I haven’t been able to hit a one-two-punch BD/SCV show since 2011. So this was a big deal. There isn’t much to review because I was mostly working and socializing. I missed every other corps, but that doesn’t bother me so much. I wanted to check out Devs in the lot and by the time I dropped by Santa Clara it was head-to-my-press-box-adjacent VIP section ASAP or miss the entire show.
The Santa Clara Vanguard – this show has a ton of potential. I’m not sold on the trombones yet but the first impact point, could reach enormous decibel levels once conditioning, cleaning, balance and tuning are maxed out. The white tunics are ballsy, they make interval errors bleed obvious, but by August it will be clean and the white will really make the visual effect pop.
I volunteered to work on Ms. Amana that day (made 240 burgers for lunch, went to ensemble reh. and returned to serve dinner). The run through was outstanding for late June, less tearing between side 1 and 2 & front-to-back than I expected and overall a great look and ensemble sound. Soloists were spot on. Battery tore it up, love the feature.
At the show, they seemed a bit tired. Still pulled it out in terms of effort but it didn’t grab me emotionally the way SCV usually does….it may have been because I had already seen them play earlier in the day far better. There were more tears (which is partially because of the acoustics at Citrus College), the impacts did not pop as hard and the mellophone soloist who is out-freaking-standing fracked for the first time that I know of. Gotta also give credit to multiple pass-throughs at high tempo and ONE intervals (you can tell because the hornline will detriangulate their arms from 60 degress down to 45). So cool.
The Blue Devils – Outstanding talent and potential. Best thing in the show: one snare drummer does a massive visual solo one-handed stick toss – saw him nail it in warm up and on-stage/field. Music is great, but feels like kind of a mish-mash. I just couldn’t feel cohesion to this show but again its ok it’s June…I’m certain the direction and idea of this show will be very clear in August, but where were:
a) The Screamers?
b) The Screamer Soloists?
Do we just not risk this anymore? It takes a lot of fun out of the show to not see at least ONE dude go for the double C…so…less balls in that category. Guard – straight up sexy. Talent of (almost…) every performer in both corps is expert or higher…just need to put them all together into a single unit performing a clear, emotional, cohesive, fun and entertaining show.
They will BOTH make it and I hope they smash Rockford, Rosemont, Garfield and Crown on the road.
The Left Coast is the Best Coast.
Much love to all drum corps members, alumni, friends, family, supporters, benefactors and most of all to the fans cuz we can’t do it without you.
Pictured: a snippet of “Electric Wheel Chair” by the legendary Murray Gusseck. You can purchase his signature sticks from Vic Firth. I did. http://www.vicfirth.com/artists/gusseck.php