Monday, August 24, 2009

Run For the Border!

Yay! Pella's Taco Bell commercial is now online! Lovin' the hair, Scott. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

DLR LotD 08/23/09

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day
Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sign Language Version:

** Imitates Putting Finger Down Throat ** -- Turk, in response to Sherry's information regarding the Tarzan Loincloth Key Ring, at Storytellers Cafe

Sunday, August 16, 2009

From the Sublime to the Hysterical

On Thursday, my friends at work and I had lunch with a co-worker who had retired several years ago. It's always nice to see Al. He was my first trainer at my job, and he has always been kind to me, with a wonderfully patient and pleasant attitude. We tried out a new place across the street from our office, Kinnara. The atmosphere is nice, with a friendly and helpful staff. The food was beautifully presented as well. Here is my friend's lunch plate of Orange Chicken Kabobs with Brown Rice & Salad. Danny's giving his plate a thumbs up. :)

Our food was delicious. I had my standard Hot Chile and Basil with chicken, and they put just enough spice in it when I asked for medium heat. Their menu is reasonably priced. I look forward to going back a LOT. They do not have a website yet, but there are reviews on Yelp.

That same night, I went to the Ahmanson Theater to see Spamalot. I had ordered the tickets justs two days earlier, at half price, thanks to Goldstar. I bought the CD on sale and had been listening to it this week, hilariously laughing at many of the lyrics, and said to myself, "I need to see this show if I can." Then, voila! They were available on Goldstar. YAY!

I arrived early, so I picked up my tickets at the box office, and decided to have dinner at Pinot Grill. Since this is in the Patina Restaurant Group, I knew that I would enjoy the quality of their food, especially the Manchego Salad. I was hungry, though, so I ordered the Salmon and a glass of Rancho Zabaco "Dancing Bull" Sauvignon Blanc. My dinner was delicious, and the wine was very nice, too. I refrained from telling the people next to me at the bar that "the guy that had the duel with Aaron Burr" was Alexander Hamilton. They weren't dwelling on it that long, and they never acknowledged my presence, so I didn't feel the need to help them out. I'm shy that way, I guess.

When I went to my seat inside the Ahmanson, I saw that I was seated right next to a woman who was also there by herself, and we were the only ones in our row. She told me about Goldstar. That's where I got my tickets, too! She said that she had seen the show last week and really wanted to go again, with better seats, so there she was. Eventually, other people did sit in our row, but there were some tall people in front of me, so I moved to the row behind me at intermission, because there wasn't anyone sitting there.

Spamalot was hilarious. Even if you don't know the humor of Monty Python, I think you'd find it funny. The gal that I talked to before the show wasn't familiar with any of it, but after the show, she started seeking out as much media as possible about the Monty Python group. I happen to enjoy Monty Python, although I haven't seen all of the episodes. I've seen both The Holy Grail and Life of Brian, and love both movies. I loved seeing the different elements included in the show. The audience was quite responsive, and clapped along with the beginning of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," my favorite part of "Life of Brian". John O'Hurley played a great King Arthur, he that cannot count correctly. I really liked Merle Dandridge, who played The Lady of the Lake, as well as James Beaman as Sir Robin. My favorite part of the show was Sir Robin's song, "You Won't Succeed on Broadway." The song itself is hilarious, and as a production number, I completely loved it. It probably had something to do with the fact that they did the Bottle Dance from "Fiddler on the Roof," but with Grails on their heads. That is my favorite part of Fiddler, and probably the reason I love Santa Clara Vanguard so much, too. :) I actually loved all of the digs they took at musical theater. They abound in this show. Even the program spoofs the Finnish musical that is referred to in the first part of the play. It's pure wackiness.

If you have the chance to see Spamalot, GO! It's hysterical.

Martha's Final Dance

Drum Corps International
World Class Finals
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Lucas Oil Stadium -- Indianapolis, IN

Bro wanted to get that Reuben sandwich again, so for the 3rd day in a row, we went to the cafe at the Comfort Inn. I had tacos this time, which were do-it-yourself, and I had enough fixings left over to form a little taco salad with my meat. He had his Black Jack Cola, and wondered if it would be the same drink special next year. I don't know if V and/or Brady is going to put up with the 3 days in a row that I did, but as the good sister, I have obliged the Bro. We'll see what happens.

Bro took a little nap while I blogged the previous day's events. I would have taken a nap, too, but there just wasn't time for everything.

We walked over to Lucas Oil for the last time of our trip (awww....), and bought our food from concessions. Neither one of us was hungry, but I already knew that I wanted cookies, and decided that pizza would be OK to eat cold, so we got that. Our seats for the evening were on the right side end zone, 4th tier, up 7 rows. It was a different view from the previous two days, and I noted to Bro that we started off the season watching drum corps from this side. It was like a little bookend to the summer.

The United States Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps presented their "Music in Motion" for this year. Songs included selections from "Kiss Me Kate," "12th St Rag," "Birth of a Drum Corps," "Olympic Spirit," and "I'm Gonna Live".

I really enjoyed the "Birth of a Drum Corps piece, which was an original work that blended the themes from the different branches of the Armed Forces. Bro said to me, "What is the Marine Corps hymn called?" I told him, "The Marine Corps Hymn." Seriously. He even looked it up because we both doubted me. I even sang it for him, telling him that none of the lyrics sounded like a refrain that would give a title. Still, no. I even looked it up just now to make sure. ANYWAY, I liked that piece.

The Commandant's Own

They ended with my favorite march, "Stars and Stripes Forever", and Bro and I stood in respect of our nation. I guess a lot of people don't know that you're supposed to stand for that, especially when the USMC is playing it. It's our nation's official march. It's like not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance or "The Star-Spangled Banner" when you are perfectly able to do so. OK, got off track, sorry. The audience was asked to rise while they then played the "The Star-Spangled Banner". I guess they don't demand that people stand for the march, but still...people...we're at a DRUM CORPS event. OK, rant over.

I was looking at the big screen, and the corps uniforms looked like the red that I'm used to, but from our vantage point, the uniforms looked more orange on the actual field. It was weird. Bro said that it was "more real" on the big screen. I sometimes don't know if he's just messing with me.

The Volunteers of the Year were announced. The Director of the Year award went to the director of The Troopers, who led his corps back to Finals for the 1st time in 23 years. Special sponsors were also recognized, and I got excited that the Chik-Fil-A cow was there. "EAT MORE CHIKIN'!" There was also a big inflated dude from Sport Clips. I honestly didn't know what to think of that guy, but he looked happy.

The winners of the Open Class Finals, Blue Devils B, did an encore performance, and I think that they surprised people that hadn't seen their show before. I mean, hello, it kicked. ass.

The remaining sponsors were thanked for the next 18 minutes. I left to make a pit stop, and the people next to me left, too. Then I never saw them again. Really. Never.

OK, people, time for the final show!

The announcer said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, after a 23-year absence, let's welcome the Troopers to the field for Finals night!" They got a huge ovation for that. I so, so wanted this for them. Congrats, Troop. I didn't remember the gal taking the guy's scarf from him, and kind of symbolized a scalping or something violent like that. The bow and arrow effect was really cool from our vantage point. The two people in love for the show were probably really hugging each other tightly at the end. Awwww...

