Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Opposite of Light

Corps at the Crest - Los Angeles
Rose Bowl 
Pasadena, CA
Saturday, June 27, 2015

It's so nice not to have to be in the car for over an hour to get to a drum corps show!  Yup, Corps at the Crest was in Pasadena tonight, so Bro, V, Dodie and Glenn met up at my house to carpool.  We had VIP parking, so we didn't have to pay the $5.00 fee, and parked fairly close to the entrance.  Background on the names you're seeing:  V is Bro's wife, and has been attending drum corps shows since 2001.  She comes to Finals with us occasionally, but only attends one So Cal show per summer.  This is Dodie's 2nd DCI show EVER, and SCV's Scheherazade 2014 show got her hooked.  Glenn marched in his high school marching band, and goes to about one So Cal show per summer, and has watched the Big, Loud, Live shows from Finals week.  He also attended all of the Finals week shows when DCI championships took place at the Rose Bowl in 2007.

On the car ride over, I had shared with everyone about LEGO Batman's song being in my head because of PC's show.  I sang it several times during the evening.  We had some time before the gates opened, so we watched Golden Empire's battery warm up.  We saw several people wearing Batman stuff.  V wondered if it had to do with a show.  I tried to tell her that people just like Batman.  It just fit in so well with the Darkness of the day.  The line was long to get into the stadium, but it moved quickly...until my friends got behind a school group and the ticket taker had to scan about 50 tickets.  I don't know why they didn't follow me.  Glenn purchased some tech shirts from different corps, and Bro and I tried to avoid the Academy booth because we wanted V to be surprised by their show.  I was excited to see that the Mandarins uniforms were on display, so that I could get close-up pictures of them.
Back of Mandarins CG uniform

Front of uniform -- what V was checking out

Dodie and I got some chicken to eat and we met up with Bro and V at our seats, which were in row 57, Section 19, seats 1-5, on the right 40-yard line.  I purposefully got aisle seats because these seats have almost no room to walk by, and I didn't want us to have to crawl over strangers.  I'm OK with strangers going by, though, as long as it's not during a show.  I sighed when a man sat in front of me because he was tall and I had to watch shows around his head and his hat.  V offered to switch seats with me so that I could take pictures, but I'd rather that she was able to watch the 1 California show she was attending since I had seen all of the shows already.  Thanks, though, V.  

The Star-Spangled Banner was a recording of a male a capella group.  It was a beautiful rendition, and I think it was this arrangement.  It sounded like Home Free, but it also could have been Gaither, so I don't know.  I'd rather that it was a vocal band that I knew personally and that they were here in person, but then my head would probably explode, so it's probably for the best.

"Do it.  go all the way."  I don't think there should be narration if it doesn't help me understand the show.  

The contra solo on Jupiter kicked ass yet again.  They're all very exposed in their horn line, and in this arena, they are all really brave.  The audience had a great response to this corps, showing much appreciation.  I love drum corps audiences when they're like this.

Incognito and their pretty long flags

I looked up into the VIP section and saw the former band director from my alma mater.  Hi, Mr. Landes!  I did not wave at him.  But look at this cute Vanguard Fan couple!  

V and Bro

Their screens remind me of Gotham city.  Darkness!  I like the blare at the end of the first mellophone solo (Pink Panther theme).  The solos were a bit off tonight; maybe they were tired, or it was their nerves, but I know that they can do much better.  My friends all liked this show.  
Dancing to Stripper Music

I think that they've finished their show.  V thought that this corps was supposed to be goofy.  I told her that they've been doing a lot of classical music lately.  Dodie felt that it was flat and didn't garner any emotion.  I really wish that someone could do something great with Red Violin, but even Phregiment couldn't do it, so I don't know.

Impulse's lavender flags

I went to the restroom.  Bro said that they got rid of the tarp.  I don't know if that's permanent, or maybe they were worried that it might rain and someone would slip on it.  He said that you can now hear the pit and the brass, so it sounds better.  He also said that he saw other girls in the CG that could dance better than the soloist, so I don't know what's up with that.  OK, maybe I'll watch in Riverside, but no promises.

I spent my intermission in line, getting back to my seat.  It turns out that the tall people in front of us were supposed to be behind us so they moved, and kids were in front of me.  Much better, thank you!  Perhaps they should arrange the seating here by height, because the levels are pretty shallow.  I texted my friend Tim, and asked him to wave so that Dodie could see him.  Tim marched in Velvet Knights, and he tries to go to this show every year.

V asked the same question that Rudy did: is it that hard to push that globe, or are they faking it?  Dodie asked if the dolls were Terracotta warriors.  I just looked it up.  You're right, Dodie!  Perhaps that's why they don't move, and neither does that globe.  They are STATUES, Sherry.  Oh, yeah, "Forever in Stone":  ergo, the rocks on their final flags.  I get it!  Great sound, Mandarins!  The quintet high trumpet seemed to be sharp.  Someone please tell their CG about keeping the horns the same height and when to bring their arms down, so that they look in sync with the corps proper.  Dodie liked the show, and was happy that she had just bought their 2013 shirt today (she loves dragons).

Closing number for Mandarins

V wasn't surprised because the people in back of her ruined it by talking about it.  Bro tried to tell her that it was called "House" when she saw the rooftops, but that didn't work.  Glenn guessed it, I think, when he saw the chimney segments.  The drummers take off their drums and spin the white double flags during "Feed the Birds".  That segment made Tim cry.  He said that he would have been really upset if he had missed tonight's show because he really wanted to see it.  I predict that I will cry during this show at Finals week because of that song.  The horn players sing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and I'll be singing along with it tomorrow.  I started to do so today.  I love the look of all of the letter flags in the backfield at the end of the show.  It was the favorite of the night for Dodie, V and Tim.  

