2022 DCI World Championships

Live Blog: DCI World Class Championship Prelims

Live Blog: DCI World Class Championship Prelims

Follow along as Ryan Dougherty commentates on the DCI World Class Prelims show! Stream it LIVE on FloMarching on August 11th, starting at 10:30am ET

Aug 11, 2022 by Natalie Shelton
Live Blog: DCI World Class Championship Prelims

Ryan Dougherty is a freelance commentator for FloMarching and his views are his own.

Follow along as Ryan Dougherty commentates on the DCI World Class Prelims show! Stream it LIVE on FloMarching on August 11th, starting at 10:30am ET

Stream DCI World Championships LIVE!

WATCH LIVE   |   Prelims Schedule  |   DCI World Championships Ultimate Watch Guide

August 10th - 10pm ET

Before we get this evening, here's some information about the 2022 DCI season that you may want to know ahead of this weekend:

  • Rebroadcasts: EVERY show stream this season will have a rebroadcast with sound the following day! So whether you're watching in real-time or the day after, Flo's got you covered. Rebroadcasts will start at at 10am ET/9am CT for World Championships to accommodate the long list of participants. Check out the infographic below for all the relevant info about rebroadcasts for the season.
  • We're in the process of securing more music rights than ever, which means that our audience can look forward to more archives with sound than ever before!
  • You'll want to check out our streaming schedule here, so you know what's streaming throughout the season, and when you can tune in on FloMarching.
  • Peruse our production improvements for the season here, and get excited for overall higher quality streams all season long.

As a reminder, here's the performance schedule for tomorrow's Prelims competition:

* Note that all times are ET and subject to change

Performance Time
Welcome & National Anthem
Colt Cadets
Les Stentors
7th Regiment
River City Rhythm
Louisiana Stars
The Battalion
Calgary Stampede Showband
Blue Devils B
Vanguard Cadets
Jersey Surf
Pacific Crest
Music City
The Academy
Madison Scouts
Blue Knights
Phantom Regiment
The Cavaliers
Blue Stars
The Cadets
Santa Clara Vanguard
Carolina Crown
Boston Crusaders
Blue Devils
Last Score Announced

August 11th - 10:15 AM ET

Good morning drum corps world! Ryan here and ready to start off a FULL day of drum corps. A little bit about me as we're waiting for the National Anthem, I worked with open class corps 7th Regiment in '17 and '18, as well as Phantom Regiment in '19. I'm incredibly excited to see the return off competitive drum corps, and I hope you are too!

I'll check back in a few minutes, the show is scheduled to begin at 10:30 ET.

10:34 AM ET

It looks as though we're still waiting for the stream to begin, I'll keep you updated as soon as the show starts!

10:40 AM ET - Colt Cadets

Show Title : To The Stars

  • The stream is up and running and we're kicking off here in Lucas Oil with the Colt Cadets!
  • I'm always a huge fan of staging the pit in interesting ways, and the Colt Cadets have ensured a clear view of the corps on the field.
  • Great sound coming from the horn duet behind the pit!
  • I love the use of the "countdown" voice-over. It really feels like we're building towards something big.
  • VERY jammy drum break, love the use of the voice-over to respond to the drumline.
  • Very cool "launch" moment executed through drill and flag work, great GE moment.

10:57 AM ET - Raiders

Show Title: Use Your Imagination

  • Right from the beginning, the paint-splattered aprons make a bold statement!
  • Huge solo toss under a ladder to start off!
  • Love this rendition of Pure Imagination, very fun piece.
  • The corps moves into a more somber moment, playing Vienna Teng's The Hymn of Acxiomwhich has definitely become recognizable piece in the marching world. The Raiders are making it all their own. Chills.
  • One thing that always amazes me about open class corps is their ability to produce a big sound and creatively fill the field despite the fact that they may not have a maxed-out member count. It takes true skill and dedication!
  • Finishing out big with a reprise of Pure Imagination. Great show!

11:14 AM ET - Les Stentors

Show Title: Making an Impression

  • Les Stentors starting out very jazzy this year!
  • The vocalists add to the corps sound in a great way.
  • You can tell the corps is having a great time, what else can you ask for?
  • Wow! The vocalists are back and this time their performance is front and center! The French vocals are a great addition. Drum Corps International is lucky to have representation from Quebec!
  • VERY impressive moment with the guard tossing through giant picture frames.
  • As I said earlier, the biggest takeaway watching the closer is that the members look like they're having a blast. This is what drum corps is all about.

