Friday, August 12, 2016

Trees, Trees, Everywhere! (And Water)

Thursday, August 11, 2016
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, IN

I woke up early on Wednesday morning so that I could take the FlyAway from Van Nuys.  The day before, I had booked a reservation for parking at the airport, but changed my mind and decided to save money this way.  While I had no issues with traffic to get to the FlyAway, we did have plenty of traffic on the way to the airport, but I still arrived a little bit more than an hour before my flight.  I had mentally prepared myself for dealing with the lengthy lines at Southwest check-in, but was pleasantly surprised when the door opened.  The lighting was bright, there were only a couple of short lines, and there was a multitude of self-serve kiosks to check in, print boarding passes, and print luggage tags!  Wow.  I went directly to an empty kiosk to check my bag and get my luggage tag.  I wasn't really understanding the directions at first even though I had seen the staff do this many times, but I read the tag again and waited in line for Bag Drop.  That didn't take more than 5 minutes, and I told the attendant how wonderful everything looked.  She was excited, too, and happy to hear the compliment. I also tweeted Southwest, and received a nice response.  I bought a blueberry scone at CPK which was OK tasting, but I wish it had been warm.  They didn't seem to do that service there, though.  I boarded the plane with the number B56, hoping that I could find an aisle seat for the non-stop flight to Indy.  That didn't happen, but I did find the last window seat.  Yay!  I normally wouldn't actually mind sitting in the middle seat, but I am getting over a cold and was worried that I would sneeze or cough and wouldn't be able to turn to either side.  I only needed to worry about inconveniencing people if I needed to use the facilities.  That turned out OK when the gal next to me got up, so I did the same when she returned to her seat.  

We landed in Indy and it was muggy.  Blech.  I always forget how humid it can get here, and I also forget how lucky I am to live in a place blessed with a dry heat most of the time.  Despite being in familiar surroundings, I didn't have Bro or V with me, so I had to remember where to pick up the IndyGo shuttle.  I reminded myself to look for the people that  appeared to be going to drum corps finals, and found them.  No, they weren't wearing DCI shirts.  I tried to give cash to the driver and he stared at my money.  APPARENTLY, they only take customers with pre-paid reservations.  He asked if I had a smartphone.  Yes.  He instructed me to have a seat, go to the website and make my reservation, and then show him my phone with the confirmation.  OK.  That worked.   I knew that I really was on the right shuttle when people on the bus started discussing drum corps and someone in the back was drumming on their practice pad.  It was rush hour when we arrived in downtown Indianapolis, and as we dropped off people in front of the JW Marriott and the Crowne Plaza, I thought, "Oh, I miss those places."  At one point, there were a couple of buses from Mississippi  beside us, and I figured they were for drum corps, but couldn't figure out the uniform that I saw inside one of them.  

We arrived at the Sheraton, I showed the driver my confirmation, and checked in.  Our room is on the 19th floor, and we have a nice view of the monument at Memorial Park.  Bro and V were spending time with their friends in Terre Haute, so I spent my time getting ice on the 9th floor (I didn't want to have room service deliver ice.  I'm not tipping for ice).  A lady was in the elevator lobby of the 9th floor with her ice bucket and I pointed to mine and we laughed about how strange it was to have to go to another floor.  I then went downstairs for dinner in the hotel restaurant, Alexander's.  I had the chicken madeira with a glass of cabernet and it was satisfying.  Another traveler and I laughed when a gentleman received his Reuben sandwich and it was stacked pretty high.  He announced that his mouth wasn't quite that big, but he'd eat it somehow.  Ah, Reuben sandwiches and Indy.  Memories.

Bro and V arrived and we caught up a bit before going to sleep.  In the morning, we went to breakfast at the hotel Starbucks where they didn't know how to spell V's name, and called her Ver-ah-na, spelling it "Verona".  Oh my goodness.  Then I took a picture with her and her cup beside the painting titled "Cafe Verona".  Is this artwork so ingrained in them that they can't include the middle syllable of her name?  

