Saturday, August 12, 2017

Vanguard Forever

DCI Semifinals
Friday, August 11, 2017
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, IN

We got a late start in the morning so instead of eating breakfast, we went straight to Tastings for our traditional Semifinals lunch.  The hostess asked if we'd been there before, and when we told her we were old hats at this, she gave us our menus and tended to a table of newbies.  To eat, we ordered Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna, Filet Mignon Salad, Shrimp Ceviche, and Goat Cheese & Fig Pizza.  It was all delicious.

- Didn't Like

1st round:
S: 2015 Snoquamie Winemaker's Select Reisling*
V: 2015 Force of Nature Cabernet Sauvignon* -- something for which we have bottles at home, but it's themed to SCV.
R:  2014 Yardsock Cabernet Sauvignon*

2nd round:
S: 2014 Sexual Chocolate Red Blend -
V: 2014 Tooth & Nail "The Stand" Red Blend +
R: 2014 Louis Latour Domaine De Valmoissine Pinot Noir -

3rd round:
S: 2015 Toschi Vineyards Moscato

We had Marquis Cake for dessert.  That was tasty, too, especially the rum-soaked genoise cake.

We then walked to Lucas Oil, and searched for the booth so I could pick up my bib for the 5K.  It wasn't there.  So we went inside and I bought an SCV cap as well as shirt for my friend's daughter.  I tried to buy the Mandarins What the Heck shirt, but they weren't open.  Everyone else was open, but I was told they were running late.  I didn't have time to wait, so I left the booth, hoping that the limited edition shirt would still be available when I returned.  I made it to the seating area just in time to hear the US Army Band play the Star-Spangled Banner.

Our seats were in Section 141, Row 5, Seats 5-7.  We were up close and on the left 40-yard line.

*Top 12 advance to Finals

SPARTANS -- 73.475
I saw one of the pit members toss a mallet to each other.  I don't know if that was choreographed, but they were smiling.  I also don't know if that happened more than once in the show.  Their sleeves are even more sparkly up close!  The last flag has social media icons on it.
Last Flag 

MUSIC CITY -- 74.275
"If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go with the tribe."
They make the appearance of smoke with their black and gray tulle before they make the fire with the ribbons.  That's cool.  They climb atop the marimbas and growl.  One guy kicked short DCI cone.  Rude.
Trumpet Soloist

GENESIS -- 76.213
V:  "Big Ass Brushes.  B.A.B."
Great job, everyone!  Brass and drums kicked butt.  That little girl with the umbrella is pretty good!  The red CG uniform has faces on it.  It looks like it represents art, like the Madonna and Child.  
Future Color Guard Captain

LEGENDS -- 76.225
I don't think they love the signal because they seem to be in pain when they cover their ears and bend over.  Very nice sound from the horns.  Aw, the drum major is crying.
Be Careful Up There!

My eyes are leaking!  The show was so good:  solos went well, CG was on point, brass and percussion did very well.  Wow.  The pit uses a bow against the marimba during the lead-in to the Giacchino.  Thank you for the wonderful show, PC!  I will always love and remember this one.

Oh, there are the compass pieces!  I would that follow that drum major anywhere.  I almost breathed with her every time she puffed up her cheeks for the brass entrances.  A good conductor makes you feel the music as if you're standing in their spot.  I was almost in tears for the ballad.  Beautiful.
Puffing Out Cheeks

"We are here!"
Choir corps during the last piece.
We Are Here

I quickly walked to the Mandarins booth.  A girl was there whom didn't have enough money to pay for her shirt.  I overheard the woman tell her that maybe she'll get lucky and someone would give her a couple of bucks.  She stepped aside, and I moved up to the front of the line.  Then she proceeded to help someone else.  Ummm..what?!   Then the same person she helped instead of me wanted to put money in the fuel fund can and reached over me to do so.  No, she didn't think of going around me.  I kept my composure and inched up closer to the cashier (I maybe had 2 inches to go to get in her face).  She asked if she could help me and I asked if they had the tank top in my size, which they did.  Yay!  I tried to give the other gal a couple of dollars, but she said she had enough money; they just wouldn't let her pay with cash + card.  I asked the woman if they could split it to use both, and she said no.  Then she thought of something else she could do, and was successful.  The girl was able to purchase the same shirt I was buying, and she went away happy.  The cashier gave me a free Mandarins rubber bracelet because I'm nice.  I guess it paid off for me not to go all ballistic when she didn't help me.  