Blue Knights
I've decided that the CG that kept messing up yesterday must have been an alternate, because I can't imagine that someone who had been doing the show all season was flubbing so much and had to watch the other people as she performed. She stepped on her flag today. AUGH! Oh, and 2 horn players fell down at the beginning of the show. Oh, my goodness. Somebody lost their shoes, and I tried hard to find out who was just wearing socks, but their socks were black, too, so I couldn't figure it out. Somebody also lost the plume to their shako, but the judge picked it up. He ran fast! Since we had sat on the other side on the previous days this week, I had completely forgotten about the ski poles. That's when I realized that we were bookending the season. It's nice to hear people say "Cool!" when they do the rolling of the snowball. Because it IS cool.

The flags were not as unison as they should be. I like how the "1" formation turns into the Glassmen triangle before going into the "I" formation. The music was nice, especially in the high brass section. One part even sounded like singing, it was so nicely done.

Blue Stars
I still don't really understand what the recording is exactly saying, even from this side. I wonder if anyone in the audience did, at least anyone not involved in the show. Hey! That guy tried to look under the CG gal's dress! The horns got really into it. Nice job.

I didn't notice before that while some corps members were placing money into the violin case, others were taking some out. Beautiful soprano solo with a beautiful answer from the corps proper. I don't remember the sound of strings breaking when the hussy has the violin. That was a loud slap from the non-hussy. That's the best they've done it! They just need 2 more weeks, and it would be perfect.

Boston Crusaders
So I'm thinking that maybe only Eve had the top that looks like a sports bra, and all of the other CG gals have their backs fully covered. She's the lead, after all. Bro and I giggled during the part where Eve is holding the apple, because I had overheard at lunch that she dropped the apple on Adam's head during rehearsal. The "CRUNCH!" from the apple bite got big applause. I clapped during "Bacchanale" and was happy. That lead CG must belly dance or something, because she's really good at that sexy dancing. one point the corps is in a line, and they made it wiggle like a snake! I didn't realize that they were playing Keep Away with the apple before. Very entertaining show.

Something sousnded like weird velociraptors. I have no idea what it was, but Bro said that they must have escaped from the Indianapolis Zoo. OK, so really. Those people with the seats next to me? Still hadn't returned. The line to the restrooms were stupid long, but I got back in time anyway.

They should have made the corps wear red underneath their jackets, because I really didn't like the blue/white thing. Red would have really stood out. Why do they keep asking me to clap more?

Sher: Crying. Bro: Crying. Lots of people in audience: Crying. Corps: Crying. It was incredible. Thank you, SCV, for putting on a gorgeous, beautiful, fabulous, wonderful show. I am not worthy.

I like how the one guy is pulling the whole corps with one rope near the end of the show. (That's all I wrote. I think I was still overwhelmed from Vanguard to remember anything else).

Holy Name Cadets
Oh, the "G" formation is for "Garfield"! I get it. Director Hoppy looked very happy. They're like Vanguard, though: can't do straight lines this year. Makes me crazy.

Carolina Crown
Fly, Petah! Ooh, they BROUGHT it! Cool drum feature at the beginning. Cool horns when they get on their knees. Get it? The flags end up on the other side at the end: "the grass is always greener on the other side." GET IT?! Bro laughed at me when I said this aloud to him. The guys near me said that they had no idea how BD was going to top this show. Dude, have you SEEN BD's show? In person? This week?

Blue Devils
I missed the drummers getting up on the chairs. I must have been looking elsewhere. This show was clean, Clean, CLEAN. I also like that the corps is really having fun with the show.

Seriously. Those people still haven't come back to their seats. OK, the smoke from the vomitories is cool, but not the whole NAS/club dancing music thing. I prefer hearing the USMC play while the corps march in. The Troop is probably thinking, "THIS is what they've been doing for the past 22 years!? This SUCKS!"

SCV entering the field

Awww...look. SCV's Martha was the last shot of the montage. Beautiful.

The Cadets were congratulated on their 75th anniversary.


Fan Favorite: Carolina Crown -- hey! Petah is wearing a crown tonight! Get it?!

12) 85.1 -- Trooopers

Leadership Award: Stephanie Lee of Santa Clara Vanguard -- YAY!!!

11) 86.45 -- Blue Knights
10) 87.75 -- Glassmen

Color Guard: Blue Devils

9) 89.9 -- Phregiment

Visual: Blue Devils

8) 90.05 -- Blue Stars

Brass: Carolina Crown (ooh, this is getting juicy!)

7) 90.70 -- Boston Crusaders

Percussion: Blue Devils

6) 93.15 -- Bluecoats (all by themselves with the untouchable score from above and below)
5) 95.65 -- Santa Clara Vanguard (wow--they lifted up Martha for the salute. Wow.)
4) 96.15 -- Cavaliers (wherein somebody yelled "Go, Rachel!" to the ALL-Male corps. Funny.)
3) 97.20 -- Holy Name Cadets
2) 97.50 -- Carolina Crown
1) 99.05 -- Blue Devils WOW--the 2nd highest score in history

Wow. BD's organization won both classes. Amazing. Congrats BD!

So much weirdness with all of the non-marching and no final group piece, and the SCV leads didn't even salute the BD leads, although they did congratulate them. I really don't like this ending at all.

"Blue Devils, the field is yours!"

Oh, yay! We get to hear the F-tuning warm-up! Oh, YEAH!

They played "When A Man Loves A Woman," which is one of their traditional songs. I normally cannot stand this song, but the way they played it tonight was AWESOME. Maybe I only like when BD plays it.

BD then did their entire show with Shakos off. What? No big "13" football jerseys? The numerology followers were saying that BD was destined for their 13th victory, because "1930" is the title of their show, and 1+9+3+0 = 13.

What's up with the pre-recorded talking from NBC? Maybe I heard it during an online viewing of the show, but I hadn't heard it at anytime this week before tonight. They are beating the HELL out of those drums! What a great show. I'm happy for our corps from the West.

Horn player on chairs, CG upside down

Bass drummers on chairs

So, of course, we can't go to Drum Corps Finals without seeing some kind of wacky headgear. I therefore bring you the winner of the week:

Cone Man

It was nice that we had a short walk back to the hotel, since Bro had to wake up in, like, 3 hours.

He left very early in the morning, and I hung out until checkout time. I took the Green Line shuttle to the airport, which had a stop across the street from the Comfort Inn, with no shade. None. It was hot. I got to the airport and smiled at all of the weary drum corps participants. There were vampires everywhere, as I spotted plenty of Crossmen. I talked to a Vampire and a Scout. The vampire told the scout that the visual designer for their show apologized to the CG for making the show so difficult. He also told me that they were never actually said the words "You are vampires," yet all of the movements led the audience to that conclusion. The scout told me that they're probably going to be doing something Old School next year, because they were getting requests for such from some alumni. I called Bro and he told me that he forgot to say that when we were waiting for the scores, the people had come back to our row of seats and told someone that they had been watching the show from elsewhere. Well, I'm glad they hadn't died or anything! Bro had no explanation as to why they came back to our row. They didn't look for any lost belongings or anything.

My flight home contained several Champions. There was also a family who got there just in time, except for the parents of the bride. And the wedding (or the rehearsal) was the next day. The parents were still at security, and the flight was overbooked, so their seats were given to standby customers. Uh-oh. I changed planes in Vegas, and got home with plenty of time before bed time.

