Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Tide (of Trombones) is High

Drum Corps at the Rose Bowl - Corps at the Crest
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA

In the morning, I took a walk with my niece after breakfast and we searched for the helmeted guinea fowl that their dog, Presto, chased away.  We located them at someone's house, then went to the playground where we played "Talent Show".  I won tickets to drum corps and Vanguard.  I don't know why those were separate, but I was happy to get them.

Miss O

We walked back to the house and played Restaurant, and Dad somehow gave her the impression that he did not like the imaginary food that he was served.  The niece:  "Are you saying that my baking is bad?!"  He said something to her, and she whispered to me, "He's crazy."  I love my family.  We ate lunch and then Bro and I took off for my place where we rested for a bit while waiting for our friends to arrive.

Dodie arrived first, followed by Glenn. I had mentioned that I remember seeing people checking in their backpacks, so Dodie borrowed a purse.  Then Glenn read the Rose Bowl rules about bags and they were quite prohibitive, so we both changed to much smaller purses and she put her snacks in a clear plastic freezer bag.  We arrived at the Rose Bowl pretty early, so Dodie and I went to the ticket booth to place Tim's ticket at will call and tried to see if anyone with big bags was being told to return their stuff to their car.  We didn't see that happen, but you know that if we had brought our bags, we'd be the ones to get rejected at the gate.  We met up with the guys, whom were watching a drumline warm up.  They showed me that The Academy now had a limo service to provide their transportation.  Nice!  We got in line to enter the stadium, and saw that some people were being turned away before getting to the bag check, and then others just had to bring their personal water bottles back to the car.  It was inconsistent, and Bro and Glenn got stuck behind people with huge bags getting searched, when really, they should have just told those people to return their stuff to their car.  We shopped around and Glenn bought some tech polo shirts to add to his collection.  Dodie and I got food and met the guys at their seats.  Tim arrived shortly after.  I was excited that I'd get to sit by Tim to witness his initial reaction to certain elements of some shows.  While I was looking around the stands, I saw that the former band director and my orchestra conductor from our alma mater were up in the box seats.  Hi, Mr. Landes and Mr. Davies!

Paparazzi Shot

The Star-Spangled Banner was performed by the Pacific Crest trumpet line.  They sounded much better today.  Then Ryan T. asked us to remain standing for "America The Beautiful", which was sung a cappella by Brianna from UC Irvine.  Dodie thought she had too much vibrato, but I was fine with it.  She sang beautifully, and ended on a very high note, very operatic and I loved it.  "That's my school!!!!"  That's where I really started singing, at the UCI Vocal department, so I was particularly proud of her accomplishment.  Go, Anteaters!  I still don't know why we had to stand, though.

The flags need to be more unison.  I like the decrescendo down to one snare when the horns move to the 50 yard line.

I just don't see how they're going to kill the giant if the catapults are all facing different ways.  Tim suggested that perhaps the giant was all around them.  No wonder David and his slingshot killed the giant: he probably had better aim.  I'm going to call the Watchmen the Stormtroopers if this year's drum corps season.  There is a battle scene during the battery feature, but they're still not aiming in the same direction.  I guess there isn't a slingshot formation.  Perhaps this takes place before David arrives.

Dodie lies the pretty flowy gowns.  I don't remember hearing narration yesterday.  Maybe if they'd have their repertoire ready in time for the program to be printed, we could just read about it and not hear about the different sections of the show.  Tim said it was like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride because we ended in hell.

Sher: "I'm the blue one." :/  Dodie: "Are we being manipulated?"  Then there were Rorschach flags.  Or maybe they were the kind that is two pictures in one, like the 2 faces or the vase.  Nice solos.  Great Gate of Kiev was ruined by the talking again.  They had more energy today, thanks to the crowd's reaction to the first soloist's achievement.

That's not the same drum major as yesterday.  Yesterday's DM had the gold accents on his uniform, and this one is female and doesn't have them.  Bro said that they switched.  I didn't even see him during retreat, so I don't know what happened to him.  They don't have their flags yet; still using practice flags.  They have openings for a baritone and a trumpet, if anyone out there reading this is interested and is eligible.

