And for the rest of what I saw....
a. General- I really like their show this year. They seem quite happy performing.
b. Drumline- Well I like some of the things they are doing in their pit. They have two multipercussion set ups on either side of their pit, which strecthes from the 35 to the 35--very long! This sets them up for some interesting back and forth. The drum break groove they lead in the second half of the show is pretty cool. before this, one of the multipercussion guys does quarter notes with his left hand on the downbeat on a gong bass drum and a snae on the upbeats with his right that phase with the remaining pit. They need to re-arrange so it fits his coordination skills a little better. The glassmen snares play some pretty cool licks and their show design is fairly challenging as far as marching I thought. However, they are intermittently unclean and tended to crush their open rolls slightly. Overall, I am digging the energy and performance of this drum line. I like it.
2. Spirit- For whatever reason, they tend to have some in your face ballsy snare writing and this year is no exceptions. It starts right off the bat and I thought they played well tonight. They lost a little focus about 2/3rds into the show but I do like the fact that they really play throughout the show and some great stuff to listen to. The judge absolutely jumped into their weak spots and hiwever the scores turn out tonight, i think they will be better reflected in San Antonio. Its a pretty good line. The pit? Word of advice- never show a weak player in the center of the pit- thats where the judges stand to judge a pit. That is all I am saying.
3. Blue Stars-
a. general- The Blue Stars have a great show!!! Wow. I like their use of color and how they mix it and display it using velocity and suddenness throughout the show. I like their show as far as M and M and drill design. The colorguard does some cool stuff with swords in slow-mo basically that is quite challenging. The drill/color/ and showmanship is quite engaging.
b. Drums- not bad. but not good. I think they have some match grip converts on their snare line. Their rolls are not clean generally and I was noticing one of the snareline members tends to hold his left hand too tight and does not allow natural arm motion when performing double strokes. It wont work consistently for cleanliness. Trying to go all wrist doesn't allow a line to drive into the drum, so dynamics get hurt but also solidness. I watched them play one passage over and over in the parking lot. Just couldn't get consistency on the sane line. The pit has ten members. I'd like to see more emphasis on the last three on the right side,. They are kind of like an musical island out there.
An energetic show I thought! The snare line opened up with an attempt at triplet rolls that bombed badly. In genral, its better to water down the book and play clean than do stuff beyond the capability of the line to perform. Lots of dirt put played pretty tough. I think they broke a bsss drum head tonight on bass drum number one, but I might be getting my corps mixed up on that one.
Well I liked the show and their horns sound good. I dont see a lot of integrated show design in the gurad. They need better guard instruction and design is my take. Seem few in number too, but I didnt count.
The drumline plays loose and relaxed...not tight-- which is cool...except they tick all over the place..even the easy stuff. Just concentration and focus. got to attack together at least!
I didnt stay for Boston as I needed to get home..I'll see em in Bloomington in a few weeks!
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