2019 DCI Crossroads

Instant Recap: DCI Crossroads In Zionsville, IN

Instant Recap: DCI Crossroads In Zionsville, IN

Miss a moment of the show? Catch up with the DCI Crossroads instant recap—a corps by corps commentary of the shows by Kevin Gamin.

Jun 23, 2019 by Kevin Gamin
Instant Recap: DCI Crossroads In Zionsville, IN
LIVE BLOG: DCI Crossroads In Zionsville, IN

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LIVE BLOG: DCI Crossroads In Zionsville, IN

Good evening, everybody! My name is Kevin Gamin and I will be live blogging tonight’s DCI Crossroads live stream on FloMarching!  We are minutes away from starting, so be sure to get your preferred viewing method (TV, computer, mobile device) ready for all of tonight’s drum corps goodness!

The stream is now live!

The weather could be a factor tonight. The wind is blowing, as evidenced by the American Flag currently on the field for the national anthem. There is also a chance for rain, though we’ll keep an eye on that throughout the night.

Excellent job by the trumpet soloist on the anthem!

First on the field tonight is Cincinnati Tradition from Cincinnati, Ohio, a Drum Corps Associates all-age corps. Their 2019 program is entitled “Aqueous” and consists of:

Phrygian Gates
Without Warning
The Wind River

Cincinnati Tradition finished 8th last year in DCA in their first season of Open Class, the top level of competition in the all-age activity.

The corps is performing in their traditional uniform, though without shakes. They start lying down, but quickly get up and start their drill.

The opener is heavy on percussion, which is strong out of the gate.

You may notice a few holes in the drill. Unlike DCI corps, all age groups don’t tour, so groups like Tradition who do not have many all-age shows within a decent driving radius will attend DCI shows in their area and even put together “mini tours” over a weekend where multiple shows are near them.

Tradition is also working to finish their show as they have some of their visual program to finish and their closer to put on the field. It’s early for a DCA corps as their season goes until Labor Day weekend.

Next on the field are the Madison Scouts, from Madison, Wisconsin. Their 2019 program is entitled “Majestic” and consists of:

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Spinning Wheel
One Voice

Huge opening statement from the step off of the show! This is actually a rarity as many shows build up to that first hit. Madison is not wasting time and is really mixing some old school into this year’s production.

Fancy footwork from the drum line during their feature in the opener. Meanwhile, there’s a trombone duet screaming like you’d normally expect Madison trumpeters.

The uniforms give a very old school Boy Scout look to the corps, almost as if they travelled back in time. The drumline is currently going without jackets, as are some of the horn line and pit members. I had heard that not all the uniforms were ready at the start of the season, so I’m not thinking this is a design choice.

A fun arrangement of Young Person’s Guide, very swing and, well, Madisonesque. I also just invented the word “Madisonesque”.

As mentioned, the weather is a factor tonight, and we have our first schedule change. No  more intermission on the schedule and all corps who were after intermission are now moved up a slot on the schedule.

Next on the field is the Colts from Dubuque, Iowa. Their 2019 program is entitled “When Hell Freezes Over”. I do not have rep information as of yet but will post it if I am able to track it down.

The Colts opening setup is very striking, with 7 large black tarps covering the corps on the field. The wind isn’t helping, however, as the tarps are billowing, making it hard for the corps to stay hidden.

The pre-show has a solo guard member on the side 1 30 in a very striking uniform. The look of the Colts this season in general is very powerful and thematic.

Those tarps I mentioned, guard members appear through the top of them, well above the rest of the corps, which is very effective.

The Colts mellophone line is straight up WAILING during this opening statement. The horn line as a whole is going for an evil sound to start. I would even say it’s a hellish sound.

After the opening statement, the first selection is Saint-Saens’ Danse  Macabre.

The guard silks are striking with flames. The props on the field, sans tarps, also have flame decals on them. I think Hell has not frozen over just yet.

The next selection has a laid back Latin feel to it, as well as a trombone quintet who sound just wonderful. In fact, I have to say that trombones in drum corps have been a definite plus since they were introduced in 2014.

A huge blue tarp is getting pulled over the props during the drum feature. As they pass over, the flames change to blue ice on each one. Hell is freezing over!

The guard uniforms also change from red flames to blue and silver. In fact, the only part of the corps who hasn’t lost their red are the brass and percussion, though that may still occur.

The props are now arranged into a circular formation with a large open section in the middle. The horns run into a tight formation inside that area and do some great close quarters drill to finish out their show.

Next on the field is the Crossmen from San Antonio, Texas. Their 2019 program is entitled “Valkyrie”.

The Crossmen went all in on the Viking look, and not just with the uniforms/costumes. Members have grown out their hair in a very Nordic fashion. All we need is Mjolnir and/or Stormbreaker.

Horn line just threw down a lot of notes in a short period of time that was remarkably clean for June. Also, that was a lot more notes than Led Zeppelin had in THEIR version of Immigrant Song.

We do have an “axe” on the field - There’s an electric guitar player in the pit who also comes out on the field and shreds.

