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packwick last won the day on August 7

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  1. my prediction about the finals panel possibly being good for Crown placing 2nd proooobably not gonna come true. two fourth place finishes in a row, the one tonight by over a point. not a good sign. the Aidens must be flipping their s### right now on social media. (right here, right now?) hard to overcome that. plus, the judges can and do change their minds about shows. like, Bill Chumley had Bloo in a pretty comfy 2nd in both of his GE subcaptions tonight, 98s in both. i think he had them a distant 5th last time he saw them.
  2. because the audio was so bad for Bloo yesterday, i viewed Bloo again today. watched it while waiting for scores. i was pretty stunned by how much better they sounded, not just compared to yesterday w/ all the electronics issues. a bigger, cleaner, better balanced (more low brass presence!), and more energetic sound. hit of the ballad finally hit for me. music might not be such an Achilles heel for them after all. combined w/ that awesome visual execution and design i thought they were a real threat for 2nd tonight. recap seems accurate to me. still don't like how sloppy Bloo's end staging looks, can't even really call it drill, but i'm happy they keep up the energy to the end.
  3. i was able to view a lot of 'em on YouTube. no Devils unfortunately. waaaaah! i want them. right here, right now! all of the shows are being performed at a higher level, go figure, but i feel pretty much the same about them relative to each other as i did a month ago. same strengths and weaknesses. Boston is still pretty all around excellent, just some drops in my "level of engagement" graph here and there. worst drop is the bari solo/drum break. it just sounds like something drowning and flailing about in the water. i'm not a fan of drum breaks in general, usually too disruptive to the flow, i prefer something more tastefully incorporated into the fabric of the show. on the other hand, it's supposed to represent the snake in Eden, so it should be intrusive. i just feel it could have been done in a more artful way. but it doesn't erase the good parts of the show, which are very good. guard just does crazy toss after crazy toss. brass is big and warm and exciting. Bloo's audio in the video was really messed up. guessing it didn't sound that way live. replacement keytar made me lol. brass seemed to have a little more oomph, so good for them, but that might just have been Flo's audio weirdness. lots of electronic buzzing and fizzling. sometimes even the brass sounded electronic. still probably my second favorite visual program after the Devs. layered but not too busy, all parts nicely balanced w/ the set, with great clarity and logic and originality. some wonderful weirdos came up with this show. i love the uplift of Crown's very spirited music. nice sounds for the most part. trumpet soloist's vibrato is too slow for my taste, but has a pleasant, sweet tone. music is impactful. it's big, it's powerful, it's emotional. kind of Avon-ish at times in the technical flourishes, but much larger sound. the visual program has quite a bit of dirt. visual analysis score frankly too high for what i'm seeing. still cluttered looking, but some cool drill interspersed w/ the clutter. what in the world is going on visually in the ballad?! what? whaaat?! over the top on purpose. pure sugar. the guide to the show might as well be an assistant principal running back and forth alongside the bleachers at a high school football game with a megaphone shouting "c'mon kiddos! clap your hands and do the wave! WOO!" the performers' faces at the end made me lol. the open mouthed blond guy. i was like, that's me. wuuuh? Santa Clara, i love the way the corps moves. it's a credit to them that when i first saw this show i couldn't tell whether i was watching their guard or not, when those guys come out and perform the arabesques in relevé. such unusual grace. the fact that i'm even able to remark on something like port de bras for the brass members is great. also kiiiinda underscores the need for field level judges who understand that stuff. do they? do they really? do they really really? show overall is good, but still pretty blandly elegant and colorless. ending is cute. props to the music arranger for figuring out how to build a show around 2 notes from Smells Like Teen Spirit. Cadets, i'd say something like wow, what an improvement! but i haven't watched a Cadets show in years. brass was very strong. not surprised to see them ahead of SCV in that, although SCV also sounded good. ballad is a super goosebumps moment and the talking actually kind of helps with that. still some significant visual dirt, but this is a show with actual DRILL, what a concept! glad to see a fresh spin on this musical road trip idea. it was my least favorite of my own ideas, like i thought it was clearly the lamest idea on my list, but they've turned it into a top 6 show, so good for them. strongly dislike the male guard outfits. they're in like slacks and polo shirts or something. looks too... business casual. Blue Stars look great up close. awesome costume designs. lots o' character on the field. pastels still get a little lost upstairs but they're very pretty up close. probably best baritone solo of the year to start the show. great tone, very musical. my memory is failing me. i think my main problem with the show is that i just don't remember much from it. it was like Russian music, right? hahahaha. it lacks memorable moments for me. i recall it being good, but my hippocampi didn't encode anything specific into long term storage. was there a big visual or musical moment that really set it apart from everything else? or was it just the set and costumes for me? Phantom's show feels very classic. still waiting for the barrel of toxic waste to be rolled out onto the field during all that Melillo music. Churchill, guys! the show is very very tuneful, that's probably what makes it feel so comfy and makes it appealing to a large number of people. also, u know, actual drill. ACTUAL DRILL. some of this music, like the breezier stuff, i see myself strolling down a grocery aisle in Stepford Wives drag pushing a cart full of potato chips and lubricant, and it's really kind of awesome. big sound from the brass, not always with the best clarity. the judges will ultimately go for the more contemporary shows, but the audience is on this one's side.
