The weather for tonight's show was perfect. The high temperature for the day could not have been higher than the mid 70's, partly cloudy skies, very light to nonexistent breeze. It simply could not have been better! All of the guards were much better tonight because of the lack of the wind. The crowd was huge and responsive to all of the corps performances - including the exhibitions.
The show was well run tonight, but once the show went live, the time between corps performances was too long. Whatever they were showing - cut it out and add another corps! I much preferred the rapid-fire score announcement with the live broadcast to the long drawn out routine from the past couple of years.
The show was fantastic tonight. This has to be perhaps one of the best Finals I have been to. Great shows top to bottom, and the quality was much improved. On to the reviews:
Colts - 86.0
The Colts have once again set the record high score for a 12th place corps. They were fantastic tonight - absolutely smoking from the start. Perhaps they were happy to have made finals and were just relaxing and performing, or they were out to move up. Maybe they just decided to play their hearts out. Whatever it was, they were amazing. I thought they should have moved up a place because of the quality of their performance tonight. My wife agreed that they were cleaner than last night, and she thought they should have beaten both Crown and Crossmen.
Carolina Crown - 86.3
Crown did an excellent job tonight. They had a very solid performance. The ballad is so beautiful, and the guard was so much improved over yesterday. While their show was very good tonight, it was just not as exciting as the Colts. My wife thought they were not as strong as yesterday.
Boston Crusaders - 88.6
BAC was exciting tonight. They put out one heck of a show, but kept it in control musically. There were a few more visual execution errors drill wise, but the overall performance was a big step up from yesterday. Their ballad is very beautiful as well. One of the really high saber tosses was dropped, but the overall guard performance was better. They deserved to beat Crossmen. My wife thought they were better yesterday, primarily because the drill was cleaner.
Crossmen - 87.0
The guard was on tonight! The marching was bit rough - many visual execution problems, one member of the horn line ate turf, and another almost did in the closer and had a very bad recovery. The soprano soloist in Blue Shades was terrific - perfect stylistically and great sound. This was not their best show of the week, and they deserved to drop a place. I thought the spread over Colts and Crown was much too high. My wife thought the drill was sloppy, but the guard was good. She thought both Boston and the Colts beat them tonight.
Phantom Regiment - 91.2
PR had a good performance again tonight. There were no major differences between tonight and last night or the night before. All three shows were solid, performed well, but had some sloppy drill and a bit ragged sounding horn line at times. The show was excellent, and the performance was very good, but they were in a class by themselves. Head and shoulders above the 9th through 12th pack, and nowhere near the 7th and up pack. They simply had a lock on 8th, and they did it proud.
Madison Scouts - 93.4
Madison was ON FIRE! When they entered the field, the crowd noise was deafening. As a result, part of the line did not hear the command to march forward, so the file was a mess. They got it together on the 30- yard line and completed their entrance flawlessly. There were a couple of soprano soloists' cracks, but otherwise, the show simply rocked! Super charged by the crowd, they screamed through the show. They received multiple standing ovations, and really laid it on the line. They were rewarded with an increased score, and a well deserved 6th place. My wife loved them too, and thought they were much better than yesterday.
Blue Knights - 92.5
BK had a solid performance tonight. The horn line really sounded terrific, as did the drum line. However, there was a bit more visual dirt tonight, and the excitement level just was not as high as it could have been. The performance was not flat or bad - just not cranked up as high as the competition. They might have been psyched out by the huge response Madison got, or perhaps it's just my read after being energized by Madison. My wife did not care for their show, and she thought it was dirtier tonight.
Glassmen - 93.7
What a performance! Excellent job tonight. The more I see and hear this show, the more I like it - it's simply beautiful. No, it's not Madison style exciting, but that's OK with me. Not everyone can have that style. I don't find their show boring at all. My wife thought they had the best visual program of the evening. She thought they simply looked beautiful, the drill flowed so well, and the colors were all blended to perfection.
Cadets of Bergen County -
The Cadets were on tonight as well. A significant improvement over last night - both in cleanliness and in the excitement level. After the opener, someone screamed out "TAXI!" It was hilarious! I really like the show - I just wish the ended were a bit more spectacular. It just left me wanting a bit more. Overall, it was a remarkable performance. I thought the 4th place finish and the score was dead on. My wife thought they were much better than yesterday, and the guard was absolutely spectacular.
Cavaliers - 97.0
Cavies turned it up a notch tonight. What a horn line! Not something you often say when discussing the Cavaliers, but this year's edition was stellar. What an awesome sound from the line and what execution! Truly beautiful and powerful. The drill is amazing, and they most so fast with such incredible control. When they were done, I thought they had a shot at the title if SCV and BD failed to turn it on. My wife loved them. During the move in the opener when the horn line is in the triangle and they rotate in blocks of four, back through the triangle, she was asking me how in the world they could do that. Awesome job!
Santa Clara Vanguard - 98.4
MY, OH MY, OH MY! SCV threw down the gauntlet tonight! They laid it on the line and just went for it. This was the absolute best SCV performance I have ever seen. Just simply awesome! The control and execution were simply beyond belief. The baritone soloist during the Barber Symphony #1 was just incredible - gorgeous sound! At the end of the Barber Symphony #2, someone was shouting out something for an extended period of time. I could not make out what they were saying, but it was loud enough to hear. No doubt it will make the recordings (damn!). My wife loved them and once again, simply said, "CHAMPIONS!"
Blue Devils - 98.4
BD did an incredible job tonight - rock solid in every caption. I did not think they had the same level of emotion in their show as SCV, but they just performed the hell out of their show. The guard was without a doubt the best on the field. I have not yet seen the caption awards, but if they did not win best guard, some judge deserves to be shot. The bad crowd screaming phrase of the year for BD? An unoriginal "Spank Me." Unfortunately, I did not hear a "SHUT-UP" afterwards. My wife thought they were good, but she thought SCV was better.
On the whole tie issue - I wish the judges could have selected a champion, but I have to admit, it does not bother me all that much. Both SCV and BD were incredible! How do you pick which one is best? To be honest, I couldn't tonight. In Quarters and Semis, I thought SCV had edged out BD, but tonight I really had a hard time deciding which corps was better. When they announced the tie, I was not in the least bit surprised. I'm glad they get to share the title, because they are both deserving of it.
I believe this is the best Finals I have ever attended. Great shows and exciting performances. Not a bad performance in the bunch. I hope this momentum continues next year!
Sky Ryders 85-88
Various Others 78-84
Thanks to Tim Kviz on r.a.m.d this review!
CyberWebMistress Caryn Roberts