Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I Like Circles

Pacific Procession
Monday, June 26, 2017
Santa Clara High School
Santa Clara, CA

Ah, a day to sleep in for a bit!  Bro and I opted for breakfast downstairs in the hotel lobby, just something small because we knew where we'd be eating for lunch.  Bro's bestie, Chun, arrived and we checked out of the hotel before heading to Bro's favorite Thai restaurant: Thai Basil.  I had their Chicken Basil and was happy.  Their food is flavorful and when they say mild spicy, they actually mean it.  It's no wonder why we go there whenever we have time in Santa Clara.  Chun wanted us to try a Taiwanese dessert, so we went to Meet Fresh in Cupertino.  We shared Taro Ball #2, which contained shaved ice, taro balls, sweet potato, barley, boba, and rice.  I enjoyed the syrup, which was probably from the boba, and wasn't too sweet.  In fact, the whole dish wasn't very sweet, but it was tasty.


We still had some time before going to the high school, so we spent it looking for an Ouroboros ring.  Yes, I've lost my mind and really want one now.  We went to Valley Fair mall and were unsuccessful.  So I'm now on a quest, and might just be buying it from Amazon.  We had asked the ladies at the SCV Souvie Booth about it at Stanford, and they said it would be a good idea, and that I should talk to Annette.  I don't know who that is, though.

Chun brought us back to the hotel to get our car, and we said our goodbyes.  We then went to the high school and picked up our VIP wristbands.  Yes, it's fancy time again!  Snacks and drinks were available for us, and we got to sit in the premium seating area with a view of the 50-yard line.  
Holding my Doritos with my VIP wristband

We arrived too late to sit in our seats prior to SCVC's rehearsal, but we were able to watch Phregiment and SCV do run-throughs.  I purchased a polo shirt from the Phregiment souvie stand and went to the car to put it away so I could also get my blanket.  It was getting chilly in the shade.  We also got seat cushions as part of our VIP treatment.  Nice!  

As VIPs, we were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour.  I was hoping that meant that I would get to sit on one of the props, but no such luck.  Instead, Executive Director Charles Frost walked with us to the place where Vanguard's vehicles were parked, and told us a little bit about each one.  He said that his favorite part of the backstage area was Miss Amana, SCV's food truck.  He told us about feeding 180 people in a span of 20 minutes, and we witnessed the atmosphere there as it was dinner time for the kids.  This evening, Phregiment was joining SCV and SCVC for dinner, so they were feeding about 500 people.  SCV has been and continues to have the best reputation for the food they provide, and this year, they have their own chef, whom, in the first two weeks of the season, did not repeat a menu.  That's quite a feat when you're feeding so many people at once.  Someone asked when the corps staff starts thinking about the next year's show, and he said they started at the end of August last year.  Someone shares an idea that they'd like to see, but sometimes it's just a concept, like "I like circles", sometimes it's a song someone wants to arrange.  There's no set rule, but they gather somewhere in August and throw ideas on the table and see what sounds interesting to everyone.  The tour ended when it came time for Charlie to perform with the Santa Clara Big Band, whom provided entertainment to the crowd before the show began.  Bro bought a SCV bucket hat, and a new rally towel, soon to be displayed at the back of his car.  Volunteer Norm gave us more drinks and chips as needed, except to me, because he didn't hear me when I asked for chips.

This shield, signed by whomever,
 was gone when we returned from our tour.

Tonight's show was not judged.

Panorama view from our seats

Bro noticed that they have new drums.  I don't know why the bass drums were still covered, though.  Their screens are colored in back, but we haven't seen the last part yet, so I guess those will be shown in the final song.  It looks like have all of their flags now.  Shiny!

Vocal Percussion Intro Trio

Kick Drum Feature

One of the ensembles in front of each screen

I think they have pieces of stylized chevrons on their flags.  You can see the stylized chevron on the big bass drum.  That solo sounds flat to me.  Every.  Night.  It makes me so crazy that I asked Bro if I was hearing it wrong.  No, it's flat, like it's not tuned with everyone else's instrument.  I've decided that I don't like how the Finlandia is being played.  Bro says it's the arrangement.  I don't understand why the pianist has to play something that sounds like a marimba when they have them RIGHT THERE.

Bass Drum during rehearsal

See the upside-down Chevron?

How about in these flags?

Putting on the White Helmet

Bro asked if the color guard also has the snake design on their uniforms.  I thought so when I saw them in the bathroom, but now I'm second-guessing myself.  The Vanguard yell will most likely be during the silence right after the color guard is in the block at center field.  

Drum Major Salute

Horn Player at a Tilt

A Bunch of Folks

Own it!

We were then treated to an encore by the horn lines of all three corps present:

"Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral" -- Phregiment's corps song, conducted by their drum major

"Send in the Clowns" - SCV's corps song, conducted by drum major Chris

I was annoyed because, just as they were lining up to play, a volunteer kid decided it was time to take down the VIP sign with pliers that he didn't know how to use, close to Bro so I couldn't get a panorama of all of them because his head was in the way.  I was, like, "Really, Kid?"  Maybe sit down and wait until it's over?  Who told him to do that now? 

We left immediately afterward and headed for our hotel in Gilroy.  We stopped at a KFC/A&W first, and they didn't have what I initially wanted.  Then we were asked to park our car out front.  Then the lady that took our order came outside to tell Bro that they didn't have what he wanted, either.  As we waited for our second choice orders, we might have seen shady stuff going down, but we're not sure.  We went to the Hilton Garden Inn and noted that they must all have the same layout because we felt like we'd been there before, but hadn't.  Bedtime, and a day without a drum corps show tomorrow.

Next up:  DCI on the SoCal Coast

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