Monday, August 15, 2016

Academy, Meet Finals Night

DCI Finals
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, IN

Before I went to bed last night, I took a look at the weather forecast for the Street Beat 5K.  It looked like there would be scattered thunderstorms starting at 8:00 a.m., which was the start time for the race.  I did not want to risk walking in the rain during the race, then walking back to the hotel (a little over a mile away from the finish line), because I'm still trying to get over a cold, and the idea of being in wet clothes for a couple of hours did not seem like a wise idea.  So I slept in.  I woke up at about 9:30 a.m. and looked out the window.  It didn't seem like it had rained yet at all.  Oh well.  The sprinkles soon came down and we stayed in the room so that I could write about Semis and we could get some rest.  

We went to Scotty's Brewhouse for lunch, which, yes, was a walk away, and yes, we got wet.  I used the poncho that I brought.  Bro's jacket was in V's bag, which was in the hotel.  V had a sweatshirt with a hood.  None of us brought an umbrella because they usually don't allow them in stadiums, and that's just another thing in the luggage.  They did not have the Dorian Stout that I wanted to order, so I decided that this place did not need to be a tradition to add to our plate for future years.  Bro ordered a Bulldog Brown by Th3ee Wise Men for me, which I liked OK.  It's been a year now that I've been drinking beer, so as long as I like it OK, it's all good.  I ordered the Tilapia Fish Tacos, but didn't ask the server to make sure the mo'fo' sauce was on the side, which it wasn't, so they were too spicy for me, but I dealt with it by finishing up my side of tater tots.  We waited until it stopped pouring outside before going back to the hotel so that I could finish blogging and they could take a nap.

Stopping to smell the beercap roses

We were able to walk to Lucas Oil while keeping mostly dry, but the sprinkles started to fall just as we got into line at the gate.  V got in a long line because she thought it was all one huge line and would then break off.  Bro and I found a much shorter line that had nothing to do with the long line, called her over, and we got inside before getting too wet.  It was crowded, as is usual for Finals night, but we knew our way around and did what we needed before going to our seats, which were in the SCV block on the right 25 yard line, Section 238, Row 6, Seats 4-6.  

Open Class Champions Blue Devils B performed their encore performance of "To The Moon."  Congratulations, BDB!

The World Class Corps Director of the Year was announced:  Mark Richardson of The Academy.  Well deserved!

The leaders from the top 3 Open Class corps were presented.
R-L: BDB, Legends, SCV Cadets

Sponsors were recognized, with special mentions for Remo Belli (of drum head designs) and Al Moffat (of Zildjian), whom passed away in the year since last year's finals night.

INPact - "Indiana's Future Band" played two songs, the second with Al Chez, was Pharell's "Happy".

The United States Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps "The Commandant's Own" performed their show, "A Celebration of Heroes".  Oops, a snare drum fell off of someone's carrier, but he was able to put it back on just in time for his solo.  Their final piece was a medley that ended with "Stars and Stripes Forever".

The Commandant's Own

We followed orders and sang along while the USMC played the Star-Spangled Banner.

Nice ripple of rifle tosses on each windmill at the opening of the show.  One of the mellophone players gallops across the field while we hear galloping sounds.  During the Madness section, some of the CG are standing on their heads while on the base of the windmills.  Craziness.  The show ends with flags that have a silhouette of Don Quixote.

Wow, nice ovation for them as they entered the stadium for their very first Finals night.  Announcer Brandt Crocker:  "Performing their 2016 program, 'Drum Corpse Bride', Drum Corpse International is proud to present The Academy!"  So awesome that he even said "corpse" for DCI, and he got a good reaction from the crowd.  The "Unchained" soloist blew a kiss to the camera afterward.  He's so dreamy!  I do not recall hearing one wrong note in all of the times that I've seen this show, live or online.  He has been amazing this whole season.  I was weeping by the end of the show.  I mean, I always cry at weddings, but this is ridiculous how much emotion they generate for the audience in their 15 minutes on the field.  The lead CG tossed her bouquet from the DM stand.  Their pit vehicle had a "Just Married" sign and a string of cans on the back.  I heart you, Academy, and pledge to thee my love.

I like that decrescendo during "Winter". They had double-sided flags when each flag made a color of the rainbow, but I don't recall seeing them switch to the other side.  Did they reverse the rainbow pattern at one point?  

Her dress lights up now.  She's like a human lamp.  That guy just lets the girl fall off of the bench?  That doesn't seem very gentlemanly.

That "Young Person's Guide..." is FAST!  V figured out that they switch the blue flags from single to double flags by using velcro.  Cool.  

Finals intermission is always ridiculously short for the amount of people that need to use the restroom.  I was fine, but V and I walked really fast and got there before the huge line formed.  Bro asked today why they had to start Finals in the evening.  Why can't they start it earlier, then everyone gets done earlier.  Same for Semis.  They could also leave a little bit more room on Finals night for intermission.  We figured that all of the people getting in line for food didn't know how long they'd be there, or they didn't care about seeing the next corps, which is a shame because this was not a Hot Dog Corps for me.  Yes, I fell asleep a bit yesterday, but it's not because I didn't like it.

I totally get this show now.  All I had to do was follow the flags showing Michelangelo's David's face, then a cracked statue face, then later the statues overpower the main statue guy and they are alive...and kind of naked-looking because their outfits were beige/tan.  They keep their flags in the back of the smaller cake topper.  The music was awesome.  This is the Cadets, after all.

