Sunday, August 16, 2009

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.


  1. Hey Sherry. This is the first I'm hearing about standing for "Stars and Stripes Forever". I've performed it many times myself, but I've never really noticed people standing for it.

    I know we're supposed to stand for "The Star Spangled Banner", and "The Hallelujah Chorus", but "Stars and Stripes"?

  2. Perhaps you were not taught to stand for the song because you were *already* standing. ;)

    I don't know where I learned it, but I'm pretty sure it was from something in the marching community. I know that Bro and I were *not* the only ones standing. Maybe it's a really old school thing.