V stayed behind for the morning and Bro and I walked to Lucas Oil Stadium.  We picked up the rally towels that were gifted to him as a thank you for buying tickets through Vanguard.  We arrived at our seats with a few minutes to spare.  Our seats were on the right 25-yard line, Section 338, Row 3, seats 6-8.  

The Star-Spangled Banner was performed on trumpet by eric Gelwing.  Very nice!  I thought it would be cool to have someone play the national anthems live at the Olympics.  That would be cool, although the person playing for the USA would probably get tired because we are kicking butt this year!  Congratulations to our athletes for doing so well! They are the reason that I will not be well rested until about September.  

We met a friendly couple of fans from Fort Wayne, IN.  They used to live in San Bernardino.  I heard Steve singing those words in my head, wishing that I could have been in 2 places at once last night: Rockapella opened a run of three weeks at the Laguna Playhouse and my posse attended.  Thank you, KP, for letting me know that the Blonde One asked, "Where's Sherry?"  Aw...I love my guys.  Anyway, back to drum corps.

Scores were announced at intermissions.  The corps with the top 25 scores advance to Semi-Finals, denoted with a *.

Repertoire: “Enigma” -- Back to the Future by A. Silvestri; Young Sherlock Holmes by B. Broughton; Overture to a New Age by J. de Haan

I don't know what Back to the Future has to do with solving mysteries, but they played it well. They did a magnifying glass formation. I like the CG's cute Sherlock caps and capelets.

COLT CADETS -- 57.65
Repertoire: “Journey Within” -- Joy by J. Curiale; Symphony No. 9 in D minor by A. Bruckner; Smile (Theme from Modern Times) by C. Chaplin; Ode to Joy by L. van Beethoven

Some of the corps skipped onto the field. Cute. I think I heard a little bit of "Simple Gifts" from the pit in that opening sequence. I like when "Smile" is more upbeat, like the end of their rendition.

IMPULSE -- 60.063
Oh, Brandt Crocker. Buena Park is not pronounced "Bee-yoo-na Park". They don't use the emoticon flags until the end of the show. Nice strong ending, good sound. Great improvement, Impulse! I waved to them as they waved to the audience upon leaving the field.

SHADOW -- 61.30
Repertoire: “This Mortal Coil” -- Fantasia in G by T. Mahr;  Concerto For Saxaphone Quartet by P. Glass;  Salm O "Demi Sant" (from Adiemus IV) by K. Jenkins;  Sonata for Trombone and Piano by E. Ewazen

Their spiral staircases were nice. Pretty colors on the CG uniforms and drums: pink and blue. I see a lot of promise for this corps, which debuted in Open Class this year. If only they'd stop talking. Interesting effect with the corps stretching the ribbons and forming the double helix.

Repertoire: “Shimmer” -- Harmonielehre by J. Adams;  Firefly by R. George

That's a big silver ball. Bro didn't think it shimmered like the shields that the corps held. The shields actually didn't shimmer as well when they tried the effect by jiggling them slightly. They shimmered fine on their own with the bright lights of the stadium reflecting off the smooth pieces. Just when I wondered if the horn players would hold the shields for the entire show, they set them down on the field.

I need to go to the Academy booth toget an invitation to the wedding. I did not see the post on Facebook until the end of this intermission, though. I told Bro about the bus I saw the day before, and asked if there was a corps from Mississippi. He said no. He thought maybe Louisiana Stars because maybe Louisiana doesn't have buses. Why wouldn't they have buses there?

GUARDIANS - 64,988
Repertoire: “Radioactive” -- Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14 by H. Berlioz; Radioactive by Imagine Dragons; Radioactive by D. Montoya, Jr. & B. Pyles;  The Adoration of Veless and Ala (from Scythian Suite) by S. Prokofiev; Creep by Radiohead;  Everything In Its Right Place by Radiohead; The National Anthem by Radiohead; Church Windows, Movement II by O. Respighi; Toxic by B. Spears

The balls on the flag poles did not work for me. Neither did the nuclear energy symbol props because they looked like electric fans. The CG had a lot of costume changes. I think my favorite was the black vinyl-like long dusters. I can't hear "Toxic" without thinking of Gold's tarp from the 2015 show. <shudder> Those people banging on the big radioactive-labeled containers are not real drummers. All of the corps died from radiation, and the drum major was even wheeled off of the field on a kind of gurney, but Bro didn't know how everyone else just walked off on their own.

