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July 18, 1999, Durham, NC - DCI

Finally. All the waiting to see shows is over. The first show locally is now here and I get to see some corps for the first time this season. Its a shame that one of the big corps is not here, especially Cadets. On the other hand Glassmen are on the move up after last season, and if they can keep it up they might be one the elite. Still, it looks like a DCI-East show, except no Cadets.

First the Scores, for the few that don't already know.

Glassmen 85.3 1st
Crossmen 82.3 2nd
Carolina Crown 80.4 3rd
Magic of Orlando 75.6 4th
Spirit of Atlanta 71.5 5th
Tarheel Sun 68.2 6th

And now my review in order of appearance.

Spirit of Atlanta. My Score: 58 - 6th
I was expecting something more here. This is very obviously a rebuilding year for the corps, with some problems everywhere. Horns were weak starting with mid range being beyond muddy, and the sops had a lot of support problems. The marching was not very tight at all, but the drill is much harder than last year, so they are doing a tougher show. I guess the same could be said for the music as well. I thought they were finished when I heard the bass drum start tapping, and I think so did most everyone, but then they played a bit more, and although this sounds harsh, I think it was Georgia On My Mind. This show needs a LOT of work.

Magic of Orlando. My Score: 73 - 4th
That's more like it. Very strong start but as the show went on the horns started to have some support problems. Still the music was peppy and fun, but not quite the cutting edge style stuff we have come to expect from Magic. The drums were better than Spirit by loads, and the bass line impressed me. The horn line had sop problems after the second number, and the midrange got just a bit muddy as well. With a bit of work and some cleanup this is a solid show for top-12.

Carolina Crown. My score: 80 - 3rd
Now we are getting somewhere. This show has some strong horns and a nice drum line all around. Although they have some problems they are not as numerous and not as lengthy as Crown's horn problems were. I liked the marching, some very tight drill work and decent visuals. The guard did a pretty good job as well, but not really sparkling. The horns, especially the sops were tight, showing very little mud in the midrange. This was a great show and seems definite for top-12.

Crossmen. My score: 80.2 - 2nd
I thought Crossmen would be better, considering they run through a lot of dual camp work with Cadets. They start strong, not with volume, but with some sweet horn its and releases. Excellent quality, and the sound is impressive for the entire opener. The second number is not quite as tight but is well done, with some slight strains in the sop line, but the midrange is still clear. The third number is weak, with mud in the midrange and heavy strain on the sop line, even the bari's show some problems centering tone quality. The closer is much better, about the same as the second number. The marching shows holes, and they have a ways to go in filling out the corps. But the holes are marched CLEANLY, they don't collapse at a whim, and the intervals are regular throughout the show. I was impressed. Still when problems occurred in the drill, they were so noticeable. The drum line smoked! Top to bottom! I could see them beating Crown, even though many in the crowd felt Crown was ahead of Crossmen. Crown had better GE, and the horn line was more stable. Crossmen had a better horn line when they were on, and better Drums. I'd say visual was a wash between the two, slight edge to Crossmen because of the interval work. Guard went to Crown I think. Although the score didn't show it I think Crossmen need to worry about Crown.

Glassmen. My score: 83 - 1st
Now that's a horn line! They did a great job with very little fading through the show and very little strain on the sop line with some difficult work. I felt GE went to them as well, but the music isn't as memorable as some shows in years past. Its also a bit boring, even though it's well done. I liked it myself, but I had all my friends say the same thing, Good but boring. Drum line was as good as Crossmen, but they won on horns and marching. So far I'd give GE to Crown for the entire show. Still a noticeable leap over the others. I was hoping for a better show though seeing what they were doing to the other Midwest corps over the past few weeks. But it was a very good show, although I'm not sure about top-5.

Tarheel Sun: My score: 68 - 6th
Now I really have a beef with the judges. Granted they followed Glassmen, and granted they have some problems in the horn areas and a bit in marching. But behind Spirit? Sorry I don't see it. The GE is very good, the marching better than Spirit, and I'd have to say the drums are a wash. The horn line had some mud in the midrange, but the sops are hitting better than Spirit. The low brass may have been a problem, but I couldn't tell one way or the other. Maybe if I heard them together I could agree, but no way did anyone in the stands think this was how it should be. And even if they did lose I expected it to be by .1 not more than 3.

America/Canada wasn't bad, and then Glassmen did a standstill of the show. I was hoping they might play something else, but I did enjoy a really hot horn line cranking it out. Not a bad show, but in general it felt like a show for mid to late June. This is mid-July with only 3 weeks until finals begin. Granted they have about 3.5 until open class, but still I was expecting a higher level of quality for this time of the season. Maybe it's like this all over, but I was really hoping for better, since the show was not so early this year. But in 3 weeks I'll be loving these shows in Madison. We'll see you there.

Brian Schriber
Crossmen 84-85
The 'Original-Every-Night' T-Shirt Guy


Thanks to Brian Schriber for directly emailing this review!

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