Mid Cal Champion Showcase
Friday, June 24, 2016
John Ventura Stadium
Washington Union High School
Last night, I watched the DCI Tour Premiere at the cinema at LA Live. I am looking forward to seeing these shows in person come August, but until then, I'll be focusing on the awesome corps that are here in California.
The road trip started at Bro's house. I packed my plethora of bags into his car, and we were off! At one point on the Grapevine, Bro heard honking and then a car caught up to him and the driver honked again. The passenger waved and held up a Blue Devils towel! We waved back and Bro gestured to ask if they'd be at the show, and she said yes. We'll be looking out for BATTKRU this weekend.
We had time to stop for food in Tulare. Bro wanted to go to to the outlet mall to maybe find shoes for Mr. B and I figured out that they had a Bravo Farms there. We had been talking about Bravo Farms during the ride, discussing whether or not either one of us had been on the 99 freeway. I deduced that I must have driven on it on a business road trip and stopped at the actual Bravo Farms. We decided to share our sandwiches so that we could taste both. He ordered the salmon, and I ordered the pulled pork. The bread was fluffy and soft and the meat was tasty. I also had some kind of adult root beer, and that was yummy, too. I just didn't like all of the flies that were inside the restaurant, especially at the mirror, where we had first sat, but moved because they were driving me crazy. Do flies like mirrors? Are they vain, or just stupidly trying to mate with whatever's in the mirror?
We went shopping at several shoe stores, and the ones that I wanted were the same price in all of them, and I didn't want to pay that much, so I didn't buy anything. Neither did Bro. Oh well. The quest continues.
We drove by a lot of grape vines (with lots of grapes!) before arriving at Washington Union High School. We couldn't find a parking lot with available spaces, and ended up parking on one of the side streets, at Lincoln & Geneva. It was about 2 blocks from the stadium, which is fairly new and was painted with a lot of purple. They had 2 separate lines: one for buying tickets, and the other with the signage "If You All Ready Have Tickets Line". Bro was confused because of the weird grammar. I was just happy that we didn't have to wait in the long line, which likely was labeled "If You Still Need to Buy Tickets Because You Didn't Plan Earlier for This Event Line". The restrooms we saw were in locker rooms. That was weird. Bro found regular restrooms later.
Our seats were in the top row on the left 45-yard line: Section CC, Row 25, Seats 26-27. There was plenty of space behind us for staff to watch their corps, and we had lots of leg room. We were happy with Bro's purchase. As we looked around for BATTKRU woman, we saw our friends from RCC and one of them recognized us and smiled. Bro said he didn't know who that was. I informed him, and we laughed that they still recognized us even without Rudy and his drink-spilling marionette impersonation.
The Star-Spangled Banner was performed by lead trumpet from Blue Devils, Javier, graduate of Buchanan HS. Dude, that note is HIGH!
BLUE DEVILS C
Repertoire: "BD PD" -- Dragnet Theme by W. Schumann; Hawaii Five-O Theme by M. Stevens; Skyfall by Adele & P. Epworth; Smooth Criminal by M. Jackson; The A-Team Theme by M. Post & P. Carpenter
I like the color guard (CG) uniforms! I also like everyone's aviator sunglasses. The male CG dressed as bank robbers and one had a bag of $ during "Smooth Criminal". The drums have a law enforcement star on them. I thought that the pink flags looked familiar, but I might still be having nightmares from last year's tarp that Gold put on the field. Yikes. They have 10 snares. Yes, that's a lot for a small corps. Bro noticed that tenors had 3 blue sets of drums and 1 white, which made them look like a police car. I'm going to have to look for that next time. The show was well themed, as what I've come to expect from this corps.
|BD-C and their cop car|
Repertoire: "Music Matters" -- Paradisi Gloria (from Stabat Mater) by K. Jenkins; Retribution by E.R. Shearmur ; NO one to kNOW one by A. Akiho ; Original by N. Rodriguez, J. Hubbard & D. Ellis
Uh oh. The CG guy fell down. Somebody dropped their shako. That tympani is shiny! They put on red skirts during the show.