I also bought a Cadets shirt for a friend's daughter, but it took me forever to decide because most of the shirts had the name of this year's show, and I don't like the show.  I don't know if she liked the show, either.  I did end up getting her one with the long intro that irritates me, but I didn't want to get her another black shirt, and I didn't know if she'd be OK with the ones with the crosses.  Why don't they have more generic shirts?  Ugh.

BLUE DEVILS B -- 80.050
V thinks the girls in the pit have their hair in pigtails because they're portraying kids.  That is a very long high note, Mister trumpet soloist!

TROOPERS -- 80.075
I would have totally blown my horn forever for that drum major.  He just kept asking for more in the Nessun Dorma, which was beautiful.  I would also like to dance with him, because he danced while he conducted.
Fencing Steps

I met Tracer's mom.  Tracer goes to school with my friend's daughter.  The mom wasn't impressed that I knew someone that knew him.  I guess I should have realized that it was probably her son's last performance of the year with SCVC and not cared so much that she blew me off.  Sorry to distract you, Tracer's mom.  I yelled "...GUARD!!!!" because I didn't know when the yell was supposed to happen.  Love that drumline!  I like seeing the drum major smile at them.
Awesome soloist

Dan Potter interviewed drum major Jessica and she said she thought it was their best performance yet.  He said that no matter what, we would see them on Finals night because they would play their encore as Open Class Champions.  What would happen if they actually made Finals?  Would they have to play twice?  I would like to see SCVC make this a dilemma for DCI one day.

THE ACADEMY -- 84.188
Oh, now I get that part:  the hunters throw their rifles in the air in succession, and the bunnies try to hit their head with rifles while they're looking up to catch their own.  V had to tell me when the bunnies have carrots in their mouths because I'm always too late to see it.  If anything makes me smile this drum corps season, it's the Academy's show.  Nice pas de deux with the Hunter & Bunny as the pirouettes, even though it disturbs me.  I like when the brass players hop like bunnies.
Catching a Rifle with Carrot

THE COLTS -- 83.888
"Left side! Right side! Both sides!"  I like the melody, I just don't want the singing.
Math Symbols

Dan Potter showed a quilt that his wife made for today's raffle.  It's made of drum corps shirts.  That's cool!

MANDARINS -- 85.550
The drum major is so awesome! They showed her on the big screen when she was making her growly face.  I usually like Mandarins color guard, but this year I LOVE them.  They were just ON tonight.  Oops, somebody left their orange saber on the black sheer cover and it traveled with it as they covered the field.
So Intense

I didn't notice the oxygen tanks last night.  Neither did V.  I'd better not breathe with them, or I'll hyperventilate.  V wondered why the brass players weren't wearing bandannas over their mouths.  They're scarier up close.  Cool visual after the explosion sound as they throw their orange flags horizontally into the air.

CROSSMEN -- 88.488*
I like that main theme.  They do flips on the bars.  I like their plumes.
Rifle Toss

Brandt Crocker announced that there was a deluge outside, and two of the corps were stuck in it, so we needed to wait as they dried off.  We had a 10-minute delay.  Yes, even when the event is in a dome, we still have rain delays.

BLUE STARS -- 88.975*
I don't like the transition between the Gatsby and the Moulin Rouge sections.  I could hear more of the Prokofiev now: it's mixed in with "The Montagues and the Capulets".  We met people later while in line for food, and they were a father and sister of someone in this corps.  He said, "They dropped one."  I hadn't noticed.  The guy behind us said the show was about fairy tales.  I don't remember hearing about Romeo and Juliet killing themselves in any of the fairy tales of my youth, but most fairy tales are based on Grimm stories which are kind of scary, so maybe?  
Blue Stars Desk

I went outside to pick up my packet for the 5K.  When the staff member stamped my hand, the ink was very faint on my skin, so she had to do it again.  I explained to the people waiting, "I'm brown."  They looked at me like I was nuts.  We had extra intermission time due to the rain so Phregiment's flags could be dried.  It's a good thing, too, because it took me forever just to get through the Marketplace after getting my packet, and the concession lines were long.  Concessions was disappointing today: they weren't ready for the intermission despite the 10-minute delay, and they ran out of stuff.  They also didn't give me the kind of pizza that I settled for when they didn't have the salad I wanted.  Oh well.  At least it wasn't salty, like V's nachos grande.  We went back to our seats to eat our dinner.

V wasn't sure what a "Phantasm" was.  I decided that it is a Phantom Orgasm.  I just don't understand why, when you have all those instruments on the field, you need to have recorded music.  

