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Favorite DCI Shows (1972-Present)


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Hey everyone, so with most, if not all the groups officially starting tour for the 2022 season, lets talk about our favorite drum corps international show from any year. There have been so many amazing shows over the last 50 years that it is hard to pick from them.

- I wanted to start with my favorite show from 1989, Phantom of the Opera. This show is one of the reason's why I love Santa Clara Vanguard. This show was so expressive and made me feel like I had watched the Broadway version in instrumental form. The closer is one of my top favorites, especially when they march in a long line towards the front of the field.

- Another one of my favorite shows, the show that first introduced me to Santa Clara Vanguard, Force of Nature 2016. That opener is my favorite Opener in DCI! They had amazing force and truly left me speechless after I watched it.

- Another show I liked from 2016 was Drum Corps Bride from The Academy in 2016. This show was AMAZING and the music score is one of my favorites, especially the Bugle Horn Solo, my favorite in Drum Core!

Other shows that I have enjoyed are-

- Spartacus 2008 (Phantom Regiment)

- Frameworks 2002 (The Cavaliers)

- Downside Up 2016 (The Bluecoats)

- Heck on Wheels 2018 (Music City)

- Art of Darkness 2014 (Genesis)

- Men are from Mars 2017 (The Cavaliers)

- Beast 2018 (Carolina Crown)

- Tilt 2014 (The Bluecoats)

- Metamorph 2017 (Blue Devils)

- Between Angels and Demons 2011 (The Cadets)

- Wicked Games 2017 (Boston Crusaders)

- Dark Side of the Rainbow 2014 (Colts)

- With 2022, there are three shows that stood out to me, Paradise Falls (Boston Crusaders), Riffs and Revelations (The Bluecoats), and Of War and Piece (Blue Stars). I can't wait to see more amazing shows this year and can't wait to see how the shows this year turn out! 

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  • Dave609 changed the title to Favorite DCI Shows (1972-Present)

There is quite a bit to choose from. I am a bit picky when it comes to shows that I like, as I tend to only watch shows from a few groups, which is not really a good thing but it's just something I do. 

The shows that come to my mind as Favorites would be:

Phantom - 1989, 1996, 2003, 2021

Cavaliers - 1995, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2021

Star of Indiana - 1993

Velvet Knights - 1992

Carolina Crown - 2015 & 2018

Glassmen - 2006

Cadets - 2006 (that ballad is probably my favorite in DCI History)

Santa Clara Vanguard - 2009, 2013, 2014

Now, even though 2022 just started, there are several shows that I have my eyes locked on.


Blue Stars

Boston Crusaders


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Okkkkk, so to start off with, I am more of a young guy so my favorites will mostly reflect that👀👀

Crown-2012(🧊) and 2016(🤠) are my absolute favorites, the shows that I watch the most from them. Love the story of Relentless, and the ferocity of both hornlines, I can’t get enough of hearing either one, one of the most glorious moments of DCI ever occurring in 2012 in that triangle set, a show full of the most glorious hornline moments I’ve EVER heard. honorable mentions are 2008, 2013, and 2017(for the hornline, not really the show haha)

Bloo- of the first shows kids around the time I got started with marching band was of course 2014 Tilt, is still awesome to this day!! other favorites are 2015(so much Kinetic noises) 2016(😉) and 2018(🎙)2013-15 Bloo era uniforms are probably my favorite all time from the activity, they are so GOOD!!

SCV- my all time favs of theirs have to be 2018 and 2016, as a previous poster has mentioned, that 2016 opener is gorgeous, one of my all-time favorites, all props given to the pit and hornline for setting that very gentle scene. 2018 is one of my all-time favorite shows that I’ve gotten to watch live, that Mello line was GODLIKE, awesome venue really close to the field and the seats I picked put them right in front of me, I loved that show!! Another favorite would go all the way back to their 1989(🎭)show as well, I really do like that one a lot!!

Cavies- 2010(🤪🌎)is probably my favorite from them, I do like a lot of their dynasty-era shows but they don’t really crack my favorites, but 2010 is definitely one I can rewatch a ton and be entertained by all the character work alone!

BD- 2017(🦋💎) yeahhh I wasn’t a big blue devils fan in my youth(several years ago🙃) but my FAVORITE from theirs has to be metamorph, the most self-referential one can get, and I am actually a big fan of those kinds of shows done right ‘cause there’s a tremendous amount of pride and heart that went into that production and it just comes out in the performance, a show in my opinion that just gets better and better the further in you get. Amazing ballad, instrument features, the ballad reprise in the closer is actually I think even more emotionally impactful, just a great show

Blue Knights- Honorable mentions right of the bat will go to 2015(🅱️cause) and 2019(🧠) but my all-time favorite from them has to be 2014, That One Second, very mature subject matter performed with the care that it requires, just a full put release of emotion throughout every part of this show, love the music, the impact moments hit. The opening and closer are some of my favorite in DCI, one of the shows I really would’ve loved to see live to experience.

Phantom- This is getting long, but I feel my favorites need no explanation, ‘03(🎶🎵🎶) and ‘08(🛡) fan beloved favorites, will definitely keep my eye on Phantom and what they bring for all of us to enjoy the next several years as they hit their stride again!

Cadets- I think for them I’d have to go with 2015(🔟)amazing hornline, loved the velocity and the classical approach they take with this show, very great show to simply listen to🔊

Boston-finally ending this post with a fan favorite in general which is SOS, fantastic story, the savagery that is so well depicted in much of the beginning and middle of the show, and the mournful melancholy that follows is amazing to follow and then the hope that comes with the rescue at the end, BAC was definitely there on the field and in the hearts of many after their show was done!







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  • 2 weeks later...

I am only going to pick 3 shows for this:


2014 - Bluecoats - Tilt
1993 - Cadets of Bergen County - When Kings Go Off To War
2019 - Blue Devils - Ghost Light.... I hated this show until the San Antonio finals. It was then that it blossomed into an amazingly produced and performed show. Well earned win for the Blue Devils. 


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I'm not gonna edit my comment from June 30th, however I did fail to mention my all time favorite DCI Show.

That would belong to 2010 Cavaliers - Mad World. This show from the pre-show to the very end, has a define "edge of the seat" feeling/tone if that makes sense. The opener is jaw dropping even 12 years later. And that closer...... Beyond words. Imo, they deserved the win and not 2nd place.  

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