I cannot possibly be mad that it rained considering we are nearing a new category of drought this year and because of the fires, but after 2 and a half weeks of 100+ degree temperature, the day of DATR pours rain. They called the show so no scores meaning no marching.
I watched 7 corps stand and play their shows (the 8th being BD but I’ll get to that) which was still something I guess.
Highlights and responses under the cut
Cascades: I never end up liking the Cascades. Tradition continues.
Troopers: I don’t really have anything to say. They didn’t really stand out musically. The
Academy: the corps that blew me away last year. They are fairly new and not high ranking but are hella impressive. This year they did an amazing version of Rite of Spring. Seriously, go check it out. They were the first awesome corps of the night and god damn did they do Stravinsky justice.
Boston Crusaders: my first time seeing them. They start off right off the bat with Pines of Rome Mov 4. It was iffy at first but they eventually caught up and played a pretty great show. They only did the first and last movements though, and left out the awesome second movement!
Santa Clara Vanguard: after the break came the big bands. Opening the second set is one of my all time favorite corps. All I knew about their show was the title referring to Starry Night. It was a Planets show!!! They open with the chorale from Jupiter and destroyed everything with sound immediately after. The biggest bummer was seeing the obvious clues to what would have been the most epic company front/high leg drill ever. Especially considering it happened during the part where they fucking COMBINED Mars (drumline) and Jupiter (brass) at the same time for crazy amazing polyrhythmic ecstasy. Possibly my favorite SCV show ever and I didn’t even see the drill!
Phantom: oohhh boy am I a phanboy. I had bought a Phantom jacket before the show for the weather. Then out of nowhere they come out with an old opera reworked and involving done sort of oriental twist. I cannot even explain in words how amazing they were. Best of the show. I honestly can’t actually describe them well enough to do them justice.
Blue Devils: what happened here??? I’ve never been a BD fan. All flash, shitty music. This really didn’t translate as a park and bark show. First they came out without any percussion. They did warmups and a chorale. Of course it was top notch and powerful, but out of nowhere and just awkward. Finally the drumline enters and plays a warm up. They could have at least played Ditty or something interesting but nope. Then they played part of the show. In true BD style: it wasn’t music so much as random chord clusters. So dumb.
Blue Knights: hometown corps! My first two years of watching corps were not good seasons for them. I never liked them. Last year though, their folk song suite show impressed me. Especially with the flourishing Scottish tenor line out of nowhere. This year: the fucking Firebird Suite! They were the exhibition so they also were the only corps of the night who marched! It was damn amazing. The drill wasn’t clean yet but was so impressive. The things they were doing were progressive and really really made the show. The finale was so fucking incredible. My all time favorite orchestral piece delivered so powerfully. They finished the show in the formation of a god damn Phoenix. Incredible.
Also it was raining the entire time. Except Phantom. I was soaking wet. This year let me focus on the pit though. I’m more determined now than ever to go audition. Now the question is: SCV or Phantom?