11:31 AM ET - 7th Regiment

Show Title: Prevailing Winds

  • If you read my opening today, you'll know I'm rooting hard for these guys!
  • We love to hear a good sea shanty.
  • It looks like to begin the show, 7th isn't marching any trumpets. The lower sound of the brass really contributes to the sea shanty vibe.
  • On side one we have an anchor shape made from rope and on side two it looks like we have the ever-recognizable "7."
  • Here are the trumpets! It looks as though now we only have trumpets and contras on the field for brass.
  • 7th Regiment is run by great people, I'm excited to see all they do in the future!

11:48 AM ET - River City Rhytm

Show Title: Road to Nowhere

  • Immediately we can see very interesting props and staging from RCR that spans the entire field.
  • Even the pre-show is a jam.
  • Starting out strong with what appears to be an electric soprano sax. (Forgive me if I'm incorrect, I was a brass player!)
  • Very energetic opening movement, the drum break is definitely a standout moment for me.
  • Very impressive trumpet/baritone duet.
  • RCR making full use of the field with this show, following the paths that their prop and tarps are making.
  • A great rifle feature with accompanying baritone solo!
  • The electric sax is back at the end. We're seeing use of a few electronic instruments this year, but there will be time to talk about those as they come.
  • Strong ending from RCR, great show!

12:05 PM ET - Louisiana Stars

Show Title: Spellbound

  • Kicking things off with a flugel/vocal duet. Great way to set the tone for the rest of the show.
  • Moving right into the opening hit of House of the Rising Sun. Chills!
  • The bass line to Billie Eilish's Bad Guy translates to contra very well.
  • VERY fun second movement from the Louisiana Stars. You can tell the audience was very engaged.
  • You can tell the front ensemble specifically is having a great time jamming out to the show.
  • Love that the drums get to be the center of the action on the 50 yard line, again the result of an offset pit setup.
  • SUCH a big sound coming from the Louisiana Stars in this closer. Incredible bit of drum corps, giving us their true Lousisiana flare.

It looks like it's already time for us to head on our first intermission. I'll be back at 1:04 PM ET with Legends!

1:05 PM ET - Legends

Show Title: May Your Light Shine Forever

  • We are BACK with Legends!
  • Always love seeing these uniforms, such a good, clean, classic design.
  • Great rendition of Requiem For a Dream immediately followed with Midnight City by M83!
  • I'm a big fan of drum sets in drum corps and the Legends set player is absolutely KILLING it.
  • Lots of recognizable music in this show. Any Wicked fans? How about Greatest Showman?
  • Very emotional ending to a very personal show that acts as an "In Memoriam" of three individuals associated with the Legends organization. Thank you, Legends, for that performance.

1:21 PM ET - The Battalion

Show Title: Expand

  • Another offset pit. Some people might dislike them, but I love groups finding interesting ways for the front ensemble to engage with the rest of the corps!
  • Also Sprach Zarathustra is always a great piece to open a show with. Big wall of sound coming from the brass!
  • We love a good mello/bari duet.
  • The ballad is great, from the brass playing their hearts out, to the full spectrum of colored flags on the field.
  • The bass guitarist is rocking Lucas Oil to its core this afternoon!
  • Matching those brass runs is no easy task when your listening environment is spread across a football field! Well done!
  • Coming back to Sprach Zarathustra for a brief moment before ending the show with a bow from the drum major. It's been great to see this corps grow into the group that they are over the past few years.

1:38 PM ET - Southwind

Show Title: Stand

  • The opening to this show is truly a jam.
  • The bari soloist is SCREAMING up there.
  • The stair props allow the corps to explore vertical space in interesting ways!
  • Great moment in the ballad with a HUGE solo sabre toss synced with the brass hit.
  • Very effective uniform change from the black hoods to these bright yellows, pinks, and purples.
  • Guard NAILED that rifle moment in the closer before switching everybody to swing flags.
  • Southwind telling the crowd to stand up, though I'm sure they would have been on their feet anyway. What a fun show!

1:55 PM ET - Calgary Stampede Showband

Show Title: Life Finds a Way

  • Love the "hatching" drill at the beginning, transitioning into the Firebird SuiteHuge sound coming from the Calgary Stampede.
  • The colors of the guard uniforms and silks contrast nicely with the rest of the group!
  • I'll never understand how guard people do what they do. Tossing a rifle far up in the air and catching it perfectly under your leg? Truly something that will forever be beyond me.
  • We're back to Firebird here in the closer.
  • Love that mello sustain!
  • Ending the show with a HUGE transparent piece of silk that covers the entire group so that they are still visible. I've never seen any kind of fabric use quite like that before, incredible effect!
  • Fun fact: the Calgary Stampede were the winners of the 2018 DrumLine Battle world championships!