RAIDERS -- 64.850
Repertoire: “Industrial Evolution” -- Fearful Symmetries by J. Adams; Hymn of Acxiom by V. Teng;
Ballet Sacra by D. Holsinger

They sound big for a little corps. Bro said it was because they were using B-flat bugles. Oh, cool! I thought they wold uncover those grey screens in the front of the field, but they never did.

Repertoire: “In Suspense” -- Night on Bald Mountain by M. Mussorgsky; Hand of Fate (from Signs) by J.N. Howard;  Ice Dance (from Edward Scissorhands) by D. Elfman;  There's Always A Bigger Demon by E. Peel

A star formation, an eye formation. Nice! Great sound, but I just wish there wasn't any talking. Nice crescendo. This is the uniform that I saw in the bus next to us when we were on the IndyGo shuttle. So, yes, Bro was right. I still think that there are buses somewhere in Louisiana, though.

GOLD -- 67.638
Brandt. Please. Dia de Los Muertos is not pronounced "Dye-A-De-Los-Mu-drah-tohs". I shot Bro a look. He shot one back. I wondered if Brandt was wearing his glasses. Very nice trumpet solo! They didn't have a lot of that stuff before. Great job, Gold!

Repertoire: “Waveforms” -- Wave by Beck; Chronometry by F. Sturm; Ecstatic Waters by S. Bryant; Original Music ; Isometric  by Madeon

Drops of water sounds. They did "paper reeds" stance. They also wave at the audience at the end. Get it? Wave!

I got a call from my boss and received good news. :) We went to the Academy stand. They did not have any invitations yet, but I still wrote well wishes to them for their gift box. Bro asked if they were going to sell their flags because V would love the one with the hand bones. The guy wasn't sure if they'd be sold individually or as a group. I love the flag that Bro and V got for me from last year's show. It's an S from Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious with the silhouette of Mary Poppins on the rooftop. Aw, I loved that show.

MUSIC CITY -- 71.725
Repertoire: “Coronation” -- Coronation Fanfare by R. W. Smith;  A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by B. Britten

I see a crown on a pillow over by the pit, but I can't remember if they ever used that in the show. The big triangles on the field are the points of the crown. That jester has a big hat. I giggled and thought of "janglybells" in Night at the Museum 3.

SPARTANS -- 73.125*
Repertoire: “Totem” --  Gabriel's Oboe by E. Morricone; Ome Kayo by G. Dubuc & M. Lessard; Conflict by K. Poulan; M. Moore & M. McGuire;  Crazy in Love by B. Knowles; Sacrifice by M. Moore & M. McGuire;  Adiemus Chorale VI (Sol Fa) by K. Jenkins

Cool corps movements during the battery feature. Very energetic flags with "Hope" and "Harmony". Bro was not sure if he should feel happy or mad when he watches that show. He's going to go ask Impulse how he should feel.

V is here!

GENESIS -- 73.30*
Repertoire: “Hell Hath No Fury” -- Dance of Vengence (from Medea) by S. Barber; Selections from Romeo and Juliet by S. Prokofiev; Love Theme (from Romeo and Juliet) by P. I. Tchaikovsky; My Heart is Broken by Evanescence;  Requiem Mass - Dies Irae by G. Verdi;  Uninvited by A. Morissette

At first I didn't know who he lied to. The girl he married? I guess not. I didn't need the narration -- it actually confused me. Great formations with the hearts, XXXX and eyes.

LEGENDS -- 75.975*
Repertoire: “The Grid” -- The Grid (from Tron: Legacy) by G. M. de Homen-Christo & T. Bangalter; Main Title (from Paycheck) by J. Powell; Virus Attack (from Virtuality) by A. Bhatia; Adagio for Tron (from Tron: Legacy) by G. M. de Homen-Christo & T. Bangalter; NO one To kNOW one by A. Akiho; ​Mona Lisa Overdrive (from Matrix Reloaded) by D. Davis & J. Reactor

We'll just bring our own lines. Green LEDs on shakos, drum major stand and marimbas were a nice effect. I guess that SCV idea caught hold really fast, as we predicted last year. Great job, Legends! Next stop -- World Class?