Thanks for the great company, Bro. (He's so patient when dealing with his Ate). Thanks to the corps for the great shows. DCI, seriously. Changes need to be made before next year, or you are going to lose your audience.

Until next year, Drum Corps Fans, I bid you the Simple Gifts of Love, Laughter, and, of course, Music.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pursuing Love Behind the Velvet Rope...with a shark

Drum Corps International
Open Class Finals
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Lucas Oil Stadium -- Indianapolis, IN

We got up early this morning, since the show was to start at 9:30 a.m. I was really tired, because it was difficult for me to sleep during the night because of the after-party going on at the bar where we were on Quarterfinals night. I'm thinking that when we come back here, we'll try to get a room facing Lucas Oil. But still, we woke up, had our breakfast, wherein Bro lamented that it was his last cinnamon roll of the trip. We walked over to Lucas Oil and, since it was General Admission, got ourselves seats in the cushy Advantage seats. Not that I noticed that they were cushy until after the 1st corps was done, sleepy as I was. I think I only noticed the cushion when I sat down quickly and heard air coming out of my chair. our seats were 8 rows up on the second tier, on the 50. The early bird gets the good seats!

The Star-Spangled Banner was sung a cappella by a woman whose name I didn't catch. It was quick, but pretty.

On to the Finals corps!

7th Regiment
Repertoire: "Excalibur" -- Liturgical Dances by D. Holsinger, Of Kingdoms and Glory (Movements II andV) by A. DiLorenzo, Courtly Dance by S. Wolf, And the Mountains Rising Nowhere by J Schwantner, Lavos Battle by Mitsueda/Uematsu

OK, so the programs don't really have all of the titles of the shows. I had to look up the repertoire later on. So my comments are from my limited resources. I mean, they didn't even post them on the big screen. I only know some of them because of a very knowledgeable man in back of me who was talking to his protege or whatever she was.

I, of course, have to preface my comments with this, because I wrote in my notes about a certain flag: "Jesus, or Excalibur?" Well, the flag was blue, and in the corner there was something cross-shaped, that either looked like it was in a rock or on a hill. Later on, I believe that the character of Arthur was being presented with a Shako on a royal purple pillow. Oh, I get it. It's his crown. I liked the percussion feature: it sounded like "On the Waterfront" to me. It did not sound like that to Bro, though. (It especially sounds like that right now because I'm actually listening to "On the Waterfront" from last year as I type this. I'm so confused).

Memphis Sound
Repertoire: "Celebrations...rebirth of a Planet" -- Theme from Earth Day by P. Williams, Appalachian Morning by P. Haley, Palladio by K. Jenkins, Overture to a New Age by J. de Haan

Bro said that they borrowed Arcadia High's ball. Dude in back of me said that this is the corps' last year with this moniker. Next year, they are moving toTexas with the new name of "Forte." Nice soprano solo, and actually nice sound for all of the soprano section. They played the song that the one jeweler plays as its music. You know, the one with all of the shadows of events happening? I turned to Bro and said, "Somebody's getting engaged!" I think that Bro just tries to humor me when he smiles like that.

Repertoire: "INCREMENTUM" -- Selections from Daphnis et Chloe by M. Ravel

I don't like their color guard outfits. They look like reptiles or something. Somebody dropped something black on the field and it distracted me. I obviously was not crazy about this show. Dude in back of me challenged his friend to find a melody from this show that you could sing afterward. Bro and I compared notes later, and both of us said that we had lost the melody halfway through their performance.

Velvet Knights
Repertoire: "Circque D' VK...Lions, Tigers and SHARK!! Oh My..." -- Thunder and Blazes by J. A. V. Fucik; Toy Store Jam, Mahoney's Debut and Temper Tantrum 2 by A. Desplat & A. Zigman; Flight of the Magorium by A. Desplat & A. Zigman; Carnival Capers by R. Hinshaw & T. Nelson; Hungarian Rhapsody by F. Liszt

As usual, VK makes me laugh just when they enter the field. They all shouted to the audience, "And now we meet again!" We all cheered, and they replied, "Thanks, Mom!" And, of course, from the start of the show, the DM makes us all giggle by pretending to do the Phregiment thing to take his baton out of his jacket, and instead pulls scarves out, like a magician.

VK Drum Major with 1st Scarf

Notice the plant on the drum major's stand

And here he is with more of the scarves

They had a chair for the lion tamer, and Bro figured that they were spoofing Blue Devils' chair stunts. I like how they had to paint "VK" on the chair to make sure that it didn't get mixed in with BD's later on, since they look exactly the same without the paint. I love the modified crab step by the drums. Great drum feature! The ballerina fell (on purpose, yes), and she came back on the field with crutches, which one of the other CG members kicked away and nearly hit the judge. They had more balls than the last corps, and NO synthesizer. Happiness. As a great homage to the old-school VK, the cymbal players held their cymbals like a shark biting, and then, at the end, a shark ate a guy. This was, by far, the most entertaining show of Open Class Finals, and it was well-played musically to boot. Awesome.


Repertoire: "Isle of Hope" -- An American Elegy by F. Tichelli; Hungarian Peasant Songs, Romanian Dances, and Swineherds Dance by B. Bartok; Gan Ainm (Traditional Celtic Lament); Overture from The Barber of Seville by G. Rossi

Well, my goodness gracious! How in heck is someone supposed to follow that? Especially when they cymbal players were still dead on the field until the Raiders got there. APPARENTLY, you follow their show with recorded voiceovers, because we know how much Sherry just *loves* that! EEEEW. Nice horn sound, though, and the CG was dropping stuff at important points.


Repertoire: ElementALL -- Music from Metheny, Mancina, Holsinger, Howard, Glass and Brackett

Nice sound, and they made a star formation at the end. I think that's signature for them. No weird stuff. It was very pleasant.

I needed a Coke Zero, I was sooo tired. Kept telling Bro that I was going to get cookies later on.

Oregon Crusaders
Repertoire: "Equilibrium"

As they carried the wooden planks onto the field, I wondered: are they for see saws, or will they be baking salmon? Oh, BALANCE! Dude in back of me told everyone the name of the show. So they balance on those planks while playing. That takes concentration. I was especially impressed by the CG gal who was actually balancing so that the plank was horizontal, and she had a long pole balancing on her shoulder. Nice high brass sound.

Oregon's Equilibrium

Capital Regiment
Repertoire: "The Storm" -- Two Tribes by P. Gill, W. Johnson & M. O'Toole; Hello by A. Lee, B. Moody & D. Hodges, Between Death and Life by Y. Mitsuda, New Beginnings by P. Boyer

They had umbrellas, and I wondered if they stole them with the Bluecoats. I turned to Bro and said, "It's windy again" and blew CO2 at him. He wasn't as amused as he was the other day. Perhaps this will make you laugh, Bro: "Ma hangin pa!" (No,that's not about lynching. It's Tagalog, and an inside joke. Awww, I miss my grandma). Great sound, and I love the strong soprano duet. nice drum feature with the shiny silver modified rifles, which signified lightning. Aren't those the Capital flags from last year? Do they use those every year? They also stole SCV's bird sounds.