Dan P interviewed the Phantasm and wore her face mask.  He also put it on the camera so we could try to see through it.  Now she's going to have to wash that before Finals.
Dan Potter Being Silly

BLUE KNIGHTS -- 91.013*
The second drum major leaves his podium during the show and interacts with the color guard before going to the backfield, and the third drum major goes to his place.  I like seeing the expressions on the faces of the drummers.  They are clearly having fun.
BK Drum Major and CG

THE CADETS -- 91.738*
The one part of the show V does like is when they use the purple flags which match the stained glass window backdrops at the end.  My favorite part is that it ends.  Actually, since we were on the left side, I got to hear more of the brass when they played on the pews.  At one point, there were 24 trombones.  That's a LOT of trombones.  Not quite the 76 in The Music Man, but a lot nonetheless.  The guy behind us liked this show, partly because they squeezed a whole hour of the original composition into 12 minutes.  You know, unlike any of the other 12-minute shows we've seen tonight.  
Stained Glass

I like the "Wicked Game" segment.  Vocal soloist Aubrey does a great job with that song.  I know her name because Dan P interviewed her afterward.   
Folks behind us:   "The burning was wonderful."  Yeah, that's disturbing.  One of those folks thought that the show was about the Hunger Games until his wife or whomever informed him that it was about the Salem Witch Trials. 
Those are people, not flames

THE CAVALIERS -- 94.925*
The CG uniforms are so form-fitting that they look like they're tattooed onto them.  I like this show more now that I understand the narration.  Yes, I actually needed the narration for this one.  The show is about communication, so I'm going to rely on that to help my existential conundrum about this.  "Duuuude!  Buddyyyy!...After 2000 years, that's what they've come up with."
Spinning Tenors

BLUECOATS -- 95.213*
V noticed that the pit instruments were jagged, too.  I like that the drummers also do some choreography with their hats.  Yes, a trombone player hands his hat to the drum major.  The use of the wah-wah pedal with the trumpet duet is cool.
Bloo DM

Bro explained the show to us before it started because V and I had a ton of questions.  Oh, so this is a statement show.  What an awesome brass section!  They were so strong that our seats vibrated.  Bro thinks it's because the audience was stamping their feet.
Guy behind us:  "What's that song?  It's from Broadway.  Frozen, I think."
Somehow he didn't fall down

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh!  NEW Ouroborous!!!!!  Have they had those underneath the red covers this whole time?!?!  It's magic!  My throat is sore from all of the screaming. That was incredible!  I love sitting with fellow SCV fans so we can share our excitement.  
Gold Ouroboros

BLUE DEVILS -- 98.112*
Great job, BD!  My goodness that brass line!  They shake their legs like they have bees on them and are trying to make them fly away.
Butterfly wings


Scholarship Awards were announced.

Open Class Director of the Year -- Steve Barnhill of SCVC 

Most Improved Corps -- Louisiana Stars

Hall of Fame Inductees:
TJ Doucette -- Blue Devils Color Guard
Paul Rennick -- currently SCV Percussion
Bruno Zuccala -- Corps Director of The Cavaliers
Zuccala, Rennick & Doucette

I & E Winners were introduced.

Members from every year were represented, so participants included folks from the very first Vanguard through last year's age outs.  They played the same music that we heard at Stanford, but they wore uniforms and marched around a little bit. Little girls danced with their mothers on the field. Everyone went bananas when they did the Bottle Dance.   Our whole SCV section went nuts for pretty much the entire show.  It was awesome.  I was happy that current SCV and SCVC members were allowed to watch the show because that is their corps' history right there.  Many tears were shed during "Send in the Clowns", on the field and in the stands alike.  And now I'm about to cry again.  Thank you, SCV, for making this such a special evening.  You will always be in my heart as the best, the classiest, and the greatest drum corps ever.
SCV Alumni Enter the Stadium

They just keep on coming!  Over 200!

High Rifle Toss



Shield Formation

Phantom of the Opera


Scores for the last block were announced...except for the last two, which irritated all of us, so we left to go party.

The SCV Semifinals After Party took place at The Tow Yard, which was a bit of a walk, so I was quite warm and needed the cold beer.  I had their Raspberry Porter, which I thought was tasty.  We also got food included with our tickets: chicken fingers, hot wings, and pretzel bites, which were like pretzel buns but really small.  Charles Frost thanked us all for coming, and he had DMs Chris and Carl with him.  Bro wanted my bestie to go to bed because SCV had some tenths to overcome in their score.  I played Simon.  Bro almost got someone else's drink because the guy didn't know who ordered them.  V pointed out that the food on her plate was phallic.  I did not take a picture, and am regretting that at the moment.

What a fun, SCV-filled day!

Next up:  Finals

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