2:12 PM ET - Guardians

Show Title: From Scratch

  • Guardians continuing their trend of playing popular music, very excited to see this one
  • The uniforms being solid green in the back and white on the front make for great visual moments.
  • The small ensemble is such a great touch. And the record scratches throughout the show bring an interesting twist to the repertoire.
  • I don't think I've ever heard a drum corps rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart that I didn't like.
  • Another great solo toss. She touched the GROUND before catching that thing!
  • Have we ever seen flossing in Lucas Oil before? Could be a first.
  • The sousaphone soloist adds a great touch to the ending movement of this show

2:29 PM ET - Spartans

Show Title: On The Edge

  • The 2019 Open Class world champions have made their way to Lucas Oil!
  • Brass starting at full power right at the beginning!
  • I'm a fan of the staging of the props in the opener. We're able to see the members move on and around them, but they don't obstruct open areas for drill moves to happen
  • Lots of guitars this season and Spartans are no exception. Love hearing them against brass!
  • The trumpet duet absolutely killing it.
  • I love these uniforms, by the way. Clean, modern design.
  • The set player is ensuring that the ballad is an absolute bop.
  • The trumpet soloist and the rest of the small ensemble having a blast here in the closer.
  • Another fun show from beginning to end!

And just like that its time for another intermission. Time for me to grab some lunch and I'll see you back at 3:21 PM ET for this year's Open Class top 3!

 3:21 PM ET - Blue Devils "B"

Show Title: I AM

  • We are back live with our DCI 2022 Open Class bronze medalist BDB!
  • I love the splashes of red on the classic blue uniform!
  • Love seeing the full guard on rifle doing drill in the middle of the brass doing drill.
  • Incredible trumpet screamer!
  • I like the circular props that can be moved around the field and have drill moments of their own.
  • The shakos come off for the final moment of the show so we can see the members' faces.

3:38 PM ET - Gold

Show Title: The Gift

  • Gold is now taking the field. They are this year's Open Class silver medalist.
  • The centerpiece of the show is a white piano placed on the 50.
  • In this world that Gold is portraying, people seem to receive career assignments from some higher power
  • We have a bicycle being ridden on the field! Accompanied by a muted solo from the trumpets.
  • I want to ride a bike in Lucas Oil...
  • The tubas begin the ballad with The Sound of Silence.
  • Incredible sound as they're joined by the rest of the corps.
  • The corps has changed to a much more colorful uniform as the tarp in the middle is unrolled to say "Never Fear Memories."
  • Gold finishing and showing us that Open Class didn't come to play around.

3:55 PM ET - Vanguard Cadets

Show Title: Somewhere New

  • It's time for our 2022 Open Class World Champions, the Vanguard Cadets!
  • The hornline starting by uncovering themselves from a tarp while the drumline plays.
  • The electronics compliment the hornline nicely in the opening hit.
  • The percussion section is doing WORK.
  • We now have two large staircase props in the middle of the field that open up into triangle shapes.
  • The yellow of the guard pops great against the white of the rest of the corps.
  • Love the drill moments happening after the ballad!
  • We get the classic Vanguard "V" from the cymbal line as "VANGUARD" can be heard from the audience!

Before we enter the World Class portion of today with Jersey Surf, I have some scores from the earlier portion of the show.

Colt Cadets - 65.225

Raiders - 65.825

7th Regiment - 66.188

Les Stentors - 67.525

River City Rhythm - 69.95

Louisiana Stars - 70.025

Congratulations to everyone who has competed so far on an amazing season!

4:12 PM ET - Jersey Surf

Show Title: Meet Me in Atlantic City

  • Great style from the drum major and his shades.
  • The drums are having fun with this opening, you love to see it.
  • The teal uniforms have collars and 60s-inspired designs on them.
  • I love the designs of all the postcard props!
  • They've turned around and the corps is now on the pier!
  • A huge smile is currently on my face as the corps plays "Can't Keep My Eyes Off of You."
  • Absolutely loving this performance of Livin' on a Prayer by famous New Jersey resident Bon Jovi.
  • Ending with a big heart on the field, which is how we all feel about Surf right now. What a great way to kick off the World Class portion of the day.