Teal Sound
Repertoire: "The Velvet Rope"

So I saw the Velvet Rope, and we figured that it was about a dance club. I said that we needed origami to enter the club. Bro laughed. For real. The corps got new uniforms. There are guitars and an actual rock band in the show. This made me think of "Drumline", during the part when Petey Pablo is entering the field in a car. Too much showiness. The bouncer guy (who really didn't do much but open/close the rope gates -- REALLY!?) wouldn't allow corps members in, just the CG. So Bro said that the entire corps was going to jump the rope. He was close: all of the cymbal players jumped it together, then jumped over each other's cymbals. It was cool. A mellophone guy put down his instrument and started dancing like Michael Jackson, which was fun. Great sound, especially from the horns. There was really no need for that band to be there, really, nor was there a need for the recorded talking. Or the bouncer. I mean, he didn't dance or anything! LAME. He could have at least picked up a horn and played, or swung one of the ropes around, or SOMETHING.

Velvet Rope, keeping Corps out


Repertore: "Portraits of Desire" -- Michelangelo 70, Libertango by A. Piazolla; Vincent by D. McLean; Day Danse by C. Corea, Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues

One of the dudes wanted us to clap for him, just for unrolling the stupid portraits. He didn't do it musically or anything. Perhaps if he had danced, it would have helped. He was almost as frivolous as the damn bouncer. Pretty flags with Van Gogh's "Starry Night" scene. The horns sounded flat, although the mello solo was very nice.

Vanguard Cadets
Repertoire: "Love" -- When I Fall in Love; Seasons of Love from "Rent", Elephant Love Medley from "Moulin Rouge", Tango de Roxanne from "Moulin Rouge", Nessun Dorma from "Turandot" by Puccini

Much like the Vanguard Proper, this show was quite pretty. They played a LOT of love songs, so I would hope so. Stop. Dropping. Stuff!!!! I love hearing that bass drum cadence at the end. SCV is really liking the yellow this year. I think there was a huge sale on bright yellow fabric, come to think of it, because a lot of corps used that yellow. As they were leaving the field, the couple in the storyline was still holding hands. Awwww. Sweet. I love hearing that bass drum cadence.

SCVC Drums in Love

Blue Devils B
Repertoire: "Pursuit" -- Music by I. Heep, J. Meehan and J. Mapes

And much like the Blue Devils Proper, this show kicked some serious ass. I was happy to hear the F-tuning warmup, since BD-A hasn't been doing it this year. Awesome brass chords, and strong! Awesome percussion feature. Run, everyone, run, run, run!!! I actually giggled when they rested and there was an amplified "Sigh" breath sound. They could have done without it, but it was funny.

Run, BDB, Run!


OK, I did NOT like the music that was playing while they marched in. What happened to actually marching in to, you know, a drum cadence? It just felt icky/cheesy. Not good cheese. Like, Cheez Whiz cheese food.

SCVC took forever to be done with their final formation. They were already announcing scores while the contras were being set.

Most Improved Corps: Legends

Outstanding Director: Director of Legends

Drum Major: Legends

Fan's Choice: Blue Devils B

SCVC was still not done with their formation at this point. I got nervous that they wouldn't even be ready by the time their score would be announced.


12) 80.650 -- Memphis Sound

11) 81.350 -- 7th Regiment

Best Brass: Blue Devils B

10) 81.950 -- Legends

9) 83.650 -- Velvet Knights

General Effect: Blue Devils B

8) 87.950 -- Oregon Crusaders

Visual Effect: Blue Devils B (do you see a trend here?)

TIE for 6th place

6) 88.250 -- Raiders

6) 88.250 -- Revolution

SCVC was finally done with their formation. Here is the result.

SCVC Final Formation

5) 89.950 -- Capital Regiment

Percussion: Blue Devils B (SCVC's CG saluted them)

4) 91.250 -- Teal Sound

3) 91.750 -- Citations

Color Guard: Citations (wow, BDB actually didn't sweep!)

2) 94.700 -- Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets

1) 95.500 -- Blue Devils B

No final song. Weird. SCVC also didn't salute BDB, which I thought was odd, too.

So there you go. Blue Devils have a chance of sweeping both classes at Finals. Last year, both classes were edged out by less than a point, with their being placed 1st at Semis. BD is back with a vengeance.

Next up: World Class Finals

Saturday, August 8, 2009


DCI Semi-Finals
August 7, 2009
Lucas Oil Stadium -- Indianapolis, IN

We stayed in the hotel this morning, only leaving to go back to the neighboring hotel's cafe again so that Bro could get another one of their Reuben sandwiches. He loves those things. I had a sandwich that had chicken cordon bleu, but it was hastily put together, and I wasn't that thrilled with it, although the chicken was cooked well. I won't be ordering this tomorrow.

We walked over to the stadium and made our way to the DCI Marketplace to check out the souvie trailers that we didn't have time to look at the day before. We didn't buy anything, but did get a copy of the Show Day Scorecard for the day. We saw that the Colts Pro Shop was open, but didn't have time to figure out how to get inside, so we made our way to the concessions stand. Due to yesterday's debacle, Bro decided to get his food ahead of time and just eat whenever, in order to avoid the long lines. He asked for a straw, and the guy said that there were none anywhere in the stadium. This, of course, has led to us plotting on bringing straws next year for ourselves, and perhaps some extras for everyone around us. Then he used the dispenser to put mustard on his hot dog and it came pouring out way too much. For some reason, I did the same thing with the other dispenser. I don't know why I didn't learn from Bro's experience. So we have to bring our own condiments, too. Oh, and caps for our bottled drinks.

We went to our seats, which were on the left 10 on the second tier. So today we would see more faces. It turns out that the sound was much better from these seats, since it didn't get lost and bounced off of stuff by the time it reached our ears.

The Star-Spangled Banner was sung a cappella by Staff Sergeant Wright of the US Army. His singing was beautiful, and it brought a tear to my eye.

The top 12 corps (marked with *) advance to Finals.

Spirit -- 80.45
Their lead soprano started the warm-up with a screaming solo, and the others started to play whatever, much like a concertmaster leading an orchestra's tuning. I take back what I wrote yesterday about Spirit. You *can* hear the harmonies that I'm used to hearing with Kansas. I guess that it was just so muddled by the time that it got to the top tier that I couldn't hear any of it. I like the silent drill with the color guard, but I wish they had done more with it. Like included the corps marching around, or done more fancy stuff with the flags.

Spirit concertgoers behind barricade

Crossmen -- 81.65
It was cool how the drum major ended her salute simultaneous with a little "ding!" from somebody in the pit. Their capes are just way cool. I like the mello solo, as well as the screaming sop solo at the point that they are in what I called the Bat formation, and the soprano is at the center point. I also like how the one gal caught her sabre while bent over backwards, touching the field with her other hand. Wow! At the end of the show, the corps marched off, and the dude was still drinking from the gal, and then finally carried her off of the field. Cool.

Madison Scouts -- 82.4
Bro ate his hot dog during this show, because he doesn't really like it. So even though he was seated, this was his Hot Dog Corps this year. I really liked the Malaga: great job with all of that triple-tonguing! Boston could use those snake flags for their Temptation show. The DM opens his jacket at the end of the show, revealing the superhero's lightning bolt.

Scary in Red Death Robes

The Academy -- 83.75
Thanks for hurting my ears, Academy! I was waiting for that. Great blast in the opening number, especially from the high brass. That's a big, full chord there at the end. Nice.

