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The Sound Machine Archive Presents
2001 Drum Corps International
Show Reviews - As Posted on RAMD!

Page Nine of Reviews

Listed are the dates and the show site, the reviews will be filled in, if and when they are available or submitted.  The following reviews are solely the opinion of the reviewers.  If you disagree with any comments, feel free to email the author, all reviews are signed with an email address.  If you want to add your review to this page, send any reviews, comments or questions to:
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Friday July 27

Murfreesboro, TN (DCI The Masters)

First off let me say that this is strictly from a FANS point of view. My only musical expertise comes from High School, Army Band, and occasionally sitting in with the local Community College Orchestra.

In Order of Performance:

Blue Knighs
My first impression of this corps from the moment they stepped off was that they were young. Musically I thought the show was interesting. Its nice to see a group out there really having fun and trying to sell their show. I thought their field coverage was really a problem. I guess that was probably the worst part of their program. It seemed like they never moved beond the 30's and that to me got boring real quick. Brass and Percussion worked real hard but there wasn't alot of difficulty in the books. Color Guard was ok but there were A-Lot of drops at key points in the show.

Boston Crusaders
To be honest I came expecting not to like this show. Last year was ok to me it just didn't excite me like it did 4 everyone else. That being said I really enjoyed the program. I thought the ballad was epecially beautiful and the horns played real well. (I would have placed them over Phantom but I'll get to that in a minute.) Drumline and pit were ok though nothing really WOWED me. I think the strong point for this corps is that they really seem to GEL really well as a unit. No one section sticks out in my mind as better than the others and that made for really enjoyable show. GREAT JOB!

A very welldeserved 5th place tonight. I saw this group about a month ago in Munfordville and really wasn't impressed. Boy have they improved. The show makes alot of sence to me now and I will say, "I like it Alot". Percussion did a good job and the color guard looked decent to me. My biggest problem a month ago and now is that the brass overplays. At times they seem to be harsh. Not harsh like thats what the music requires but harsh like they have no idea how to control the sound. It really takes away from the performance for me. Of course it wasn't as bad as a month ago but still enough to be bothersome.

Phantom Regiment
This was by far the biggest disappointment of the night. I have been a Phantom fan since 1989. I really have a place in my heart 4 them as they stay faithfull to putting the classics of the field and doing in a way that only they can. I think mabe I came here overexpecting from them. From the reviews that have been posted I was thinking this was going to be my favorite of the night. I was soooo wrong. I thought the hornline was terrible. I know they have a fairly complex book and everything but I would have scored them behind Boston. Way behind. They had no warmth at all. Percussion was good and so was the color guard. Brass was just weak and thats all I can say. It was a shame becuse musically this show has tons of potential. Drill in the show was ok at best. A sad night for me as a Phantom fan.

Santa Clara
Holy Crap. I think if they can continue to clean this show a very strong second at finals is possible. I love the sound of this hornline. I have heard that they aren't using any baritones this year and went with 22 Euphoniums. How sweet the sound. Warm, Rich, Full I absolutly loved the honline. So much that I even went and got a shirt. Show design is great. As far as the chanting. I like it. If its in the original then they should do it. Heck it works in the show too. Its a keeper. Drumline was really good. I could just continue to rant and rave but I'll just say. Kickin show, powerfull hornline, Groovin percussion and a color guard that makes it all come out visually. Great Show, thanks agian SCV!

I saw this corps as well in Munfordville and they have also really improved. I don't know if ths show has what it takes to win but it is fun to listen to and watch. I really didn't like Moondance early in the year but its a little better now. Percussion in this corps is top notch. I really don't care for the color guard uniforms. They are uhm, I don't have anything nice to say so I won't say anything. Honline is at the top of their game and was almost as good as SCV. Not a rich in quality but technically superior. The show is fun and entertaining. Replace Moondance and you might have had a winner. Just my opinion.

Blue Devils
I really appreciate what their trying to do with this show but they just had no groove. From the first note to the last they just never ever settle in. Yeah, they play A-LOT of notes and march beautifully but that and 35 cents will get you a newspaper. Drumline I thought was really good except I get sick of hearing the line really loud, then not at all. No musicianship, just a constant pounding....... then nothing. Hornline was ok but sounded a bit constricted. Like someone was choking them while they played. Color guard was 2 thumbs up. I liked em. I actually came expecting BD to win.0 93, 94, 97, those are the devils I like. These, I don't know I just never got into it.

I also saw this corps in Munforville. I liked em then and I really like em now. This show has the whole package. If Cavaliers ever do a clinic BD should attend and find out how to make a show groove. I even found myself bobing my head during the ballad. I love the drumline. These guys play music. Loud and soft. always keeping things moving and NEVER stepping out of their place. When its a feature, their in your face, when backing the hornline parts, their subtle, when full ensemble in grooving, It A Machine. Color guard is tremendous, one of my favorites. Hornline in my opinion tied 4 second with Cadets behind SCV. This corps should win this year and if they do it will be well deserved. Not because of lack of competitors but because its just that good.

This is the first time I've ever written a review. Flame if you want these are just my opinions, as shallow as they may seem to you. I thought all the corps performed well and the venue was great. Here are some personal captions.

Brass: SCV
Percussion: Cavaliers
CG: Cavaliers
Overall Effect: SCV & Cavaliers
Biggest Supprise: Boston
Biggest Dissappointment: Phantom
Overall Champ: Cavaliers


Just some thoughts on the show at MTSU las night. Great drum corps venue but it's going to have to move to a bigger stadium in the future. (Vanderbilt, Adelphia?) Anyway, the enclosed stadium and astroturf make for a clean look.

I'll preface by saying that I've been to several shows, San Antonio being the last. Luckily, I've been able to see all the corps perform 2-3 times.

BK-Much improved from S.A.. You can tell that these kids want to make finals. The beginning of the show is tight, but it loses some steam towards the end. Feet through the horns. They changed the ending giving the show a more consistent flow. The drill is a bit crowded towards the center of the field, but continues to clean up. Highlight in drums was all the cool stuff going on in the pit. Colorgaurd is really selling the cartoon theme.

Crusaders-This show is better than last year's. Unfortunately, I don't think these kids will have enough time to catch up to the corps that are currently ahead of them. The horn book is very solid and loud. They continue to add some horn and body visuals that the crowd seemed to like. I agree with the complaints about the drill being a bit too much like last year's. One thing I know about drum corps is that sometimes you have to stay within the limitations of the kids. Clean sometimes wins over content. Hey BAC, keep up the good work!

Phantom-I was dissapointed in this performance. It was flat and the brass was dirty. The drumline was excellent tonight and they continue to show improvement in the closer. I really liked the exchange between the pit and the field drums. Phantom's colorgaurd uses some really cool colors that contrast the white uniforms very well. I hope that the hornline was just having a bad night. Folks around me were wondering if they had mutes in their bells. By the way, Tommy Feagan is the most bad-@$$ drum major out there in a long time.

Glassmen-This show is INTENSE. The brass is very aggresive and is catching up the level of the strong drumline. Earlier in the summer, the drums were drowning them on the field. I like the punctuated rythyms during this show. Also, they do some really cool "crab" stepping during the show as a recurring theme. They were definately ahead of Phantom tonight. We'll see what happens as they head back up north.

SCV-This is my favorite show this year. The new era chant at the end of the show is killer. Brass was dirty during "short ride" tonight and it really took them time to recover for the rest of the show. Visually, there is so much to watch that it keeps you at the edge of your seat. They have added some really cool horn and body visuals that are done in that oh-so-SCV-way. LOVE IT. If you're a fan of the last three years of SCV, don't miss the last 30 seconds of this show. If they continue to clean, it's going to be.............

Cadets-They were seriously "on" tonight. This show is super-duper clean and they are really selling Moondance very well. After shortening it a bit and adding some cool dancing, I'd have to say that George has succeeded in creating a moment that will keep us humming after the show. This drumline is amazing, AND they are all over the field. The closer continues to improve and clean. A few changes have made a world of difference. Colorgaurd, well its a Cadets colorgaurd-very good. At the beginning of the season I would have said that Cadets were going nowhere. I was absolutely wrong. Watch out!

BD-This has always been one of my favorite corps and I must say that they were more entertaining in S.A. than they were tonight. I don't know if they were tired or what, but from the very first statement of the show I could tell that they were off. The trumpets, yikes! There was no doubt that something was amiss tonight. I know that BD's staff will have no problem getting these kids up for Indy. While the corps were marching off the field after the scores were announced, it was pretty cool to see the exchanges that were being had between the Cavies and Devs in the back of the block. One can only imagine what these guys were saying to each other. Ahhhhhhh, competition!!!

Cavies-WOW! This show has really become something as the season has progressed. They rock during the last half of the show. The drumline does some very jazz oriented visual stuff that really compliments the music. The ending of this show is a visual treat. It's cool how they just end it and walk right off the field. Take that!

Indy should be very interesting tonight. BD, Cadets, Cavies,and SCV are all within reach of each other. I believe that Gmen have distanced themselves from Phantom and are going to battle with Xmen for the 5th spot. Although they were not here, one of my favorite moments this year has been the Bluecoats. Yes, that moody tango is dark, mysterious, and beautiful. That's coming from someone that has never been a fan of their's. Go Blooooo!

I wish all the corps the best of luck and safety on their march toward Buffalo.


Great show.