SANTA CLARA VANGUARD CADETS
Repertore: "The One" -- Pines of the Appian Way by O. Respighi; Due Tramonti by L. Einaudi;Iza Ngosmo (Come Tomorrow) by C. Tin
Nice opening solo rifle toss! Love that blast of dissonance. The smaller brass ensemble seemed kind of hesitant when they came in after that nice solo. Is that an airplane formation? I like those blue/white hypnotic flags. The electronics were too loud: I want to hear the drums. Their not-straight lines were making me crazy.
|Therefore, I shall show you a circle.|
S: This isn't "The Matrix".
Bro: No, it isn't.
S: But it's called "The One". I wanted to see <demonstrates bullet action sequence done by Keanu in the movie>.
Bro: Cavaliers should do The Matrix. That would be cool.
Bro: Let's call them and have them change their show. Today.
We didn't call them.
BLUE DEVILS B
Repertoire: "To The Moon" -- 1. Looking to the Stars -- Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine by E. Whitacre; 2. Space Race -- Space Race by J. Meehan; Hostility: Intruder Alert/The Attack by A. Bhatia; Symphony #10, Movement #2 by D. Shostakovich; 3. Launch --
Countdown and Launch by M. Peterson and D. Glyde; 4. Travel Through Space -- Adagio From "Spartacus" by A. Khachaturian; 5. Lunar Landing -- Apollo 13 Main Title by J. Horner
The female CG hair reminds me of last year's BD A corps. Bro said that it's "Ink 2". I added, "The B.D. Bugaloo". Nice "Apollo 13" theme throughout, although Bro felt that there was too much of it. Go, Bass drums! The brass sounds great. I wish that I could hear the drums during their feature but, again, the electronics were too loud. Beautiful Khachaturian duet, but I think that the brass need to come in stronger afterward. I really like the drums; it's as if they were touched with stardust. I was happy with the absence of props. Bro told me they were coming. I told him to let me just enjoy the moment.
I wished aloud that someone was walking around with drinks. Bro pointed out that there were a lot of people walking around with drinks. I meant that I wanted to buy water from a vendor. I guess they weren't around for the same reason I wasn't going downstairs to buy one: they didn't want to walk up the stairs. So I ate my illegal food and remained thirsty. Dried strawberries are yummy, BTW. Also, Santa is here. Dude had full on white beard, bald head, and he was wearing a red shirt and suspenders! I did not get a look at his shoes to see if he was wearing black boots. I wonder if he'd mind if I sat on his lap and wished for SCV to win Finals this year as my early Christmas gift.
Repertoire: "The Union" -- Foundry -- Original Work by J. Meehan, P. Lucero, B. Dinkel;
Working -- Aha! by I. Heap; Space Between -- Fix You by Coldplay (J. M. Buckland, W. Champion, C. Anthony, J. Martin, G. R. Berryman); Engine -- Original Work by P. Lucero, &B. Dinkel; Train -- Point Blank by P. Dooley; Last Train Home by P. Metheny
The CG uniforms could be exchanged with Carolina Crown's this year because they have the same colors. Great opening by the battery. Nice solo during "Fix You". The tracks don't stay straight because they're cylindrical and roll around a little bit. Bro wanted to hear more "I've Been Working On the Railroad". I want it to continue so that I could hear "Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah".
