Sunday, July 23, 2017

Vikings Don't Have Parasols

So Cal Classic
West Coast Open Class Championship
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Ron Yary Stadium -- Bellflower HS
Bellflower, CA

I arrived at the stadium parking lot a little bit before 4:00 p.m.  The gate had opened at 3:30, so there were already people inside, but I needed to give my extra ticket to Jen.  I also wanted to make sure that Dodie was able to find me at this entrance as her directions had her park in a lot that was far away.  Once I got everyone together, Jen told me that I needed to get a wristband from the ticket booth to let me into "the special section".  I'm glad she got tickets in the premium section for herself and the family, because I forgot to tell her to do so.  Bro was unable to attend this show, so the extra ticket went to Larry.  Jen had also brought her daughter Rebecca (current baritone at her high school), and Rebecca's friend, Layla.

The seating was General Admission, so we made sure to get to the seats we wanted before getting refreshments.  Our seats were in Section B, about midway up the stands, on the 50.  As Jen predicted, I wanted aguas frescas, so Dodie and I got in line for our drinks and also some food.  I've decided that I am just not fond of the grittiness of Tostitos, even when I'm eating them as nachos.  I finished my nachos, though, because I wanted the protein; the chips were basically, as my friend Cindy says, "a delivery system".

Larry saw four people several rows in front of us whom were using white, lacy parasols.  He lamented that he didn't bring one.  I asked him if he had one.  "No, but if I had thought of it, I would have bought one to bring."  Larry makes me laugh.  

The Freelancers Alumni Corps played the Star-Spangled Banner.  I wondered if I was being unpatriotic because I was holding my nachos in one hand while putting my other hand on my heart for the anthem.   Yes, I was standing.  No, I wasn't wearing a hat.

Larry was puzzled at first as to why the silver tubes weren't all the same size, then realized that they were like real airplane wings and tapered down.  "Oh, it's a plane!" They didn't have that narration before.  I now understand that they play "Stayin' Alive" because they survived the turbulence, but I was fine with the show without the narration. The bass drum heads have a "BD Air" logo.  Cool.  NIce "Stayin' Alive" solo.  I kept pointing out the littlest kids because they're so cute. The cymbal player even had small cymbals!  The drummer stances are so very BD with their squats.

BD Air

I thought that they were already dropping stuff on the field during the pre-show, but the fans were being purposefully placed on the ground in designated places.  Go, Contra solo!  Dodie likes the flag colors.

Why do the cave people have red on the lower part of their legs?  Is it blood because they don't wear shoes?  Is it fire?  Then Jen saw the rifles and said, "Cave People don't have rifles."  I suggested that someone went back in time and gave them rifles.  
Jen: "That's what happened.  They didn't know how to use them and their legs are bloody."
Nice solos all around, like the tympani on the Also Sprach, the Mello on the Khatchaturian, the trumpet on the de Falla, and the marimba on the lead in to the de Falla.


Larry:  I want a Viking hat.
Jen: I thought you wanted a parasol.
Sherry:  Would you rather have a Viking hat, or a parasol?
L:  Do I have to choose?  Why can't I have both?
S:  If you wear a Viking hat while you're holding a parasol, you'll poke holes in the parasol with the horns!
L: A Viking hat, then...but then it's not really good for much except Bugs Bunny cartoons.
S: You can use the horn to drink out of!
L:  I can do that.
S: A Viking hat is useful!  It prevents arrows from being shot into your head.
L:  OK, a Viking hat it is.

Yup, somebody was wearing a Viking hat for the Watchmen show, but it was a different person than when we were in Riverside.  I wondered if they take turns.  

J:  Why don't they just shoot them with the guns?  Then it would be over quickly.  
I told her that Bro was thinking of the same thing the other day.
J:  Brass players would have figured out how to use the guns.  That's why you don't give guns to brass players.
I finally noticed the Viking funeral and the reason for the Death cloth.
J:  Don't they have to dump him in water?  It would suck to have to play tenors at your own funeral.
Viking Funeral

So here's my theory:  Watchmen isn't wearing hats because they all wanted to have Viking hats and it wasn't in the budget.  So we just have one representative on the sidelines in honor of the Viking hats they couldn't afford.  Also, if they were all wearing the hats, they'd poke everyone's eyes out.

Freelancers Alumni Corps entertained the folks in the stands.

Earlier in the day, Jen mentioned her fear of midgets.  I told her that there were dwarfs in the show.  I mean, they're miners, right?  "Someday I'll Fly Away" is still the weakest piece.  The intonation still needs improvement, as it does in the Diamond portion, but it's not as noticeable as it was before.

Conducting from over the mountain

The acorn hasn't changed.  Jen thinks it looks like a poop emoji.  
D:  From mighty acorns, pieces of poop grow.
Great battery feature!  I saw the "grow" movements by the brass this time.  I guess Rudy and Glenn weren't making that up after all.  I like when the cymbals "grow" at the end.

Gold Drums with Contras "growing" in the back

This is the first time I've seen the new uniforms.  They don't wear Aussies, either.  I like that the DM uniforms incorporate both the corps black/white/grey and the colors of the CG uniforms.  The show has changed a lot since I saw it last, and it's even better than before, now that the colors from the other sides of the props have been incorporated into it.  Now we get to see pink, yellow, purple, and green.  The pieces have come together!  Nice call and response between the trombone soloist and the rest of the corps.  The Vanguard yell comes right before that portion.  Lots of people in the stands were stamping their feet in approval.  This is a Vanguard crowd, I guess.  Is that a tribute to SCV's "Ouroboros" that I see in the circle formation?
New Uniforms



I like this color combination

There is way too much talking in this show.  The CG uniforms -- are they clowns, or are those balloons?  Dodie thinks they're just clowns.  You can't be CG lead in BD unless you have long hair.  
J: Those long plumes make them look like bunnies.
S: That pink feather over there is coming down...or it's having an erection, I can't tell.
Saber Toss

Wait.  What is on those flags?
Is this what happens to the children?

Probably just happy to see me

We got a full retreat tonight!  Impulse provided the cadence.


8) 48.10 BD-C
7) 50.40 Incognito
6) 53.70 Impulse
5) 58.60 Watchmen
4) 59.70 Golden Empire
3) 63.25 Gold
2) 69.75 SCVC
1) 70.40 BD-B

All of the corps gave us one more song as each marched off the field.  Gold decided to stay in their place to play, then marched off in silence.  Yeah, so their part was a lot longer than the other corps', and I was annoyed.  SCVC played their drum cadence, no music.

Impulse played parts of their show.  As we left, I found myself humming the de Falle piece.  I think I need to buy that.
Impulse Encore

That was fun, and now I have several long weeks before I get to see another drum corps show in person.  Until then, I know they'll all keep cleaning up their shows, and I look forward to Finals Week!

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