Monday, June 26, 2017

Fancy Day at DCI West

DCI West
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Stanford Stadium
Palo Alto, CA

Bro and I went to breakfast at Starbucks before heading out to Palo Alto.  Their tables had phone chargers in them, so I put mine there because I could, even though mine was already at 100%.  At Stanford, we saw that a race was occurring, so there were a lot of people on campus.  We had a VIP Pass because we were being fancy, and were directed to the lot next to the stadium.  We saw the SCV Horn line doing some stretching and Bro parked the car pretty much right there.  As we waited for check-in, I realized that we didn't have a picture of his new shoes beside his license plate, so we did that.  

Old shoe, new shoe, license plate

We watched the horn line warm up, and Bro wanted the same shorts as the baritone section wore.  I kept hearing the announcer at the race nearby and it confused me when he talked at the same time that the horn instructor was talking, because I couldn't hear the horn guy.  I'm glad SCV was able to focus on him.  

Horn Line

We saw SCV's props and I wanted to sit on them, but that wasn't going to happen.  We walked into the stadium with our Ourobos badges and they let us sit wherever we wanted.  We sat in the top row of the bottom section and enjoyed watching rehearsal with the other VIP donors.  
No uniforms this afternoon!

Rehearsal is fun for people like us because we get to see the inner workings of the show.  I felt bad for the kids every time they reset the props because they're so big, and they worked on a few parts multiple times, which entailed moving the props around.  This show is very fluid, so the props move around A LOT.  The director encouraged the corps to drive the horns so the judges could feel from way up at the top of the stadium.  So far, they had been playing in small venues, so this was a change for them.  I kept focusing on one guy in the color guard that wouldn't hit his spot on the field.  Bro eventually thought that maybe he wasn't meant to be where I wanted him to be, but then he moved over at one point.  I'm picky about lines, if you haven't noticed yet.  We also got to hear the director tell some folks in the small ensemble to play different notes the next time.  As an alto that had to do this all of the time, I smiled knowingly, however, they didn't have music in their hands to read.  Instead, they had "dot books" at their waists which show them the different spots on the field where they should be at certain times.  I decided that I want to have a dot book at work and that I'd ask the staff to raise their hands to acknowledge that they're listening, just like the kids do when the director (from the top of the stadium) asks for their attention.  
Love these flags

Under the Prop

Between takes, corps director Charlie talked to us a little bit and had the drum majors say a quick hello.  We got to see a full run-through of the show at the end and then left so the Blue Devils could start their rehearsal time.  We weren't invited to that one.  

Bro and I shopped at the souvenir stands and bought stuff from SCV.  Since the car was nearby, we placed our stuff inside (very neatly like he was making a store display), and walked to the nearby shopping/eating center.  We knew we would have BBQ at 2:30, so we had a snack from Mayfield Bakery and Jamba Juice.  I asked Bro if Bananaman was in Jamba Juice, but he was not.

On our way back to the stadium, some of the SCV staff saw Bro's new SCV shirt and we also showed them his shoes.  I wasn't looking at them and didn't realize that they were bigwig staff.  We walked around to find a restroom before going to the BBQ, which hadn't started yet.  A whole slew of kids from a school got in line in front of us and I wondered if they were at the right BBQ until Bro told me they were in a band.  The line went very quickly and we were able to finish our meal before SCV started to play.  During BD's performance, two of the auction winners conducted the corps on their F-Tuning and Space Chords niftiness.  

I thought that I could buy a shirt from the BD booth, but they had put their clearance stuff away, which was weird.  Maybe I'm not buying anything from them this year.  I do have stuff planned for most of the other corps, though.

We went to our the Skybox!  I told you we were fancy.  The seats were very comfy and padded and had the Stanford "S" on them.  We were seated in Skybox Level 2, Section 2, row B, seats 18-19, on the right 20-yard line.  Bro gave me his seat because he knows I prefer that number.  Thanks, Bro!  They had snacks (chips, crackers, Oreos) and drinks available.  Yes, there were Doritos!
On the way to the Skybox

View from our seats

Richard and Diane, whom we sat with at the gala, ended up seated next to us.  Diane asked if we were stalking them.  Bro told them that they were stalking us because we got there first.  They're such nice people.  We didn't have programs, so Bro told Richard the title of each show as the corps entered the field.

Those kids from the BBQ, the Alisal Drum Line, played during the pre-show, as did the Freelancers Alumni Corps.

David Smith of the Blue Devils performed the Star-Spangled Banner.  We were annoyed by the speakers because they caused an echo.  I felt like I was listening to a round, like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".  Somebody from the Skybox audience went looking for someone to fix that. 

I like how they dance to the syncopation of the word "yesterday" during "Someday I'll Fly Away".  The song itself still needs work, though.  Bro thinks maybe it's the arrangement that's off.  I don't know, but it is a difficult song to play anyway.


