It rained most of the day, and it looked like it might rain all night, but it never did. The temperature was perfect for a show, and the state bird was not out in force (mosquitoes for you non-Minnesotans). The stadium was pretty much packed out beyond the 5 yard lines, and they were pretty receptive to the corps performances.
On to the reviews.
Capital Sound - Their show is pretty good, and the crowd liked the recognizable music of the corps. Their performance was a bit rough tonight, and their horn line just isn't putting out much sound for their size. They could dramatically improve their performance and score if they would just use some air.
Troopers - A significant improvement over last year. The horn line TQ&I was good for most of the show, but they too need more volume. The snare tuning was excellent - a nice wet sound - not cranked so tight so they sound like formica. They have some cheezy guard theatrics in the middle of the show that had even the bandos in the stand making fun of. They really could be cut out and not hurt the show one bit - it would actually help it.
Les Etoiles - They have a very small horn line this year - 20 members. And it really shows. I could barely hear the show. What I could hear had good tone quality, but I was straining to hear their show. The pit is on the field on various scaffolding, elevated into the air. I found them to be very distracting, as they blocked your view of the full field. I was not overly impressed with their musical selections, and they did not get much of a response from the crowd either.
Boston Crusaders - This is the best BAC corps since I first started in the activity in 1977. Their horn line plays very well - good balance, and TQ&I, and their guard is excellent. However, their horn line does not put out enough sound, and the horn book has been watered pretty good. Fiesta is watered to death. They have one guy in the guard that does several solo tosses with the rifle and sabre - really high ones. Kinda cool, but reminded me of the baton twirlers from band shows because he was the only one doing it. BAC is good, but their show just comes across a bit like a band show to me. I did not think they beat the Colts tonight, however, I did have them scored very close.
Colts - I liked the Colts show, but I was not blown away by it either. I think their show is the kind that will grow on me, and after a couple of viewings and listenings, I will like it more. They are strong in all captions - good drill, good horn line, good drum line, good guard - good balance overall. Just nothing great that really wow's you. I thought they edged out BAC.
Cadets of Bergen County - I was surprised at how generous the judges were with Cadets. They are DIRTY! The show is well designed, and has plenty of appeal and amazing musical and visual moments. BUT, are they ever dirty. Like '97, they are being rewarded points in the visual caption for difficulty and demand, not their execution. major interval problems all over the place, barely readable forms, form breaks, and just plain dirty drill. They were MUCH cleaner than this last summer at the same time. Believe what you have heard about their horn line as well. They aren't nearly as good this year. Lots of rough spots. Their guard is amazing, and the drum line is excellent again. I like the show and appreciate the demand, but the visual filth is just not deserving of the scores they are receiving. Madison was cleaner, and I had their score much closer to Madison.
Santa Clara Vanguard - I LOVE THIS SHOW!!! They have a total package show wise and performance wise. I don't have a recap, but they should have won all captions tonight. They are strong in every respect. They crowd was not as receptive to their show as they were Cadets or Madison, but their show is one that I will listen to over and over and over. It will be one that grows on you and becomes a favorite, but is not an immediate love affair (just my opinion of course).
Madison Scouts - Great performance, and the crowd favorite tonight. They had one fall early in the show, but a good recovery. The horn line is typical Madison - powerful, screaming soloists, and driving excitement. Their guard is great and gets the crowd response as usual. Their drum line is entertaining, but again they seem to be their weakness. Visually, they have really cleaned up the drill in the past few weeks. I really thought they were much cleaner than Cadets. Granted they don't have the demand of Cadets, but they execute much better. Both SCV and Madison march with control - even when moving fast or at great distance. Cadets bounce around. I thought they would be breathing down Cadets necks tonight.
Thanks to Tim Kviz on r.a.m.d this review!
CyberWebMistress Caryn Roberts