BK - Second viewing of BK this WEEK...I cannot stand this show. Brass had more punch to it tonight... the tenor solo was a complete bag. Had tons of problems towards the end of the show with collisions, which probably kept them out of the 80s. My score: 78.9 (79.95)

BAC - My first viewing of Boston this season...Deja Vu? I remember seeing almost the same drill and body movements last year. Although the music is a lot more enjoyable and overall SOUND is better, the brassline is still having lots of problems. The show just seemed to drag on and on... which is not typical of BAC. (84.20) My Score: 84.00

Phantom - First viewing of Phantom since 98. WOW!!!!!!!!! I like this show and especially the drill at the end of the opener. I personally had them and Gmen much closer, but looking back on things Phantom's show design just isn't as good as Glassmen's. But I'll get into that w/ G-men review. Somewhat of an old-school drum solo. Guard was wonderful. My Score 86.7 (85.75)

Glassmen - My second viewing of Glassmen this season ... They've kicked it up! Glassmen are hot this year, and they are doing very well with a VERY demanding visual book! I really like them, but I don't see them breaking into the top 4. Glassmen's design is VERY well done with great flow. The flugle soloist did a marvelous job the first time I saw him (over a month ago) but wasn't as good tonight. My Score 86.6 (87.20)

Santa Clara Vanguard - My first viewing of Vanguard since 99 (at Murfreesboro). I really really dig this show. It's hardcore SCV. The drill at the beginning is amazing-- another marvelously designed show. The new era chant is very nice... but the very end the crowd got even louder than their chanting w/ their applause! Wonderful ending with the wedge variation from 99! (90.85)

Cadets - Second viewing of Cadets this season. Added a new insane run to beginning of their show which reminded me of 97.... but not as insane. Cadets execute better than SCV, which is why they are beating them. Once SCV cleans up it will be tough for the anyone to surpass SCV, let alone the Cadets. My Score 91.9 (91.05)

Blue Devils - First viewing of devils since 99 at this show. WOW!! Their drumline is back! The pit isn't nearly as exposed as last year, but the snares are TIGHT. The devils drill seems very up to par with everyone else's difficulty and creativity wise, but above everyone in execution. The Devils were the clear cut winner tonight... that's what I thought and that's what everyone around me thought. (and we're all Cavies fans!) my score 94.1 (92.5)

Cavaliers - Third viewing of the season... (3rd encore viewing too) The Cavaliers colorguard is absolutely amazing. The brassline is great as well, but the Mello section seems to be behind everyone else. Nobody fell tonight as opposed to Wednesday at the end. The show was much more exciting tonight and the backfield playing really really works in their favor in a large stadium. Tenor solo has gotten leaps and bounds better. There are a lot of little licks being added to the music and the visual program. I cannot wait to see this show in August. My score 92.5 (93.05)

America O Canada --- This song is not meant to be played as loud and as distastefully as you can, no matter where you placed!!!! Some of the sounds coming out where HORRID. Also, if you CAN'T take the part up and you know it, DO NOT TRY!!!

Andy Hill

Friday night in Murpheesboro--It cant get any better than this. We have the Top 8 from last year. This was definately worth the 25 bucks on the ticket.

Blue Knights

I saw bk 2 nights ago. I didnt like it then. There is just something about this show that makes it lacking. It needs something else. I like the guard work. It goes along with the show. But there is still something missing from making this from a decent show to a great show.

I all I can hope for is that they clean it up, just seeing bk not in finals breaks my heart.

Boston Crusaders

Decent show. Good program, but it just wasnt new at all.. a lot of the drill reminded me of last year. the style of the music did as well. I feel they will still be a hard corps to beat.

Phantom Regiment

I dont think I have been so happy in my life to know that Phantom Regiment has gone back to what they were in the past. Great music selection preformed really well.. but I still question the close. They didnt close well as I expected. They should have scored higher.


IMAGO!! Not a bad Idea out of them. They sounded and looked better than when I saw them in june. I can see them being fifth this year. They have it going right now and it will take a great effort for x-men or phantom to catch them.

Disclamer: Top four was close and they all will be trading punches at the end.


This show is tight. Short Ride was well executed. Way better than the cadets version of 91. It caught the crowd.. the crowd liked it. I still feel that this show can win.


Saw them in june, A whole lot cleaner and more clear. I like what they do with the opener (ala 97) a lot of the drill looks like stuff from years pass. Z-pulls and some passthrough they did in 85. The music was in a way but not. This is a great show. but I say it wont win.

Blue Devils

WOW!!! They found the reason why they didnt win last year. The percussion were on top of their game. Brass was as well and as well with the guard. This is a championship show. Awayday knocked me down.


I was one bad audition from marching these guys. I am officially hitting my head into a brick wall for it as well. This show has imagination and innovation. These guys always come up with something new every year. And I like that about them. The bad thing about this show tonight was that the drill still isnt as clean as BD, But once it is, Cavies will be unbeatable. Four Corners will be a show to remember.


Weather was great. It rained just before the show, but nothing too heavy. Rain cloud persisted throughout the show but not overhead - but in the far distance behind the corps.

Blue Knights 79.95
Great sound. More full than last year. Didn't like guard uni's. Show design did not come off very well either. Excellent guard work.

Boston 84
Same sound as last year. Still look great. Guard isn't as good at this point as they were last year. Use weapons through larg portion of show. Signature move used twice in show it looked. 3 pit percussionist were playing acces. intrsuments on field during ballad. Didn't really fit musial. Some fills from last year in ballad and closer. Not too much though! Enoyed the show, missed the design concept.

Phantom 85.75
WOW! I had read posts saying that they lost their sound. They got it back! Largest crowd reaction before their show to this point. Sound was awesome. Guard was even better. Great segue into "Festive...". Guard work in "Festive..." was great. The sequences in the beginning were very musical. Double flags for ending didn't work very well. One question, where's the ballad? Saw there program and wondered that as well. This was the onyl let down of the show. I need that classic Regiment ballad. Otherwise a great show. Best sound and guard prior to the intermission.

Glassmen 87.2
After seeing Glassmen, Crossmen, and Boston, and Phantom, I would say look for Glassmen in 5th spot for Finals. Great sound. Back to that 99 feel. Don't like guard uni's, but not that bad. Percussion was awesome. Show is paced very well. Some awesome drill moves. Best marching and music prior to the intermission.


Santa Clara 90.85 Great sound, but not that same as last year. Something about the entire corps seems different. Guard definitley is not as good as they were ths time last year. As usual, great design concept. Guard really adds a lot with "looking at the watch move". "New Era" vocals came off great for the show here. Although I like the show, do not see how this show was beating Cavies and Cadets. That question still plaques me. Lacked emotional level of 99 & 00.

Cadets 91.05
On-field facing audience was fun but questionable? This show has come the farthest since Jacksonville show. WOW. This show is a ride. "Moondance" is very fun and both the corps and the audience gets into it. Sugue into "Hannibal" is coming along better. Small ensembles throughout display individual taletns. Loudest corps there by far but also the only corps who could play softly well and for a sustained time. Best sound as well. Music is good and really comes to life. Guard stagging stuggling still in "YPG" but work in guard is great. Guard vocals add subtle excitement. Guard uni's looked better than most and complemented corps' uni's. Sound in "Farondole" went down but still had that brilliant Cadets' sound.

BD 92.4
This show has also come a long way since the JSU show. Guard has improved imensely! Hat just don't do it for me though. Guard during balld is something special. Great sound and music. Recapitculation of opening statement in closer ties the knot in this gift wrapped show. Very fun. Like a ride like the Cadets' show. Definitley deserved high percussion. Show lacked some visual moments but made up for it with many guard, brass, and percussion moments. The two ballad show works great for them. I guess it's not really two ballads, just some good slow, and powerful music.

Cavies 93.05
I loved the Cavies show in Jacksonville; however, not much had changed since then. A few rewrites in music for the closer was all I heard or saw different. Was not that impressed with guard although still a great guard as last year. Visually untouchable. At times, music seemed weird but usually had that full and rich Green Machine sound. This is definitley a medal worth show, but not championship show. Very powerful Alto line. Percussion book seemed forced at moments. Snares opening 3rd movement stage left corner was awesome with cymbals attached to snares. Culmination seems more of a culmination. Listen for "Somewhere over the Rainbow" throughout closer. Best pit sound. Adds a fullness to corps that other pits just aren't doing.

I was very surpised that Cavies leap frogged BD. Not at all surprised that Cadets leaped SCV. I feel that Cadets, Cavies, and BD deserve to be Top 3 this year. Still cannot decide with chow I like best. If I had to choose an overall package, I would say Cadets, but not a likely Champion either, but Cadets were my favorite overall corps of the night.

Looking forward to going to my first championships in 2 weeks. I am going to Semis and Finals. Cannot wait. I am so psyched.


First, our qualifications: we are three former drumcorps vets. Between us we have ten years of top five Div I marching experience, over thirty years of total drumcorps fanatacism, and post-graduate college education including music performance.

Well, it was a great night for drumcorps in Murfreesboro last night (obligatory cheezy opening statement). No, really, the stadium was packed, the weather was tolerable (hot, muggy, but no rain), and our seats were PERFECT. 50 yard line, seven rows above the division between the upper and lower decks. MTSU stadium really is a great venue for drumcorps…the field looks great and sound really projects well in the bowl shaped stadium. On to the reviews…

Blue Knights 8th – 79.95 Well, we had very low expectations of this show based on what we had read from previous reviewers on this website. The opening statement pleasantly surprised me with a nice loud chord and reference to Trittico. Unfortunately, this moment proved to be the highlight of their performance last night. Mistakes abounded, including a disaster during the percussion feature when the snares leaned forward to play a sequence on toms held by guardmembers…the second snare from the left had her drum fall completely off of her carrier. She was on her knees looking for her drum while her “snaremates” were jamming on the toms above her head. To make matters worse, her hat fell off of her head. She finally recovered after the percussion feature was over. On the whole, the cartoon theme falls short because they aren’t performing to a level that sells it. The corps should stick to serious symphonic music while they have their current dark, deep sound and look. Colorguard looked like they had lost a paintball war…not attractive, but fitting for the theme. Battery percussion was not bad, aside from the earlier mentioned unfortunate snafu. Hornline could put out some sound, but was easily the dirtiest of the night.

