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 Post subject: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:23 am 
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95.75 Blue Devils
94.30 Holy Name Cadets
94.10 The Cavaliers
91.10 Bluecoats
86.35 Glassmen
83.80 Troopers
82.80 The Academy
78.85 Manderins
78.85 Pacific Crest
74.00 Pioneer
73.85 Cascades

Hotel... $79.00 a night
DCI Tickets for 2... only a little less...
God looking down upon the drenched ground of Allentown, Pa and taking mercy on the people's addiction to DCi drum and bugle corps... PRICELESS!

The rain stopped at around 5:00pm... the show was delayed an hour... what followed was one of the most comfortable and entertaining shows that I have experienced in recent memory.

Cascades - Beyond the Forest
Beyond the Forest?... I'll say!!! Very sophisticated, well put together... and well performed. The only thing this group is lacking is numbers really.

Pioneer - Celtic Trinity
The Cadet's motto... well one of them... is "Beyond Tradition"... For Pioneer... well... Can we have just one show without any compound meter? Otherwise, great work. I will talk more about these lower placing corps at the end of my review...

Manderins - ABSOLUTE
The Manderins delivered the first 'big boy' horn sounds of the night. And might I add... the solos were very clean and with some of the best soloistic tone quality of the night.

Pacific Crest - lots of spanish music...
This corps is going to go places... IF they start writing competitive programs. They certainly have the membership and talent to do well in the future.

The Academy - The Ascent
Holy smokes! This was a nice show. it reminded me of the "up and coming" Boston Crusaders

Troopers - Western Side Story
That was the cleanest and most solid corny show I have seen in a long time!
Look people. Just call it West Side Story and move on. But... the organization is free to be what ever it chooses to be.

Glassmen - The Journey of ONE
This show has come a long way in terms of cleanliness from when I first saw it at the beginning of the season. Really nice work... and a good mix of complicated drill.

Bluecoats - IMAGINE
Imagine a world in which the Bluecoats would get credit for what they do. This show is head and shoulders over what drumcorps used to be for this group only 5 or 6 years ago (I could say the same for all of the corps from the Troopers on down). Why such low scores?! I think that after two years of tight scoring from the judges, the judging community has decided to recalibrate their results and I think this is a HUGE mistake. I will reserve my opinion on this theory untill after I see the rest of the drumcorps tonight... but I think the scores should be tighter all the way.

The Cavaliers - The Great Divide
Everything that you would come to expect from the Cavies. Can it beat the Devils... Not a chance. More on that later.

And next... the corps so nice they named it... 3 or 4 times... I lost count.

Holy Name Cadets - West Side Story: Celebration and Conflict... A.K.A. 'West Side Story'
This drumcorps looks like a championship Cadet corps from way back. Awesome in every sense of the word. Will they win?... can they win? well... if they do... then they must have cheated! Sorry but this show will have to be rewritten in order to win in the end. The Cadets do what they do best and they make it look so hard (by making it look easy... if that makes sense). But the fact is that we have seen this show before... technically speaking.

Blue Devils - 1930... A.K.A. 101 things to do with a lawn chair.
Okay... this corps has THE winning show. I don't care if you don't like it... All I can say is that the crowd 'watched' this show from start to finish. They won the show in the first 30 seconds of drill alone.
Let me put it this way... it's like listening to President Obama.

If you listen to the President... you will more than likely feel assured and secure... BUT if you 'LISTEN TO WHAT HE IS SAYING'... you will more than likely be scared out of your mind.

If you WATCH what the Devils are doing and listen carefully... you will see that unlike the Cadets... they don't make it look easy by making it look hard... they make it look easy by OWNING what they are doing. If you watch them... you will feel comfortable and secure.... but if you WATCH them... you will be terrified.

Ok... on to the next show!

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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:54 pm 
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Thanks for your review, although I pretty much feel the opposite on a lot of things. Your assessment of The Cadets sounds more like what most are saying of The Devils.

What The Cadets are doing looks hard (although it is starting to look much easier) because it is hard. What The Devils are doing looks easy, because in a comparative conversation, it is easier. You can't even begin to compare the demand placed on the performers and the pretty vast difference between the two. Not only that, the musical demand in the 1st and 3rd productions for Cadets is through the roof. . .and they are pulling it off pretty darn well.

Oh well, apples and oranges I guess. I, for one, will be a bit upset if variations on a chair wins DCI this year. Technically almost perfect show with much lower demand than most of other top corps. DOD needs to have some weight.

