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 Post subject: DCI 2015
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:11 am 
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Any other thoughts, besides James' review, on the 2015 DCI World Championship?

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 Post subject: Re: DCI 2015
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:58 pm 
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I was lucky enough to be able to see the livestream of finals, but unfortunately it still doesn't beat being there up close and personal to hear more of what the judges heard. Maybe sometimes that's why my assessment of the corps' performances varies quite a bit from theirs (notwithstanding the judges' higher education and more experience/training). I'll just humbly comment on a few of the shows that I remember the most.

I really enjoyed SCV's percussion book. There was definitely something different about their style that set them apart from all the corps who performed previously (most of which seemed to sound the same to me). This was one book that I could listen to, blindfolded, and be able to say, "that sounds like SCV." Kind of like the old days when every line seemed to have a distinctive style of their own. All the lines that went on before them sounded like they were together, but kind of a thick sound, if you know what I mean. I attributed that to their playing indoors. But SCV was quite a bit cleaner sounding to me, which dispelled my theory. One thing I disliked about their performance was that the electronics seemed to be way too loud, so much so that during one of their early drum breaks, I could hardly hear the battery at all. Again, this is based entirely on my watching it livestream; perhaps the balance was just fine in person. SCV's horn book was fairly clean, but also far too simple for a corps of this caliber, and I think this had a huge impact on their overall placement. All in all, though, from an entertainment standpoint, this was one of my favorites. I liked the concept, the music, and the energetic performance.

The Cadets' percussion book was well executed in my opinion. They writing didn't seem to have a distinctive sound that set them apart from all the others, but clearly they were playing one of the more superior books in terms of difficulty, due in large part to the tempo markings. I think they had some of the best pit-to-battery communication/execution of all the corps I saw. There was a point during the opening tune where the battery was backfield, playing an extended roll, and the keyboards were also playing double strokes -- they lined up so well I could "hear" the silence in between each individual note. They were constantly on the move, at high tempo, and executing. For this reason I was leaning more towards Cadets to take high drums. I'm not too keen on their use of electronics; I don't feel like it really adds much from the show. Is it just me, or do most of the corps have to add a vocal explanation -- a libretto, I guess -- somewhere during the show so the audience can "get" their concept? Brass did an amazing job; they were where they should have been by finals, but I don't think they should have gotten the high brass award. I think changing to all-black uniforms in the last couple of weeks of the season was a stunt to perhaps boost marching execution. I think the black took away from the speed of their drill. Watching early season videos and comparing to the late season videos, it seemed like they weren't moving as fast, even though the drill was the same. Optical illusion, I guess. I like Shostakovich; I think they could have used more of his 10th symphony.

Blue Devils' battery executed very well. I think their snare and tenor lines were among the strongest on the field that night. The one thing I disliked, however, was that though they had strong execution, much of it was done standing still. Not just the percussion, but the brass as well. Starting the show with the snares sitting on top of ladders was a clever way to disguise parking and barking. No doubt it added a few points to GE, however you are able to quantify that. For this reason, I didn't consider them worthy of the drum trophy. I didn't really enjoy their show...I guess I miss the old BD. Their "concept," whatever it was, was a little out there without a little explanation -- I didn't quite get the tanning beds or whatever those things were supposed to be.

Crown's battery was a departure from top 5-quality lines. Back to that "thick" sound. I thought the writing was great, just not the execution. Delucia even slammed the snare line in post-show comments (I don't think I've ever heard disparaging comments from any announcer in all of finals history). However, I think that in a couple of years this could very well be the line to beat. The horn line, however, was in my opinion their strong suit. Triple-tonguing, even in the tubas, all executed very well. Like the Cadets drumline comment earlier, I could "hear" the empty space between wind notes all throughout the show. Attacks, releases, articulation, all very well done. Again, maybe there were little things one could hear up close and in person, but I felt like they deserved the brass trophy. One thing I liked most about Crown's show was their use of electronics more as a complement rather than the main attraction. Their entire opening statement was pure brass and percussion, and the sound difference between Crown and the other corps was hard to miss. They sounded more like a DRUM and BUGLE corps than a Friday night out clubbing. To me it was a brief return to what corps once were, and I hope they continue to do more of it.


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 Post subject: Re: DCI 2015
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:31 am
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HolySnre wrote:
Blue Devils' battery executed very well. I think their snare and tenor lines were among the strongest on the field that night. The one thing I disliked, however, was that though they had strong execution, much of it was done standing still.



I might just be in the minority here, but I don't have a problem at all with standing still and playing. They marched PLENTY in that show for me.

Do you want them to be marching while playing or doing body work? Because most body work doesn't do much for me (unless they are playing and executing at a high level during it), and I'd rather have a more difficult book standing still than an easier book moving. However, I definitely understand that a lot, if not a majority of people in the activity would disagree with that.

I'm NOT advocating just standing most the time. But I just think these kids are moving more than ever before, and that's enough for me.


Last edited by NateSilv on Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DCI 2015
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:31 am
Posts: 50
I was at Finals this year. I liked a lot of the shows. I thought the top 4 had some really smart ideas going on. My biggest disappointment, even though it's been an issue for years now, was that I just can't hear the drumline half the time. I don't know why they keep getting placed in the back of the field as if they would just overpower everyone if they were closer to the front. And tenor drums??? Unless it's a solo, those are just about completely lost. I was on the 45 up high. Maybe i'm deaf?!

I've seen some YouTube videos of the Bluecoats in the lot, and I think they have some very cool parts and I was ready for them. But so much of it just sounded muffled or weak because of their placement on the field (and I know the sound of modern day drums add to the problem, but they're not ever going back to mylar so the fix is to change the staging of the drumline).

From what I could hear, I thought the Blue Devils should have won drums. I thought the Cadets and SCV were close.

Although because of this it actually kept me focused on watching the shows as a whole, which I enjoyed.


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