"Make Drum Corps Great Again!"  "Get In Line"  Their energy is infectious.  When they use the megaphones as boobs, is it a reference to the braless feminist folks?  I wonder if they meant to reference Pacific Crest's show when they show Rosie The Riveter's "We Can Do It" poster.  They did reference Blue Stars.

Oh, no!  Don't drop your lightning today!  I love that final "Ting!" when they cymbals open up to create the V.    The tree glowed better today so that we could actually see the white of the tree turn different colors with the seasons.  Thank you for such a beautiful show, Vanguard.  

Dang, that horn run during the last piece is awesome.  I like the effect of the rifles thrown in a circle around the last fight.  There was no judge in the way of the saloon fight today.

I love that ballad.  They play it with such gorgeous tone.  I think I'll miss that the most, after that trombone madness.  

The soloist winked at the camera after his solo, and the crowd ate it up.  The crowd went all crazy for the whole show, actually, but I still don't.  Great performance, though.  Those trumpets can scream!

Paid attendance tonight: 22,200 people

  • SCV brought a bonsai
    Vanguard - Age Outs wearing green feathers
  • Cadets CG posed as statues
    Cadets Statues
  • Crown CG wore crowns
  • Academy brought their tombstones/chairs, and they received a standing ovation when they were announced to enter the stadium for their first Finals appearance
    The Academy
  • Crossmen seemed to have trouble deciding what to do with their big stretchy band
  • BD made a tower of their bass drums, showing off their cool drum head that looked like a hand trying to escape
    Blue Devils
  • Blue Stars CG laid down on the field and took a nap
  • The video was awesome because it showed both the Academy and Bluecoats soloists looking at the camera.  I hope that DCI posts it soon, so I can watch it 10 times.

Scores and Caption Awards

12) 84.80 -- Boston Crusaders

Jim Jones Leadership Award:  Austin Bauer of The Cavaliers

11) 86.10 -- The Academy
 (They received a standing ovation, and the other corps applauded them.  Awesome).

10) 86.975 -- Crossmen

George Zingali Color Guard Award -- Carolina Crown

9) 89.05 -- Blue Stars

Award for Best Visual Performance -- Carolina Crown

8) 89.963 -- Phantom Regiment

Jim Ott Brass Award -- Carolina Crown
 (At this point, the crowd went wild.  Would Crown win the whole thing?)

7) 90.738 -- Blue Knights

6) 92.763 -- The Cadets
(The color guard took off their statue clothing when their leaders saluted, causing a gasp from the crowd.  I told you they looked naked).

Fred Sanford Percussion Award -- Santa Clara Vanguard
 (!!!!!!!)  Our section went insane.  

5) 94.025 -- The Cavaliers

4) 95.30 -- Santa Clara Vanguard

Don Angelica General Effect Award -- Bluecoats
 (The crowd went wild again. This race had been tight all week, and BD didn't win any caption awards, so everyone was in quite a bit of suspense).

3) 97.088 -- Carolina Crown

2) 97.250 -- Blue Devils

1) 97.650 -- Bluecoats

Congratulations on joining the Championship Club, Bluecoats!  The field is yours.

The Bluecoats yelled out "BLOOOOOOOO!!!!!" and performed their show one more time.  Their joy was our joy.  


V went to the Academy booth and asked if they had anymore of their hand flags available (she studies the mechanics of the hand).  She pointed to the flag on display.  The guy said "That's the only one."  I took the flagpole and the flag.  They asked why I was taking it out.  Oh, they had the flags folded up already.  I returned the flagpole to its proper place.  

What a cool souvenir!

Bro and V had a very early flight in the morning, so we said our goodbyes before going to sleep.

It was pouring when it was time for me to leave.  You would think that the shuttle would stop at the curb so that we would still be under the awning.  You would think wrong. Perhaps the rain melted the driver's brain.  I had breakfast at Cafe Patachou -- yummy croissant french toast.  My plane was full of drum corps members and their families, from Pacific Crest, Blue Devils, and Vanguard.  Near the end of our flight the flight attended said on the PA, "Congratulations to the Vanguard Band on your accomplishment this week!"  The man in front of me informed her that there were also other groups on the plane.  She got on the PA again and apologized, congratulating everyone.  Oh, I thought she just particularly liked percussion.  :)

I had a great time this week, thanks to a wonderful set of drum corps shows, and thanks especially to my traveling companions.  I love you, Bro and V. Thank you for the laughs, the company, and for putting up with my crazy blog writing activities.

Next year:  SCV celebrates its 50th anniversary!


  1. I can't believe I've found someone else on Blogspot who writes about drum corps! Even better, you're also from California (I was born there and marched in the 1978 Anaheim Kingsmen before traveling across the country to march in North Star 1979 and 1981; I've since moved to Michigan). I wrote about Academy making DCI Finals in The Archdruid and I talk drum corps. I was rooting for them all summer, but hoping they wouldn't knock Boston Crusaders out of the top twelve in the process. I got my wish!

    Now I'll have to read the rest of your entries about drum corps. Off on an archive binge!

    1. Welcome to my blog, Pinku-Sensei! It's always great to find a fellow drum corps fan. There is a LOT to read here, so I hope you have a lot of time on your hands.

      I'm glad you got your wish. :)

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