One of the CG girls dances around during the pre-show, acting as if she is looking for something.  We decided she was looking for the sound engineer to fix the electronics.  Well, they've fixed them.  Bro thinks that's all they practiced after Friday's debacle, and we joked about them resetting to measure zero in their dot books all day.  They have narration throughout the show, though I couldn't really hear it from our vantage point, nor did I want to do so.  The drum feature got big applause.

Legs in the Air

Sounds like there are microphones were working on all of the kick drums this time.  Nice sound from all of the corps.  I like the iridescense on the flags.  That color guard is PINK.

I like the shadows on the background

Nice job, drums!  The little girl on the right side platform is adorable, like Miss O.  Great solo on "Staying Alive"!

Bro and I wandered around the Skybox section, which wasn't very big, and there wasn't really anything to see.  I did want the chairs with an "S" on them for my office, though.  I wish the concession stands had been open in the Skybox, because I didn't feel like going anywhere else to get food.  Also, we didn't have that much time before the next corps.

They did not have that gold thing the other day, nor did they have the color guard uniforms. Did they form the PC logo?  I'm waiting to see if they form the shape of California.  They showed much more emotion this time.

The CG faces aren't covered anymore and they're more sparkly now.  Bro thinks maybe the judges thought it was too creepy before.  But I like the darkness of the creepy.  I would like one of each of color rifle, please.  Somebody's plume fell off.  Or it's an ink spot.  You decide.  They beat the hell out of those drums at the end of the show.  

Ink Meet

Oh, the rabbits end up tying the hunters' hands!  I get it.  I like when the corps does the high kicks.  Cool that the props nest into each other like Russian nesting dolls, as Bro pointed out to me the other day.  A couple of the flags look like a piece of the Looney Tunes logo.

Gun Flags

I like show more now.  Bro said he'd be obsessed with it soon.  I like when the brass trades off runs when the CG is using the spiral props.  They spell out "Who Sees Me?", then later "hide" in backwards letters, like the reflection inside our eyes before the brain turns it around.  Whoa.  We're starting to understand the show.  Like those yellow spirals:  I told Bro that one of my colleagues saw a woman's eyes briefly turn yellow when a client changed from one personality to another, and the corps does go a bit insane.  I didn't notice the blinking eye's eyeball shift back and forth until now.  Creepy.  

I like the white robes.  I still wish there was more "Finlandia" at the end.  I guess I wish the Shostakovich would end sooner to give more time for that.  I mean, it is referenced throughout the show, but I guess I want more of a happy ending.  I guess that's not what they were going for.  Oh.
Corps helping with mask removal

They enter the field in a serpentine line.  When the CG follows each other with their flags to form a snake, I wonder if it represents the shedding of the skin.  They sure listened when the director told them to drive their horns to play up to the top fo the stands!  Great transition from one formation to another.  It is crazy good.  The intensity of this show overwhelms me and I'm exhausted now.  This was such a good vantage point for formations that I took a bunch of pictures.

Oh, that's a diamond formation to symbolize their 60th anniversary! I feel like I can see their closets under the stairways because that is where they hang their jackets.  When they march to the backfield after they take off their jackets, the flaps on the sides look like little wings.  

Blue Diamond

While the next performance was being set up, the scores were announced.  It was the quickest turnaround of end of show to scores ever.


Open Class

4) 44.10 - BD-C
3) 50.10 - GE
2) 56.80 - SCVC
1) 58.15 - BD-B

World Class

7) 60.65 - PC
6) 63.35 - Academy
5) 64.30 - Mandarins
4) 66.70 - Phregiment
3) 67.85 - BK
2) 71.05 - SCV
1) 72.00 - BD

Then Brandt Crocker announced that we were in for a treat.

Repertoire:  "Send In The Memories"

Selections included themes from corps members' favorite shows, including
  • Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Great Gate of Kiev
  • Festive Overture
  • Les Miserables
  • Appalachian Spring / Ballet for Martha
  • Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
  • The Canyon
  • Scheherazade
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Fiddler on the Roof

That's right!  I got to see the Bottle Dance!  

This evening's performance was a standstill for the corps, but they will be marching around at Semifinals night!  I was really excited about each song, and I know I'm going to lose my mind on Semifinals.  People in the Skybox went nuts.  People in the stands went nuts.  I was on the verge of tears already, so you know that night is going to be very emotional.

Richard and Diane were going to take Lyft back to the hotel, but we offered to drive them, since we were staying in the same place.  We later found out they were on the same floor, in the same hallway.  They WERE stalking us!  We won't be seeing them anymore this week (or so they say), but hope to see them at future events.

Next up:  Pacific Procession

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