4:29 PM ET - Genesis

Show Title: Dorothy

  • Genesis' hornline needs no introduction; full power right out of the gate.
  • The shadow prop is one of my favorite props of the season. For those who may not know, it looks to be a box that a member can enter where a light is shined behind them so their shadow appears on the front of the prop!
  • A great guard moment as they rip off part of their uniform before catching their toss!
  • The shadow interacts with Dorothy, passing her a broom!
  • Impressive drum break as Dorothy interacts some more with the shadow.
  • Very brooding sound design coming from electronics and the low brass. The shadow now appears to be the Wicked Witch.
  • Very effective moment as the shadow of the Witch seems to be trying to break out of the frame against the hornline playing the closer.
  • It seems like a retelling of their 2021 program with a different ending for Dorothy. Such a cool idea.

4:46 PM ET - Pacific Crest

Show Title: Welcome To The Void

  • Okay, I'm going to see how many references to other drum corps shows I can list as I watch. I've seen this one a few times but it definitely looks like Pacific Crest has added some new things!
  • Right off the bat I can see the SCV 2018 circle prop, the Academy 2016 tombstone (with a reference to the Velvet Knights on it.)
  • Brandt Crocker announces the corps amidst multiple recordings of himself announcing other corps. Great effect for this week!
  • We see the classic Pacific Crest uniform emerge from the Pacific Crest 2019 prop, then it is ripped off by members wearing the current uniform.
  • Also present on the field are the giant chair from Bluecoats 2018, the Sky Ryders rainbow, and a PVC box I believe is a reference to Blue Devils 2011, The Santa Clara Vanguard Phantom of the Opera prop, Ladders which may be a reference to Blue Devils 2014, Mirrors which I believe are Blue Devils 2010 and a melting die I can't seem to place. Spirit of Atlanta 2012 maybe?
  • Oh, don't forget the Cadets 05-06 door.
  • This song isn't just about the easter eggs, though. The corps sounds great in this ballad!
  • Of course we have the Bluecoats 2014 pitch bend.
  • I love seeing the classic Pacific Crest uniform emerge.
  • Plus the CLASSIC classic uniform at the end. What a great love letter to the activity.
  • For a complete list of easter eggs in this show, Pacific Crest has posted them all on their socials.
  • It seems the dice was from BD '95 and Pacific Crest '07. Can't get them all right.

5:03 PM ET - Music City

Show Title: Gasoline Rainbows

  • Time for World Class' most recent addition, Music City!
  • I love the large capes that are part of the corps uniforms.
  • Huge opening hit as guard members exchange rifles!
  • The trombones came to PLAY NOTES.
  • Looks as though some kind of explosion has taken place as the corps forms a mushroom cloud with drill.
  • Entertaining drum break as Message in a Bottle is played by the front ensemble.
  • Great show with incredibly unique design coming this year from Music City!

5:20 PM ET - The Academy

Show Title: A World of My Creation

  • The Academy is here to give us an origin story of Willie Wonka!
  • As always, The Academy is DCI's best dressed, and I would expect no less.
  • Very fun and light-hearted as we're introduced to Willie.
  • The tuba feature introduces us to the Oompa-Loompas! I don't believe the "short leg" effect was in the show the last time I saw it, but I could be wrong.
  • And we get a dance break from the full corps! This is such a fun show to watch.
  • All throughout the show we've been hearing little snippets of Pure Imagination, a great theming motif!
  • Love me a good box rotation, thanks Academy.
  • Finally we get the full Pure Imagination hit here at the end!
  • The hornline members are RUNNING, and Willie Wonka has opened the gates to his factory. Great show!

And we're now on another intermission. I'm excited for this next block, as its been an incredibly competitive group all season. Plus, we'll be joined by movie theaters across the country for Big, Loud, & Live 2022! See you back at 6:37 PM ET!

6:37 PM ET - Madison Scouts

Show Title: Installation 85

  • We are back from break and ready to start off the top 15 with the Madison Scouts!
  • Love the energetic pre-show from the scouts. What a welcome back to Big, Loud, & Live!
  • These are some of my favorite uniforms of the whole season. So clean.
  • The trumpet/mello duet into the full brass hit? Incredible!
  • The guitarist is really given a moment to shine!
  • Always love a good flugelhorn.
  • Great guard moment with a sabre ripple ending with a catch under one of the arches!
  • CHILLS as the Scouts play As The World Caves In. What a moment.
  • Name a better duo than the Madison Scouts and Latin jazz, I'll wait.
  • Love this ending drill moment here into the giant "85." What a prelims run for the Madison Scouts!