Repertoire: "Forbidden Forest" -- Movement 1: Into the Forest ; Movement 2: The Calling (Inspired by Devilish Love from Hemingway’s Garden of Eden); Movement 3: Our Demons Within; Movement 4: Triumph of our Inner Self by K. Poulan, M. Hunter and S. Womack
I thought the announcer said "Forbidden Force" and thought maybe I'd see Jedi. Bro heard correctly, and now we're thinking that the long poles could have been used as light sabers. This, however, was not the theme of the show. The long poles are on what look to be the same bases that were used for last year's Terracotta Soldiers. The opening brass sound was very strong. Nice flag work during the opening piece, too. The siren's sleeves are really long, but she was able to push them up when she did equipment work. Bro wondered where she disappeared to during the show. I guess I didn't notice. Ooh, creepy.
|Mandarins and their not-light sabers|
Repertore: "Drum Corpse Bride" --Corpse Bride Main Titles by D. Elfman; Romeo & Juliet by S. Prokofiev; Sorcerer's Apprentice by P. Dukas; Suggestion Diabolique by S. Prokofiev; Unchained Melody by A. North & H. Zaret
The announcer said "Drum Corps Bride", which does not have the same effect as the proper pronunciation. Bro prepared me for this show, saying that he loves it from looking at the snapchat feed. I love it, too! Awesome themeing throughout, with the pre-show of the wedding, the creepy cool wedding gown, the CG dressed as Death, the CG males wearing the perfectly-hued suits, and the muted purple cumberbunds on the corps uniforms. Heart formation was pretty and not the standard. Cross formation - Sherry yelled "YEAH!!!" "Unchained Melody" was very nice. When the chairs are turned around, they become grave markers. Xylophones on their chests like they are skeletons! The set in back is really cool. I'm going to enjoy the heck out of this show as we see it progress. Easily the crowd favorite of the evening. Bro figured he saw what he wanted to see and we could leave. I told him to at least hang on for SCV, since that is his favorite corps.
SANTA CLARA VANGUARD
Repertoire: "Force of Nature" -- Spring 1 from “Recomposed” by M. Richter; Without Warning by S. Melillo; Earth Song by F. Tichelli; Winter 1 from “Recomposed” by M. Richter; After the Storm by S. Melillo
Wow. Beautiful opening by the marimbas. Once the brass finished their opening run, I looked at Bro and he nodded. I guess we're staying. That is a HUGE tree. Bro wondered if they'd be able to get it under the bridge during the Rose Parade. I don't think they'll be carting that thing for 7 miles. The CG women put on skirts that are a silhouette of the tree branches, but due to the orange/black coloring, I think they look like monarch butterflies. The Richter piece is Vivaldi's Four Seasons redux, and is especially amazing with SCV's brass. I was all, "AAAAHHHHH!!!!" I was wondering if they'd have a violinist or two in their show, but they sure as heck didn't need any. Their flag poles are not straight, and have extra limbs, because they're tree branches. Great show. I wish my So Cal friends could see this, but alas, SCV will not be at those shows this year. Sadness.
|SCV is on the field, and all is right with the world.|
Repertoire: "The Great Event" -- Gorgon (Mov. 1) by C. Rouse; Flight to the Wasteland (from Final Fantasy) by E. Goldenthal; Adagio and Transfiguration (from Final Fantasy) by E. Goldenthal; Arrows of the Gods (from Titus) by E. Goldenthal; Fratres by A. Part; The Great Event by L. Cohen; Moonlight Sonata by L. V. Beethoven; Air Waltz by O. Davis Saturn by Sleeping At Last
The announcer did not tell us the title of the show, so I dubbed it "The Sparkly Show". I even asked Bro if the show was about disco. It was not. The drum major (DM) did a weird salute which kind of incorporated their traditional knee kick plus some arm movement. Mirrors on the field reminded me of last year's "Because" show, but one of them shined very brightly as the stadium light hit it straight on. My eyes! The mirrors were kind of creepy and we made up a whole scenario wherein the CG would look in the mirror and see an image that was not anyone physically there. This probably would have been more interesting of a show had that happened, because we didn't really understand it. There was some talking, and the brass sounded awesome immediately afterward. "Next Thursday....Oh what a lovely night that will be." It ended so strangely that the audience seemed stunned. I overheard a staff member saying, "Yeah, we've got a lot of work to do." It was especially deflating following the previous 2 shows which received standing ovations. I'm sure that the show is still unfinished, but at this time last year, neither was "Because", but the music was so beautiful that it was positively received. Not so much this one.
|Mirror, mirror on the field|
What will Thursday evening yield?
