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Follow Along The Action In Denver At DCI Drums Along The Rockies

Follow Along The Action In Denver At DCI Drums Along The Rockies
by Krista Viveiros

Alright folks here we go, it's time to watch some more drum corps! The 2017 version of Drums Along The Rockies is about to go down and we'll have all the live updates as the shows are progressing. 

Make sure sure you're refreshing the page every so often to get the latest comments on the performances.

All times local venue and subject to change.
12:00 p.m. Box Office Opens

6:30 p.m. Welcome & National Anthem

Good evening everyone! I'm Krista and I'll be live blogging tonight's show. While I'm not on the field tonight, I am at home watching live on my couch just like you all. I'm all set up and I'm super excited for a night of some great drum corps. Mile High is a special venue and I can't wait for everyone to throw down tonight. Let's get to it!

6:35 p.m. Exhibition Unit

What an awesome performance from the Blue Knights Experience campers, the HIPE ensemble, and the Broncos ensembles. What a great opportunity for all involved. I was particularly struck by the HIPE group; I had never heard about having a sign language choir!  

7:00 p.m. Columbians - Tri-Cities, WA

This looks like Columbians last DCI show this year, what a great opportunity for the performers to get out and perform for a great crowd and in a great venue too! I was a really big fan of the opener flags, a great swatch of color against the black uniforms of the corps. This little front ensemble transition while the corps goes off to the side is well done. Especially with the colorguard spread so far out. And then they turn around to show their jackets full of color. A nice strong ending. What's not to love. They certainly did not go gently at all. 

7:17 p.m. The Battalion - Salt Lake City, UT

I can't help but think of the old Boston Crusaders uniform every time I see The Battalion. It's a classic look that's crisp and clean. Timeless, too! I'm already impressed by the front ensemble in this introduction. They're not messing around, right out of the gate with a great sound. I'm really feeling the ballad, with a lot of dynamic range and some great brass hits. There was something for everyone. Super impressive with that silent bit. You need impeccable timing to stay together there. It speaks a lot to the performers and their skill level. I really dug that last few seconds, a drill move into a final last brass blast. What isn't to love.

7:34 p.m. Seattle Cascades - Seattle, WA

The bird cage is a nice off center focal point for the show. It gives the corps more room in the center of the field to move and it isn't obtrusive either. The Cascades have come a long way in the last few years. I feel like every year they're making huge strides and this year is no different. This show really helps to display that growth and the skill level of the performers. The energy they have for performing is really translating well in this closer. The huge "wings" in the colorguard really bring it home. 

7:51 p.m. Mandarins - Sacramento, CA

The black sleeve is a great addition to the uniforms this year, really darkening the tone of the performance before it even starts. Some opening acrobatics from the colorguard. What a first hit. The Mandarins came to play tonight. I love the scattered pen props, very different from the typical on field prop. A great overlap from the transition of the up-front brass choir back to the field. That overlap isn't easy to play through. The drumline really brought it home at the end of that feature, right up in the face of the audience. The same can be said for the ending, right up in the face of the crowd, loud and proud until the very end. It's clear that the crowd enjoyed it just as much as I did. Well done. 

8:08 p.m. Oregon Crusaders - Portland, OR

In a huge departure from last year's white tops and brown bottom, OC is wearing an all grey and black uniform this year, sporting their compass logo in line with their show. From the beginning the brass continues to show their strength. Boy the colorguard is covering some ground in this show. And hey I recognize this ballad! "Only Time" by Enya. But the corps truly makes it their own by adding the power and depth that only a drum corps can. And we're finally bringing the compass together! A strong ending from a talented corps. 

8:25 p.m. Intermission

What a strong first half! Everyone's surprised me so far and I can't wait for what's to come. For right now, I need to top off my drink and grab another snack. 

8:45 p.m. Pacific Crest - Diamond Bar, CA

And we're back with Pacific Crest! The concept of the 'Golden State of Mind' is really interesting to me. The colorguard uniforms portray the idea well, too, without simply being all over gold glitter. A nice right to left moment there, bringing your eye to the colorguard soloist on the coin prop. That movement had a distinct flavor to it, slightly jazzy but not overtly so. Added a great color and allowed the members to show a little personality too, always fun. And starting the ballad with a beautiful trumpet soloist. And a beautiful uniform change from the colorguard, to a flowy yellow number with a distinct character.

9:02 p.m. Troopers - Casper, WY

Ah,  the Troopers. I'm a little biased as I'm alumni, so do forgive me. After a rain-out homeshow last night, I'm sure they're bringing a lot of energy to Mile High tonight. And we start with an impressive trumpet solo, taking you straight to the top of the range. This is the first show of the night to appear to tell a very distinct story. We started aggressive, transitioned to playful, and with a lovely castanet solo, we find ourselves in a tango. Definitely an array of styles from the Troopers tonight. And the tango transitions into a beautiful, more traditional ballad with a big colorguard flag feature. Some great moments from the drumline, there, especially the snares. And a strong ending bringing you back to the battle up front. Great job Troopers! 

9:19 p.m. Bluecoats - Canton, OH

And time for the reigning world champions! I can't imagine what it's like to transport and set up all of that staging. And a super unique pit set up front too. Completely spread out around the front sideline, but in-ear monitors help them keep tabs on each other! It's incredible how nearly the entire corps can fit up on the 'jagged line' without any issues. I'll admit that when I first saw this show, I was skeptical of how a huge prop would impact the drill, but they quite literally run straight through it as if it isn't even there. Ah, that fake out! Drumline fake outs always get me. In the last minute or so of the show the members are nearly running down the stairs, even the contras! Incredible, Bluecoats, as usual. 

9:36 p.m. Blue Devils - Concord, CA

And the Blue Devils start strong with the entire drumline on snares up front while the entire corps crosses the field in a single line, pausing for some choreography. Playing 'Flight of the Bumblebee' is always a crowd favorite and so recognizable. Every part of the corps executes the music at such a high level, too. What's not to love about a good Blue Devils ballad? The Blue Devils just have a flavor that no one else can replicate with these smooth jazzy numbers. Coupled with a beautiful flag feature! An incredible closer with so much visual activity and movement around all of the stairwells and ending with a true Blue Devils jazz chord ending. 

9:53 p.m. Blue Knights - Denver, CO

We're ending our night with the home team, the Blue Knights! The show 'i' has the corps with giant, well, eyes on their uniforms. The corps currently splitting the field connected by the drumline is a really unique moment. The side to side timing on that CAN'T be easy. A constant visual in this show is when anyone in the corps ends a major move or piece with one finger in the air. Now this is super different, they've got a snare drum mic'd up and they're manipulating the sound. So cool. And ending with a favorite, 'Hide and Seek' and they don't fail to make it their own. They take a traditional ballad and made it into a strong closer. Impressive, to say the least. 

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