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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:30 pm 
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I would say from a demand criteria, BD's opening sequence is quite difficult. Tough stuff from the guard and some great marching. (Aside: I always worry when 3D drill is attempted. Ladders, chairs, throwing people in the air...I cringe every time I see it. I don't want anyone to get hurt.) In their second piece, the musical demand is off the charts. However, the level of demand in the latter half versus the Cadets is incomparable. BD's curvalinear, slow moving, amorphous drill does not snap. The Cadets' drill is a study in movement and music. The transitions from asymmetrical to symmetrical drill are as much about conflict and resolution as the music. Like I've said before, though this is a "throwback" kind of offering, it really is much deeper than the Jets and the Sharks.

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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Good analysis, Carl. The demand is there in the beginning for BD (yet fizzles later) but stamina comes into play, and starting the show with that much sitting (or something similar) again places much less demand on the individual performer. To degrade what Cadets are doing based on it appearing difficulty just strikes me a bit odd. They made their name on being the best at music and movement simultaneously happening. . .much of it at a fast pace. Finally they have gone back to that this year and I think they should be rewarded.

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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:55 pm 
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I hope that the Troopers are as clean and solid as you say. When I saw them in Denver they were a bit dirty and their musical show was too exposed to allow this. If they have cleaned all of the attack and release issues that I heard and added more musicality to their show it may finally be a 12th place finish. (They don't stand a snowball's chance in hell to pass up Glassmen or BK). Even if they finish out of the money it has been one hell of a year and I will guarantee that this corps, if the staff is really as solid as I have heard, will be pushing the top 8 next year! (Like Blue Stars)


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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:47 pm 
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I just got back from seeing the Devils again in Buffalo... I'll get my review for the second night of Allentown up and I'll put out a Buffalo review after I get some sleep first :-)

My position on the Devils is even more solid now that I have seen them for a second time. And I don't see that the demand of what they are doing fizzles in the least through the program. In fact they are REALLY hoofin' it towards the end of the show.

Here is what I see...

Perfect execution of some VERY hard stuff. Tonight in Buffalo I had an oblique view... and the Devils had every block rotation perfectly covered... TO THE OBLIQUE!!!... and their rotations aren't stationary with compression... they are on the move without compression.

That's very very very difficult to do well... and they do it perfectly.

As for musical performance. Well, they are stellar.

I'm not bashing the Cadets (accept to say that I think that Crown is out-cadeting the cadets in a lot of ways... more on that in the reviews later)... I'm just saying that... "like", "love" or "hate" this Devils show... It is fully deserving of credit and probably unbeatable with what the competition is throwing at it.

Alright... I'm getting some sleep... I've been driving too much the last few days!

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Last edited by CFI BLOOO on Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:57 pm 
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mckdan wrote:
I hope that the Troopers are as clean and solid as you say. When I saw them in Denver they were a bit dirty and their musical show was too exposed to allow this. If they have cleaned all of the attack and release issues that I heard and added more musicality to their show it may finally be a 12th place finish. (They don't stand a snowball's chance in hell to pass up Glassmen or BK). Even if they finish out of the money it has been one hell of a year and I will guarantee that this corps, if the staff is really as solid as I have heard, will be pushing the top 8 next year! (Like Blue Stars)


I have an opinion on all of this that I'll share on one of the other reviews. It has to do with how much being in the top 12 really means or doesn't mean any more.

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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:33 am 
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CFI BLOOO wrote:
Tonight in Buffalo I had an oblique view... and the Devils had every block rotation perfectly covered... TO THE OBLIQUE!!!... and their rotations aren't stationary with compression... they are on the move without compression.

That's very very very difficult to do well... and they do it perfectly.

As for musical performance. Well, they are stellar.

I'm not bashing the Cadets (accept to say that I think that Crown is out-cadeting the cadets in a lot of ways... more on that in the reviews later)... I'm just saying that... "like", "love" or "hate" this Devils show... It is fully deserving of credit and probably unbeatable with what the competition is throwing at it.


There are parts of BD's show where they really hustle. I'm not disagreeing with placement either. The spread is too big, and the flop last night of Crown and Cadets boggles the imagination.

I understand your comment about Crown. Heh...very similar drill in some sections, right? The spacing is the difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:58 am 
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I dunno... crown's intervals seemed more solid than Cadets in Allentown... to me anyway.

I know that the Cadets bested them last night, but I have a feeling that the Sr. judging community at finals week will see it differently.

Who knows... George always has a GE trick in the reserve bank :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Allentown Night 1 Review
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:09 pm 
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Senior judging community? Its about politics and not so much seniority. Judges hold their cards close to their vests during the season and attempt to be "impartial" and " equitable", which usually means several corps scoring close to each other a few weeks before finals. Then at finals the real deal appears.

The process cost Don Angelica his job after 1984 season. ( he has since passed away but was the head of judges that year).


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