I attended the Drum Corp International (DCI) Southwestern Championship at the AlamoDome in San Antonio, TX last night with two college friends and a great time was had by all. The Blue Devils were the ultimate winner last night, the Cavies came in second, and Carolina Crown came in third. Personally, I enjoyed the Blue Devils, Crown, and the Blue Coats performances the best. Some thoughts about the different corps from this traditional marching band conneiseur:
1. Crossmen - The local corp. I loved your music choices and program. The playing quality was underwhelming compared to the other corps in the final and in my opinion, this is one of largest obstacles to tackle before Indianapolis next month.
2. The Blue Coats - I loved the story line of your program. It was the clearest story and the narration wasn’t over the top - once you got to the story. I was distracted by your punching bag prop when they were behind the screens on the sidelines.
3. The Blue Devils - Excellent performance. Your visual effects and the use of props was excellent and well thought out. Playing quality was OK, but I’ve seen you guys do better. Right now you set the standards the others must follow..
4. Carolina Crown - Despite what others are saying, I loved your music selection.. You guys have dynamics down pat. Excellent playing and brass-sections. To me, y’all were the best overall ensemble. Nice after-event performance (the christmas song was funny…).
5. Phantom Regiment - I AM SPARTACUS… Excellent show. Nice that you didn’t do narration - you don’t need it.. Based on what I saw, you will be contending with the Blue Devils and the Cavaliers.
6. The Cadets - I’ve read that the show yesterday had less narration than your past ones.. However, IMNSHO, you need to cut out more. The stage and the narration was over the top. I actually missed much of your performance due to the stage set on the field and the narration of a story that didn’t seem to have much of “in the pursuit of happiness…”.
7. The Cavaliers - Sorry for listing you so far down. Your show was technically great and your theme was good. You are clearly second to the Blue Devils right now. There wasn’t much - what do you want to call it? - “pop” in your program. Your corp was the second-best “ensemble” out there..
8. The Glassmen - What was the deal with the chests? I (and most of the others around me in the stand) had no idea what your story line was?
1. I don’t remember which corps did this, but the “stereo” effect was awesome…
2. Tuba solos rock… Not that I’m biased here… :)
All in all, an incredible experience. Good luck to all of y’all at the championships and enjoy your time “On the Road Again.“ (you know I had to get that reference in…).