I could hear the Mockingjay-ish whistle this time. Great battery feature, beautiful music, great CG work! Hi, Brandon, wherever you are on the field! SCV retweeted my gleeful sentiments.

BLUE DEVILS B -- 82.65*
Dayum, Battery! YOU GO! OK, those bass drum heads are really cool - each one is a different phase of the moon. Incredible solos on the transition from the Khatchaturian to Apollo 13. Tarps make me nervous. They had 2 of them: Earth and Moon. The antennae with the little LEDs are pretty.

We finally heard scores. Weird that we weren't hearing them every 3 or 4 corps like in past years.

PIONEER -- 68.375
Repertoire: “St. Joan of Arc” -- Act I: Voices-- Voices of the Sky by S. Hazo; Act II: Conflict – Lauds by R. Nelson; Act III: Capture and Condemnation – Adagio for Strings by S. Barber; Act IV: Ascension – The Firebird Suite by I. Stravinsky

Yay, Fleur-de-Lis! V doesn't like all of the singing and talking. Me neither, but I think the main singer is the angel that spoke to Jean d'Arc, so I was semi-OK with it. Ooh, a halo! There are mentos on the ground...or communion wafers. Nice sound, Pioneer!

JERSEY SURF -- 71.988
Repertoire: “Ebb & Flow” -- La Mer by T. Reznor; La Mer by A. Yozviak; La Mer by C. Trenet & G. Augustin;  Asteraw (from Zarkana) by N. Littleman

V asked if the title of the show is why the fish in "Finding Nemo" are called Deb and Flo. Bro told me what she said. Ohhhhhh!!!! I just got that. I like all of the different hues of blue. Good sound, great work form the CG.

Repertoire: “O” -- Apollo Unleashed from Symphony No. 2 by F. Ticheli; The Moment I Said It by I. Heap;  Orawa by W. Kilar

They like that shade of yellow. I think their Pandora's box was that color. I wanted them to jump through the Os. V wanted the Os to light up. Neither of these things happened. Cool black drum with thin silver circles.

PACIFIC CREST -- 78.775*
The drum major didn't do her train horn thing at the end like I saw her do at Allentown. :( The tracks are now silver, which are more like the color of real tracks, but it doesn't show as well on the field as the black did. I was hoping that my computer screen was just wonky about the color, but no. The show is much improved since we last saw them in So Cal.

Repertoire: “Georgia” -- Rusty Air in Carolina by M. Bates; Brooklyn Babylon: The Neighborhood by D. J. Argue; Can’t Help Falling in Love by H. Peretti, L. Creatore & G. D. Weiss; Georgia by C. Green; Sweet Georgia Brown by B. Bernie & M. Pinkard; Georgia On My Mind by H. Carmichael

Heart formation, Delta formation. I like the swing of their 'Sweet Georgia Brown". Bro wants one of each color screen. I told him he could have ONE. He chose the one with blue with a kind of ombre from orange. Sigh. The only thing the screens seemed to do for the show was make the field smaller. They didn't seem useful otherwise.

Repertoire: “Hunted” -- Hunter by Bjork; No One To Know One by A. Akiho; Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen; Knights of Cydonia by Muse; Death Hunt by B. Herrmann

The trees look like broken antennae. Yikes. Death by cymbal. Good, strong sound. We do not like the tree uniforms.

MANDARINS -- 81.00*
The trees are now saplings, and are more realistic. They don't show up as well as the white did on the field, though. I don't understand why they change the person playing the siren. Then she strips off her white her coverings at the end. Is this the corps being triumphant in the battle? Hmmm.

I wanted a pot roast sandwich. They were still frozen. This may not be meant to be for me. I therefore ordered nothing and ate my snacks for the rest of the show.

