Saturday, August 13, 2016

Lightning in a Bottle

DCI Semifinals
Friday, August 12, 2016
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, IN

We were all too sleepy to wake up for breakfast, and didn't want to eat a late breakfast due to our usual plans for Semifinals day.  So we hung out in the hotel room while I blogged about Prelims and walked over to Tastings for lunch.  Yay, Tastings!  In they year since our last visit, they had moved some things around, changed the cards, and changed the pour size so that you can get either 2 oz, 4 oz, or 6 oz.  We ordered lunch to go with our wine: the Napa Valley Flatbread, the Sesame-Encrusted Tuna, and the Goat Cheese and Fig Flatbread.  While V and Bro perused the wines, I read the wine list. We kept in mind that the theme of this year's shows was trees and water.  Bro said we already had glasses of water on the table, so they would look for trees.

Bro: 2013 Santa Carolina Reserva Di Familia Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
(for Carolina Crown)

V: 2014 Chinon Cabernet Franc from Loire, France (for Blue Stars' Le Reve)

I had tried to get their attention but they were out of earshot.  Then I showed them what I found on the menu.

Sher: 2014 Force of Nature Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, CA

Yup.  A wine with the name of Vanguard's show!  It was perfect.  I couldn't find it with the other wines, and the server said that it is usually available, but they could open a bottle if I wanted a glass.  We all wanted a glass, so after I tasted it and decided that I liked it, we ordered a bottle.  I thought of bringing the bottle home, but Bro saw that we could get it through Bev Mo, so I just took the cork.  The wine was quite good, and paired well with our food.  Happiness!

It's good that I didn't take the bottle, because we didn't have time to walk back to the hotel to put it in our hotel room before walking to the stadium, and our bags were searched. I also picked up my very bright orange shirt for the 5K.  (V and Bro opted out for physical reasons).  Bro and I made it to our seats before the first corps, but I had to listen to the anthem from the restroom.  It was sung by a cappella by a woman from the US Army.  

Our seats were on the left 35-yard line, Section 141, Row 10, Seats 11-13, in the SCV block.

The top 12 corps advance to Finals, marked with a *.

SPARTANS -- 71.475
The color guard has their hair in braids and they are in circles, and their uniforms are a little too motley for me.  Great musicality.

GENESIS -- 73.375
I'm packing your angry eyes!  I like that faint heart beat coming from the big bass drum.  So all this time, she wanted the drum major?  V doesn't like that people cheer when someone gets killed on the field.  She said it's not right.  I think people like the drama.  

LEGENDS -- 73.150
The same cymbal player from yesterday dropped their plate during the ripple toss.  I love watching the pit rock out.  I also like the CG uniforms. 

CASCADES -- 75.150
Interesting to hear the music from SCV's "Pathways" show among a crowd of SCV fans.  I changed my request:  I now want them to set the rings on fire AND jump through them.

SPIRIT -- 76.675
Why doe he kiss that other woman?  The trio of trumpets start the swing of "Sweet Georgia Brown" that I like.  Why is their recorded singing for "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You"?  They should just have a soloist play it on the mellophone.  That would have been really pretty.

SCV CADETS -- 78.000
Bro told me to just point my camera in the general direction of the baritone section, which was right in front of us, and I'd probably get a shot of Brandon.  I cheered for him and for Tracer.  Then we heard people in the row in front of us, yelling for Brandon.  There could have been 5 Brandons in the corps, we don't know.  But then we noticed that they were pointing their camera at the same places that I was pointing mine.  Bro and I giggled.  Perhaps they were Brandon's parents.  I did the Mockingjay hand sign with the other fans at the end of the show, then I talked to the folks in the other row.  Yup.  Baritone Brandon's parents!  I introduced myself, telling them that my college roommate's daughter is friends with him.  Nice to meet you, Dave and Stephanie!  Later on, Brandon joined them at their seats and I was happy to see that when I took pictures of someone at Family Day, they were, indeed, of this Brandon.  Great show, SCVC!

They were not ready when the DM was asked if the corps was ready, due to an issue with the electronics.  Then Brandt announced them as (cough) Pacific Crest!  That got a giggle from the crowd.  I almost forgot to get a picture of the smiley drum major.  Beautiful "Fix You" duet.  Very nice, PC!

I tried to buy a bunch of Tech shirts for Glenn, but only 1 of the 5 booths had it in his size.  Oh well.  At least he will have a green shirt from Oregon Crusaders.  Speaking of which....

Again with the recorded singing.  They couldn't get a trumpet to play the violin part?  They have zebra stripe flags in different colors, which made me think of Rainbow Stripe gum.

MANDARINS -- 81.200
I like the look of the flags coming through the corps at the end because of their color coordination.  The siren's white clothes were coming off prematurely and she was pulling up her pants.  I heard a bird sound and looked up.  Sher, that's a recording.  Oh.

What IS that thing that he's playing?

COLTS -- 81.513
I didn't hear that "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" bit yesterday during the pre-show.  The sound system was not working a tthe start.  I love the design on their drums, which looks like a starlit sky.  The boxes don't work from up close, either.

BLUE DEVILS B -- 82.325
I like those drums.  The ballad was beautiful.  Congratulations on an awesome season, BDB!

TROOPERS -- 83.275
The drum major is energetic!  Nice, strong sound.

The famous "Possessed Pit Girl" does have good facial expressions, and I love when she portrays the madness.  They showed her on the jumbotron.  The individual windmills move when they want your attention on that part of the field.  Too much talking, though.