  4. full retreats are really fun and dazzling, but safety should come first. i think finals scores are the only ones that are witheld and get any fanfare in DCI, but i pretty much only ever watch finals, so i'm unsure. i think it's the same as WGI. judging panels have been posted. https://dci.org/news/2022-world-championship-adjudication-panels 6 out of 11 judges for finals are the same as Allentown, including 3/4ths of the GE panel w/ Rickart instead of McCourt. my gut says this panel maaaay favor Carolina Crown and maybe also Bluecoats over Boston, but hard to predict. the brass judge who wasn't at Allentown really tanked Bloo relative to the others last time he saw them at a major comp. could balance things out. i say tanked but i actually agree w/ that brass score. probably the most meh aspect of Bloo's show for me. still Blue Devils' gold medal to lose.
  5. it's pathetic, isn't it? ok, i just watched BAC on YouTube. here's my professional assessment. i love the fit, shirtless 20-something-year-old men and the sexy choreography. i think they should do my Showgirls show next year. again, this is just my professional opinion.
  6. just when i think i need to watch all the top corps again before championships to update my opinions, the judges go, "nope!" it was all such a tease. Devils on top tonight at Allentown with a 96.050. Boston and Bloo distantly duking it out with a 94.500 and 94.375. 9 out of 10 judges, all but color guard, had the Devils first. 6 out of 10 judges had Bloo in 2nd ahead of Boston, so that could be a real fight. Crown may benefit over those two by performing tomorrow. still plenty of excitement beyond first place.
  7. my first instinct was Harry Potter, but i realize now u probably mean Highland Park.
  8. yeah, definitely not the trend Boston wanted to see, but band director ppl are telling me they performed in the rain, so i dunno. Bloo beat them in GE tonight, and narrowed the gap quite a bit from yesterday, even with many of the same judges. Boston probably gave a worse performance than yesterday. the scores the past couple nights have been messyyy. some of it understandable, some of it not. Rickart's scores both nights seem most accurate to me based on what i saw at Broken Arrow, might not be accurate anymore. yesterday, Bill Chumley reaaaally tried to make SCV happen, but wasn't successful. tonight, the two percussion guys (one in music analysis) tried to make SCV happen, still unsuccessfully. maybe SCV will still happen. Hestin's scores have been all sorts o' weird the past 2 nights. and Leitzke has really elevated the Cavies recently at the expense of Cadets and Blue Stars. how do u go from a 0.1 spread to a 1 point spread in 4 days? thaaaat's odd. Boston Crusaders have Allentown to top Blue Devils, but that's their last opportunity before championships. i guess it could be a 2008 Phantom Regiment style win, but BD wasn't undefeated going into championships in 2008, having lost to Cavies at Allentown. my most recent opinion was BD, Boston, and Bloo for the top 3. Crown sounds fantastic, and i can see why somebody else would have them 3rd, but their visual program has little discernible intelligence, the staff seemingly having settled on blasting the field with fabric to create most of the visual effect. it's just a wee bit too... inelegant. haven't fallen in love with anything yet. last time i watched it was like a clear 2nd place show w/ Devils and then a handful of 3rd place shows ripping each other apart. stronger than usual from top to bottom tho.
  9. good for them! it would genuinely be surprising to see them close another 2 point gap. tomorrow or Atlanta would be a good opportunity. i think they perform last at Atlanta.
  10. oooo, i also wanted to mention how much i liked it when the narrator in Cadets says "east of my youth, west of my future" and the sound comes out of the right side and then left side. clever little bit of sound design there.
  11. i don't like Bloo's current ending. it's too much falling action and denouement for a marching show. i'd rather they keep up the energy and excitement until the end. axe the last narration bit since we already understand the show by then (and bc the "taming the dragon" analogy is cheesy af), and just continue the scorched earth stuff and end with a huge powerful chord that transitions into a loud same-pitched alarm clock bell going off and then a percussive bop as the main character wakes up and hits the alarm. that way you don't lose the excitement you've earned. you don't need to say "and then i woke up" for us to see that. needless exposition.
  12. finally watched Cadets and Blue Stars. Cadets definitely did their own spin on the east to west road trip idea. i actually like the narration more than Bloo's. it's at least a little less navel-gazing. (like, dude, ur dreams aren't thaaat interesting.) some really cool drill right off the bat w/ the condensing square with all the members walking around inside of it like a busy downtown street. show draws me in. jazz section goes on too long and isn't interesting visually. designer clearly going for a contemporary look there and not succeeding. not much actual drill there. actually for a road trip show they spend too long in New York, like half the show, then suddenly we're in the west. ballad is immediate goosebumps. very nostalgic. i think everyone has watched To Kill a Mockingbird as a kid. very poignant. ending drill is clever and exciting. i love the angular unwinding curvilinear into the line. Blue Stars takes a bit longer than Cadets to get good, but it has its moments. the set pieces get moved around a lot to create shapes, which we all like to see. pastel guard gets a little lost upstairs. some iffy brass at times, but overall very solid. ballad is very forgettable. drill is better than i would have expected. not a big Tarpon drill fan, but this is much better. he sure does love his spinning blocks tho doen't he? show has a lot of character at the field level.
  13. a large armadillo standing triumphantly on its hind legs with a Texas flag wrapped around its neck like a cape. if we wanna make it extra classy, a severed eagle wing in its mouth. or maybe just a giant one on four legs that we carve the names of the winners into so that it's covered in scars, like one of those trashy scribbled on walls at Gino's East pizza.
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