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August 1, 1999, Charlotte, NC - DCI - NightBEAT

Hello again. Our second show of the season and tonight we get to look at one of the top corps in Blue Devils. We also get to see Madison, and Boston, and Southwind for the first time this year as well. First lets take a look at the scores by the judges.

Tarheel Sun 71.5 8th
Southwind 75.7 7th
Magic of Orlando 78.8 6th
Boston Crusaders 82.1 5th
Carolina Crown 85.0 4th
Madison Scouts 89.0 3rd
Glassmen 90.5 2nd
Blue Devils 93.9 1st

And now my review in order of appearance.

Southwind. My score: 73 - 7th
This was a good start for the evening. I really like the way Southwind is handling things in the horn line. The midrange is fairly clean, and the sops are decent. The drum line is playing well, but they can get a bit mushy here and there. For a corps that took a year off, they look pretty darn good. And I think the musical arrangements are very nice. This is a great show, and I can only hope it makes top-17.

Tarheel Sun. My score: 71 - 8th
Amazing that the judges agreed with me on this one. When I saw this show in Durham it was pretty raw, but I liked it then and I like it even more now. Much of the strain on the upper brass is almost totally gone, and the midrange is immensely cleaner. The marching is clean and the forms much better now. But even though I thought they did much better this time around, I still would put them behind Southwind. There is still just a bit of cleanup that can be done in the closer for the brass sections. I was worried that the jump to Open class might have been premature, but the corps is doing well, and I think they are starting to really lock in a spot as a member corps.

Magic of Orlando. My score: 78 - 6th
I thought Magic would have a larger spread over Southwind. The last time I saw Magic, they had problems supporting in the brass section as the show went on. This time they didn't and the show really rocked. The horns are getting tighter, and I like the drum line. Plenty of work to go if this show want a place on Saturday, but it can be done.

Boston Crusaders. My score: 80.5 - 5th
I have to say I kind of flipped this one over as I reflected back on the show. At first thought I was going to say they had beat Crown, but then I realized that as good as Boston was, Crown has a better horn line. The rest is almost a wash between the two corps. I think M&M would go to Crown, GE to Boston, Horns to Crown, Drums are a wash. That being said, this is the best I have ever seen Boston and that includes finals weeks. They are surely contending for a spot on Saturday this year above all others. All they have to worry about really is how Colts, and Bluecoats are doing. Its a smashing show, and the slight toss of minor bits of Conquest are neat.

Intermission. My score: 31.4 - Ugh
Well, just about the time Boston was getting off the field, a lightning storm started running its way across the area, so we had a delay to let the storm pass. It was also requested that the stands be cleared. The lightning was impressive visually, but the volume was either not there or very muffled. As lightning storms go it was great, because it stayed away and didn't force a standstill or end the show. So after our extended break we finally get to move on.

Carolina Crown. My score: 81 - 4th
The horn line is good, better than Boston, and the drums are tight. I like the visuals and the guard is impressive. The more I hear the show the more it grows on me. The drill is clean, but there were a couple of problems caused by wet turf. Not like 84 Cadets at Ypsilanti though (was it Ypsi', or somewhere else? It was the big Midwest show), where a stumble during the Z pull dropped 6-10 guys and put one in a cast. This is a very well designed visual show, and Crown is really pulling out all the stops. This show was also much better this time around.

Madison Scouts. My score: 86 - 2nd
Yes, YES, YES!!! Lets see, what do we give Madison? GE!!! And drums!! The horn line is loud, but they are not as clean as they have been in years past. But who cares? When you watch Scouts all you want is an awesome show and they do not disappoint. This show has just about everything, great visuals, guard tossing rifles like matchsticks, some good drill, an in your face brass line, and a drum line that smokes. I enjoyed this show a LOT!

Glassmen. My score: 85 - 3rd
Okay, change of pace here. In Durham they were the best out there, but they didn't have to follow a hot GE show like Madison. For the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the show I was impressed with the ability of the brass line, but the show just sat there. Finally at the end it started to come alive. I can't believe the Glassmen horn line is that good, but they walked all over Madison. But Madison had everything else that Glassmen lacked, so I don't agree with the placement. Glassmen's drill I think may be more difficult than Scouts, but Scouts march the cleaner show.

Blue Devils. My score: 92 - 1st
Okay my mistake. Give all the awards to Devils. This is a very clean horn line that plays some good stuff. I thought it would be a bit more toe tapping than it turned out considering what they were playing. But I like what they do with Tango, and the closer is cool, although I like a bit more swing in a swing rhythm. The drill is great and I thought the visuals worked well with the show. Part way through the show Leah told me she thought she would go deaf. Now that's a horn line. :^)

Well, since the storm had put the show so far behind, it was a drum major retreat only, and there was not encore. I was hoping to hear Devils play something like When a Man Loves a Woman after the show. But I have since heard Devils are playing Legend of the One Eyed Sailor instead as their finale song. So until my next email when I review Winston-Salem, See ya!

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

Thanks to Brian Schriber for directly emailing this review!

Editorial notes:

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