They no longer do the quick formations at the end with the fleur-de-lis and the star.  There is more posing instead.  The guard was ON tonight!  Everyone in this group is seriously bringing out their best to get to Finals.  I'm sorry that we won't see the Scouts on Finals night, because if they had made it, we would have seen them in every single show we attended this season.  

ACADEMY -- 87.225*
I. Can't. Even. with this Academy show.  As soon as the marimbas played the opening notes of "Unchained Melody", the tears started to well up in my eyes.  Then that beautiful solo hit, and the tears fell.  WOW.  The tombstones today included the names of this year's age-outs, according to Dan Potter's interview with the drum major.  V had overheard them talking about this at the booth yesterday, and it was a surprise to the corps.  We are really, really excited that The Academy has made it to Finals for the first time.  We get to see the show again!  YAY!!!!!!  Congratulations, Academy!

CROSSMEN -- 87.650*
Nice sound.  I like all of the horn runs, though it should be a bit cleaner at this level.  

I got in the shortest line of the long concession stand lines.  The pot roast sandwiches were still cooking and I was advised that I could come back in 15-20 minutes.  I told the lady, "Every. Single. Time."  She apologized.  I ordered water.  I then texted V to get hot dogs if she saw my text in time, but she didn't have her phone with her.  That's OK.  I've got plenty of snacks.

BLUE STARS -- 89.475*
Oh, that's not a parasol that Belle-Jane is carrying.  It's a lamp.  Classic Blue Stars CG move with them in a line, going underneath a horizontal CG girl, throwing up a rifle and catching on the other side of her.  I love that.  Wait.  Where did their fringe-y pants come from?  I don't think they were wearing those the whole time.

I love her hair

PHREGIMENT -- 89.763*
Glenn told me that during last night's broadcast, the audience was informed that 90 people in the corps were hit by the virus.  They were such troopers last night (not Casper Troopers).  Beautiful blue double flags.  I like the way the CG uniforms match the corps.

BLUE KNIGHTS -- 91.625*
There is a person dressed all in silver at the end of the show that waves from behind the mirror.  Creepy.  Those sandwich boards (with the mirrors) are tricky!  That Brass.  Wow.

CAVALIERS -- 93.775*
RIFLES!!!!!  I heard the Trump "build a wall" bit this time.  Caco Cola and Popsi.  Cute shout out to the Blue Stars.  There's so much to look at in this show that it takes multiple viewings.  That CG guy is really skinny and really tall.

CADETS -- 93.225*
I was sleeeeeepy and didn't see a lot of the show.  People need to move more, but they're all being statues, so that doesn't help me wake up.  This is all probably due to the wine and not having any protein in a while.  The brass sounded good, though.

SCV -- 94.888*
Bro and counted all of the times that we could have yelled "VANGUAAAARRRRRD!!!!!!", which was 54 times before the actual yell during "Winter".  I watched the DM's feet for them to lift, and yelled really loudly.  It's so much fun to do that when surrounded by other SCV fans!  Great color guard work.  Those horns!  I love this show.

CROWN -- 96.925*
Awesome trombone solo for the Roxanne Tango.  That Medea sound is amazing.  Why do they need to use recorded music for this show?  I'm still trying to figure out why any of this is allowed, and they've been allowing synthesizer for plenty of years now.  I'm so old school.


BLUE DEVILS -- 96.988*
Oh, the boat's up there on the scaffolding now.  DRUMS!!!!  "The Tempest" was Shakespeare's last play, and I like that it has a happy ending, because it makes for a happy ending to BD's show, too.  

BLUECOATS -- 97.363*
The novices behind us thought the crowd was booing. Their friend advised them that we were Bloooing.  I like that high section played by the trumpets after the trombones are played at field level.  The CG uniforms are VERY form fitting and show, um...bulges, so that when I look at them, my eyes can't help from going there. So I've decided to just watch the drummers because they have something in front of their crotch area.  I'm still not totally sold on this show and the gimmicks, but they play very very well.

That was it for competition, but we had a special treat: the final performance of The Bridgemen senior corps.  They played a little bit of "Fiddler on the Roof", and guys did the Bottle Dance with walkers.  It was hilarious.  Then someone ran on to the field, late to the show, with a bass drum, tripped, and the bass drum fell apart as he fell down.  They brought out a stretcher, and put the drum parts on it, leaving the guy laying down on the field.  They played some Pagliacci, and one of the drum majors was dressed as a clown.  They also played "Land of Make Believe" and "My Favorite Things", as well as the William Tell Overture.  At the end of the show, some of them opened up their coats to reveal the word "Goodbye".  Aww, what a great show and a great corps.  You will be missed, oh people of the yellow raincoats.

The 2016 Class of the DCI Hall of Fame was presented:
  • Myron Rosander (posthumous), Visual Designer for SCV
  • Denise Bonfiglio, Color Guard advisor for Cadets and more recently SCV Winter Guard
  • Frank Dorritie, brass instructor and arranger
  • Dan Farrell, program coordinator for Phregiment
The I&E winners were presented, including 2 people with perfect scores:
  • Individual Dance -- SCV
  • Individual Vocal -- Pioneer (the angel singing for Joan of Arc)

Then the Age-Out Celebration began.  Cavaliers had propaganda cards.  Cadets had mannequins on their shoulders.  The lady behind us thought it was the actual guy.  Her daughter was annoyed that they were still talking about it.  One of the BD members had a bunch of people hold up signs, asking Allison to marry him.  She said yes!  Congratulations, you two, and congratulations to all of the Age Outs. 

We walked back to the hotel after hearing the scores, and had burgers at the hotel bar.  They were yummy.  I took a look at the weather report for the next day, and decided to sleep in instead of risk walking the Street Beat 5K in a downpour.

Next up:   Finals

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