Broken Arrow, OK – There were so many good corps at the Broken Arrow show this year that I had to come to the realization that it was going to be impossible to get them all. Keep in mind the Broken Arrow High School campus is about the size of a small college and there are tons of places to spread out. True, I could have run around to each drumline and got two or three minutes of random footage (and you can find all of it on YouTube), instead I decided to focus on getting prime spots for a few groups before it got dark and get as much quality footage as possible of each one.
So here’s the video footage I got and my take on each corp:
The first group I ran into and one of the drumlines I wanted to see, was the Colts. I had heard some good things about the Colts drumline and they didn’t disappoint. Rolls were clean between the snares and tenors, the snare drums had a nice organic sound, and they players had a level of maturity in their approach to the drum that produced a nice full bodied snare sound. The bass line had some nice notes and musical parts in the book that required a skillful approach. They were accurate in their unisons at all playing levels and even had some extremely exposed unisons that they pulled off effortlessly. You could tell this was a strong bass line and that proved true when they recently won I&E.
Beautiful drums, aggressive playing, and fast rolls are what personify the 2011 Glassmen drumline. Their style seems to be polar opposite of the Bluecoats, more along the lines of Cadets and Crown…a strong front grip on the fulcrum at the index finger. It does thin out the sound a little, but when you hear the stuff they are playing and the tempo at which it is played, you will understand the technique approach.
All the low heights come out clean and controlled, but once it gets past a “level 9″ the accuracy level in the snares start to waver a little and I saw a few snares extend beyond the vertical plane. That may very well be their approach but then again not all of them are doing it. I expect to see them move up if they can control the potential over hype.
The Cavaliers are starting to sound really good mid-season. The paradiddle-diddle sound quality from the snares is some of the best I’ve seen this Summer. The bass drums sound great (I’m biased), and the open tone really helps to separate the muffled sections. There are so many cool things happening in this Mike McIntosh drum book that it deserves multiple listens.
I started to record the Bluecoats drumline, but we ran out of daylight. There was no light source within 100 yards so it was fairly dark. I was able to snap a few pictures so check those out in the gallery below. As for playing I thought they would have been farther along since I last saw them in June. I would describe the performance as “uncharacteristic” of what I’ve come to expect of the Bluecoats but then again a couple of things could have contributed to the lackluster lot: a lot of the corps were putting in modifications at this point in the season, it was very hot, or it could have just been a bad warmup – it happens.