. Nonetheless, this is one of the best designed and most enjoyable BAC shows I can remember.

Crown-Finally Crown is getting some love from the judges! This is such a great show. Not only is it designed with the fans in mind but it has difficulty, a well thought out theme that the entire corps commits to, a fantastic hornline, an awesome colorguard, etc etc etc. . .I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy this show! By the way, the hornline should have been top 2 or 3 tonight. . .Petrash must have been smokin’ something to put them in 6th. Sorry, but that is some BS!

Phantom-I love the opener! It is probably one of my favorite pieces of music on the field this summer. The rest of the show is also musically pretty strong aside from the ballad needing less push. With the said I have a big problem with the visual side of the show. The screens should be painted in some way to add visually to the show and they should be higher, so that when the corps is behind them we don’t see their heads popping out all over the place. Or, they could just not have them at all. The guard has grown on me. I still am not digging the costumes, but the flags chosen for the show are beautiful and the content is more difficult it seems than Phantom usually attempts. I guess I am in the minority on Phantom’s hornline. I find them crass and harsh for a majority of the show.

Bluecoats-Blooooooooooooooooooo! Sorry, had to get that out of the way. I will admit that I have enjoyed them in the past few years but had grown a little tired of the homers on here and it had in some sense made me want to like them (the corps) a little less. BUT, wow they were awesome tonight! I really was thinking they might were going to sneak up to 3rd or 2nd tonight. This is another (see Crown) show that has it all-a well thought out theme that the entire corps sells from the first downbeat, a killer hornline, drumline, guard, and a well designed music and visual book. I really enjoyed them tonight more than I ever have in the past.

The Cadets-This is a great corps, and while I really enjoy this show and think almost everything about it is championship quality, I have some issues with it as well. For one, the guard is still having some issues with those darn trick poles. Also, I actually found myself tonight thinking the show really does not need the narration, which I was surprised to think that. It’s a great show, but I am still not convinced they are headed for #10.

Blue Devils-This is a great corps. . .but the oddest thing happened tonight. I actually had to remind myself they were performing tonight, during their show. That’s right, I had drifted off in thought during their show. It’s a shame that a corps so talented has a product that is just “eh”. There are some cool moments, but there is no flow to it and some of it (the last 3 minutes or so) is just a big yawner. I am not convinced at all this show needs to win in Cali.

Cavaliers-This is a great corps (sensing a theme here?) . . . While I enjoyed the performance I was not wowed by much of it. The rolling around on the ground in the opener is overdone. Also, the new ending is just so-so for me. The best part about this corps is the guard and the silks they use. But this drill is not Gaines best, and again, I am not convinced that this corps needs to win another one in Cali, either.

Warning. . .danger. . .shocking last paragraph ahead:

With that said, I really would love to see a corps like Bluecoats or Crown who both designed their shows with the majority of the fans in mind and still maintain a high difficulty level and perform the snot out of it to win in Cali. I know it won’t happen, but one can wish.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:32 am 
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 Post subject: THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:30 am 
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TX, NO need to apologize AT ALL for your refreshing honesty!!! I kind of felt the same way last year you do right now regarding The Academy (from a visual standpoint). I haven't seen them this year (not even a webcast), but I can definitely relate to what you're saying. They're the new "darlings" of DCI (no disrespect intended to The Academy), and as such they are getting, shall we say.........."favorable attention" (is that politically correct enough)?? GREAT observations regarding SCV, especially considering the fact that you are a experienced and qualified composer/arranger. I DO like Key's writing most of the time...........this year's SCV isn't one of those times.

I REALLY hope that your wish comes true - it WOULD be wonderful to see someone "fresh" surprise everyone and win (i.e. Crown or Bluecoats). I've seen snippets of both shows (I'm going to have to see their ENTIRE shows ASAP via DCI's season pass) and from what I've seen they both have GREAT shows this year.

Thanks again, TX - you continue telling it like you see it and we'll continue to enjoy reading it!!!

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 Post subject: Re: San Antonio Morning and Night Show Review
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:22 am 
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TXMystreaux wrote:
The Academy-
Also, the hornline is way too bright for my taste. It seemed like they wanted their Bb hornline to sound like a G hornline.

This surprises me, as the previous years I've heard them (especially 2005) they've had a wonderful, bottom-heavy, dark sound. With tuba gods Sam Pilafian and Patrick Sheridan as their brass caption heads I would have thought that wasn't going to change.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:47 pm 
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Thanks TX for the reviews. I too hope that a corps like Bluecoats or Crown can win this year. I have never really been a Bluecoats fan until this year......they just wow me! Crown, they have a complete package that has been thoroughly thought out. It's about time that they start getting the credit that they so well deserve.
As far as Bones, it's a race to the finish line and I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:17 pm 
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My thoughts on San Antonio:

1) I met TXMystreaux and Mrs. TXMystreaux!!!! He's the first internet person I've ever met, and they both are really nice people. I sat next to them for a couple of shows and it was wonderful.