It looks like we have some more scores from earlier!

Legends - 72.975

Southwind - 73.125

The Battalion - 73.163

Calgary Stampede - 74.15

Jersey Surf - 74.825

Guardians - 76.213

Spartans - 77.55

Blue Devils "B" - 78.813

Gold - 79.263

Pacific Crest - 79.713

Genesis - 79.813

Vanguard Cadets - 81.525

Music City - 81.713

The Academy - 82.488

Once again, congratulations to everyone on their 2022 Prelims run!

6:54 PM ET - Troopers

Show Title: VorAcious

  • I love the big, produced pre-show from troopers. They make an incredible, tone-setting opening statement.
  • What an opening hit from the fully golden Troopers brass!
  • The centerpiece of this show is the large oil well with two separate floors above the ground!
  • Rifles are flying over the hornline's heads as we finish out this intense movement!
  • Here we have another one of the electronic instruments I was mentioning earlier. I big part of Troopers this year is the electric cello soloist that sits atop the oil well, who introduces the famous Ecstasy of Gold. It's haunting and fits the tone of this show perfectly.
  • The members of the corps have covered their eyes with golden blindfolds as they continue the rest of their ballad.
  • A great moment here as the drumline play parts of their break on giant metal oil drums!
  • Huge follow-the-leader drill from the hornline, they're making use of the whole field!
  • The rifle line has a few huge moments as the flags have golden flames on their silks.
  • The Ecstasy of Gold comes back through the cellist, followed by the rest of the corps as they tether themselves to the tower.
  • What an absolutely insane first night here for the Troopers as the crowd is already on their feet before the show is over. They are here to FIGHT for that 12th place spot. Incredible passion from this corps.

7:11 PM ET - Blue Knights

Show Title: Vibe

  • Love the classic Blue Knights kick salute every show.
  • We're starting with percussion before the rest of the corps comes in.
  • BIG visual statement during the opening hit.
  • Harmon mutes on the trumpets always makes for an interesting moment.
  • I love the color of the guard's pink uniforms against the blue and white of the props and hornline.
  • Great moment with the corps playing Don't Worry Be Happy as they move towards the audience and a trumpet screams! One of the most memorable moments of the season for sure.
  • Another great visual statement as the hornline and battery move through the props to meet the color guard.
  • I don't believe I remember the props having these designs on the back or the rifles being purple last time I saw this show. It's never to late to make design changes!
  • I love how the props designs look as they roll.
  • The trombone duet is for sure a highlight of this show for me! What a strong way to finish the show.

7:28 PM ET - Colts

Show Title: The Silk Road

  • What an incredible season for the Colts. Right now they're fighting for their first finals spot since 2007, and its right within their grasp.
  • Love seeing the guard hatch from their "cocoons" as the drumline starts off the show.
  • Great opening hit and drill from the corps as we move into another drum break accompanied by synth from the pit.
  • Big sound coming from the contras as the guard shows us multiple large, colored pieces of fabric.
  • Tambarine solo with an accoustic guitar straight into a trombone solo/drum break. Colts are experimenting with all kinds of small groups here.
  • Love this symmetrical drill happening around the 50 as we enter another drum break.
  • Another great trombone duet tonight coming from the Colts!
  • Love this tuba solo against the snare feature. And don't forget the solo toss right before it!
  • I know we're pretty far into this show, but I must mention how great the uniforms are before we end.
  • Like the two corps before them, Colts are not going to let 12th place go without a fight. What a competitive block of corps.

7:45 PM ET - Crossmen

Show Title: A Mobius Trip

  • The Crossmen have said that their show is able to start with whatever movement they want to fit with the mobius strip theme. I wonder if we'll see a different start each night this week?
  • I think Crossmen have one of the more impressive visual books this season. Truly engaging and interesting drill in this show!
  • I like this baritone solo into the small ensemble!
  • More great visuals coming from the hornline and guard as the percussion have an impressive feature!
  • Not to harp on one thing, but again this is some of my favorite drill this season!
  • The bright orange flags from the guard make for an amazing closing statement here as the corps and props are right back where they began in the opener.
  • Incredibly strong run here from Bones tonight!

