Friday, April 27, 2007

Last night was the DCI Classic Countdown. This is an event where DCI, the reigning body in control of junior corps, puts the 8 most popular drum corps on movie screens across the country. These corps were chosen as result of a poll conducted a few months ago, and they were not announced in advance.

The corps were:

1987 Garfield Cadets. Not one of my favorites, because they beat my corps (SCV) in Finals for what I consider shady reasons. If interested, drop me a line - I do not feel like ranting about it right now. Renegade staffer and former SCV Contrabass James Barany was very vocal about his feelings on this corps. I gotta say - they were pretty damn good. But they did NOT deserve high horns.

1980 Bayonne Bridgemen. Big round of applause before they started. This was one of my favorite corps of all time - we were very tight with these guys that year (my age out). Looking back, it is kind of amazing that they placed so high (3rd place) with such an easy drill and guard work. Just goes to show you how much the activity has changed.

1994 Blue Devils. What can you say - they were awesome. Possibly the best BD ever?

1993 Star of Indiana. Cesario was not very nice to this corps. Said they were like watching tropical fish. Fish THIS, buddy. Star '93 holds up better than any other corps from that era. It was interesting to see this show after Cadets '87, as the creative team was made up of many of the same people. Seeing a hornline do "real" choreography, as opposed to what corps are doing today was a revelation. Note to the corps of today - hire a choreographer - it makes a difference. Unless my memory fails me (which is entirely possible) I think the dance soloist from Cadets '87 (Wesley, RIP) did the choreography for the hornline.

2006 Cavaliers. MUCH better than I remembered. By far the best performance of the night. I have new-found respect for this show and the guys that performed it.

2006 Phantom. Obviously a show with lots of fans. It did not reach me as much as it does others, but I did like their version of Biebl's Ave Maria, in which the Trumpets picked up Baritones. Very cool sound, but I am sure glad no one asked me to do that when I was in junior corps!

1995 Madison Scouts. This show was unabashedly written for the fans, and was titled as such - A Drum Corps Fan's Dream. Fun stuff.

1989 Santa Clara Vanguard. Sitting in a theater packed with SCV Alums, the response to the "Champion" of the Classic Countdown was quite enthusiastic. A great show, and it was fun to watch with some of the Alums of that year. In the audience - Mello soloist Kurt Lohmiller, guard captain Juliette Tandoc and DM Gary Butera.

My pick for the best - Cavies '06, with a shout out to the Bridgemen.

All in all a fun night, starting with the gathering at Chevy's and ending with cocktails at Red Robin. Good times with old friends.