I took advantage of Fan Network's free broadcast of DCI Salutes America from Annapolis this weekend. The cables just came in earlier that day to allow me to hook up the laptop and savor the show on the big screen. I got home from a friend of mine's birthday party just in time to catch about half of the Commandant's Own and all of the DCI corps.
I'm hoping that, with the combination of Fan Network shows and just plain getting over it, I"ll get to the point where I can start enjoying shows on their merit and stop analyzing them based on their use of electronics. But this was the first show of the season, and with electronics being the new law of the land, clearly it was on my radar.
The Colts started out the show, and they certainly didn't start me out with a positive taste of the new advent. Their show, Fathoms, started out with electronically generated waves. They also incorporated a synthesized harp sound and used the synth for an "SOS" tone. And perhaps the most egregious of all, they miked a brass solo! While I'd paid it considerably less attention, I think that is just as egregious of a rule change as the addition of electronics.
I was prepared to say that I noticed very little in the way of synthesizer use by the Boston Crusaders. Mondsy's DCI Field Pass podcast reminded me of something I wasn't even entirely sure I heard. In their show, the Core of Temptation, I heard what I thought sounded like a soda can opening. I brushed it off thinking surely that couldn't have been it. Listening to Field Pass this morning cleared it up for me: It wasn't a soda can. It was a bite being taken from an apple. the Core of Temptation. Get it? Core-ny, if you ask me. They do, however, get some cool point for the Bacchanale from Samson & Delilah.
The Glassmen left the subliminals at home. They played the synth like a synth, giving us piano-like chords, as well as an organ sound. There was also an audible "zoom" type sound in their show.
I was somewhat surprised to see The Holy Name Cadets up next, assuming they'd get top billing. Then I realized--they seed early shows based on last year's championships, and Crown bested them there. It's way too early, obviously, but clearly the Cadets have determined that in this 75th anniversary year, they want to compete for a championship. They've left the gimmicks, sets, and narration at home, and gone back to basics: West Side Story, flying across the field and pissing excellence. Even their synth use was tasteful, with them simulating the gang whistle from the beginning of West Side Story over a texture of car horns and street ambiance. Unfortunately, it was at this point that the audio started giving me issues, and I lost pieces of their broadcast and Crown's to the bad connection gods.
Finally, Crown finished the show out with The Corps--er--The Grass is Always Greener. There sure was a lot of green incorporated in the corps, from the drums to the uniform accents to the plumes. There wasn't any significant synth use from Crown that I noticed, but then, I was having audio issues here as well, so who knows.
Holy Name took that night's contest, but more importantly, the 2009 season is underway. I look forward to checking out many more shows online and at least a couple live. It is officially summer!