8:02 PM ET - Phantom Regiment

Show Title: No Walk Too Far

  • If you read my opening paragraph you'll know this corps is another one I've worked with. I'll do my best to keep my opinion unbiased, but I believe Phantom has something truly special this year.
  • Love this opening statement from the brass as the soloist walks down the path created by the props.
  • The backfield playing into the turnaround hit is SO GOOD. Plus the guard toss around the props for a bar of silence? What a fantastic moment.
  • The trumpet part for this second movement is very impressive.
  • Those rifles were caught TOGETHER.
  • Interesting effects put onto the trombone soloist.
  • The company front after the trombone solo is just a pure technique moment and it works well.
  • Love this drum break with accompanying sabre feature.
  • Remember I said I'm a sucker for a good box rotation? Those were some good box rotations.
  • That counts as a classic Phantom Regiment death scene right? I think it does. Even if he is back up.
  • The bright red of the guard pops perfectly against the white of the rest of the corps. Pure Phantom Regiment.
  • That was a BIG sabre toss, way to go soloist!
  • Phantom making full use of the field here in the closer.
  • The drill into the chevron here at the end has made a lot of progress this season, and let me tell you tonight it is CLEAN.
  • Love the kick halt.
  • Maybe my favorite drill moment of the season here at the very end. The horns are playing fast and the drill is difficult.
  • Another kick halt into the final set as the crowd is already on their feet!
  • I believe those tarps at the very end are new. A great visual moment to finish off a great show.

We're going to take one last intermission before we return at 8:39 PM ET with Mandarins to start off the final block!

8:39 PM ET - Mandarins

Show Title: The Other Side

  • We are back for the final block of performances with the Mandarins!
  • Great opening as the drumline plays in the corps from the top left of the field.
  • That's a lot of trombones. And they sound great!
  • This moment where the corps passes through the spinning prop is anther one of my favorite visual moments of the season!
  • That guard member caught that rifle from almost 20 yards away!
  • Mandarins brass making a LOT of strong impacts tonight.
  • Another great guitar player this year! Has anyone thought of getting all the guitarists together for a picture?
  • The Pink Floyd guitar solo into the robotic marching of the corps as they pass through to "The Other Side" is fantastic.
  • One of our only vocalists this year in the Mandarins. I don't think there have been live vocals since Les Stentors this morning? Definitely allows Mandarins to stand out from the rest of the pack.
  • Great flag feature as we finish up the ballad.
  • A moment at the end here for the Mandarins to show off their technique, and the judges have taken notice this season!
  • Finishing strong with the vocalist and full corps. Great run!

8:56 PM ET - The Cavaliers

Show Title: Signs of The Times

  • I hear "SPLOOIE," which must mean the Cavaliers are ready to take the field.
  • Starting strong with Fugue in G Minor.
  • I like that throughout this show they take Fugue in G Minor and make it their own.
  • Love this flag feature with the three different blocks of flags. Seeing it from high up, it definitely looks like time is slowing and starting back up again.
  • The pendulum moment is one of the most distinct visual moments of the season, it just works so well.
  • The alternating red and blue on the side-capes of the Cavaliers' uniforms make for some very interesting visuals!
  • We hear the Fugue motif return for a moment here in the ballad.
  • HUGE rifle catch over the "clock hand." Fantastic
  • It must feel great to stand atop that prop as its being pushed around the field at full speed.
  • LOVE this dance break moment with the trombone feature. Huge GE moment for sure.
  • Fugue returning again before we end the show with Harry Styles!
  • Great mello sustain as the rest of the hornline puts their horns down. This is another show that's evolved over the course of the season and its fun to see the changes that have been made!
  • Oh? I haven't seen this ending before. Love seeing new stuff!

9:13 PM ET - Blue Stars

Show Title: Of War And Peace

  • This is another show that I've been watching grow all season, and I'm excited to see what it looks like tonight!
  • I've said all season that if we had a caption award for production design and costuming, the Blue Stars would probably win it this year.
  • Seeing the corps appear from behind the props while the baritone soloist plays is always a great.
  • The drumline interrupts the party from behind the canons.
  • I love that, though there are a lot of props on the field, we're still able to see big drill moments happen like these box rotations on side one.
  • Its interesting to note the variations apparel of just about everyone in the corps. The guard are wearing these ornate, fancy outfits white the rest of the corps wears these military-style uniforms wish different colored accents for each section. There are variations on how much of the "military" uniform is showing, with some members even wearing only dresses! You can tell a lot of planning went into this show and specifically the outfits.
  • One thing I love about this show is just how big the corps seems at all times. I believe there are one or two moments where the corps is at a full 100-yard split from beginning to end.
  • Another thing I love is how seamlessly the movement flow into one another.
  • Chills as the horns and drums march in from side two during the ballad.
  • If I had to describe one show this year as "cinematic," its definitely this one.
  • Phenomenal technique moment as we enter the end of the show here.
  • This is another one of my favorite drill moments of the season into another spot for the corps to show off their technique.
  • I believe the star set is new! One of my favorites this season for sure.