Glassmen 5th – 87.20 After seeing this corps back in early June, we can’t say we had much hope for this show, but it has definitely cleaned up a TON. Show design of their Imago production is a big step above last year’s snooze-fest. Visually they may be a bit dirtier when compared to their progress last year, but that may be due to the departure of former Visual Caption Head Mike Tarr, who probably would not appreciate the new Glassmen signature “constipation squat-steps” used throughout the show. One big problem we had with their show was their inability to decide if they were going to be serious and symphonic (as their musical book would dictate) or silly and slapstick (as their gleeful antics during the percussion feature would suggest). The lighthearted dancing of the hornline simply does not gel with the serious tone of the rest of the show. Their closing arrangement of Julian Orbon’s Pavana doesn’t come close to encapsulating the musical possibilities of that piece, especially when compared to Tim Salzman’s arrangement of the work for the 1996 Cavaliers. Much appreciated was their colorguard who was definitely one of the top five guards of the night. Also, their battery’s tight performance justified why they had been neck and neck with Cavaliers percussion during the preceding week. Overall a solid show, but nothing in the music really impacts me emotionally. However, they did have a flugelhorn soloist who displayed great tone-quality control. We are most impressed with their performance level at this point, and based on Santa Clara’s perfomance last night, SCV shouldn’t be to comfortable in their current placing (more on that to come…)

Boston Crusaders 7th – 84.00 As with BK, we also had low expectations for the Boston show based on previous reviews. However, unlike BK, musically we were pleasantly surprised by their entire show, not just the opening statement. Boston’s musical presentation had more energy and emotion than any of the corps placing 4th through 8th last night…..that’s right, we said FOURTH through eighth. They brought emotion into the stadium, but not as much performance quality. Their drumline is still struggling to compete with the big boys, as is evidenced in their 8th place finish in percussion. My suggestion to percussion caption head Paul Gowern is to “go-warn” the snares that if their elbows keep flying around like that, someone is going to get hurt. From a visual standpoint, 90% of the crowd’s ooohs, aaaahs, and ovations were due to “bringback” moves from last year, not any particular excellence of execution. We’re lucky that this show was on astroturf last night, because the 50 yard line would have definitely needed a repainting after the multiple rehashes of last year’s opening move. Even though the majority of the show was basically a visual carbon copy of last year’s show, they had a major visual meltdown with the execution of some of those intersecting follow the leaders. There was a DEFCON-5 in the contra section, and we are sure they are currently pounding out dents in their horns. We must reiterate how sweet their musical book is, though. If they spend the next two weeks cleaning their visual program, Boston should do fine at finals.

Phantom Regiment 6th – 85.75 First, the GOOD NEWS: This year’s musical selections from Phantom are among the best in DCI. They are definitely leagues ahead of their past three shows from that standpoint. Their hornline is also much improved this year. They are really putting out some sound during their impacts. We would rate the 2001 Phantom brass above their 1993-94 “soprano-squawk-fests” and “attacks-of-the-baritone-blat”. However they are not nearly at the level of their masterful 1996 hornline. One area of potential improvement for the brass is to breathe more during their softer sections. They don’t seem as confident when the dynamic level dips below forte. Also under the “good news” category is Phantom’s drastically improved visual program. Last year, Phantom seemed to be subscribing to the “If you can’t clean it, dance it” theory of visual design. This year, they are actually attempting to achieve a level of visual design and cleanliness that they haven’t tried since 1993. Now, for the BAD NEWS: While the drill design is better than the past few years, Phantom’s musical selections are so truly meant for the field that they demand a level of visual composition that the Phantom Regiment has never seen. Phantom has never had a George Zingali or Steve Brubaker, and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra definitely deserves that caliber of drill design. Overall, with a good colorguard, improved brass, and Brian Mason percussion arrangments, Phantom has a solid show that should make top six at Finals for the first time since 1997.

Santa Clara Vanguard 4th – 90.85 As you might be able to tell from some of my previous comments, we were completely let down by SCV’s performance last night. After hearing all of the hype on the internet and hearing a bootleg MP3, we had high hopes for their show. However, with the multitude of mistakes, both visually and musically that SCV threw at us, they were easily the dirtiest of the top five, maybe six, corps. We knew it was a bad sign when at least one trumpet fracked each of the initial ten quarter-note attacks after their opening hit. When they proceded to frack all of the subsequent eighth-note attacks, we knew we were in for a sloppy opener. By the time the opener was finished, Santa Clara had succeeded in transforming “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” into “Long Ride in a Frack Machine.” We just can’t imagine how a supposed championship caliber drumcorps can have such obvious performance breakdowns with only two weeks to go in the season. I mean, this is stuff they have been playing since November and they still are consistently missing easy quarter-note attacks. On the upside, the musical arrangements are exciting and likeable. The visual product was also dirty but entertaining. Their drill-writing is exciting, bringing back some recent classic, SCV moves; however, it is nowhere as clean as the rest of the top five drumcorps. Their colorguard was solid, easily the cleanest part of their visual package. Finally, we think we echo the sentiment of several other reviewers on this website when we say that SCV’s percussion book seems pretty watered down – and we wonder if that is just poor writing or if it is necessary due to a lack of talent in the battery. While I’m not really excited to see drumcorps pushing its boundaries into Rap/Chant, the “New Era” closing portion of their show was effective. However, we couldn’t help thinking we were listening to a laundry detergent ad.

Cadets 3rd – 91.05 After having seen Cadets in Munfordville earlier this summer, we were looking for an interesting if unrelated musical book and partially lacking visual program. Although they have added significant amounts of drill/visual effect since we saw them last, still we basically got what we were expecting. From a musical standpoint, the Cadets brass was easily the loudest and most technically proficient hornline of the night. They really perform the heck out of Moondance, and the crowd responded in kind. However, you would expect the current defending brass champion hornline to have better soloists and small ensembles than they presented in their opener – the tick counter would have been flying out of the judges hand during the initial portion of “Young Person’s Guide”. Cadets percussion was on last night, ramming a solid groove consistently throughout their performance. We always love Cadets percussion writing and last night they did not disappoint. Visually, the Cadets were approaching solid cleanliness, where we usually expect them to be at this point in the summer with some form-guiding and minor interval errors. However, when you only have six minutes of visual ensemble to clean, we would expect the show to be spotless by now. “Moondance” and “Vide Cor Meum” really have no appreciable contribution to visual ensemble, and we think the scores are somewhat reflecting that. However, if you consider that only 60% of the Cadets show contained appreciable visual ensemble and that they are achieving at about 90% level with what they are marching their visual ensemble score should actually be (20 X 0.6 X 0.9= 10.8) Of course this would only be in an extremely exaggerated judging system; but you have to look at it from the perspective of BD, SCV, Glassmen, and Cavaliers who are cleaning eleven minutes of top rate material versus Cadets six minutes. Finally, as a side note, Hopkins, we will be much happier when the Cadets finally put to rest the tired, overused colorguard “I love you…where you going?…please come back!…(cry)” dance move that they have incorporated (forced) into their show every year since 1994.

Blue Devils 2nd – 92.4 Let’s say right here, that the Blue Devils first loss of the season can definitely be debated. They were easily the cleanest drumcorps on the field in all captions, including colorguard. They are simply performing their show at a bit higher level than the rest of the teams right now. That being said, we don’t think “Awayday Blue” is a championship caliber show. They just do not have the depth of design, GE potential, and cerebral qualities that the Cavaliers production embodies. Visually, BD still knows how to hold form and posture like nobody else, and they were rewarded with high visual performance. The Devils are actually moving a bit more this summer and deserve some credit for attempting to achieve in a traditionally weaker area for them. One favorite of mine was the two horn blocks, towards the end of the third song, that moved across the field from left to right as their left edge disintegrated and the right edge remained stationary. Musically, we were a bit surprised that the Cadets beat BD in brass performance, as the Devs were much cleaner, with better tone quality. However, they just aren’t putting out the same amount of sound consistently. Blue Devils percussion was flat out tearing the field up. We had read previously that Scott Johnson’s boys have their swagger back after being taken to the woodshed last summer, and this is definitely true. Swagger, however, does not necessarily equal musical sensitivity; we also agree with previous reviewers that the Blue Devil battery has two dynamic levels: LOUD and OFF. In closing, if the judging were all about execution, BD would have swept all captions last night. Fortunately for the fans, quality of design, mainly compositional substance, was, as it should be, a major determining factor in the judging of this contest.

Cavaliers 1st – 93.05 Let me first extend my congratulations to the Cavaliers for ending the Blue Devils unbeaten streak for this summer (an annual DCI event, for sure). As stated earlier, however, reasonable minds can debate the deservedness of the Green Machine’s first place finish last night. The Green team was not quite up to the level of the Blue team’s performance execution last night, visually or musically. Visually, the Cavaliers seemed to be cleaner during their DCM performance two weeks prior. The more “simple” forms of their drill package, diagonals, columns, etc had more errors in them last night than in DeKalb. The colorguard wasn’t as clean last night either. That being said, the Cavaliers have a design package that is simply at a different level than anyone else in DCI this summer. The nuance, substance, innovation, and individual demand that they present are simply unmatched. The opening move leading into the centipede impact will surely be a drum corps classic. As soon as this drill is completely cleaned up, it will be unstoppable. This Cavalier colorguard book is filled with some of the most demanding work in DCI this year. The guard uniforms are alright, but fit the show style well. From a brass fundamentals standpoint, this Cavalier hornline is one of the top two in DCI this summer. Stylistically, they have the sophistication to capture the subtle contemporary jazz feel that Dick Saucedo intended, while still being able to let loose and jam in the third movement. We can hear Michael Cesario right now (if he hadn’t been axed from the announcing team), “…the nuance, the subtlety…it’s like seeing it new and fresh, EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!” There are some minor problems with the “ladder soloists”, particularly the initial mellophone. While he does have the excuse that he is playing in ‘slightly thinner air’ than the rest of the hornline…we don’t want to be able to tell that on our CD. The flugelhorn quartet is simply badass. It was clearly the best solo section of the night, and the crowd loved it. With regards to the drumline, my only question is, what are they going to rehearse for the rest of the summer…I & E??? They are extraordinarily clean, but their second place score may be attributed to a drum book that is slightly less challenging than those of their chief competitors. Nevertheless, they lay down a serious groove from start to finish that holds the whole show together. Their flashy visuals and stick moves are a treat for the fans, as well. All in all, the Cavaliers have the total package this year. The other teams competing for the title should be really concerned that this was NOT a clean Cavalier performance…and they still won. If they continue to clean (as they still have much more room for improvement than BD or Cadets) the Cavaliers will reclaim Buffalo as their second home with their back-to-back, fourth DCI championship.

We apologize for being long-winded, but we want to make sure that our true thoughts about every show aren't misconstrued.

Cordially yours,
Joshua Moss
McAllister Daniel
Mark McEnaney

Boy can it get hot in Tennessee! Not so much the heat, but the humidity can nearly KILL you! I was sweating the entire time. I wouldn't surrender the venue, but this is when I really wished I had chosen Indy instead! Ok....on with my review:

Blue Knights:
Sorry....watched some warmups and missed these guys.

Saw them in Jackson, MI. earlier this year and I don't like the show any more than I did then. I will preface my comments letting it be known that MOST of the show's corps were plagued by the "bad-visual-performance" bug. Glassmen were no exception. They had some serious difficulty getting their forms to hit. Didn't notice much phasing in the feet...just a lack of clean, clean forms. The hornline had a decent show, but few corps seemed "on" tonight as you will see in my later reviews. That sop/flugel soloist rocks!!! Well....usually anyways....tonight he seemed to have some problems, but the humidity really does make the air harder to push. GLASSMEN DO NOT FILL UP THE FIELD!!! This show just doesn't move me and I found my mind wandering several times during the show.