THE COLTS -- 82.575*
Repertoire: “Nachtmusik” -- Moonlight Sonata by. L. van Beethoven; Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by W.A. Mozart;  Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) by D. McLean; Silent Night by F. Gruber; Nights In White Satin by J. Hayward;  New Moon In The Old Moon's Arms by M. Kamen

I'm so happy: I didn't hear a word of narration. Thank you! I feel like they read my note from last year, but I doubt that happened. Beautiful trumpet solo (as usual for this corps) at the beginning. The boxes didn't do much due to the bright stadium lights, because we couldn't really see the silhouettes. It kind of reminded me of PC's box last year that didn't really do anything. I think boxes are cursed.

TROOPERS -- 83.438*
Repertoire: “Hero” -- Hero by J. Williams; Walking with Heroes by P. L. Cooper;  Symphony No. 1 by A. Reed;  Fix You by G. Berryman, J. Buckland, W. Champion & C. Martin

I don't like the new uniforms. They're too informal, especially for a corps with the tradition of the Troopers. Why do all of the voices at the beginning of the show have the same speech cadence? This is especially annoying because the talking is unnecessary anyway. Beautiful brass sound. I like the movements with the ladders.

Repertoire: “Quixotic” --  The Impossible Dream (The Quest) from Man of La Mancha by M. Leigh; Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote) from Man of La Mancha by M. Leigh; Dulcinea from Man of La Mancha by M. Leigh; Asturias (Leyenda) from Suite España, Op 47 by I. Albéniz; Kiriki Film from IRIS by D. Elfman; Quixotic by R. George, E. Hampton, & M. O’Donnell

Are those windmills from "Animal Farm"? Very nice trumpet solo, good brass throughout. One windmill was not working. Are they controlled via remote? I kept hopint it would't hit anyone. I forgot to look for the famous pit performer with all of the feels, but Bro said we'd get to see her from a closer vantage point tomorrow.

THE ACADEMY -- 87.15*
Gorgeous. The show was spot on. The changes made the show even better: the circle of chairs, the individual corps members dancing with the bride, the heart around the chairs at the end...beautiful. I recalled what the GE judge on the IndyGo shuttle said about this show: "it's always a cool feeling to be the fan favorite." And look at that score! I'm hoping that we were wrong when they left So Cal in July, and that we WILL get to see them on Finals night. It seems that we're not the only ones hoping for this.

They don't do all of their formations at the end anymore. They sounded good, though. Dude next to me before their show: "If they're true to form, they'll be exciting and dirty as hell." I didn't hear what he said after the show.

CROSSMEN -- 87.875*
Repertoire: “Continuum” -- Continuum by A. Markworth

Sher: What's the name of this show? It starts with an M. Mobius? Matrix? M.....
The show's name is announced.
Sher: OK, it has an M at the end.
Bro and Sher giggle for the first part of the show.
Hi, Bones! The streamers with the corps didn't work for me. Nice brass sound.


BLUE STARS - 89.975*
Repertoire: “Le Reve” -- Overture by B. Jutras; Chapel by B. Jutras; Tristan und Isolde by R. Wagner; The Dream Finale by R. Saucedo, I. Grom, J. Mapes

Lamps and beds. I like how the little bit of reflection on their corps uniforms twinkle in the bright stadium lights. Like stars! I wonder if V would prefer one of their pillows. She didn't like the one she had last night in the hotel. She wondered why the one CG with the big yellow dress and parasol looked like Tarzan's Jane. I thought the dress made her look like Belle. Someone Disney.

Repertoire: “Voice of Promise” -- Preludes for Piano, No. 14 by D. Shostakovich; The Chairman Dances by J. Adams; Ave Verum Corpus by C. Mawby; The Darkest Moment by R. Ferguson & B. Kuhn; I’m Dreaming of Home by P. Rombi; The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by B.  Britten

I love that Young Person's Guide quartet. CG is out of unison a bit, though. I hope they feel better now: Phregiment members are sharing some sort of virus this week, and I'm sure they're just running on adrenaline now.

