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DCI Drumlines of the Decade pt.1 (2000-2005)

After scanning through the hundreds of "best _____ of the decade" lists while killing time over the holiday I thought this would be a great time to look back at some of my favorite drumlines over the last 10 years.

TO be honest, my first thought was that it would be an easy way to bump our page views but once I started pulling clips I realized that a simple "Top 10" would not suffice.

What follows is a retrospective on my favorite DCI drumlines of the 2000's (along with some 2nd takes from Mike to come later this week either in the post or as a followup post!) in two parts:

  Part 1: 2000-2005

  Part 2: 2006-2009

I did limit myself to the the DCI Finalist BATTERY sections from each year just to keep this from getting too out of hand; not to mention I'm not qualified to critique/quantify the quality of any Front Ensemble let alone a world class DCI front ensemble.

Also, I can't stress enough that these are not meant to be the "best" or "top" drumlines of each respective year or of the decade overall (that's what the Judges are for), merely the lines that I draw inspiration from.

The selections are listed in chronological and alphabetical order to avoid any "slotting" ;-)

(Note: I absolutely despise sites that make you navigate through 13 pages for a top 10 list so these will just be 2 massive posts with embedded videos...  in fact there are 20 drumlines featured in Part 1 alone.  ENJOY!)

<<< 2000 >>>

Blue Devils

This is probably one of the craziest drum books ever attempted (at least early in the season).  In my opinion Roger Carter is a master at integrating the various sections of the battery to create a greater overall effect.



Oh how the Green Machine has changed over the last 10 years.  I love the split quad break around :35 and the old school "Rock Out" section at about 1:25...  Makes me long for days before "body movement" became a necessity to compete.


<<< 2001 >>>



The snare entrance at approx. :55 (off the LEFT!) is the sole reason I added this clip.  Classic Cadets (or should I say "Classic Tom Aungst")



I find it hilarious how simple McNutt's critique is in this clip yet how effective it is at cleaning up the segment.  It is a great reminder that focusing on properly executing the most fundamental skills can lead to this:



<<< 2002 >>>

Blue Devils


For me, BD 2002 is all about the bass line (especially from 1:25 on).  Love that snare break at the end of the clip as well.




Notes? <check> "You may proceed"



A friend once described the '02 cavies beats as simply: "SPROCKETS."  I can't think of anything more appropriate... One of the most unique arrangements I've heard to date and in my opinion the spiritual precursor to Machine (2006).


Two Words: Lee Beddis


Phantom Regiment

Say what you want, but I freakin' LOVE the sound of those 13" Pearl snares... so rich.  This line is often overlooked since Rennick took over in 2003 but I really enjoy this book.  (Side note: doesn't that center snare look familiar? ;-)


<<< 2003 >>>

Blue Devils

Virtuosity at it's finest...



Where Blue Devils had the finesse, Cadets came out in '03 with one of the most dense and delicious books of the "ots."  The QB in particular was ON FIRE in '03...

Phantom Regiment

When Paul Rennick took over at Phantom in '03 it began a period of excellence that has netted two Fred Sanford High Percussion awards ('06 & '08) and a World Championship in 2008.  This remains my favorite book of Mr. Rennick's tenure in Rockford thus far and I can't wait to see the what he comes up with for the 2010 line!

Santa Clara Vanguard

"Got Singles?"

Another line that in my opinion is unjustly overshadowed by the following season (not to take away from the legendary '04 line that I also featured below).  These dudes threw it DOWN. HARD.


<<< 2004 >>>


I'll be the first to admit that when I heard the Cadets '04 show was built around the music of Jethro Tull I was not expecting much, then Hop and Co. go on to create one of my favorite musical shows of the decade.  Oh and did I mention that the drumline had some of the hottest licks of the year! (for my students this is another fun "I spy" exercise... can you find one of your former instructors in any of these vids?)


Madison Scouts

You may notice a pattern forming here... wherever Colin McNutt goes RUDE beats follow.


Phantom Regiment


This is the one PR line during the Rennick era that everyone seems to overlook... yet  every time I watch/listen I can't imagine why... I mean come on people: FIELD CASTANETS!!!

Santa Clara Vanguard


What can I possibly add that hasn't already been said ad naseum on message boards across the web.  Sit back, relax and soak it in.


<<< 2005 >>>

Blue Devils


That's some crispy snares! 

While this was probably one of my least favorite shows of the decade I have to give credit where it's due.  The visual demands heaped on top of an already difficult book made the '05 Dev's a must have on this list.




Legen-(waaaaaait for it)-DARY!


Phantom Regiment

(Rennick+Gershwin)*(phallic quad visual)=WIN


That concludes Part 1 of Rüdimentality's look back at a decade of DCI percussion excellence... check in later this week for Part 2 (2006-2009) and let us know some of your favorites in the comments!


** Special thanks to FromThePressbox and CorpsReps for their exhaustive databases without which this series would have taken months to put together. **

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    Response: Rudimentality
    Rudimental percussion blog gets badass with it's DCI Drumlines of the Decade feature.

Reader Comments (1)

nothing beats In your face drum lines ohhhh yeahhhhhh

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoe wisniewski
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