Boston Crusaders:
Gotta give some props to Boston. I came in tonight with a definate slant AGAINST this show.....expecting not to like it at all...but man was I impressed! My first big "wow" moment of the night on their opening statement. Drill is quite nice and the music is enjoyable. These guys have TONS of GE and have a lot of things going for them. On the heels of the Glassmen's perfomance, I can really appreciate them marching the WHOLE field. Adds some nice effect. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good. Hornline was a little loose tonight and a lot of the chords and stabs didn't quite line up. The only problem with having the WHOLE guard on rifle or sabre is that you naturally have a few people who aren't as good on them. Some color guard members don't touch a rifle untile they march corps, which means that some are gonna be behind the others in their skill. Those members stick out like a sore thumb when 4 or 5 miss a toss that should be together. Also, I wanna say that I feel sorry for the sop soloist who is left all alone while he plays a note that is not even all that high and is about 2 beats long. It doesn't seem to fit and to be honest, I was embarassed for him. All in all, I liked this show.

Phantom Regiment:
Their first chord produced my second "wow" moment of the night....silky smooth! All in all, not a bad performance, but once again the "bug" bit and they had some problems with the visual aspect. The knee-bending visual during one of the middle tunes is cute.....if you're VK. Sorry Phantom, but I just thought that it seemed a little stupid from a respectable corps. I always appreciated the seriousness of this corps in the past with their traditional style. Brought back a hint of the crab-stepping and the 360 turn. Just a tip.... crab-stepping = cool..... knee-bending = uncool. I think that Festive Overture is great! I really like the staging and they do some cool things with it. Just my impression.


I didn't like the Cadets...

WHOA...ok ok....I"ll back up and explain what I mean before I get lots of people telling me how insensitive I am...

OK.....I a getting really really tired of the whole "my hornline can play more riffs than your hornline" thing. Yeah they are fast.....yeah, they are "acceptably" clean.....but.....I mean, it just looks like they are there to show off. Pardon me, but it just gets a little old. I can appreciate those runs in, let's say, the mello line in the middle of a song....but when they do it over and over and over with the whole hornline, it just becomes overbearing. Oh well, what do I know anyway....? Cadets are relatively clean, but really didn't do a good job of drawing the crowd into the show. I guess that's where GE comes in(or not, for those that disagree). Ok, now to deal with those "pseudo-rifle" things that they are spinning. Sorry, but the only impression I could come away with was that they would be PERFECT for a VK show about the miracle of child-birth. If you don't get what I mean, then don't ask. Put a bunch of those things together chasing a girl around the field and drum corps would have evolved right out of family entertainment. I mean, c'mon.....they just look dumb. *sigh* Now on the the color guard uniforms...ok...the Cadets have perfected "drab"....and I"m almost getting used to it....but now we have like 5 shades of "drab"....and it leaves me scratching my head. Sure, tan is a nice color...but 5 shades in the same colorguard?! It looks like they were told to go out and buy their own uniform!!

moving on...

SCV: show! A little dirty in the visual area, but it's excusable as most were tonight. The serious humidity makes it pretty tough to breathe and no doubt we were seeing a little more fatigue than normal. Hornline wasn't as clean as I figured they would be, but still produced some nice moments. I loved the silent drill at the beginning and I thought the visual staff did a good job of incorporating the guard into the show. They produced a lot of GE as SCV usually does. I really dug the whole chant section although it sits a little uncomfortably with me considering the regard I hold SCV in. I appreciated their seriousness in the past and seeing them MOJO and rap/chant is just kinda hard for me to grasp. Oh well...

Blue Devils:
Ok, their drumline just all out ROCKS! Wow....those tenors blow me away...! Like "BUDDAAAAA"....! Their whole show top to bottom is incredibly clean....visually, musically, the whole package. Unfortunately, I think this is their downfall...nowhere to grow. I personally think that they have won their last show....well, when all the big dogs are there, I mean. I appreciated their just didn't do anything for me. They do NOT swing at all in my opinion. Where Oh Where have the soloists of their past gone?! I can't remember ONE stellar sop soloist since those 2 "FREAKS" in '93. The intensity is there but the GE just doesn't match up to SCV, Cavies, or even Cadets. And another thing.....note to Wayne Downey.....Look... the whole "power chord/horn stabs" thing is you have something against melody? If not, could we get some sometime soon?! And more than just about 10 seconds of it during the whole show?!?!

Ok, that may be a bit of an exxageration, but still....that really frustrates me....

Man...this show is to bottom! Personally, after the first tune, I thought that Cavies had played theirselves right out of the top spot. I was hoping for the upset, but didn't think it was possible. This is where the "total package" of their show took over. The difficulty on all levels is what makes this show so well-rounded. They made some major changes since I saw them in Jackson and have added the 4th corner. The most impressive part is that they still have room to clean. Visual wasn't up to the performance of the Devils tonight but that obviously didn't hold them back. I think their overall design is what gives this show it's edge. Not to mention an incredible drumline. The hornline can put out some very good sounds, although, this wasn't their best performance. Colorguard is great! Loved the jazz tune. I have this show on CD already and I listen to it a lot. Definately one that will remain in close reach for years to come. Love the hints of "Somewhere..." during various sections of the show. Great design, great potential. I think this show is unstoppable. Get ready for back-to-back champs!

Just my honest thoughts and opinions....I have no problem WHATSOEVER with someone disagreeing with my opinions or even voicing their disagreement so long as the attacks do not become personal. Remember, this is America and I have the right to my opinion....nowhere am I honor-bound to love everything that everyone does and blindly praise everyone for a job well done (part of the bleeding-heart "do-it-for-the-kids" movement). I am giving my honest opinions and that is all that they are. The saddest part is that I have to remind people of this....

p.s. I realized that I liked shows more before I ever marched than I do since having had marched.

Justin Newberry
Colts '94-'95
Madison Scouts '96

I was there on friday night too, here's some more thoughts for anyone who's interested.

BK: My guys are gonna have a hard time finding their way into finals(although it's still possible for them to catch Colts). The biggest problem is the visual presentation...just too much clutter on the field, which is surprising for BK. Solid brass and drums(drums aren't nearly as tight as last year, except for the bass line...they're killer!). They looked like they were having a solid run until the trainwreck passthrough in the closer from the brass line...ouch.

Gmen: I don't really care for the show much, although the drums are pretty tight this year. Typcial Glassmen...clean, and dull. Just my opinion.

Boston: Nice show, quality design, decent execution. I don't remember much specifically about it.

PR: I wanted to like Regiment, I really did. I like what they're trying to do, but it's just missing some elements here and there to really make it an exciting production. Good guard, good drums, great pit(opening run was tight!). Can't see them catching Glassmen and I think Xmen will probably nip them at finals too, but I like this show a LOT more than anything they've done in the last 3 years.

SCV: I still believe this show has an outside shot...I think if anyone is going to catch the Cavies it's SCV, only because their show still has some room to grow in effect and in cleaning. That being said, this show rocks. Great concept and all of the sections of this unit work together seamlessly...I really appreciate how much detail Vanguard puts into their design. I liked Short Ride more than I thought I would, and I loved the closer...the new era chant is just too cool. Drums are solid, but don't play nearly the amount of notes they have played in the past. If this show takes off in the next 2 weeks, it's definately a strong contender for 2nd, outside shot at the title.

Cadets: I thought it was great...I don't care if there's a theme or not. Young Person's Guide was very nice, Moondance was fabulous in my opinion. Drums are TIGHT. Horns are outstanding i'm not gonna get into the B-flat debate, but all I know is that I loved the sound that Cadets produced with them the other night. It was a much warmer sound than I'm used to hearing from the Cadets. This show probably won't win, but it's plenty fun to listen to for me.

BD: Well, I wish I could be more's a well performed show, so I guess that's a positive. But it doesn't stand out in anyway from any other BD show in recent memory. Maybe i'll enjoy it more once I see it again...I do think that visually it's a very well balanced presentation, the guard is very good, drums are executing well but I get so sick of "LOUD! soft. LOUD! soft. LOUD!" Just give me a little bit of variety.

Cavies: Bet the money on this one. I've seen this show twice in a week, and the improvement over 4 days time was very noticable. Great's got the total package in it. Very cool, yet simple, concept that has a lot of subtle effects built into it all over the place in every section. Drums are improving...still dropping some easy stuff, but they play so musically now that I really can't complain. As a friend of mine said, Cavies could make money off of a CD of just their pit...just wonderful how much they add musically. I can't see this show being beat if Cavies take care of business.

My $.02,
BK 98

My take on Murfreesburo show.

BK. Hard not to like this show. Lotta nice stuff here. But the drill is dirty. Very dirty. From where I was sitting it appeared that this is a drill that looks easier than it actually is. If it were more spread out it would appear more competitive. They are having a hard time making this look like something.

Boston. Loved the show. Crowd liked it too. Don't really see them turning this into a fith place though. But I did like the show. Bought a t shirt even.

Phantom. Loved this show. Some good old fashioned drum corps sprinkled around in here. Didn't realize how much I miss seeing a symetrical formation. Not that it was all old fashioned stuff mind you. Nice sound. Crowd liked them too. Fairly clean marching, but needed more demand. The bobbing and squating thing was ok.....for about eight beats....too bad it went on for more......and what is it with the squating and crabbing.....EVERYONE is doing it. Liked the show. 6th 7th 8th type show here.

Glassmen. Um. Don't want to be rude. Just couldn't get into it. Some high caliber demand in places, but they just didn't sell it too well. Don't mean to say I was bored or anything, just didn't get grabbed by this show.

SCV Like this show. They are working hard to sell it. Trumpet parts a bit thin in opener from time to time. Lotta power. Lotta sell. Somehow didn't seem very Santa Clare ish somehow.....Really figured they would have been third tonight. But man they drive this show. I could see this show contending. I figured it would be between scv and cavies when it all boils down.

Cadets. These are the guys I love this year. But I opened my eyes. They really ARN"T doing enough marching in this show. It's gonna cost them. What they do of it is fine. Nice drill. What there is of it. Not that I'm complaining. But they need more movement if they want to spar with Cavies this year. Man I hate to see them blow this show. But I can't see them throwing too much more drill into it this late in the season. Someone said they though that they only were marching about six and one half min during the show. Seems about right. But I love this show. From start to finish. Man what a warmup they have......facing the audience.