One of the tubas is soloing on a prop while wheeled across the field. The rest of the tubas march around him to create a great visual to go along with the music.

The corps now does a ritual dance, including the drum major on the podium, leading into a thunderous drum solo which includes concert basses on the field.

A show theme like this will only sell if the corps buys in completely to the concept and the characterization. Crossmen have done that. This is serving them well early on in the season.

Spirit of Atlanta performed Johnny Cash’s Hurt last season and was one of those drum corps moments that people don’t forget. Crossmen’s rendition is completely different and their own and is also memorable thanks to Andrew Markworth’s arranging.

Trombone choir playing Ride of the Valkyries with bass guitar accompaniment and while dueling musically with the drum line is definitely one of the more creative moments of 2019.

Next on the field is the Blue Stars from Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Their 2019 program is entitled “Call of the Wild” and consists of:

Symphony No. 1
Dance Panels
The Great Thaw (Vuelie Reprise)

As with last season, the Blue Stars are not actually wearing boots but marching shoes with “spats” designed to give the look of boots. Last year was the yellow Timberland look. This year, fur-fringed boots for those ice cold winters.

The horn line has a dynamic musical and visual book during their opening. You’re going to want to try and catch their drill on high cam if you haven’t already.

The drums are featured on Vivaldi’s Winter before the brass moves into Aaron Copland’s Dance Panels. This selection is very exposed for the brass in terms of timing.

More kaleidoscopic drill in the middle of the show, very inspired by the likes of Steve Brubaker and his drills for the Cavaliers in the 80s and 90s.

The ballad, Sora, is by Japanese anime soundtrack composer Yoko Kanno. This is not the first time the Blue Stars have performed anime music, nor the first time they’ve utilized Kanno’s work. In 2004, the Blue Stars performed an entire anime show, including Tank!, the theme song composed by Kanno for Cowboy Bebop.

There is a BRIEF hint of the opening to Let It Go from Frozen in the pit as the corps transitions out of the ballad. A very fun quote which fits the theme without being too on the (frostbitten) nose.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a show about the frozen North without at least one snowflake inspired formation, wouldn’t it?

Next on the field is The Cadets from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Their 2019 program is entitled “Behold” and consists of:

Fanfare for the Women
Dance 1 (from the Estancia Orchestral Suite)
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Do Better
Symphony No. 4 (Finale)

The trumpet section gets featured with a stellar double and triple tonguing moment to start the show. Meanwhile, behind them, a queen in yellow dress and scepter descend a giant white staircase. The Cadets do not waste time making a statement with this show.

The queen is now deposed. This moment was much more intense at the first show of the season, with her getting her dress ripped and literally knocked down at the top of those stairs. She now simply loses her scepter and runs away.

Ginastera’s Estancia Dance 1 is a chance for the corps to go full primal and discordant. The horns are very powerful during this section, with each section getting their chance to roar with anger.

In a complete change of mood, Bridge Over Troubled Waters is presented as a down and dirty blues arrangement with a group of brass soloists just ripping face on the front sideline during the close.

The idea of female empowerment is a major theme of Behold, and the drum feature of Do Better displays that the most so far. The guard equipment are modified air blades with the female symbol on the ends. Add to this the main character, who has returned, and the pink accents in the guard uniforms, and it is very clear how we are supposed to “do better” and for whom.

Our last corps of the evening is Carolina Crown from Fort Mill, South Carolina. Their 2019 program is entitled “Beneath the Surface” and consists of: 

Temen Oblak (Dark Clouds)
Frolic (From Rabbit and Rogue)
Gabriel's Oboe (from The Mission)

As with Madison, Carolina Crown gets to the point with in your face brass from count 1, not to mention a drum line that continues to build on last year’s success.

The pit is set up at an angle on side one of the field and has a stage behind them which runs their entire length. We have already had a small brass ensemble perform there, so expect a lot of staging to take place.

The second movement of the show is very reminiscent of Crown’s E=MC2 show from 2013. There is a very specific theme to this section, as well, with the vocal “the detail of the pattern is movement” repeated throughout.

The corps uniforms all evoke the look of undersea creatures, one take on the “Beneath the Surface” theme. The colors are very much like those you’d find on fish and other creatures who live in the ocean deep enough to not see much sunlight. As a result, the uniforms are flowing and translucent with iridescent colors on a white canvas. The real color of the design comes in the silks used by the guard throughout the show.

The closer really brings it all home. Every section gets featured, performing to a multi-metered tempo fast paced selection that also allows for great visual moments in the drill.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Crown show without a crown formation, which is how they end their show...for now.

Since Crown is clearing the field, it is my guess that there will be no encore tonight, most likely to allow the corps to get loaded and on the buses before the weather takes a turn for the worse. As a result, we only have the scores to wait on, which should come soon.

1.67.400 - Cincinnati Tradition
World Class
6. 62.400 - Madison Scouts
5. 64.450 - Colts
4. 66.850 - Crossmen
3. 68.150 - Blue Stars
2. 69.300 - Cadets
1. 73.350 - Carolina Crown