The Drum Corps Discussion Group

Buffalo - General Review and Comments
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Author:  CFI BLOOO [ Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Buffalo - General Review and Comments

96.30 Blue Devils
94.70 Santa Clara Vanguard
92.55 Bluecoats
90.65 Boston Crusaders
83.70 The Academy
81.90 Madison Scouts
79.15 Pacific Crest
75.10 Cascades

So, I drove home from Allentown and looked at the clock... realized that I could drop my stuff off at the house and still make it to the Buffalo show a couple hours away. So I spent 5 minutes at home and off I went to Buffalo to see my Bluecoats again :cheers: and get a better look at some of the others, the Blue Devils in particular.

These are the highlights... for commentary on all of the corps programs, look at my Allentown reviews. I assure you that very little changed in last 2 days.

Venue: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Attendence: Really good. I was affraid that the large stadium would dwarf the audience... but if one didn't know better, they would think that they were at DCI quarterfinals with the audience turn out.

Ok... so here are my general perceptions... and then some more in depth comentary on the Blue Devils program.

first... The Academy will be a force to be recconed with in the near future. You can tell by their refined form of body marching style and musical ensemble performance that they work hard... iron out the details... and mean business.

secondly... Boston, is definitely the poster child for scoring misrepresentations in the middle and lower tiers. Read my Allentown night 2 review.

third... SCV is a class act... but the show doesn't measure up the BD. I firmly believe that those who think otherwise are basing their perception on the subject of the musical content (well known and beautiful), the subject of SCV as a mature and traditional organization, and the existance of nostolgic eye and ear candy in the program. What informed person doesn't find this particular musical selection to be superior? Well... it isn't neccessarily superior in comparison to all. The only actual flaw that I caught in the program this evening was that the electronic bass was too loud at moments and it was obvious. Otherwise... they were just perfect and beautiful in all their glory! Great show.

forth... Bluecoats hornline didn't perform quite as well as they did in Allentown (not to say that they weren't still a superior hornline). They were still the crowd favorite.

As an aside... the venue offered a "text in your vote" gimmick. The favorites were Bluecoats 1, Boston 2, and Madison 3. So we know what the texting culture at this particular show thought (i.e. bando students ages 14-17).

And lastly... The Blue Devils...
I know that some of you don't want to hear it... But I watched this show like a hawk, and this drumcorps is marching the pants off of everybody else. if you think that they aren't moving, then you aren't watching. I have heard this complaint almost every year concerning the Devils from as far back as I can remember knowing anything about drumcorps... that the Blue Devils don't move as much as the others. And I never understood that complaint until now.
I think that people percieve a certain type of movement as being more difficult (perhaps because of its clear visual revelation). I am refering to "gating" effects... especially the ones that involve pass-through motions. Now I'm not about to belittle this kind of drill, but please understand that a gate and pass through requires one line of cover and the preservation of intervals in one direction (without compression when it isn't a dot to dot move). Whereas a 3D non-linear effect requires multiple lines of cover and the preservation of 3 intervals (without compression when it isn't a dot to dot move). Now all of the other corps do their share of 3D moves (Cavies do enough for 3 corps!). But the point is that the Devils do them perfectly. Now the Devils also do their share of liniear drill and a ton of gimmickry moves in this show. I don't know what else to say other than to point out that they are doing more and they are doing it better than everybody else. Doesn't that deserve the highest score?
As for the musical book... by itself... it aint my favorite (to put it plainly). But it isn't by itself! It's a show. It is the compilation of multiple elements (I'm giving the Cavalier argument here). And look... they open the show at a piano dynamic... and it's beautiful and balanced. The low dynamics show up over and over and over again and this corps can get from piano to 4 fs like it's their job.
These are only two parts of the picture. There is a whole General Effect catagory to cover, and this show is full of positive points in that area. Hype moment after hype moment after hype moment.

This is what I see. and I was watching VERY closely this time.

Author:  mckdan [ Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Buffalo - General Review and Comments

I have to agree about what you say in regard to BD. They just make everything that they march and play look so damn easy. Their music and drill constantly has a level of flow and expertise that makes it seem almost automatic. When other corps do the same levels of drill and music they seem to be working harder than BD. I guess the best are always going to be detracted by others.

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