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DCI Semifinals Thoughts
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Author:  Hostrauser [ Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  DCI Semifinals Thoughts

My general thoughts from Semis...

Blue Devils - I don't see them missing #14, but the Cavies should make them sweat more than many might expect. Love the visual design, overall, but drill is boring as paste in first half of show: too much scatter and unison jazz-runs from point A to point B. Horn book much meatier than 2009. Percussion (battery) still dirty and justly out of Top 3 lines.

Cavaliers - The big "Mo" is with the Green Machine. Music isn't bad, and I was surprised with the attitude and power the brass brought to the field. Visual design is immense, unbelievable. Probably the most well-thought-out concept on the field this summer.

Bluecoats - Impressive show, and the show does have "it"; they just can't match BD's cleanliness. Best tenor line of the summer, though, and Tom Rarick has given them meaty licks. I think the top 3 will stay the same.

Carolina Crown - I like the show, but it doesn't have "it" like last year's show did. Vore told me back in June that the horn book for Khachaturian would kill them and it still is: supporting articulations just aren't crisp enough.

Cadets - Cadets show design is fantastic. And yet... why didn't I connect more with the show? It felt like it kept me at arms length some how. Snares struggled to blend with ensemble the entire show.

Phantom Regiment - The beginning and ending design is inspired, it's the meat and potatoes drill during most of the show that is stale. The kids perform well (musically and visually) but man does their visual design staff need an overhaul.

Santa Clara Vanguard - If the first half of SCV's show was as well-designed as the 2nd half, they'd be Top 5. I still say they should have axed most of the Concerto for Orchestra parts and replaced them with Miraculous Mandarin and this would be a better show.

Blue Stars - Maybe my favorite show of the night. Terrifically designed and executed. Not at all surprised to see them ahead of SCV; wouldn't be surprised to see them pass Phantom tomorrow.

Boston Crusaders - Wonderful drill, possibly 2nd favorite after Cavies. Show design was a little odd and music choices (Shostakovich? Rachmaninoff?) seemed atypical for this corps. They performed pretty well, though.

Madison Scouts - New staff is kicking corps in the butt and it shows in a good way. 20 contras provided luscious base bass, guard is great (only about 25 in guard, smaller number seems to help them keep it extra clean)... but this show is right where it should be. Still, it'll only be a year or two before they're back in the Top 6.

Blue Knights - I liked this show a lot, very musical, a nice departure from their doom 'n gloom typecasting. Very, very nice brass sound; guard was having issues though.

Glassmen - I'm unimpressed with fancy for the sake of fancy, which the Glassmen have a lot of. They're so much cleaner than the corps below them, though, they deserve the 12th spot.

Colts - Bored the heck out of me, sorry. Too much "thunderous goo" (low-end synth boost on chords) and the pit was all but inaudible. I would have had both Academy and Troopers ahead... maybe.

Academy - Really looking forward to this show (love Borodin) but ended up disappointed. Those "Phantom Lite" nicknames aren't going to go away so long as the visual design remains this muddy and unfocused. Corps has a good overall sound, but had a lot of balance issues when they weren't playing FF.

Troopers - Nice visual design, but I think those new unis are really generic looking. Brass was really flaccid the first 2/3rds of the show, to the point where I thought even the Crossmen might have had a better horn book.

Spirit - Killer drumline, a few ensemble blend issues, but very impressive. The point of the screens was... what? The progress of drum corps amazes me. This show would have been Top 10 7-8 yrs ago. This year it's good enough for 16th. Just my honest opinion, but any old-timer who can watch the quality of tonight and say making top 12 doesn't mean as much as it used to has rocks in their head.

Crossmen - Good sound, but their ensemble forms were horrid. I keep waiting for this corps to make a push back towards Finals, but they seem no closer now than they were several years ago.

Front row tomorrow night, right behind the drum major's podium (I was way up high for Semis).

Author:  bandfan88 [ Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DCI Semifinals Thoughts

Wow. I actually agree with EVERYTHING you have said. All the hate on BD just makes my appreciation and enjoyment of this show much more fun.

Hope you're having a blast in Indy!

Author:  Hostrauser [ Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DCI Semifinals Thoughts

Was a wonderful Finals night, but I'm too tired to post anything right now.

Thoughts and prayers to Carolina Crown mello player "Ryan" who suffered a fracture of the lower leg or ankle towards the end of their show and had to be helped off the field by staff and a DCI judge (I believe Allan Christiansen, percussion) during the performance. :(

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