Devils. Liked them a lot more than last time I saw them. I don't buy into the "this is a high school drill" complaint. But the first half of the show marching wise really isn't up to snuff. The first four minutes of the drill really IS a little on the easy side. It cost them. I said earlier that these guys couldnt find a killer groove if it bit them on the ass. They found it. Unfortunatly only about eight seconds of it.......

Cavies. These guys march thier butts off. The show does start to grow on you after a few times finally. Can't help but drop your jaw when you see them march it........I really didn't think much of this show musically until tonight. Still not wild about it. The fact that these guys can drive this show so hard and fast saves it though. They didn't have much "killer groove" material either. Maybe nine seconds.

Vomit Bunny

Thursday July 26

Cincinnati, OH (DCI)

Caveats: first time review, old phart (marched Guardsmen in 78), brass guy, IMHO

In order of performance:

Cincinnati Tradition (small, only a dozen or so horns, 3 drummers): Performed standstill on the track. Sounded about the same as last year at this show. I would love to see this corps get bigger and do a field show.

Marion Glory Cadets (small, 13 horns, larger drum line, small guard): Score: (not announced). Performed show in Exhibition. They had a great show, and performed it well. They seemed to run out of steam at the end. Hopefully they can keep building on this and put out a larger corps next year.

Kiwanis Kavaliers (not quite full size, probably about 40 brass? Sorry, not good at counting...): Score: 7th, 64.1. Very enjoyable program. Feet seemed dirty, lots of interval problems. Good sound, balanced brass. Drum line was hidden a lot, not exposed much. Great guard.

Southwind (full corps size?) Score: 6th, 73.75. Strong brass sound, really their strength as a corps. Good drill, feet were a little dirty. Music was a little hard to get into, but overall some good strong moments and enjoyable.

Colts (full corps) Score: 5th, 81.25. Brass were well balanced, strong, a little sloppy in places. Drill was great, drum solo (battle scene) was one of the highlights of the evening - excellent guard work and drums. Musically enjoyable but again a little hard to get into, but had its moments (the ballad, the drum solo).

Carolina Crown (full corps) Score: 4th, 82.55. LOUD brass, great sound, nice low brass sound, great opener. Guard was awesome - execellent staging with just the right moments in drill to highlight them. Drum line was strong. Horns seemed to lose a little power at the end. Feet in the drill were a little dirty. Great overall package, enjoyed the music for the most part.

Madison Scouts (full corps) Score: 2nd, 84.95. Awesome, incredible brass. LOUD is good! Hummable is good! That last long note was the highlight of the evening...who says park and blow does not work? They did not disappoint - they have kept their style and stuck with it. Drill seemed simpler than other corps, especially the first half or so, but seemed to enable the brass to do their best presentation of the music (but it will probably hold them back this year scorewise in visual GE). Drums were not exposed much except for the cymbal toss, which was great. Guard was not as strong as I've seen in years past (I last saw in 99 at finals), but appeared clean. Overall a strong, clean program, glad to see that their score continues to improve.

Bluecoats (full corps) Score: 3rd, 84.3. Good solid brass line. Drums were also solid. Musically the show left me a little flat, altho it had its moments. Guard were great, the drill overall was very good, but much cleaner at the beginning - people started getting sloppy feet at the end. The latin step movements by the horn line were well done and together, and added to the show. Great package, enjoyable.

Crossmen (full corps) Score: 1st, 86.15. Solid brass and drum lines, great drill, well executed in all areas, some drops in the guard but otherwise an excellent guard, very enjoyable musically, a wonderful drill, a great program overall. I hope to see them in top 6 this year. They did a really great standstill encore of the whole show for us afterward - they all seemed laid back and relaxed, having fun out there. Seeing them up close like that, I noticed that most of the corps seems older, which probably partly explains their excellent showing this year.

The venue was OK, stands are not high so you don't get the drill as much, and you have to take a shuttle from/to parking, but show was well run, crowd was responsive, and the rain finally ended earlier in the day with a great breeze to cool us off afterward - overall a great show and many thanks to Fairfield High School band for putting it on every year! And especially great thanks to the corps for coming.

Jim Forsythe
Guardsment 1978 bari

Well after an 11 hour drive from New York City, I was definitely ready to enjoy myself. That coupled with the fact that I did the NY Bar Exam on Tuesday and Wednesday may have influenced me. I really was willing to like anything on the field tonight. Thankfully enough, noone disappointed!

First up were the Glory Cadets (BTW, what a shame that Cincinnati has lost its corps, I really liked that the hometown had a good corps). OK, first of all, the new uniforms were cheap looking and ugly. All maroon with silver accents. They were about the same size as last year and overall had a pleasing sound and performance. The bras sound was soplid, but not as warm as last year. The major difference this year is that the visual elements are lacking from the corps. The guard work was adequate, but just not the top notch material from last year. Also, while the ladders added an interesting element visually, I really do think that there should be some spotters for the girl on the tallest ladder. It was a windy night last night, and she is doing flag work . . . one good gust, and it could have been dicey. But, it's Copland and its played cleanly and truthfully, so it will work to keep them in contention for Finals again this year.

KIWANIS KAVALIERS: Well, I was really impressed by them tonight. I have to admit that after last year's fiasco, I thought we would see the loss of yet another Canadian corps. Thankfully, they are back to a pretty strong size with solid performers in all captions. The horns sounded really good tonight -- good balance with good soloists. Drumline really didn't appear to be doing all that much during the show, but I can't notice everything! Now, for the guard . . .. Well, while they were a pretty good guard in terms of performance and they were integrated into the show really well, those uniforms reveal a little too much of the girls especially during the dance segment when legs are being lifted. I don't know if they should be flashing the audience like that! I mean, if you have that uniform, whoever designs the show really should recognize that certain movements just are not possible simply because they are borderline indecent! So, be prepared for it when you see KK.

SOUTHWIND: I have to admit that I really enjoyed them last year and was hoping for the best this year (indead, I wore my Southwind T-shirt to the contest), but there is no way that this show can move them any higher than 15th. And the reason you may ask . . . the visual program looks like a basic high school visaual package. There, I've said it, possibly the worst thing anyone can say about a drum corps, they look like a high school band. The music is outstanding and in my opinion they play wonderfully. The horns and drums were solid, top 12 quality. Now, where they simply and utterly fail to compare to the other corps there last night is the writing of the drill and the staging of the colorguard. The drill is similar to last year's (boxy, but good) but the guard simply fail to become a part of the total package. At any moment, the set up is a small section of guard in front, the corps proper in some sort of derivation of a box and the rest of the guard tucked away in the back somewhere. And honestly, the silks can not compete with the yellow tops of the corps and the red tops of the gurds, other than the blue silks they use a one point. Let's face it, with the bright yellow tops, it has to be difficult to draw the spectators eyes to anything else. The designers could have done it through staging and a better incorporation of the guard, but it's not there, and at this stage of the season will not get there. I hope that this is just a small glich in the corps development because the sound is definitely there! It'll be a great show to listen to on the Cds!

COLTS: WOW! As poor as Southwind's visual design was, the Colts was good. The overall package is first rate (even though at times a bit easier than other top corps). But it does not have to be difficult to be effective. Solid horns, good drums, good guard, effective music and wonderful visual package. And yet, they will have to fight like crazy for the rest of the season to keep their spot in Finals. They marched very well last night (in my opinion, one of the cleanest stylistically and performance wise. The music has good pacing, but I do think they could turn it up a notch and pick up some more points. They use a full range of dynamics during the show, but their loudest just isn't as loud as I know 60 horns should be.

CROWN: OK, I saw them once this year in Boston and I stated how much I loved this year's production and that I thought it had a chance to move up and surprise some people (ie Boston), well, I was absolutely amazed at how far they've come. OK, we all know about their strong drumline and the hardest working guard in DCI, but somewhere between Boston and Cincy, they've discovered that their horns can actually put out some volume. They were considerable louder that the Colts and WAY louder than I remeber them being in Boston. Not only were they louder, but they have really gotten a handle on the music. Right now, the two flaws musically are the ending of the ballad, which still needs to be fixed, and the energy level on the closer. Once these are fixed and the rest tightened up, watch out! The guard were much cleaner, but still a lot of room to improve and the drill is incredible complex and still has a lot of room for improvement. In my opinion, they could easily pick up an additional 8-10 points if and when this show is tightened up. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

SCOUTS: My first viewing of them, and of course they were the crowd favorite. WHAT a HORN LINE: I have always said that Madison is only as good as its low brass, and this year they are outstanding. I don't even care that they can crank out an incredible volume level, I am more impressed by the fact that they are balanced and in tune! Their music scores will kepp them in good stead for the rest of the season, but the visual is the only thing that keeps them down. The marching performance tonight was outstanding -- excellent feet, solid forms and excellent intervals. But, the guard really do not add much to the show. Now, the fact is that they don't take away from the show, so that puts them way ahead of last years, but they still have some moments where the guard are either doing nothing, or might as well be doing nothing. They are essentially spotting Crossment about 1.5 - 2 points just in guard, and I just don't know that they can make those points up in the other captions, so they may have climbed as high as they can go. But, they are Madison, and when the crowd goes for them like they did lat night, anything is possible!

BLUECOATS: First viewing. Another good hornline (thank goodness there are so many wonderful hornlines this year!). Top notch drums and very effective guard. The horns did have some performance problems tonight, but I am assuming that they were just problems with the particular performance because they are so solid for the rest of the show. The Opener really doesn't do much for me and the very end just seems like they simply needed to end the show, nothing special. BUT, that is because ANYTHING they do on either side of the middle segment of this show would pale in comparisson. The middle portion of this show is truly exquisite! It is a perfect example of how a corps can create an incredible moment without blowing their guts out. From the beginning timpani statement through to the conclusion as the jilted guard runs off the field draped in the red triangle as the timapni plays the repeat of the opening statement, PURE MAGIC. I could have listented to them play scales after that and would have still loved them. I think that Madison has more throught the program, but this section is so wonderful, that I still gave Coats the slight edge. But, since they went on after the Scouts, the crowd was not ready to appreciate anything subtle, so the crowd never really got into it. So I respect the judges call, they are real close.