Colts -- 85.60
The seagull sound played, and I thought, "Scuttle!" I like the SOS tones, although I could have done without the synthesizer part. The horns were enough to exemplify that. I didn't remember the big sailboat sail or the fish flags from last night. I must have been spacing out at that time.

So, I just have to show you that the Bro and I are Vanguard fans, all the way down to our toes.
Santos Vanguard Feet

Troopers -- 85.90*
I've decided that if the Troop ever drastically changes their uniforms, I'm going to completely freak out. Before the show today, I had been trying to remember which corps I liked with the soprano ensemble that did the unison screaming solo. Bro told me it was the Troopers. He was right. They rocked all of this show. Go, Troop, and Congratulations on making it to Finals! The guy next to me (not Bro) and I were, like, "FINALLY!"

Blue Knights -- 87.55*
I need a ski vest. Bro needs ear warmers. It's cold in here. Whenever I hear the announcer say the title of this show, I think he says "Sugar." It's "Shiver." I'm deaf AND forgetful. Several CG members were sitting out on the sidelines. Don't know if they're all alternates, or if BK has been hit with the illness that almost all of the corps have been getting. Does the BK audition include the knee pop? Just wondering. Bro said that the drum judges on the field will never learn to stay out of the middle of the BK drumline at crucial parts of movement during their shows. They get stuck every year. The drum major was so excited at the end that he was jumping up & down while conducting.

Glassmen -- 87.95*
Oh, those aren't scratch marks on their pants: they're little triangles. Their plumes are tall. The show starts with a single snare, which makes sense with the "One" theme. Bro thinks it would be cool if the whole audience motioned #1 with their index finger at the same time that the corps does at the end of the show.

Blue Stars -- 90.4*
They stand on chairs, too! A little boy in the box seats above us kept repeating, "BLUE STARS!" It was too cute. I like that the show starts with the battery, making it sound like a sewing machine factory. I also like the integration of the Old 100th Psalm with the battle music. Pretty colors of flags at the end.

The drum majors from the Open Class corps competing in Finals tomorrow were introduced. I ate my hot dog. It wasn't yummy, and I don't think it would have been if it was hot. So no more hot dogs from there. The people in front of us, Blue Stars parents/fans, were complimented by the people next to them, whom are Phregiment parents/fans. The Stars fans said, "Thanks. No offense, but we hope we kick your ass today." Friendly-like, but's not a nice way to talk to the defending champions, no matter how far away they are from this year's title.

Boston Crusaders --91.2*
Bro asked me if the CG gals were just wearing Sports Bras. Seems like it. They're supposed to be sexy anyway. I like the way they brushed their hair back as they were waiting for their sabres to fall. You know, they use flags with eyes on them. So did Madison. Madison had the snake flags that would with this show. What a weird coincidence. Bro said it wasn't a coincidence at all. Whatever. OK, so actually, the contra players ARE playing at the same time that they are carrying the CG gals. Whoa. Oh, and the CG guys were carrying horn players while they were playing during the Bacchanale. More Whoa. I need to clap during that part. APPARENTLY, we're supposed to. So, as you see from the score, it really doesn't matter how Phreg did. BCru kicked the BStars' butts anyway. They really did bring it.

Bitten Apple

Phregiment -- 90.65*
So I guess the BStars didn't get their wish, although Phregiment does need to keep it up for tomorrow. The opening dude does not play the violin very well. I told Bro that he needed to go down to the field and play instead. Then the CG lead gal DROPPED the violin. Ugh. Thank goodness the CG guy didn't do so when he did his throw. Beautiful soprano solo. I really like that music.
Flags with Violin Portion on them

Bluecoats -- 93.55*
So they have that "idea" flag, the "big" flag to add to it, and a "ger" flag to add to that. Necessary? No. Here's my bigger idea: leave it to our imaginations. I like seeing the jacket-less horn players kick the jacketed horn players from the back of their knees. It was just cool-looking, like "take off your jacket, fool!" Bloo is all alone in the world with their score. Nobody can touch them, and they can't touch those higher than them.

Santa Clara Vanguard -- 95.9*
They got a nice standing ovation during their company front. The only corps of the night to receive one before the end of their show.

Martha at Show End

Cavaliers -- 96.05*
Hey, dude. You've got something on your butt. OK, it's the rope pulling the climber. It still looked like it was on his butt. It looked like the judge was running after the climber to arrest him or something after he climbed all over everybody.

Climbing Over Cavaliers Corps

Holy Name Cadets -- 97.2*
Bright yellows are in this year. Run, judge, RUN!!! They havea lot of company fronts, but they run to them instead of march. This is not as effectual to me as a slow-moving/slow-forming one. Bro said it's because they have to do 75 company fronts to commemorate the big anniversary year, so they don't have time to be slow.

Cadets Take The Field

Carolina Crown -- 97.55*
So, I'm sitting there trying to convince Bro that the CG guy is Peter Pan, and then the little 10-year-old girl next to him says the same thing to her dad. I TOLD you!!! I like the transition chord of "Somewhere" leading into "Over the Rainbow". Bro wants me to remember that there was more green than black in the sash of the corps uniform before tonight. I just checked close-ups, and there is green in the sash.
Crown's Green Drums

Blue Devils -- 98.4*
OK, they *added* "Rhapsody in Blue* at the end. That was not there before. And, of course, it was gorgeous. Those drums are just pure, clean, and done.
BD Horns Laying Back on Chairs

The DCI Hall of Fame inductees were announced, and then the Individual & Ensemble winners were introduced. We also heard the sergeant sing the Star-Spangled Banner again, because it was way too good for any of the latecomers to miss, I guess. Then came the Age-Out ceremony. I was annoyed that they also invited the alumni to go on the field. They already had their ceremony! Let the kids have their own night! And then they didn't even list all the names like they used to. I think this year's graduating class was gypped. The evening ended with a member of the Bluecoats proposing to his girlfriend, also a member of the corps. She said yes.

Bro and I walked back across the street to our hotel and tried to get some sleep in preparation for the next day's full day of drum corps. It was difficult, though, because the nearby bar had some loud music. Go to sleep, you crazy kids, and stop all that racket!

Friday, August 7, 2009

That Drum Corps Show Across the Street

DCI Quarterfinals
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Indianapolis, IN -- Lucas Oil Stadium

I arrived in Indianapolis on Wednesday, a day after Bro. He had arrived a day early to visit with some friends in Terre Haute. He picked me up in the rented oh-so-roomy-but-not-really Toyota Yaris. It's actually a nice car, except for the weird instrument panel, which is situated in the middle of the dashboard, which irritated Bro. We made a stop at Staples and then had dinner at O'Charley's, where we had gone last year, so now it is a tradition. (Yes, both Staples and O'Charley's. Best Buy would have been part of the tradition had the store still been there). We then drove to our hotel, which is right across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. This is especially impressive to Bro and me because we thought it was a couple of blocks away. No. It's right there! See?

Holiday Inn Express on left, Lucas Oil on right

It should also impress those of you that have been to DCI with us before, having to take a shuttle or drive all the way back to our hotel. We couldn't believe our luck when we had booked the place last month and it was still available. No, we don't have a view of the stadium from our room, but we don't mind. We pretty much just got settled in and realized that we wouldn't have much to do for the rest of our stay but see drum corps. Don't know if we're going to be able to last all 9 years here.