2) This might be a couple of years (or decade) late, but I noticed that guards aren't selling sex these days. It seemed like that's the direction of the guards in the early 90s, and... ugh. But yesterday, I had a lightbulb moment - hey, this is about body work (not that I like all of the dancing), not sex.

3) Other than when I sat with Mr. and Mrs. TX, I sat with my seat partner from 85 and 86 and a Trooper friend who marched just a year or two after me. We LOVED Madison's show! This was the only corps that kept us eagerly anticipating the next "thing" in their drill. We loved the tight starting line wedge, the moving across the field to the company front on the 50, the 1/2 fleur de lis, the top upper right side fleur de lis, the bottom lower left fleur de lis - it was exciting and engaging. The uniforms don't look bad from the stands, but from the up close pictures, they don't look masculine. Why take an all male corps and put them in non-masculine uniforms????? (Same goes for the Cavaliers – their jackets are getting shorter and shorter, they now seem like bolero jackets or shrugs. Yes, it makes their legs look longer, but up close, it looks like a woman’s jacket, and that’s just not masculine. Why can’t the 2 all male corps look MASCULINE????

4) At Thursday's Houston show, I noticed that 2 corps have girls in the contra line, and one of them was petite. The petite one did an awesome job of manhandling the contra.... you go, girl! (And I used to think my sop got heavy!)

5) Crossmen - Malibu, I thought of you as I saw Bones in the back stands and the entire corps in capes. Had I had your number, I would have called you right then and there! It seemed so classic and old school, and I felt connected to you and your marching past at that moment. (That being said, did the corps wear capes when you marched? Well, no matter, I felt connected to you and that's the important thing.) I wish you could have been sitting next to me in that moment, Malibu!!!

6) I wish that guard instructors would teach their guard members how to toss the equipment. We were in a dome. No weather, no wind, no sun, nada. SO MANY TIMES I saw a high toss caught ONLY after the person had to step once or twice to get under it. There were even some times when the toss was started from a dead stop, foot wise. This also pertains to the soloists or star guard person. I don't know the mechanics or physics of it, but come on, anyone can tell quality skills by how a toss is caught.

7) That being said, another lightbulb moment was noticing that guards are catching their equipment in a hard catch, not a catch that ends in a twirl or flourish so that you can't see and hear a unison (or non-unison) catch. Yea!

8) Academy - after all of the talk, hype, and discussion, I was looking forward to seeing the new kids on the block. They had 2 dynamics, loud and louder. The show seemed too simplistic and there were some "logic" elements that just didn't fit, which took my attention away from the show as I tried to figure it out. You only have 12 mintues to tell your story, don't confuse the story line, Academy. They have 3 key guard performers, a guy in black, a guy in white and cream, and the girl that they’re fighting over. At times they’d fight over and for her, then they’d both go into the line, marching next to each other, as if they were regular guard members. Then at another time, the guy in black was dancing with the girl and the guy in white/cream was dancing with another girl, but the black guy was up front with the girl, the guy in white/cream was in the back, just part of the ensemble. HUH?

9) Garfield – as my former seat partner said, they’re sacrificing the show for the sake of narration. “I hate basics block!” Well, yeah, so did most of us, but you’re the one who auditioned for drum corps. “All I wanted to do is play my trumpet.” Ok, then stop talking and get back into the drill and start playing. “Color guard – last night’s show was horrible!” (Seem a little too “nice” for most drum corps staff.) “Throw a 5!” and they toss a 5, “now a 6” and they throw a 6. What, am I supposed to be impressed that they just told me how good their guard is – that they can throw 5s and 6s? I miss the corps of the mid to late 80s – THAT was innovation.

10) Cavies, BD, SCV, Regiment – like most people, I thought that the shows didn’t have anything that grabbed me.

11) Carolina Crown – hey, hey, hey – Donnie, your son’s corps is playing Red Pony from 85 Troopers – the exact same version that Jimmer wrote for us. (Then they went off on a variation…)

12) San Antonio and southern Texas – such unusual weather. We sat in the row in front of 2 BK parents and had a great discussion with them after the afternoon show. Their daughter joined them in the stands after their evening show. She said that they haven’t had ensemble rehearsal in 2 days – it’s been too rainy. I’m sure everyone dreads the Texas swing (I know I did!) but they were treated to cooler and less humid weather this summer. For all of us residents, I think we’re growing mold with all of the rain.

13) Troopers made a killing off of Texas sweatshirt sales (I’m sure this goes for other corps, too.) I’m sure you’re wondering why – it’s Texas and in southern Texas we have very few opportunities to wear a heavy hooded sweatshirt, but boy o boy, was it FREEZING in the dome! I was glad to have my new sweatshirt! I don’t know when I’ll wear it again – maybe in January.

15) Troopers – YIPEE!!!!!! Their warm-up is Battle Hymn (I sobbed) and I loved the show. The guard makes very little visual impact – most of the time they’re not noticeable. Now this is objective - I thought we should have scored higher than Seattle Cascades. Wish you could have been there to see the show, X!