CROSSMEN: What a sound, what a drumline and what a colorguard! It's all there and they are performing it much more strongly and confidently than they did in Boston. I think that they are definitely in the fight for top 6. The guard was on fire tonight! Yes, they had like two drops, but there is nothing like the Crossmen guard when they are doing big unison flag work. Just perfect! The standstill was great and more importantly, it was great to see the kids having so much fun performing the show. I think the kids love this show and that joy comes across to the audience. It is a treat to listen to and to watch and I think they probably could care less if they get the scores from the judges. BTW, with all of the outstanding soloists tonight, the Crossmen had the best set (sopranos, bari, mello) just first rate!

OK, I know this was long, but I really think that this group of corps were outstanding and I can honestly say that after seeing the Bluedevils and Cadets this year, the real fun this year is from about 5-13 or 14. Without having seen the Cavies or SCV, I'd rather watch any of these shows (except SW and KK) over both BD and Cadets. I am not saying that they are better than BD and Cadets, I just think that they are much better to watch.

Finally, Crown has passed the Coplts for good. Crossmen, Scouts and Bluecoats are neck and neck from here on out, and Crown will move up on them all before the end of the year. Someone is going to be on the outside watching Finals this year and I can'ty wait to see the fight.

James L.

Wednesday July 25

Evansville, IN (DCI)

Just got back from the Evansville show. Despite the rain before the show ... and a few minor delays it was a good show.

I missed Blue Stars & Les Senateurs. Sorry. The rain slowed me down on the way to the show and I got there late.

Troopers -- Good sound, even though two members of the low brass weren't playing. The drill was nothing special. The highlight of the show was probably Down A Country Lane which they did very well. The closer seemed generally hokey... i don't know how else to describe it. Maybe Cheesy? The drum major had a nice uniform to fit the "western" show.

Colts -- WOW. I was really impressed with the Colts! The battle scene was awesome. They had some major issues with intervals tonight and the drill didn't seem all that demanding. I really enjoyed watching the Colts!

Crossmen -- I saw them in Mundfordville, this show is a lot better than what it was a month ago in June. (DUH!!!) Although I really don't like Harlem Nocturne on the field, they do it wonderfully. Their sop line was ON tonight!! (they still play on G's right?) Soloists were good, especially the bari! But, live by the soloist die by the soloist.

Cavaliers -- This was almost a totally different show than it was in June. The opener was at a very high tempo (190+?) Nicely executed. Their guard is the best guard I've ever seen. Just killer. If other guards don't clean it up and start doing innovative work like this--- than that Cavies guard will beat your entire Corps. They were amazing. Drumline was a lot better this time than in June. So were the "4 corners" soloists. I'm finally starting to understand this show. the 4 corners theme is kind of subliminal (or maybe i'm just dumb) but it's an awesome show. 1 fall tonight at the end, but a good recovery.

Blue Knights - I didn't like this show at all. Don't have anything nice to say, so I won't say anything at all.

Andy Hill

Kennesaw, GA (DCI)

After a day full of rain and cloudy skies, the skies cleared and the show went on, well sorta. There was no marching because the stadium's field is too new and precious. This comes from a friend in Spirit Drum & Bugle Corps. If the stadium was too new, why did DCI choose this stadium over other in the area that were much more suited. This small high school and band parents assoc were not up to handling this amount of ppl. I am very unsatisfied with decision and actions taken by ppl associated with this event. I want a refund!

After I made the hike from the parking lot to the stadium (a mile plus) I found a line to get in at the ONE AND ONLY entrance to the stadium. Since the entrance was blocked, it took a VERY long time to get in. I missed CorpsVets and Teal Sound.

This stadium is so poorly marked, it took me a very long time to find my section, let alone my row and seat number. The seats were number by a piece of paper and it had been raining allday. HMMM, does it take a roccket scientist? Once I did find my seat, some high school student who were there with their entire band were in my seats. After I kicked the noisy high schoolers out of my seats, they just kept moving to seats that were not their's. I think the band parent's at this high school who sold tickets sold 3 times too many tickets. There were people everywhere!!!

People at the event were very noisy and disrespectful. I couldn't hear what the announcer was saying at certain points because ppl were so loud.

Finally once things began to settle down, I was able to catch some corps...That is why I paid to park and for the tickets...

Good sound. Much improvement since I last saw them. Guard was strong, but need some cleaning on weapons and metal train pieces. Some very good moments in this show. Vocals add a lot in the number after the ballad! Listenf or some fill with Spirit and southern classics.

How is this show beating Spirit? This show does absolutely nothhing for me. Very sloppy. Where's the guard? No one seems to know. Number after ballad is extremely boring. Like 2 minutes of nothing!

What happened to this show? I LOVE IT NOW! After my lasting viewing this show did not do much for me, but now WOW! Guard is even more impressive than before. Look for high guard caption.

Overall a wonderful show. I think because there was no marching, the memebers could not get into the music. there seemed to be something missing. Guard work does not seem to fit music very well. Musically though, I loved it. Some volume changes really work "Short Ride...". The corps has lost some volume since last year I thought, but again, it could be becuase of the no marching thing tonight. Look for high brass caption.

No scores because of Exhibition.

I will never attend a show at this venue again. Anyone who has say as to where show are and where they are not, mark this one as one to never come to again. Under staffed and over sold. Lines were everywhere. This was the most poorly ruin show I have ever been to. Everything was WAY over priced. Since when was there a charge to park? $6 for a program? Over priced food with slow servers serving disgusting food.

I see no reason why the corps could not have marched? If it was because the field would get ruined, the field was nott hat great, there were bald spots and sand all over the place. If it is because of the reason I heard from many corps memebers (that the field was too new) then this event should have never taken place there to begin with. Let's start thinking about alternative venure sites. What about in Gwinnett county?


This is not a real review, just some comments. Took my son & a friend of mine to their first show. For that reason I was disappointed with the weather and the no marching BUT there was standing water on the sidelines. Hard to tell about the field itself but for the kids safety I think they made the right call. I was just glad we got to hear the shows "outside" with no more rain.

CorpsVets: Great to see these guys getting bigger & better. Very entertaining. For us old guys always great to hear "One More Time Chick Corea" or "Chuck Corea" as the annoucer put it. (only wish I had the time to join this group).

Teal Sound: For ONLY 17 horns these guy had a nice balanced sound. I think the guard made more equipment changes then I saw all night. The guy with the hair in the percussion ensemble is great..really getting into it..we were all watching him.

Allegience Elite: Oh..some familar tunes :) Doing music from Beauty & the Beast. My friend noticed that they had more girls than guys in the hornline. Again I was impressed with very balanced sound. Only 1 bass & 3 snares.

Spirit: I just can't get used to the "Spirit ...from Jacksonville State University". Definite home crowd, was sitting in the middle Spirit alumni section. Baby Blue uni's look very nice on the field. First real big sound of the night. My son couldn't get over the number of horns..he was counting each group..I think it was 63. Vocals in the show are great. Love the Georgia, Let Be Me, etc clips in the show too. Ghost Train works for me. Kudos to them for playing encore of Georgia and also to the people in the backstands. That's class!!

Carolina Crown: Has everyone gone to black bottoms?? Like the purple top but the white was nice. Sound was a little darker than Spirit but musically I just couldn't get into it. Drumline is awesome of the best of the night. Where was the guard??? Didn't even show.

Blue Devils: Wasn't sure why Devils came on before SCV? Ok, I've read post where Devils sound was down this year...well NOT last night. Maybe it was the standstill. These guys were ON. Very intense, had a "spark" to their performance. My friend was blown away as was my son who said "that's drum corps!!". Best soloist and their guard was AWESOME!!

SCV: Been waiting for this one. My first impresssion when they lined up was these guys seem alot younger than the Devils. Just an impression. What I love about SCV is that even though this was an exhibition they still marched out and took it seriously in their style. That throw back to the military tradition of drum corps. Definite different style than the Devils show, again a darker sound. Ballad was beautiful. You got to see their cymbal line. Loved the chant! My son thought it was cool.

Only did DM retreat. Crown DM didn't show. Crowd response was about even for Spirit, Devils, & SCV. All in all nice show. With the large attendence I wish someone would realize that the Atlanta area could host a major show and it would be well received (hint, hint for 2002).


Sevierville, TN (DCI)

ok here's an attempt at a review of the Sevierville, TN show...

- Scenic City - (63.20)

Quite impressed with this corps... they were small, but I noticed walking throught the parking lot they have their own semi, busses, and another hauler... so they got money. Drill had a nice design for a small corps (field was slippery though and they had some close calls). Nice unis on the field. Horn line could produce some sound but a lot of stamina problems I think. Some neat guard kid-like stuff to enhance the show. (noticed on guard girl in retreat had arm brace on ... didn't notice that during the show) Drumline 4 snares 2 tenors (i think) and only 2 basses...guess they lost some bass drummers this season... but they have a GREAT start and something to really work on growing the next couple of years. Hard to get a TN corps going... so major kudos for this group!

- Marion Cadets - (72.05)

Even smaller than Scenic City...however much better. Nice musical show... they produced more sound, good drill... decent drumline. Seem "cadet-like" which was impressive to see attempted by a small corps. This corps should be in III finals without a prob. Might wanta get some better looking unis in the future though if possible... they looked a lil old (but rather have a corps in old unis then no corps at all)

II/III corps - WAY TO GO II/III... these corps work their tails off... some people at these shows just don't realise that in a small horn line... everyone has to play...and if they miss a note... it'll always be heard... not to mention the ages of these kids are avg. less then the big corps. Gotta love the effort by these kids and staff... to teach and enhance he lives of these kids regardless of scores

- Kiwanis Kavaliers - (67.45)

Well, this was the best show I have seen from Kiwanis Kavaliers (other than Evita)... very nice arrangements, drumline seemed improved, and hornline had a good balance. Must be the Bb's huh? haha. Congrats on this corps going overseas and traveling all over the world this summer... still wish the unis had more color to them but good job Kiwanis... keep the canadian corps goin.

- Southwind - (74.05)

Seemed just a tad smaller than last year... but this was a great musical show. I enjoy the rep (unlike last year imho)... drumline only had 5 snares which i thought was small for them but they were ok... hornline had a great balance (even balanced better than Madison.... more depth) Southwind is staying out of the top 12 because of drill problems... drill seemed "ok"...nothing special... but there were many sets and interval problems...especially for this late in the season. Glad to see Southwind doing well...but they'll be hangin around 14-15th again.