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Flags

Dodie:  "Oh, THAT 'Because'."  Some of the snake-y things are now orange.  Dodie likes them.  Augh!  They're STILL not done with this show!  I'm going crazy.  Glenn wonders how many extra screens they have in their truck.  The film covering on them is starting to come off, so I wonder if they'll reveal the shininess at Drums Along the Rockies.  You know, when they finish their show.  Or at Finals.  No fair!  

Blue Knights Kneeling for my forgiveness that they still haven't finished their show

Sometimes I wonder if people are asking each other questions just to mess with my mind.  Like when the people in back of me were asking if the next corps was Phantom Regiment.  Do they LOOK like the Phregiment helmets?!  They also asked a bunch of other stuff of each other, which prompted V to ask me, "What is wrong with them?"  I don't know.  They seemed to be ASU fans, so maybe they were from Arizona, but they also didn't know that there is a show in Arizona on Monday, so I could be wrong about that.  I might have forgiven their questions, but the woman kept referencing different drum corps websites, so I just can't.

Yay!  The trumpet soloist got some love tonight, including from me.  :) He did a great job.  I really like the transition to the red dresses, and the corps sounded really good.  Nothing like having home turf fans to support you, right?  If only they would finish making that catalyst before leaving So Cal, so that we can all see it in person, then we would be happier, and the GE score will go up.  Or maybe Batman can just pop up out of the catalyst, and my life would be complete.

That empty cube frame in the middle will be a catalyst someday

They need to clean up the horn parts, because it's a bit muddy.  I like our vantage point because of the formations.  Dodie really likes this show.  V tried to offer me sunflower seeds later in the evening, but I didn't want them, partly because I felt like I'd be eating Phregiment's flags.  I know I'm crazy.  Shut up. Tim would like more Gershwin, less Debussy.  I agree.  So does Bro.  But then it would be the Gershwin show, and that was 2005, and I'd rather keep it there in my happy memory archive.  

Eiffel Tower

Now there is writing, so they look like books.  Oh, I see them coming out of the pages now.  V thinks that they should have a gigantic calligraphy pen.  Dodie leaned over at one point and said to me, "Darkness!"  I giggled. Oh, I didn't realize that the girls were sitting at the table for tea.  I loudly said, "Ladders!" so that the newbies would see the rifle action.  They liked that, and Glenn asked if they were trying to top last year's rifle stuff.  I like the high saber tosses during "Children Will Listen", then they all toss in unison.  The drummers dance during the GOT7!  I think the pit members should dance, too.  Bro said they look like they want to dance.  Let them dance!!!  Tim was disappointed in the show because they have so much talent, but he feels like they're winning mostly because they are BD.  He did really like the final act when the brass was in the left end zone.  

Rifle Toss

The theremin is missing.  People behind us kept saying, "What does that mean?!"  I guess that they were trying to figure out the show, which I like, because it means they want to understand.  Just please, please, don't ask for narration.  I just didn't have time during the show to tell them about the SCV blog.  Tim was never for amplification, but at least appreciates the way that SCV used the mics artistically.  Dodie told me that she was sorry, but this show did not make her cry.  I told her that I don't think you're supposed to cry during this show, because it's so energetic.  I mean, "Pure Imagination" is lovely, but it's not just a crying kind of song.  I didn't cry when "Glee" did it at a funeral, either, but I didn't like the song at all back when I saw that.

Pure Imagination Bird formation

Encore -- Pacific Crest
Finally, an encore!

  • Eternal Father, Strong to Save
  • Enjoy the Silence
  • Final Fantasy 8
  • Ave Maria


Open Class
5) 36.00 -- Incognito
4) 44.40 -- Watchmen
3) 46.00 -- Impulse
2) 49.80 -- Gold
1) 51.60 -- Golden Empire

World Class
7) 62.50 -- Mandarins
6) 65.55 -- PC
5) 67.10 -- Academy
4) 72.80 -- BK
3) 73.15 -- Phregiment
2) 77.50 -- SCV
1) 79.40 -- BD (highest score in the nation tonight)

We did some catching up with Tim, and Bro found his friend Kenji, whom was in the champion 1999 Vanguard.  Hi, Kenji!  

Meeting up with Disneyland Friends

Kenji and Bro

Big drops started to fall from the sky, so we said our goodbyes and drove back to my place.  A block away, there were a lot of police cars, a paramedic vehicle, and a news van.  Uh oh.  It seems that there was a home invasion in the neighborhood, so that didn't let me fall asleep quickly.  So I watched "The Dark Knight".  Because it was on TV.  Also, because Batman.

Next up:  Western Corps Connection

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for the tickets, Sherry! I know I can sometimes be a grumpy old curmudgeon when it comes to the way the activity is going. But I always appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that the kids put in to it. And every now and then, a show like The Academy's "A Step in Time" gives me hope for the future.

    By the way, I actually marched Soprano Bugle with "The Hollywood Knights" which fielded a corps for only one season in 1983. But, speaking of the Velvet Knights, my buddy Mike Leasure (who was playing in their Pit) dragged me to one of their rehearsals when I was down from Berkeley on Spring Break in 1987. The Soprano line was full, so the Brass Staff threw me in the Mello line, and offered me a spot at the end of the day. Unfortunately, I had to turn it down. I would have loved to have marched VK, but it just wasn't meant to be.