Then we saw fireworks to the northeast and wondered where they were happening. They were pretty, but the only fireworks I am aware of that would be occurring would be at Disneyland, and they were not in that direction, nor were we close enough to see those. Interesting.
Repertoire: "Judas" -- Overture; Heaven on Their Minds (from Jesus Christ Superstar); Everything's Alright (from Jesus Christ Superstar); Gethsemane (from Jesus Christ Superstar); I Don't Know How to Love Him (from Jesus Christ Superstar); Judas (from Jesus Christ Superstar); Jesus Christ Superstar by A.L. Webber
Jesus is on the field. Great brass, especially for "Jesus Christ Superstar". Bang that drum! Sherry, regarding Judas: "Oh, he's dead." Although this isn't as good as their 1999 Jesus Christ Superstar show, it's still enjoyable, and classic Madison with the screaming sopranos. Welcome back to California, Scouts!
|Jesus has his moment in the spotlight|
Bro and I had a discussion about trombones. Bro doesn't like the sliding because he feels like it's someone searching for a note. He's a precision person, you know. Usually I don't like sliding, but I think that when it comes to the trombone, it can be OK, although I'm still not thrilled about seeing them on the drum corps field.
Repertoire: "As Dreams Are Made On" -- Return Of The Lion by H. Gregson-Williams; Come Sail Away by D. De Young; Where Are Ü Now by S. Moore, J. Boyd, J. Bieber, J. Evan, & T. Pentz; Symphonie No. 5 "Di Tre Re" by A. Honegger; Cape Fear (Prelude) by B. Herrmann
Prospero's Magic by D. Glyde; Stormy Weather by H. Arlen & T. Koehler; Ariel Attack by G. Goodwin; Mishima by P. Glass
I like the formation at the beginning that looks like a wave when they get moving. They have a lot of hip action in this show. Uh oh. Somebody fell down. The trombones were sliding like crazy, mostly for effect more than music. They were also full-on marching around on the field, and at one point one person did a one-handed cartwheel while holding their trombone with the other hand. Craziness. I think it would be cool if the pinwheel formation would spin instead of shrink into a circle. The talking did not enhance my understanding of the show.
Bro was OK with these trombones because of the sound effects that they made. For me, due to the fact that was the ensemble and the slides were in unison, it didn't sound like they were searching.
The announcer advised everyone that tacos were now $1.00. I still did not go downstairs.
4) 37.95 Blue Devils C
3) 45.15 Golden Empire
2) 50.15 SCV Cadets
1) 50.20 Blue Devils B
The guy in front of us did not know math and said that the point spread was 0.01. I tried to let him overhear me say "0.05", but it didn't work.
7) 53.70 Pacific Crest
6) 54.50 Mandarins
5) 58.90 Academy
4) 62.45 Blue Knights
3) 64.25 Madison
2) 66.80 SCV
1) 68.95 Blue Devils
I don't know how the Blue Knights scored so high without a finished show, but whatevs. I know that it's based on whatever is on the field, not the quantity of time, but still.
I went to the souvenir trailers and bought a zip-pullover from Madison Scouts. It has a fleur de lis! I'll get the shirt with the big fleur de lis on it another day.
Bro and I walked back to the car and tried not to run into all of the Madison guys trying to clean up. We saw SCV folks dismantling their tree and headed toward our hotel, which is next to an almond packing factory. Mmm....almonds. Aaah, a huge desk upon which I get to blog! I forgot to take a picture, though. :( But look! There's a mustache on my cup!
Drum corps season is now fully underway, and D'Saints are happy!
Next up: Moonlight Classic