On Thursday morning, we got up and had a nice complimentary warm breakfast downstairs in the hotel. We went to the Greenwood mall and bought flip-flops for both of us at Dick's Sporting Goods. I know, I know. MORE shoes, Sher? But, but, they were on sale! It's Bro's fault anyway. Take this girl shopping for shoes and you know she's going to look for some for herself. We went back to the hotel and I painted my toenails green to show my Vanguardian fandom. We had lunch at the Comfort Suites Cafe and Bar at the Comfort Inn just a few steps away. Bro enjoyed his $1.00 Black Jack Cola, while I spent twice as much on a mere Diet Coke. Bro has realized that he likes Reuben sandwiches.

We walked back to our hotel, picked up our tickets and such, and headed over to Lucas Oil. Although our tickets stated that we could enter through the gates on the same side as our hotel, they were incorrect. So much for paying the exorbitant charges that Ticketmaster sets on these stupid things. I miss the days when we used to order directly through DCI, and all the tickets had the name "Kristy" on them. I somehow was able to get in with my backpack, although the announcement said that they weren't allowed. (Others had them, too. If they had a bag check, perhaps I would have had to walk back to the hotel). So after we signed up to be "Super Fans," we went down to the DCI Marketplace, which is actually in the attached Convention Center. I bought a Vanguard tote (yes, another bag) as well as last year's DCI Finals CDs and the week's program. Bro bought a couple of cool shirts.

Anyway, one of the ways to get to the Marketplace is to go down the steps to the field level and go behind the stands to the entrance. Here's the view from the field level:

Colts End Zone

We made our way up to our seats, which were on the Terrace Level, the highest tier, in the 1st row, on the left 10-yard line. We had missed the Star-Spangled Banner, and were seated just in time for the first corps. Since we were in the front row of our section, I had desk space to place my notebook and phone. This made me happy. I'm a geek like that.

The top 17 -scored corps advance to semi-finals, marked by an *

Cascades -- 74.95
Repertoire: "Beyond the Forest" -- Pan's Labyrinth by J. Navarrete, Into the Forest by J. Hinkle, Tangiers by J. Powel, Not While I'm Around by S. Sondheim, Make Our Garden Grow by L. Bernstein

Welcome back, Seattle! They didn't do a full tour last year, and I missed them. I told Bro that due to the last heat wave in Seattle, this is probably the first time that corps members felt like they were going to better weather for Finals. I didn't really like any of the flag colors. At one point, they had branches, and formed a tree. I thought that one of the formations would mean something significant. Here is the exchange of words between us.

S: What is that?
B: An ant.
S: On purpose?

Cascades Tree

Pioneer -- 75.75
Repertoire: "Celtic Trinity" -- Celtic Dances by B. Balmages, Into the Raging River by S. Rellnecke

They did variations of the number three, which made Bro furrow his brow, since SCV had just recently done a show with this theme. However, Pioneer's was more symbolic of their Irish roots, using the shamrock, the Celtic Triangle, and the Celtic Cross in their formations. At one point, the color guard members each had a big stick, and a little, almost tambourine-sized drum. We wondered what that was about. It turns out that the drum was to be held up for the snare players to beat. Ooh, look! The second drum major has a horn solo. Toward the end, the cymbals did a version of SCV's Viper. What? Just because SCV isn't doing it this year, you're going to? Hmph.

Jersey Surf -- 78.55
Repertoire: "The Mozart Effect" -- Overture to The Marriage of Figaro; Inspirations from Symphony #40 in G Minor; The Lacrimosa (from Mozart's Requiem); Excerpts from: The Magic Flute, Act II: Pa-Pa-Papageno, Der Holle kocht in meinem Herze; Excerpts from: Symphony #40 in G Minor: "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" by. W.A. Mozart

This is the Surf's debut at World Class Finals week competition. Welcome to the Big Leagues, Surf! That last chord to the Overture was really cool. When Bro and I saw the repertoire, we both worried that Surf had lost its comedic roots, but they did not disappoint us. Symphony #40 was a fun romp with a salsa beat. Pa-Pa-Papageno was great, and the corps danced the bird dance and bobbed their heads. (This is one of the very few songs in The Magic Flute that I actually enjoy). The musical back-and-forth melody got kind of lost from our vantage point, though, because the sound gets a little muddy up here.

Pacific Crest -- 79.05
Repertoire: "El Corazon de la Gente" -- Danzas Sinfonicas by J. Orbon, Sinfonia India by C. Chavez, Pampeana #3 by A. Ginastera

Ok, this is the corps I sponsor on a regular basis, and this is the first and only time I saw them perform this year. Stupid getting-drunk-in-Napa. ;) I also sponsored a uniform, and don't really like them, but whatever. I also don't like the CG uniforms. I do, however, love the corps uniforms from the back! Nice, especially with the white plume. I also like the Drum Major's uniform. At first, I was happy to see that they were able to keep their lines straight, even when they weren't on the yard lines. That didn't last for the rest of the show, though, as I found myself motioning to them to move over and get in line (as if they could see me). I like the drum feature, and there were some very nice solos. I also liked the dance steps during what looked like a bull-fighting sequence, as well as the accompanying hypnotic flags.

PC Turns Around

Mandarins -- 79.65
Repertoire: "Absolute" -- Absolute Fanfare: Festive Overture, Op. 96 by D. Shostakovich; Absolute Passion: Libertango by A. Piazzolla; Absolute Joy: Ode to Joy (from Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, "Choral") by L. van Beethoven; Absolute Rhythm: Ode to Joy; Absolute Velocity: Partita by P. Sparke

I see Absolute, I think vodka. See? They included a Russian composer! ;) All of their different-colored flags had the same graphic on it. I like the music, but how can you have "Absolute Joy" in a Mandarins show when there is no Taiko? Hey--the CG took the long feather from last year's Pacific Crest show, and multiplied. Somebody dropped their drum stick, so that distracted me for the rest of the show. I missed when they picked it up, though.

Spirit -- 80.7 *
Repertoire: "Live...In Concert" -- Song for America by K. Livgren, Carry On Wayward Son by K. Livgren, Point of Know Return by S. Walsh, P. Ehart & R. Steinhardt, Dust in the Wind by K. Livgren, Journey from Mariabronn by K. Livgren & S. Walsh

Their show is the music of the band Kansas, whom I know as having some cool a cappella harmonies in some of their songs. So the fact that they had no part of just pure horn chords without any other distraction just completely disappointed me. I'm also not happy that they were actually playing an electric string bass and an electric guitar over there in the pit. The pre-show started with sound checks, which fit the theme of the whole "concert" atmosphere, but I just could not get into it, and was annoyed. Had they done the harmonies and let the horns actually just play, this show would have been awesome. Instead, we just got a bunch of unnecessary stuff. Ugh.

Crossmen -- 81.9*
Repertore: "ForbiddeN" -- Medea's Dance of Vengeance by S. Barber, My Immortal by B. Moody, A. Lee & D. Hodges, ForbiddeN by A. Guidry

No, that capital N in the title is not a typo. Don't know what that's about. Anyway, the program doesn't come right out and say this, but this show is about vampires. COOL! The Crossmen capitalize on their corps history, and bring back their capes to use as part of their special effects. Love it. Unfortunately, due to security issues, mascot Bones had nowhere to stand except on the sidelines to bring luck to his corps. I like all of the vampire cape action. There was a neat sound that was like something flying through the wind at night, but I wish it wasn't from the synthesizer. Because that means that they're using a synthesizer, and I am not a fan of those being used in drum corps. At the end of the show, I asked Bro, "Is he drinking her right now?" The answer was YES. Way cool.