BLUE KNIGHTS -- 90.925*
Is today the Great Event? It's Thursday of Finals Week!'s going to happen "next Thursday". Bummer. They have a tarp in the middle of the field now, and it matches up with the yard lines, which go wonky into the black hole. Now we can see the back of the mirrors with the floral designs. V was disturbed with the pictures of sad events. How have they not broken their drums yet with the way they bang the hell out of them? Bro said that the voice at the end is the same voice as in their 2014 show. Interesting.

THE CAVALIERS -- 93.213*
Repertoire: “Propaganda” -- Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary by H. Purcell; Symphony for Band “West Point”by M. Gould; Elegy for Dunkirk by D. Marianelli; Lollapalooza by J. Adams
Cavaliers Choir Corps

I think they've done that last piece before. I asked Bro, and he looked it up: it was actually The Academy in 2011. Ooh, that was a fun show. Those are corps members doing somersaults and cartwheels on the field at the beginning. Whoa. I love their athleticism, as well as their musicianship.

THE CADETS -- 93.475*
Repertoire: “Awakening” -- Pines of the Appian Way  - Mvt 4 from Pines of Rome by O. Respighi; Pines of the Villa Borghese - Mvt 1 from Pines of Rome by O. Respighi;  Turning by J. Mackey; Wine Dark Sea by J. Mackey

That's a lot of french horns. Brass did an outstanding job. I liked watching the mother of one of the CG members watch her daughter and cheer every catch. Adonis died. That violinist had to hold up her bow for most of the show? Bro said that her arm was starting to shake when they showed a close up on the jumbotron.

The tree is white now, and there are smaller trees along the backfield. I'm going to call them bonsai, a la Daniel of the Karate Kid. Baby trees. BONSAI! There is a new ending, and they do the Fibonacci formation again as the winter season ends. What is that design on the last flag? A drop of water? Bro and I kind of did the Vanguard yell, but it was out of sync. The cymbals make a V beside the big tree at the end.

Repertoire: “Relentless” -- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by E. Morricone; The Ecstasy of Gold by E. Morricone; Medea’s Dance of Vengeance, Op. 23a by S. Barber; Journey of the Lone Wolf by S. Dobson; El Tango de Roxanne by Sting; C. Pearce, B. Luhrmann & M. Mores; Hallelujah by L. Cohen; Il Triello (The Trio) by E. Morricone; Equilibrium by P. Lovatt-Cooper

That was incredible. Wow, that brass line! The CG rifles were great, too! The Roxanne tango was sexy. Relentless, indeed.

BLUE DEVILS -- 96.60*
That high note! What IS that note?! My goodness. They now have a big blue silk on the field in the beginning, like the sea, and the corps goes underneath it to make a wave. They also have some people blindly spinning flags from behind the scaffolding. This show is amazing.

BLUECOATS -- 97.225*
Repertoire: “Down Side Up” -- Jose/ Before John 5  by A. Hollo;  Heat of the Day by P. Metheny & L. Mays;   Raga Raja by Project Trio;  Udacrep Akubrad by A. Dorman; Great Gig in the Sky (from Dark Side of the Moon) by Pink Floyd;  Original by D. Thrower; Todo Tiende by Ojos De Brujo

That trumpet quartet did not need amplification. Neither did the snares. The microphones are turned up way high. The execution of their show, though, is very well done, even though all of the slides on the pink jello-like half pipes get old after a while. The loop on their uniforms make me want to say "Blooooooo". I just wish they were more traditional, but I'm sure people said the same about Star of Indiana back in the day, so I'll try not to judge.

Well, that was fun! We went to the Academy booth so I could get a free invitation to the wedding, which turned out to be a postcard of the show design. Then we trekked back to the hotel for celebratory drinks and snacks. V told the server that we were celebrating my promotion, and she did a dance and sang! She also brought over a free chocolate torte to help celebrate. What a sweetie.
D'mitra and Bro

We settled down for bed after a bit, and my head finally hit the pillow at 2:20 a.m. Whoo. Glad Friday isn't an early day.

Next up: Semi-Finals

No comments:

Post a Comment