The Freelancers Alumni Corps provided the entertainment.  Tim was happy because their corps is what made him fall in love with drum corps.   I don't know why Ryan T said "ChUck Corea".  Any musician that knows jazz knows "Chick" Corea is correct.  Tim said that the music they were playing was made famous for drum corps by the Blue Devils.  Now I know why the title of their show has the word "blue" in it.

Dodie likes the flowy siren outfit.  The corps received a good response from the crowd, especially for the contras.  CG work good, especially with the flags at the end of the show.

A bit dirty, but I just love this show.  I didn't see a ghost formation, so I guess there isn't one. This was Dodie's favorite show of the evening. I think it was Tim's, too.  He loves the choices that the corps has been making in the least few years, and they are becoming one of his favorites.  Their music is familiar but they skew it in a way that is unique.  I mean, who else would think to turn the Death March melody into "Here Comes the Bride"?  The Academy's shows are just so entertaining and understandable that they make it hard not to love them.  I wouldn't be surprised if someone from Disney was on the design staff.  If only they were cleaner, they'd probably make it to Finals night.  Bro is getting sad because he knows that he'll only get to see the show in person 3 more times.  

Wedding Ring Flags

Sounded much better today.  I wish the show was more entertaining, though, especially when you watch it after "Drum Corpse Bride".  Go, Bass Drums!  The train tracks looked good today.  I like it when the cymbals make a steam sound.
Final Pose

Guy in a row behind us screamed, "JUDAS!!!!!!!"  So not what I was expecting.  Bro and I had been discussing the part when the horn players are doing the fancy steps, and that they need to clean up the movements.  They were much better today.  Glenn: "The horns always get the best dance steps."  Tim did not like the trombone solo, but thought that the inclusion of the trombone in the duet was OK.  Basically, the other instruments are made with a different sonority than the trombone, so it tends to clash instead of blend, but it was OK in the duet.  Glenn really liked this show.

They had more changes.  Now the second section ends with the horns back in the middle circle, with their feet up.  

Now they have pictures on their scaffolding, new color guard uniform changes, and a ship.  I like the light blue dresses that match with the corps uniforms and now the paint on the bottom of the scaffolding.  Bro likes it, too, calling it "the Ariel dress".  I still haven't heard "Come Sail Away".  Maybe they'll be using that when they add the pre-show.  They really do look like water at times because their movements are fluid and they move in wave-like motions.  Tim was OK with the BD trombones because they weren't even trying to blend with the corps.  They used them instead of the baritones most of the time, which is probably the reason because they usually clash with the baritones, so it works.  Tim actually wants to watch the show again, and it's his favorite BD show from recent years, and he's not really a BD fan.  I'm happily surprised that he likes this show.

Encore - Pacific Crest
  • Eternal Father, Strong to Save (Sher's favorite hymn)
  • America the Beautiful (They did not ask us to stand)
  • Show music (from "Fix You" onward)
  • Ave Maria (corps song)


Open Class:
5) 38.90 -- Incognito
4) 45.20 -- Watchmen
3) 47.55 -- Impulse
2) 50.60 -- Golden Empire
1) 53.00 -- Gold

World Class:
6) 59.65 -- PC
5) 61.70 -- Mandarins
4) 64.75 -- Academy
3) 66.60 -- BK
2) 67.70 -- Madison
1) 75.50 -- BD

BD had the highest score in the nation tonight.  

We said our goodbyes to Tim.  I wonder if he bought a BD Trombone section shirt.  Dodie bought the Mandarins tour shirt.  We went home and I asked Dodie to open her other snack bag because I wanted chips.  Thanks, Dodie!  

That was a fun evening.  Bro had withdrawals as soon as we got into the car, so it's going to be REALLY bad starting on Monday.

Next up:  Riverside

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for allowing me to tag along on Saturday. It's so nice to enjoy watching the shows with some real hard-core fans.

    Regarding that Freelancers Alumni Corps song, Ryan T was correct. The title is "One More Time Chuck Corea". I'm not 100% sure, but I think the title is a play on Chuck Mangione and Chick Corea. Anyway, that tune is yet another one of those Blue Devils warhorses from the early 80s. You can see a 1982 performance at

    Good luck with the upcoming withdrawals! The next few weeks are going to be tough for you and Ryan.