Cymbal players surround the ForbiddeN couple

So at this point, I went to the restroom, then looked for a concession stand to buy something to drink. For the entire terrace level, there was only one stand open, with 6 lines, each at least 15 customers deep. Good God. Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad if the line actually moved quickly. No. APPARENTLY, this was the concessions crew's first day together. EVER. This is supposed to be their dress rehearsal for next week's opening Colts game. guys have a LOT of practicing to do! I met some nice people in line, 2 of which were a couple whose kid was in PC, so we talked about that. Other people discussed the non-availability of adequate Disabled services, such as parking near the door, and actual seating for disabled people. The rest of the time, we all talked about the abhorrent concession stand service. Next to the kitchen, still in the employee area, 3 people stood around, 2 of them with walkie-talkies, probably discussing the fact that nobody had any idea what was going on. Why the heck are there so many people here? And why are they all hungry/thirsty? When the lady in front of me finally ordered a good 20-25 minutes after we got in line, they had run low on pretzels, so they were still heating them. Did the gal at the register offer to help me while they were waiting for them? Not until I spoke up and asked if I could just buy a drink. She just sat there and watched the pretzel people heat up the pretzels, already having put in her request for one. She probably would have made me wait had I not spoken up. Normally, I would be patient, but it was, like 1 minute until intermission would be over. A 41-minute intermission. So maybe I had been in line for 30 minutes, I don't even know. RIDICULOUS.

Madison Scouts -- 83.5*
Repertoire: "Relampago" -- I. The Forces of Nature: Original music by V. Oliver, Malaga by B. Holman; II. Two Left-Footed Mambo: Baron Cimetiere's Mambo by D. Grantham; III. Love Is In the Air: Original music by V. Oliver; IV. A Turn to the Dark Side: Candela by G. Ortiz; V. Relampago's Triumphant Return: Original music by V. Oliver

This show is about a reuctant superhero, who gained supernatural strengths after living a life of crime. The first part of the show looks like scary Death in red robes. Then he looked like a Lucha wrestler. So I thought that maybe it was a wrestler who had come back to life. I was close, I guess. I like the red sash on the corps uniforms. No fleur-de-lis in the Madison show? WHACK.

The Academy -- 83.9*
I really like this show from up here. Lots of arrows pointing up, which fit the "Ascent" theme. We couldn't see them from the low vantage point that we had in AZ. I like the blue flags signifying wind, especially when they spin them. The music is not muddy now, as it was with the corps before them today. Pretty.

Academy Arrow Going Up

Colts -- 85.15*
Repertoire: "Fathoms" -- Song of the High Seas (from Victory at Sea) by R. Rodgers, Seda Treaders by W. F. McBeth, The Voyage by C. Tomas & M. Mullinix, Ebb Tide by R. Maxwell, SOS by M. Mulinix & C. Tomas, The Journey Home by C. Tomas & M. Mulllinix

I wanted to hear "Fathoms Below" from The Little Mermaid, but I didn't. Bummer. They did a formation of a wave, which almost looked like the PC logo, but red. That synthesized seagull sound was way loud. How big was that seagull supposed to be? The nautical theme was present throughout, and I liked the flag with the lighthouse graphic.

Troopers -- 86.05*
The corps entered from the other side of the stadium. That was weird. Oh! One of the formations was a bow and arrow, and it moved as if the arrow was being shot. I don't remember that many hearts in the show before, but I like them. I liked the really high soprano note that was played in unison. NICE!

Troopers Arrow Through Heart

Glassmen -- 87.75*
Repertoire: "The Journey of ONE" -- Act 1: Multiples of ONE: The Multiples of One by J. Curiale, You Are Wherever Your Thoughts Are by S. Reich; Act 2: Alone: The Heat Asks Pleasure First (from The Piano) by M. Nymna, Panis Angelicus by C. Frank; Act 3: ONE: The Multiples of One; Joy (from Awakening) by J. Curiale, One by H. Nillson

I thought the beginning of their show sounded like SCV's Canyon, but that didn't last long. When did they add those hash marks to their pants? The space sound they made was cool, and I know they can do that with just horns. They also had flags with the same design on all of their different colors. Bro would have preferred that they ended their show with the Arabic number 1 instead of the Roman numeral I. Maybe they'll change it up just for him tomorrow.

Glassmen One

Blue Knights -- 87.0*'s getting cold in here. No, really, it is. The air-conditioning was on, and it felt kind of wrong for me to be watching drum corps in person and not being warm. BK's guard was dressed appropriately, for their "Shiver" show. The wind blowing the corps around worked well here. It did not seem to translate at all in AZ. Neither did those ski vests on in 97-degree weather. I could have used one tonight, though. One of the guard members kept dropping stuff, which makes me crazy during finals week. I giggled when the judge had to run away from the expanding snowball. I think that they should change the pattern of the snowflake with every show. They have pretty flags. I like the big ones with the fringe, pictured below.

Blue Stars-- 89.95*
Repertoire: "The Factory" -- Theme from Hardin County, by A. Menkin; The Factory by F. Sullivan, B. Montgomery, S. Adams & T. Aungst; Fancy Free by L. Bernstein

There are a LOT of sewing machines on the field.

I like the way that they brought unfinished flags to the sewers, and they came back with complete flags. There was some narration going on, which I heard as "Wa wa wa Wa wa wa" a la Charlie Brown adults. Not just because I hate narration, but also because it gets all muddy in the dome atmosphere. Which leads me to this discussion.

DCI did not have the dome open today, which was a beautiful day, not too hot, no rain, blue skies. APPARENTLY, the stadium folks told them that they had to keep the dome closed. Never mind that acoustically, drum corps is better heard in open air. Never mind that DCI is locked into its contract for 9 of the next 10 years. Never mind that there was no rain or 100-degree heat in the forecast. No. STUPID.

Anyway, I like the theme of the BStars show. There were just way too many sewing machines on the field, and the narration was unnecessary.

No, I did not go back to concessions.

Boston Crusaders -- 90.35*
Repertoire: "The Core of Temptation" -- Prologue by J. Kennedy, Dance of the Maenads (from View from Olympus) by J. Psathas, Seduction (after a theme by Camille Saint-Saens) by J. Kennedy, Chaos by O. Carmenatas & J. Carpenter, Capitulation & Ritual Madness by. J. Kennedy, Bacchanale (from Samson and Delilah) by C. Saint-Saens

The first big formation was an apple. I missed taking a picture of that. Later on, the formation was of a bitten apple. I missed taking a picture of that one, too. Oh, well. I wasn't fond of the flags, because the bright pink really clashed with the corps' red uniforms. Bro: "All the flags are Bubble Yum flavors." As if the contra players don't have enough of a load to carry, they also each lift up a member of the CG while also holding their instruments. Those are some strong people! There were way more people on the field dancing around than I remember being in the story of the Garden of Eden. YAY! Bacchanale!!!! I LOVE that piece.