- Madison Scouts - (83.25)

Loud hornline (or course)... but NO LOW BRASS!!! Where is the freakin balance?! Even the ballad was really lacking low sound. Of course the sops rocked the house... great solos.... they are so loud cause the sops play their butts off... but I'm sorry, I enjoy balance in the hornline... might be hurting them there. Drill was ok... nothing too difficult... and unfortunately they are still having some major drill problems as well. This corps should definitely NOT be having drill/interval probs this time of the year. Guard ... well to be honest, I didn't even notice them which is a bad thing since they have to be integrated into the show these days... drumline... well didn't do much until the solo... cymbal throwing was cool... but when the snares played on the tenors and blew a roll or 3... wow... not cool at all. I'm sure they'll improve some... but don't expect them to be much higher than last year if at all.

- Bluecoats - (84.45)

Nice balanced hornline... VERY good drill... absolutely loved the ballad (middle tune)... drumline didn't seem to groove as much as I wanted/expect them to. Bluecoats seemed a lil sluggish like they were tired... show lacked a lil energy. Must have had a hard workout that day??? All in all improved over last year... just lacked some excitement/energy that evening. Them and Madison will be battling the next few weeks... Bcoats have a better package... but they got to sell it.

- Phantom Regiment - (87.40)

Wow! I was expecting them to be good... but wow... not this good. Hornline was unreal! Drumline was playing some major stuff too... drill was very very good. The ONLY thing I would change would be maybe the end of the show... beef it up a lil... stronger drill and add some fast excitement (might be what they will do though... seem to just kinda end for now) Them and Glassmen/Crossmen(?) will be fighting for a TV spot in 5th. The standstill was amazing... that hornline is so rich sounding and the drumline was throwing down some good clean stuff. Great soloist... and that drum major (Tommy Feagins) just pulls that sound out of them... he gets into it so much the players on the field can't help but do the same! I always enjoyed phantoms shows but wasn't a huge phantom fan until last year... and now this year...we might be seeing them in the top 5 again. It'll be close.

Overall a good show... don't know how we got lucky enough to avoid the rain... thundering in the distance ALL NIGHT and as soon as I left the show.. it started raining. Of course everyone booed that madison got 3rd... but they need some drill cleaning and low brass... bluecoats need to hand out some energy bars before the show...and phantom just needs to clean here and here and change the ending. Good show... one thing I did notice... where everyone is trying to place the guard in the show more...the drumlines seem to be backfield more than usual (Grrrrrr....) Can't wait in the next few's gonna be interesting top 4 are tight... 5-7 are close...8-10 are close... 11-13 are close... 14-15 are close. No more ties right? haha :)

B. Hilton

Monday July 23

Baton Rouge, LA (DCI)

My wife and I had great seats - about halfway up, right on the 50 yard line. We've been involved in DCI since 1987.

1. Scenic City (DIV II/III, 2nd place - 58.20) - Good sound for such a small corp. Music fit together well. Guard was small (5 members) and it seemed they would have been more together than they were. Good use of props. Our placement - 2nd.

2. Taipai Yuehfu (DIV II/III, 1st place - 70.50) - I saw them last year in Murfreesboro and enjoyed this year's show much more. The music fits the corp very well and they do some really cool visual moves. Guard was good - a little sloppy at times. Our placement - 1st.

3. Pioneer (Division I, 7th place - 68.40) - They did a Civil War theme and I think it was much better than any of their recent year's shows. I've seen some negative remarks about the guard uniforms (grey Civil War uniform jackets with black pants) but it worked well in their Civil War theme. Music was much better than their marching. Our placement - 7th.

4. Carolina Crown (Division I, 6th place - 79.95) - I've read a lot of reviews where people say they can't "get" the show. I don't understand how you couldn't "get" the show. Read the program. What's not to understand? I loved the music! It was exciting with some killer endings and the ballad was gorgeous (if not the best of the night). Colorguard worked really hard and had some great moments, but I think they are the weakest guard of the past 3 years. The ability was there but the unison was not. The equipment completely fits the show and even though 3 uniform changes is a lot - each time it fit that portion of the show. The 2x4's were cool (especially when they were tossed) and the tires being rolled onto the field was smart and complemented the ballad. Beautiful silks for the ballad too. The metallic looking flags for the closer stood out. Right now I feel this is definitely a top 12 show and it can only move up as they have the chance to clean. Our placement - 6th.

5. Madison Scouts (Division I, 5th place - 81.95) - O.k. By far, HIGH GE of the night! The opening chord (which began before the announcer finished) got everyone on their feet! The last part of the closer also had everyone on their feet (at least the last 30 seconds of the show). Enjoyed this year much better than last year (saw them in Murfreesboro). Guard was small but overall performed well. The flag-work in the middle seemed to be lacking something - it just seemed like they weren't sure where they should be at the same time. Excellent rifle work with some great high tosses. By the crowd's reaction, they definitely had everyone's blood boiling! They were also the only corp to get a standing ovation when the scores were announced (a little booing from the crowd). We had them in 5th too. Great opener and closer but the middle lacked something - not sure exactly what. Great cymbal tosses during the drum solo.

6. Phantom Regiment (Division I, 3rd place - 85.35) - Could have been the cleanest out there tonight. Guard was definitely clean and used beautiful silks. Festive Overture was wonderful and overall the corp had a really clean show. I haven't seen Glassmen this year but I would have to say that PR definitely has a shot at the top 5 this year. Our placement - 3rd.

7. SCV (Division I - 2nd place - 90.25) - SCV has always been my favorite corp. The opener is right in your face and packs a punch. I enjoyed "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" and liked their arrangement better than Cadets. The guard is good (probably best out of the past 5 years) but did have some unison problems. New Era Dance is cool (and yes , the Bottle Dance is there) and the chant fits perfectly. This corp could easily be the 2001 champions! My wife liked certain parts of their show but wasn't familiar with any of their music. She did like the chant though. Our placement - 1st.

8. Boston Crusaders (Division I, 4th place - 82.80) - Enjoyed their show. They did repeat some of the moves from last year but I believe I'm correct in saying that most corps do repeat themselves from year to year (music and drill). Hard guard book and the rifle-work needs to be cleaned (height of tosses, etc). Also looks dirty when the guard tosses but are standing facing different directions. I liked their closer the best. Our placement - 4th.

9. Cadets (Division I, 1st place - 90.55) - This show did not hold my attention like last year's. What they did they did well but it wasn't that exciting. Guard needs to do more equipment work and LESS DANCING. The comma-rifle things were o.k. but they had a lot of uncharacteristic drops tonight. Excellent flag work in opener and closer. Guard uniforms blended well with the corp's uniforms and looked good. Everything just seemed a little sloppy for most of the show - even the dance by the guard during Moondance. Our placement - 2nd.


- Looking at the recaps, SCV took Visual and General effect by .2 but Cadets took Music by .5. I agree with that, even though I had SCV first. Cadet's music was much more crowd-accessible but SCV had many more exciting moments in their package. I believe they can overcome the Devils and win with it.

- It's funny how the trends come and go in DCI. For example, almost all of the corps used very bright fluorescent silks in their shows.

- The way the corps keep changing places from night to night, I think finals is going to be tight for the entire top 12.

Marc Finch

Overall, I am left somewhat melancholy by the state of corps as I have witnessed it. For many years after aging out, I thought that corps were getting progressively better (those that survived financially, that is). Although some stylistic changes have hit creative dead ends, I have been generally happy with the way the overall activity has evolved.

Until now.

I was struck that the overall level of talent in many corps is below that of past years. I'm not talking about a bad year, or even a single corps' slump (e.g., Madison), but the OVERALL level of musicianship, etc. God love 'em, the staffs of corps like Glassmen and BK keep churning out complex and difficult shows, but the ability to perform them just isn't there. Other corps have written to their ability, but I'd take the talent of a middle-of-the-pack finalist from the mid-80s over today's Phantom or Glassmen. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE these corps. But many are no better than good marching bands.

The exception is the Top Four. Thank God they are preserving the quality of the activity (not hurting it by their "dominance" as some suggest), kind of like the Islamic world keeping civilization going for a thousand years while Europe fell into the Dark Ages. The gulf in performance and design between the big 4 and the others has really widened. I hope Hopkins is wrong, and we don''t end up with just a few "superbands."

Last general comment: there is a difference between bugles and band instruments, and the change IS NOT GOOD. For a corps that is not terribly clean or strong in their brass playing, the difference is difficult to detect. But those top hornlines, the band instruments definitely sound more "congested", with less projection. Cavaliers had their best horn line ever last year. They still have them, but they don't sound as good. Cadets have an awesome horn line, but the difference in the sound of the horns is so disappointing. The reason PR sounds good this year -- and the best thing about their performance -- is their wonderful, open, BUGLE tone. I predict that only YEA! corps will be using band instruments three years from now; the other top corps know when an experiment has failed. So does YEA!, but GH has too much invested in his "vision" to turn back.

I missed Pioneer and the corps before them.

Carolina -- The tires aren't a disraction, but they add nothing. The first minute of this show, visually and musically, are a real let down. Very little volume, pedestrian drill (pun intended), poorly executed guard (sloppy rifle work). It's too bad, because the rest of the show is much stronger. The music works, they sound pretty good, and much of the flag work is beautiful, but not as good as some of their recent guards. Rewrite the opening moments and get rid of the tires. Oh, tan rifles disappear against the background, which was good for tonight, but they need to be more visual for the rest of the season.

Madison -- Even though they remain a shell of their former selves, they still sell their show. It's not bad -- not terribly demanding, but at least not boring! Even when this corps has ensemble problems (which they do, visually and musically), it's nice to see a corps that really works their individual style. The step style, brass articulations, etc., have a very distinctive uniformity to them. The guard is not the disraction they were last year, but they are kind of lost. Really no impact from them. I doubt they'll be higher than 9th this year, but I think it highly unlikely that they will be the child without the chair at finals.

Phantom -- High point: Tone!! Clear, open, beautiful tone. Weak point.... Well first, there's the drill. I thought it was better than this early in the season, a slight improvement over the really bad drills of the last couple of years. Now I've seen it from high up -- I was wrong, it's not very good. In the second piece, the rotating line segments are a train wreck; much cleaning needed here. The closing drill is a bore. SCV was running all over the place during Festive Overture. PR is doing their squats and other body moves we saw earlier in the show, in a bunch of damned boxes. At horn impacts, they stop marching! Ugh. And "Festive" is choppy and slow and dull compared to the SCV version. Guard is competent. PLEASE, PR staff, get them a closer drill before finals. This corps could be 5th, but not without some big changes.