9:31 PM ET - The Cadets

Show Title: Rearview Mirror 

  • I hope the members get to keep their bomber jackets because I would absolutely wear one daily.
  • This show is FULL of that classic Cadets feel.
  • Another great drill moment as we see the letters NYC formed by the corps, echoing the narration.
  • This jazzy section is great. More classic Cadets
  • Okay solo toss during the drum break!
  • Love the snares checking out the tenors as they are playing.
  • Another great set player here with the Cadets.
  • The trumpets can SCREAM.
  • I remember a moment earlier in the season when the Cadets were playing that ballad hit where they're in the top corner of side two facing the back. The Boston Crusaders were RIGHT in front of them waiting to go on. From what I heard Boston clapped and hyped it up. That's what the activity is all about.
  • This wouldn't be the Cadets without a Z-Pull. Always a delight to see.
  • Company front into fast drill and fast notes into another company front. What else could you want from a Cadets show?

We have some more exciting scores in.

Madison Scouts - 83.725

Blue Knights - 85.25

Crossmen - 86.625

Troopers - 86.675

Colts - 87.213

Phantom Regiment - 89.725

Troopers and Colts proving that they came here to fight for that top 12 spot, and right now they're succeeding. I'm also seeing that this is the highest score in the history of the Colts organization. Congratulations to them for a historic night and congratulations to all of the competing corps on amazing prelims performances!

9:49 PM ET - Santa Clara Vanguard

Show Title: Finding Nirvana

  • Before the show even begins, the wind chimes on the props are already providing an interesting soundscape.
  • I've talked a few times today about corps using musical motifs, but Vanguard's use of Smells Like Teen Spirit may be my favorite this year. Instant chills from the beginning.
  • I'm now noticing that there may be a visual motif as well, I believe that "eye" set appears at least a couple times throughout the program.
  • Love the drill. As I mentioned during Blue Stars, its great to design a show with props that don't obstruct the corps' ability to have big drill moments.
  • Once again we hear bits of Smells Like Teen Spirit from this screaming trumpet trio. Being able to sneak those little moments in there throughout the show really adds a lot in my opinion.
  • Though I'm not someone who knows percussion, Vanguards famous percussion section is shining tonight.
  • Love the when we finally commit completely to Smells Like Teen Spirit here in the ballad. It's hard not to compare this huge hit to their 2018 rendition of My Body is a Cage.
  • The drumline has changed their uniforms and as I type this out the full corps is changing as well.
  • Love this electronic moment at the height of the drum break.
  • More chills as the iconic "VANGUARD" yell can be heard from the audience as the corps plays their final hit of Smells Like Teen Spirit. What a performance.
  • This ending is somewhat new. Love the symmetry of the movement as the pit continues to play.
  • What an incredible illusion as the guard member in the middle appears to be floating! I've seen that trick explained multiple times but I always forget how it works.

10:07 PM ET - Bluecoats

Show Title: Riffs and Revelations

  • The crowd is already "blooing" as the corps begins to take the field. The Bluecoats are always a fan favorite and this season is no different.
  • Love the trombone feature at the beginning of this show.
  • This is definitely some of my favorite use of voice-over in drum corps.
  • The moment with the axle passing over the corps is always great to watch.
  • There's that Bluecoats "signature sound."
  • Another moment with the axles to finish out the movement.
  • Its always fun to take a look over at the car seat and see who happens to be driving in that moment.
  • Here's the keytar solo, a moment everyone has been talking about this season. Hearing the keytar against the hornline makes for a sound that has never been used in the activity before!
  • I think the strength of this show is its ability to set up interesting set pieces. From the axles, to the car seats, to the stop light, to "Lou's" giant head, moments are constantly being set up and executed. I think this excels as a multi-cam experience, which is how the vast majority of people will experience Riffs and Revelations.
  • The corps is in full pajamas now.
  • That is a LARGE solo toss, as we see the return of the axles and the keytar. It seems like this show changes just about every performance, and the ability for the performers to constantly adapt should be commended!

10:07 PM ET - Carolina Crown

Show Title: Right Here, Right Now!

