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 Post subject: NightBeat Review or...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:10 am 
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...How to Drop a Rifle 101.

The aromas of semi-sweet funnelcake and artery-clogging Bojangles chicken tenders with a side of seasoned fries wafted around the Americal Legion Memorial Stadium on a balmy evening in Charlotte, NC as the first wave of early birds pushed towards the entrance. It was evident that the throng of "just in timers" was going to be massive this year. I collapsed on my 45 yard line upper deck bleacher seat drenched in sweat. Ah, Southern United States weather--you gotta love it!

Steve Rondinaro opened the show with his usual repertoire. I enjoyed the recognition of corps alumni by decade. There were a couple from the 40s. 8-)

Carolina Crown played the national anthem with a 22 piece brass ensemble. It was very tasteful and reverent. It was nice to hear "The Star Spangled Banner" without the excessive ornamentation and the melodic deviation that one hears at most sporting events nowadays. That said--on to the show!

The show started at 7PM sharp; the audience's collective deodorant failed at 7:02PM. Multitudes have not reached their seats yet. Some people missed three corps.

Pioneer 69.500 Even though there were bodrhans and props covered in Celtic iconography, this did not feel like an Irish show. That said, Holst's First Suite in Eb was the highlight of this show. All components were working hard. I considered the battery the best section, but the guard struggled. The corps was out of gas by the time it reached Crown Imperial. This brass book may be a bit beyond the players, but it was a valiant effort. Lots of heart!

Crossmen 79.200 I loved the uniforms! This corps has jumped a notch from last year. Xmen alumni should be very pleased with the progress since the corps left YEA! Good things are coming in the future. However, they will not catch the Glassmen this year. Planet X is a fun show with some moderately difficult drill. The battery is very nice. The first half of this show through What a Wonderful World is enjoyable, and the ending is cleaning up since my last viewing. I like the brass, but dynamic contrast is a problem. The show does not contain one fortissimo moment, and the battery overpowers the brass in the closer. The guard was good, but there were some drops as well as some syncronization issues in the flagwork.

Glassmen 82.350 This show is a departure from what some people consider "boring" repertoire in year's past. The pit was the star of the show, and their tympanist is wonderful. Kudos! I did not understand the significance of the moving trunks and the girl that kept popping in and out of them. The trunks looked cumbersome. YIKES!

Boston Crusaders 84.250 This corps reminded me of their Red years in the early 2000s. Lots of passion. The Matrix/brass movement was the highlight for me--very effective! 8-) I had a serious issue with the pit amplification. Most times it was too loud, and the speakers were tinny for lack of a better term.

Blue Knights 86.350 I did not get this show. Is it a ballet? Is the dancing and body movement included for the benefit of visual general effect, or is it part of the story? The guard's outfits were a great juxtaposition for the corps uniforms, and the color palette for the flags was subdued. When the brass actually played, I enjoyed them.

Blue Devils 93.950 There is a reason that BD is putting the smackdown on everyone so far this season. This show is ridiculously good. Musically, it is a total departure from what I consider the Blue Devil sound. There are no space chords this year though--just raw, unbridled energy. A kid in the stands asked me if thier drums were comparable to a high school group. Yeah, kid, thery're just squeakin' by. :wink: The battery is amazing. I noticed a lot of groups trying to copy the body movement in the battery from BD's championship last year. Well, they've stepped it up a notch. This is the show to beat this year hands down.

Cavaliers 93.100 This is the only show that has a remote possibility to catch BD. The highlights are the guard (an amazing color palette) and the drill. DUH! The storyline is clear and concise; however, I find the unintended inference of the attempted domination of the Orient by the West amusing! heehee BTW, the Cavies' brass has found fortissimo (Oh, boy! That's gonna start trouble!) ! There was a rifle drop at a crucial point in the show, but this guard is wonderful. Tons of visual GE. Domo arigato, baby!

Crown 92.350 Goose pimples! This is why I fell in love with drum corps. The whoopin' they are putting on the Cadets is deserved, and it kills me that they are doing it with Candide. ARRGH! The brass scores are a no-brainer. The improvements in this corps are in the battery and drill. Their feet are clean, folks. I can't decide if the corps is going for a Cadets or a Phantom sound. Hmmm....perhaps a fusion? My one concern is the superimposition of Somewhere and Claire de Lune and the articulation of the ending chords. It seems a bit aggressive for my taste, but it could be a sacrifice for clarity as opposed to interpretation. Kudos for allowing a full development of Clair de Lune; it gives a satisfying moment. The closer of all these closers closes the show closely to my heart. Kudos all around!


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 Post subject: Re: NightBeat Review or...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:34 am 
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cwbjr67 wrote:

Cavaliers 93.100 This is the only show that has a remote possibility to catch BD.



Have you seen Phantom yet?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:21 pm 
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I kind of agree with you, from a much different angle. Cavies definetely had an off night, but crowd seemed to gasp when scores were announced. Crown had 2nd in my book, and hands down the best guard of the night with no visible drops.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:42 pm 
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Nice review. Thanks. I think Phantom could have a chance at catching BD.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:09 pm 
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In talking with some Crown members the general agreement was that they had an off night as a corps (or at least as a hornline). Man, if you could have seen Harloff's face when he was coming down the stands!!! This is not meant as an excuse for score X or Y or any kind of placement, I'm just saying this is the impression I got from the members that I spoke with. From personal experience I can tell you that CC tends to get bitten by the Hometown Hype bug pretty hard at Nightbeat and tends to overdo it a bit at this show. I will say though that the hornline sounded amazing and, call this biased if you care to, IMHO had the best sound and volume of the night.

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 Post subject: Re: NightBeat Review or...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:57 am 
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chadwick wrote:
cwbjr67 wrote:

Cavaliers 93.100 This is the only show that has a remote possibility to catch BD.



Have you seen Phantom yet?


Yes, I have, and I'm going to have to stick by my guns on this one. They have to stay past Crown before even thinking about BD or the Cavies. It's a fun show, but not enough this year.


Last edited by cwbjr67 on Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:59 am 
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TrumpetGuy05 wrote:
In talking with some Crown members the general agreement was that they had an off night as a corps (or at least as a hornline). Man, if you could have seen Harloff's face when he was coming down the stands!!! This is not meant as an excuse for score X or Y or any kind of placement, I'm just saying this is the impression I got from the members that I spoke with. From personal experience I can tell you that CC tends to get bitten by the Hometown Hype bug pretty hard at Nightbeat and tends to overdo it a bit at this show. I will say though that the hornline sounded amazing and, call this biased if you care to, IMHO had the best sound and volume of the night.


I totally agree. Crazy volume. 1980s G bugle volume. Sick, sick, sick. Nuff said.


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 Post subject: Re: NightBeat Review or...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:43 am 
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cwbjr67 wrote:
chadwick wrote:
cwbjr67 wrote:

Cavaliers 93.100 This is the only show that has a remote possibility to catch BD.



Have you seen Phantom yet?


Yes, I have, and I'm going to have to stick by my guns on this one. They have to stay past Crown before even thinking about BD or the Cavies. It's a fun show, but not enough this year.


I'm curious when you saw them last?


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 Post subject: Re: NightBeat Review or...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:32 pm 
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chadwick wrote:
I'm curious when you saw them last?


Please don't think that I am a Phantom basher. I love all the corps though I do have a favorite. 8-)

Phantom has a pleasing show, and they are a very enjoyable corps.

Go Cadets! 8-)


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