16) Even though it’s 20-ish years later, I HATE leaving shows in a car and not on the bus. Last night, I was thankful to go back to the hotel room and stretch out on a soft bed, knowing that I’d have full control over the shower temperature and that I wouldn’t have to get up in the morning and practice. Am I getting older or just wiser as I remember the non-glamorous parts of the summer?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:28 pm 
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Truth be told, DCI WILL NOT ALLOW ANYONE BESIDES CADETS, BD, AND CAVIES TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP> SORRY< BLUECOATS AND CROWN...DCI needs some directional change. They are destroying the activity more than ever. Remember, only cadets, blue devils, and cavaliers are allowed to win on championship week. It's the law of DCI.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:59 am 
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moorewjr wrote:
Truth be told, DCI WILL NOT ALLOW ANYONE BESIDES CADETS, BD, AND CAVIES TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP> SORRY< BLUECOATS AND CROWN...DCI needs some directional change. They are destroying the activity more than ever. Remember, only cadets, blue devils, and cavaliers are allowed to win on championship week. It's the law of DCI.



Let me guess - you also believe in the grassy knoll theory, right? Oh, and we also faked all the moon landings??

Let's also update your semantics a bit..........it's NOT who "wins" during championship week........it's who takes 1st place. Bluecoats and Crown have ALREADY "won" in the hearts and minds of thousands of viewers, and IMO that's MORE important than simply a "first place".

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:33 am 
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I believe the grassy knoll theory, but that's a story for another time & place. What I don't believe is DCI fixing the outcome of finals. That's absurd. The Cadets & Cavies were winning corps long before the advent of DCI. I even believe the Cavies went undefeated in 63'. BTW this is not new, I heard this same nonsense in '72 when we beat Bridgemen, Cadets & Madison....Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:42 am 
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I'd say the Bluecoats have already "won" since they have beaten every Div I corps in DCI this season. Yeah, the goal is to do that on Finals night, but it's still an impressive achievement to do so over the course of the entire season.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:10 am 
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Kimberly wrote:
My thoughts on San Antonio:

5) Crossmen - Malibu, I thought of you as I saw Bones in the back stands and the entire corps in capes. Had I had your number, I would have called you right then and there! It seemed so classic and old school, and I felt connected to you and your marching past at that moment. (That being said, did the corps wear capes when you marched? Well, no matter, I felt connected to you and that's the important thing.) I wish you could have been sitting next to me in that moment, Malibu!!!


Yes, when I marched we were capes. I saw them putting that together and performing it for the first time while they were staying at my high school for 3 days. When they did the run through, I got all choked up! It brought back a flood of memories! I'm sure if I were sitting next to you Kimberly, I would have been in need of a Kleenex.
The staff told me that they were going to put Bones on the 50 during that pre-show segment. It really helps bond the past Crossmen members with the current by seeing Bones.
Are you going to Championships?
Thanks for thinking of me....I too was thinking of them when they were on the field. :wink: (hey Dave.....I need an emoticon with a cape :D ).

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:57 am 
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Kimberly wrote:
2) This might be a couple of years (or decade) late, but I noticed that guards aren't selling sex these days. It seemed like that's the direction of the guards in the early 90s, and... ugh.

3) The uniforms don't look bad from the stands, but from the up close pictures, they don't look masculine. Why take an all male corps and put them in non-masculine uniforms????? Why can’t the 2 all male corps look MASCULINE????

Sorry, there was something about these two comments being back-to-back that I really found amusing. :lol: ;)


moorewjr wrote:
Truth be told, DCI WILL NOT ALLOW ANYONE BESIDES CADETS, BD, AND CAVIES TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP> SORRY< BLUECOATS AND CROWN...DCI needs some directional change. They are destroying the activity more than ever. Remember, only cadets, blue devils, and cavaliers are allowed to win on championship week. It's the law of DCI.

Let's take a trip way, way, way back in time... like, oh, the 1990s. I seem to recall the 1990s saw THREE corps not in your aforementioned list win championships. :hum:

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 Post subject: Re: San Antonio Morning and Night Show Review
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:05 pm 
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With that said, I really would love to see a corps like Bluecoats or Crown who both designed their shows with the majority of the fans in mind and still maintain a high difficulty level and perform the snot out of it to win in Cali. I know it won’t happen, but one can wish.

Amen...exactly. Best designed shows with visual difficulty, great music, and performed extremely well. In Atlanta I had no idea how Bluecoats did not make the top 3. Anyhow we could only wish this would happen and maybe by doing so would make show designers take notice.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Kimberly wrote:
1) I met TXMystreaux and Mrs. TXMystreaux!!!! He's the first internet person I've ever met, and they both are really nice people. I sat next to them for a couple of shows and it was wonderful.


I forgot to mention this, but yes, meeting Kimberly was one of the highlights of our day!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:41 pm 
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Malibu,

I would have let you wipe your tears on the sleeve of my Trooper shirt. I probably would have cried with you had you been there with us.


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