Boston -- What is it with all the people (or maybe just a couple of vocal asses) who have been dumping on this corps? Are they just mad because BC beat their corps last year? Give it a break; if you want to fight last year's battles, attack the judges, not the corps (Xmen pulled that crap after '79 and got called on the carpet for it). This is a good show. In fact, it is VERY entertaining. One of the few corps that really integrated the guard well into the show; much more interesting visually than the corps already mentioned. Brass is really loud, but they do need to clean, clean, clean. From the tonal qualities, it sounded like Trumpets and low/mid bugles! I love the bad-ass Blessed Sac. types in the guard, and they use some very effective color in the flags. These chicks know their stuff! I would have put them closer to PR, further from MS.

CUTE cop at the concession stand! What do you mean $3 for a Coke and no straws?

SCV -- I love this corps more than life itself. 1999 was fantastic beyond words. 2000 was quite excellent. 2001 is really, really good. They borrow a lot from the last two years visually, which is ok, but the show doesn't have the musical interest of the last two years. "Fast Ride" isn't a very compelling opener. I really wanted to like this show more, and I do like it a lot. They have a GREAT horn line, the best low brass of the night. Two years ago I thought their guard was just ok -- the weak link in an incredible show. Last year the guard was much better integrated. This year I think they don't add that much to the overall show. I wouldn't be measuring for rings yet.

Cadets -- I don't see them so close to (or beating) SCV. I do think Cadets' horn line is a little stronger, but that's it. Their show does not have the demand of past shows, and it is surprisingly clean (with a couple of glaring exceptions) visually. The opener drill is very slow to evolve, almost Phantomesque. The horns are wonderful. I just wish they were bugles!!! I'm not bothered by "Moondance", but I was expecting a fun, Crossmen-like, in your face version. Instead, it has a choppy, staccato-like feel (like Phantom plays everything) and the dancing and scattering are a complete waste of guard and marching talent.

The "commas" in place of rifles are a bad idea -- the curves don't look good during most work. A straight rifle (or some non-violent kitchen utensil, perhaps) would be more effective. A drummer from the 80s sitting next to me said it was the "lamest" thing he had ever heard them play. The stand-still horn riffs in the opener and closer were effective. The best part of their show: the "Rocky Point" warmup! It sounds wonderful. Bring it back, it's been 18 years! Although foolish to ever count Cadets out, I'm getting a real 4th place vibe. There's only so much you can squeeze out of this show.

Lots of bugs hit your windshield when you drive through a swamp at night.

Good night.


Sunday July 22

Houston, TX (DCI)

Hello all....well, I am still recovering from the drive home last night. my overal impression of the show was that every corps had a more enjoyable show than last year. I am a horn guy, so much of my time was spent looking at the pretty forms and watching people fly across the Astro Turf. There was so much to look at from every corps that i forgot a lot of details from every show...I will try to give my take on the show. I appologize for the typos and ranting... flame away if you want... its just what I saw and heard. Here goes:

Never seen them before. Brass soloists were good. Marching was....not energized. No intensity in the marching, so that hurt. I enjoyed the show, and they had a much bigger sound then the brass numbers indicate. Very enjoyable. MAJOR PROPS to the girl who got hurt and limped to the back sideline and just stood at attention... very impressive!! I hope her ankle is okay.

GREETING FROM THE FEDERATION!! Now, i dont know if these are their traditional uniforms but I was expecting to see Captain Picard because the little design on the front lookis just like the Federation insignia...Anyway...I will just give a 1 word impression of this corps: ALMOST. I think (HOPE) this was an off night.. WAY off...Why? first thing that should have sent a red flag up.... the opening horn ripple to horns up was HORRIBLE!!! And it was this lack of attention by the corps that went all the way through their show. People were falling into and out of sets... random brain farts by soprano was just distracting to see that and har that because it takes away from the DAMN BIG SOUND!!! OH MY GOD!!! HOly crap the horn line was WAILING!! I think they had a bigger sound than any of the corps that went before intermission, and they definitely were musical. i think their book isnt as well written as the other corps that are close in score,a nd that may hurt. the horn line saves this corps. percussiona nd guard I will not comment on becase I am a horn guy... everythin sounded and looked okay, so i guess it was all good. Overall, it was a Very good source of entertainment, and with all the misktakes taken out they should be close to making finals...VERY CLOSE Thanks for a good show!

REALLY liked their show, and with everythign that went on, i think I forgot most of it. I do remember that their music book is what is holding the corps flatlined the whole time!! NO contrast...everyone can play, spin,and stick the show, but the music isnt there...not the kids fault. LOTS better than last year!! Sorry for not being able to talk more about it.

YEaH BABY!!! MUCH BETTER THAN LAST YEAR!!! Oh my god!! Very intense marching. Lots of good stuff in this show. I had then VERY close to JSU, with JSU winning because of the horn line. What do they need to do? Play better, play louder, and more in tune. The show design and marching/drill is all there, I feel, but the music effect and performance is not up to par, and if they can fix that they should be scoring much higher. Very entertaining. A nice surprise!!

HOLY CRAPPOLA!! This is the most entertaining show of the night... really, it is. The first note...DAMN. The last 15 sconds of FFFFFFFF blasting...DAMN. I was VERY happy with this show, and thank God it was nothing like last year's. The percussion part where the cymbols throw their stuff over the snares and then the next 30 seconds of drumline feature is BAD ASS!!! Very cool to say the least. The kids sell this show, and the soloists are awesome!! What will keep them from getting up where they deserve si that the marhicng drill stuff isnt as hard as some of the other corps. What they do the do very well, but it may not be enough to get up to 6th or 7th which they deserve. I will remember this show for years!!! GO SCOUTS!!!!

Let me just say to all the Glassmen fans...I am sorry, this wont be nice. This is a very fogetable show. There is nothing about this show that will make me want to watch it again. i will remember the REALLY goofy marching thing they did at the begging and the end....WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?? IS it suppose to compliment the music, or is it yet another body visual aimed at generating GE points? The horn line sounded overblown and splatty the HOLW FREAKING TIME!! BACK OFF CONTRAS!!!! There were many times that everythig the corps was doing was totally destroyed by overblown crap coming from the contras and sopranos. There is some really cool drill stuff is several spots, but overall....the cleanliness of the marching and drumline save this corps from falling any further down, i just wish I could stay awake during their show. Many props to Chris Adler, the DM...he is a friend of mine from school.

Nice to see they arent doing a BOA show this year like last. My big impression of this corps...should be getting the same score as Scouts. not better... just different. I dont see what all the whoplah is about. There are nice moments spoadially thrown in there. I just dont get enojyment from watching wierd ass bosy moevemnts during every rest! If I wanted to watch modern dance I would do doesnt make my ooh or ahh, it makes me want to see Madison again. (Just one quick non-corps specific observation: How many corps have taken the Cavies stuff from last year and put it in their show...almost every corps had that wave effect in ther show.. I am not kidding!) Not as boring as Glassmen, but I think they score and place higher than they deserve.... JUST MY OPINION!!!

Honrnline warmup.... YEAH BABY!!! Holy crap!! Thats a VERY cool thing to do,a nd was a VERY good indicater of what was to come from the hornline....they played the best and had the best book of the night. I am not a Cadets fan, but I love the sound they get. Clear, powerful and deep. not enough bass,b ut thats a thread from last year, isnt it? Now to the show....I enojyed it, but much of the time it got boring. They deserve every score they get, but I just dont Love their show as others do. Guard was VERY cool, and I am not a fan of colorguard at all. It is a very good guard design,and it fits the brass and percussion VERY WELL. The moondance wasnt as cool to me as others had said, but maybe it was because I heard a corps play jazz earlier in the night. ;) I think the 3rd or 4th places they continually get will continue to finals. OH YEAH....I forgot... there is a point in the show where I forgot if i was a a drum corps show or a summer drum set camp. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU NEED 4 OR 5 GUYS PLAYING THE SAME DANG STUFF ON SET??? 1 or 2 might be impressive, but when you have that many it takes away from the idea of the "drummer" in a jazz band. They should have done something else...I dont know what..just SOMETHING!!! And anohter gripe... does their drum major remind anyone else of a Tyranosaurus Rex trying to do the Hand Jive at 200 bpm?? CONDUCT OR GIVE A PATTERN....PLEASE!! The guard girl in the back did SO MUCH better while she was back there. jeez... ...just my opinion.Another enjoyable show!!!

The one thing that I came away from was just how DAMN tight everything is. There is no meandering in the music or the marching. I am another that didnt really think the show was a really cool or awesome show, but they just are so clean and tight when they do things it is just so impressive. Dirll is cool, guard is UNBELIEVABLE!!! Holy crap!!! as I have said I am not a guard fan but I couldnt keep my eyes off!! They just do a lot of cool things, and the corps is better for it. Now I remember 2 things that will stick in my mind for a long time...the 73412983471834 bass drum thing...COOL! and There is a tuba run about 3/4 through...I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYTHIGN LIKE IT BEFORE!!! TUBA PIMPS!!! it was freakign awesome.. everyone needs to listen for it. They played it well tonight from what I heard. Overall the show wasnt something I would want to drool over for years, but the cleanliness and precision is UNMATCHED. I havent seen Cavies or SCV, but I would not be surpised if they win it all again.

Now then...the St Episcopals Pipe band... BAGPIPES RULE!!! There were 30 or 40 little HS guys in kilts playing their asses off...FOR 10 MINUTES TOO LONG!!! I can only imagine their teacher havent constant migraines and ulcers the size of basketballs. it would drive me batty. It was something I had hever seen or heard live or recorded before and I will remeber them for years as well! I had a great time last night and I wish i hadnt aged out last year. Everytime I heard a corps I have to just think..."THESE ARE KIDS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! THEY ARE MAKING MUSIC AND MARCHING THEIR ASSES OFF!!" Many props to all the kids in every corps out there. There need to be more. I know I have some rather detailed gripes, but i know that the kids kill themselves to put on a good show, so i cant put any blame on them. Thats my $.02.... okay maybe $2.00 but anyway....I wish Regiment would have been there.:(


Nathan Pair

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