  • Before they're even announced onto the field, Crown has the Lucas Oil crown doing the wave.
  • I would have liked to experience Carolina Crown this year using the app, but unfortunately I believe it does not work if you aren't physically at the show site, but I could be wrong.
  • I think we just got Rick Rolled by Carolina Crown?
  • Crown's brass absolutely living up to their reputation as they play Sia's Chandelier.
  • It's always cool to see the corps hide under the giant tarps and dip their heads in and out as the battery has a feature.
  • Crown's guard putting in work as the hornline tether themselves together by their uniforms.
  • I love seeing the reaction of the hornline popping through the giant tarp. The full corps mixed together with the trumpet soloist and background chorus makes for one of the absolute best moments of the season, hands down. Wow.
  • Love that bass feature!
  • This dance break with the huge batons is always a delight.
  • Okay rifles! What a great part of the show for guard.
  • Another one of my favorite drill moments right here as the corps "eats" the large rolling prop and transitions into the classic Crown set.
  • The Crowd is up and on their feet as Crown comes to their energetic ending. Great stuff and a fan favorite for sure!

10:45 PM ET - Boston Crusaders

Show Title: Paradise Lost

  • Boston Crusaders are up next. An incredibly historic year for the organization, BAC is looking for their first DCI World Championship ever.
  • I love the contrast in uniforms between the hornline and percussion sections.
  • Boston's guard reminding us why they've won so many Zingali awards recently. Just wow.
  • Love seeing the drill where the follow-the-leader lines begin to fold back into the block.
  • Fantastic rendition of What a Wonderful World as the cones turn in to point to the tree in the middle, now adorned with colorful silks.
  • Now we move into the "Snake" movement, representing the temptation of Adam and Eve. The battery slithers down the field like a big snake.
  • The baritone soloist is modified in different ways, mixed live as he does call-and-response with the percussion doing their feature.
  • Eve now has the apple, and I think it's a real one? Shoutout to BAC 2009 which had one very large apple when they told the same story.
  • Another fan favorite moment of the season is this tango-styled rendition of Can't Take My Eyes Off of You, beginning with the accordion player in the pit.
  • Those trombone suicides always get a great reaction. What a moment!
  • Guard continues to do things that shouldn't be humanly possible.
  • The cleanliness of the drill continues to impress me every time I see this show.
  • HUGE moment here with the company front.
  • I'm literally smiling and exclaiming out loud how great of a moment this is here at the end. Absolutely stunning. The crowd is up on their feet long before the show is over.
  • We have a few new additions here at the end, including some new silk.
  • Boston have been trailing BD for a while now, but they're making it clear tonight: We aren't giving up the championship without a fight.

11:03 PM ET - Blue Devils

Show Title: Tempest Blue

  • Here we are at the end. The one, the only, the Concord Blue Devils. Perhaps the best track record of consistency and excellence in the entire activity. They're about to show us what drum corps is at its highest level.
  • I almost wish I could see more of that first uniform. It's so cool and it goes away so fast!
  • Incredible opening hit as the hornline marches toward one another.
  • Love the soprano trumpet solo and the part immediately after where it responds to the baritone section.
  • Another great guitarist here in BD, someone get on that group picture!
  • Love seeing how some of the members have blue in their hair as well!
  • Classic Blue Devils sound coming from this trombone/flugel duet in the ballad.
  • Designers at BD wasted no time in using the iconic music from Dune and it works with this show perfectly.
  • The rotating company front is a great visual moment! One of my favorites to be sure.
  • Another insanely talented drum set player here.
  • BD playing the songTank! now as the guitarist absolutely shreds behind the horns.
  • I love the backfield placement of the props during the closer.
  • The company front moving toward the back sideline while playing adds a great musical effect.
  • What an ending! Strong drill, strong players, BD shows us why they're currently on top. It's going to be hard to beat that performance. What a great night of drum corps.

If you've been following this live blog today, thank you. It's been a LONG day of drum corps (over 13 hours for me!). A big shoutout to everyone in Indy making this event happen, working even longer hours. Thank you!

I'll have a score update as soon as they're given.

We have our final round of scores.

Mandarins - 89.175

Cavaliers - 91.138

Blue Stars - 91.375

The Cadets - 92.875

Santa Clara Vanguard - 94.075

Carolina Crown - 95.55

Bluecoats - 95.7

Boston Crusaders - 96.5

Blue Devils - 97.45

Thank you again for following the day with me. It's been an amazing day of drum corps and I'm super excited to see what the next two days have in store. I should be coming back to live blog on Saturday night, so I'll see you then. Thank you!