DCI Semifinals

As I’ve mentioned, this summer I’ve been able to photograph two Drum Corps International competitions (in Benson and Charlotte), and as a result, I’ve gotten sort of attached to the cute little music geeks.

Last night I went to see the semi-finals, which were shown live in local movie theaters (North Hills, in Raleigh, in this case). I’m glad a bought my tickets early, because they’d sold out *two* theaters (at $19/ticket — these folks are *serious* fans!)!

The show, though long, was really fun to watch, particularly since every once in a while they’d show a particular kid, and I’d recognize him or her from pictures I’d taken. I have to admit, the sound was not as good as I’d hoped, but I suppose that’s a factor of (a) comparing it to being on the field next to the bands and (b) the difficulty of micing a 130-person moving target that has an incredible range of dynamics.

Huge thanks aklikins for accompanying me (and pretending to be a little interested)!

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10 thoughts on “DCI Semifinals

  1. ummmm… yer never gonna believe this, but I went to the theater here in pdx last nite–thx to our latest transplant from yer way–and… well,
    it was frikkin awesome!


    • OMG! That’s too funny! I checked the website too — I guess I’m not all that surprised they reversed the penalty on the Cadets (they’re one of the groups I’ve been photographing). Send the transplant the link to my pics if you want (I’m not sure if we’re being discrete here).
      The buzz wasn’t as bad in out theater, but I think that’s because the sound overall wasn’t as loud as it could’ve been.
      Who was your favorite? I really liked the Cavaliers (all male — did the Billy Joel) and the Colts (who did the Troika piece). Also the Glassmen were pretty fabu.


      • Madison Scouts–the second live performance that incl’d Kashmir–was the one that really caught my attention early on and made me think, “oh, wow, maybe I CAN watch 5+ hrs of this!” But then the light stanchion buzz started and that drove me crazy and really kept me from being able to enjoy anything for the rest of the first half. I thought the Picasso and the Gypsy ones worked better than I expected them to. Then I went for a break and came back in the middle of Blue Knights’ “Dark Dance” and from that point for me the energy really started building incrementally thru (if I’m remembering/reconstructing the order correctly from the website listing) the Bluecoats (“Criminal”) then the Vanguard (“!”) and for peaking with, of all things, the Carolina performance “Triple Crown”, which for all it’s campiness managed to completely captivate me and really got me pumped (tho apparently the scorers did not see it the same). After that I didn’t really ever feel the energy again, although I definitely liked and appreciated the next performance, also, which was the Phantom Regiment that used the Philip Glass.
        Honestly I really wanna own this whole thing on DVD cuz I just enjoyed the whole progression sooo much. I hope it becomes available at some point, and I’ll definitely be watching the finals when they air on ESPN2 September 5th. (and let me tell you it was NOT easy finding the info on that… searching ESPN for “DCI” and Googling “DCI ESPN2” yielded zilch, and the DCI site doesn’t even HAVE a search! I finally found it manually in ESPN’s television listing–which of course is Flash and therefore doesn’t get seen by their search engine. I like almost everything ESPN does, but their site is a P.O.S. So to save you the same bother: 7-9pm ET, 5 Sept, on ESPN2.)


      • “Madison Scouts–the second live performance that incl’d Kashmir”
        OH YEAH! I love that one — had seen them in Charlotte and they’d *much* improved at the semis.
        Vanguard — loved them!! Check out this shot: http://www.qiphotography.com/events/NightBeat071507/0607-171-gina%20norman-img_7670.htm this guy I called my Clark Kent… must’ve taken 20 pics of him alone. Their male drum major was *intense*!
        And yeah, Carolina Crown was *amazing* — you shoulda heard the “home team” audience here! (North Hills — 2 theaters sold out!). They’ve gotten so much better this season — when I saw them in Benson two months ago they hadn’t yet gotten the hang of doing something campy but doing it so strong that people love it rather than poo-poo’ing it. I think they nailed that last night.
        This is so weird. It’s almost like talking about sports. ;-)


      • Our crowd was predominantly for Santa Clara. Now that I’m thinking about it, I think the order went “Dark Dance” then Vanguard then Carolina then “Criminal” then “On Air” (Phantom) (then the Billy Joel one then Cadets then Blue Devils). I say this cuz I remember as “Dark Dance” was leaving the field they passed Vanguard’s “shiny, happy” dancers and the contrast made me say “…and oh, look, now we get up-with-people…” And there was this rather extroverted guy sitting in our row who was an alum of one of the corps and I think it might been that one.


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