I try to attend at least one drum corps show a season and was fortunate enough to have a major regional hosted little over an hour away at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. With 20+ corps coming to town, including some of the top performers in the world, to say Mike and I were excited was the understatement of the century! Little did we know mother nature had other, more devious plans for the day...
The Rüdimentality crew started the festivities in what is arguably a better venue than TCF Bank Stadium itself: The Lot! After finding a parking spot only a block away from the corps busses and trailers we headed over to see if we could locate some of our former students, friends and colleagues in their natural habitat.
We first came across Pioneer's horn line warming up in a concert arc, I was quite impressed with the mature sound coming from their direction and was upset that I hadn't accommodated to see every corps perform in "The Bank." Next year I'm going to have to take advantage of viewing at least one more show MN shows so get a chance to see every corps in the lot and on the field.
SIDEBAR: Take my horn line critiques with a grain of salt, since I haven't picked up my trumpet in 10 years... I have a very simple system of analysis: if I get chills down my spine it's good, if my eyes start to get a little misty, it's GREAT!
Across the lot from Pioneer we ran into our first drumline of the day:
Before I talk specifically about the Crossmen, I need to make a brief statement about the current talent level in DCI: quite simply, it is OFF THE CHARTS! Whether it is a result of the increased popularity of WGI or an evolution of the design, arrangement and/or teaching philosophy of the circuit, the talent pool is deeper and wider than ever this year! This theory was absolutely proven true with the Crossmen; I had seen this corps out in Bristol, RI a few years back and at that time they were still performing at a Division 1 or World Class level but (in my opinion) did not have anywhere near the control or presence of the 2010 line.
About 100 feet away from Crossmen was the local favorite:
Madison has an extra special place in RM's hearts since our friend and Michael's former student Nick "Taco" Edwards is snare captain this summer. It was nice to be able to add to the fervor that has built up around this corps and Nick obliged by breaking a stick at the end of a show seg (seen in the video below ;-) Scouts are certainly pulling out all the stops this year, and while the line looks young they are drumming extremely well...
Next we headed over to visit (the majority of) our colleagues from the Minnesota Percussion Association who were performing with:
Unfortunately as MBI got into their second rep of "12" the first rain shower fell and we had to wait about 20 minutes before we could catch some video of the quad line.
While we started walking for shelter the rain died down and another group thought it was a great opportunity to get some reps in during the break in weather:
I haven't seen the Colts live since 2007 when Mike and I took a road trip down to Naperville and the Indianapolis Regional and again I was blown away by the advancement over the last three years. The Colts are taking some big risks with a combination of fast triplet rolls while layering some unique body movement on top and when it clicks it make for an impressive showcase of their talent.
After spending some time with Colts and capturing the aforementioned MBI video we decided it was time to head into the stadium for some face melting performances! Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion in our next installment: DCI MN 2010 Recap: The Show!