Phantom Regiment -- 90.7*
Repertoire: "The Red Violin" -- The Red Violin (from the film The Red Violin) by J. Corigliano, Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Paganini by J. Barnes, Paganini Variations by W. Lutoslawski, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by S. Rachmaninoff, Caprice XXIV Paganini by B. Goodman, Paganini Variations by P. Wilby

I love the movie The Red Violin, especially the music. So I was happy at the beginning of the season when Phregiment announced that they would be doing the music from this show. The defending champions have got the talent for it. Unfortunately, their show design left the judges with much to be desired during the season, so they changed it drastically. I had seen the first version online, so much of the show tonight was new to me. They really changed it! There is now some residual violence from last year's Spartacus show, as people fight over ownership over the Red Violin. They stand at the vomitory with the snares in front, then they open up like a gate and let the rest of the corps enter before them. I love how they jazzed up Paganini. The violinist in me wants that f-hole flag. (The f-hole is one of the cut outs on the violin itself). They make formations of portions of violins.

3/4 of a Violin formation

Bluecoats -- 92.65*
Do we really need the flag with the word "idea" and a lightbulb on it? The multiple flags with just lighbulbs on them weren't enough? I like the flags with the graphic of pigs flying. I also like the horn players' dance movements during the drum feature, which is cool in itself anyway. They were the 2nd corps to take off some of their clothing today. Somebody earlier took off their hats. So, at this rate, I figured that the Blue Devils would just eventually be naked on the field.

Santa Clara Vanguard -- 95.5*
Gorgeous! I warned Bro that I watched them perform this live online a few weeks ago, and I cried through most of it. It didn't happen today because I ran out of batteries on my camera. The cymbal players now put their cymbals down on the field at the end of the show so that they can lift up "Martha." All in all, I have nothing much to say. The beauty of this show leaves me speechless.


Holy Name Cadets -- 96.05*
Repertoire: "West Side Story '09: Conflict and Resolution" -- Rumble, Prologue, Boy Like That/I Have a Love, Cool, Tonight (from West Side Story) by L. Bernstein

Happy 75th Anniversary to the Cadets, who went back to their roots this year with their corps name and one of the staple pieces of drum corps, the music of WSS. Actually, to me, it was a a"White West Side Story," as they didn't play "Mambo" or "America." I like the conflicting sides of the green vs. yellow flags while they play a cool medley of "Boy Like That/I Have A Love." Heaven help us, I actually like a Cadets show! If only they would leave out the talking. Yes, there's still a little bit of talking during "Cool." Completely unnecessary.

Carolina Crown -- 96.10*
Repertoire: "The Grass is Always Greener" -- Promise of Living by A. Copland, The Storm by L. Beddis & A. Markworth, Church Windows by O. Respighi, Overture, Spark of Love, Puck One (from Il Sogno) by E. Costello, Sensemaya by S. Revueltas, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by H. Arlen, Somewhere (from West Side Story) by L. Bernstein, Slalom by C. Pann, Promise of Living

There is way too much green, and an icky green at that. I thought that Peter Pan was on the field, and it seemed to me that I was right, because later someone was dressed like they were Tinkerbell. So Peter Pan & Tinkerbell were dancing to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which is the Cavaliers signature song. The Cavaliers, AKA the Green Machine, were waiting to perform their show and had to listen to this other corps do their song. That was just wrong to me. Ooh, at one point, there were pairs of corps members making a bridge out of another corps member on their shoulders, and the CG would toss their rifle over them and catch from the other side of the human bridge. Cool! If I was the bridge, I'd close my eyes for that.

Cavaliers -- 95.85*
Repertoire: "The Great Divide" -- Extreme Makeover by J. de Meij, Pampeana No. 3: Impetuosamente by A. Ginastera, The Engulfed Cathedral by C. Debussy, On the Great Divide by J. Adams

OK, Crown must have thrown off the Cavaliers to give them this score. That whole wrong-ness must have just permeated throughout the season. They have ropes in this show. At one point, 2 people were on each end, holding two ropes, and there was another CG standing midway between them. I wanted them to do some Double Dutch. They did not. So near the beginning of the show, the CG tossed their rifles over an elevated rope. Whatever. So I giggled, thinking that wasn't as dangerous as what Crown did. Then it was like, "Oh, yeah? I'll show YOU 'rifle-toss-over-corps-member'!" and a bunch of them, in succession, did the human bridge on shoulders, spinning one way and then another over the bridge. Awesome. There was a lot of climbing over people. Um, sir? Have you ever heard the phrase "Excuse me?" ;)

Blue Devils -- 97.95*
Repertoire: "1930" -- Mosaic: Get Happy by H. Arlen & T. Koehler, Happy Days Are Here Again by J. Yelten & M. Ager, Playing Love by E. Morricone; Depression: Piano Variations by A. Copland; King of Jazz: Rialto Ripples by G. Gershwin & I. Gershwin, I Got Rhythm by G. Gershwin & I. Gershwin; Hope: Concerto in F by G. Gershwin, Caravan by D. Ellington, I. MIlls & J. Tizol, Happy Days Are Here Again

I had only seen this show online before. The first time, I didn't like it much. The second time, I did. This time, live, I really enjoyed the show. They have a lot of chairs, which are moved around the field to support different formations and allow people to sit down.
S: Did they sit around a lot in 1930?
B: Yes. It's when the chair was invented.
S: Wow. They stood around for a long time!
That cool pant-scarf thing from last year is back, but the inner lining is yellow, which matches the CG, and really adds to the visual effect of the show. The horn players are all sitting in an arc formation at one point, and they all have their legs spread out as they lay back on the chairs. I really like that, especially because it shows that yellow. I wondered aloud why the drummers didn't get to sit down. Well, I got something close: The snare players stood on the chairs, and then the bass drummers. I was all, YES!!!" when it happened, it was really cool. With all of those chairs as obstacles, I was amused when the field judge had a hard time getting around. I want to "see" BD do that one in the dark! Bro told me to close my eyes and it would have been the same as that night in 1999. But I want the corps' eyes to be closed, too!!!

After hearing the last couple of scores, I needed some protein, so Bro and I decided to put our stuff away and walk over to Basey's. Basey's is a bar situated next to the parking structure of the hotel, and they put up a canopy for drum corps fans and alumni to have drinks after the show. We went inside and ordered some hot wings and drinks. A drunk man said stuff to us occassionally. He called Bro a Marine and asked how he got so lucky to be with somebody so good-looking. Or he was asking me that. We weren't sure. I just didn't want to tip him off that we were bro & sis, so that he wouldn't hit on either one of us. He was pretty harmless, but really drunk, and staggered to the restroom. I got really drunk on my Citrus Splash, which was just vodka & cranberry juice, but I was really just ready to go home. Bro called me a lightweight as he finished his Silver Bullet as well as the rest of my drink & my wings. I don't know why, but that drink hit me HARD. We went back to the hotel and I drank water to prevent any hatred of myself in the morning.

It was an enjoyable Quarterfinals night. I didn't deem any show "hot dog corps"-worthy. There wasn't much drama, which, compared to last year, is a bit of a letdown. The top show to Bro and me, no matter what the score: Vanguard. Not many shows leave me with that speechless feeling. Ballet for Martha gives me the same feeling that Scheherazade did in 2004. No matter who wins, 2009 will be, to me, "Martha's Year."

Next Up: Semifinals