2008 Blue Devils Show Review

2008 Program:
Constantly Risking Absurdity

Repertoie:
Main Theme from Sweeney Todd
Phrygian Gates
Bach Intervention
Serenada Schizophrana
Pianos
I Will Wait For You
The Untouchables

Similar to last year, BD’s pit opens the show before the corps is announced. The music from the pit matches the the mood of both the show (Constantly Risking Absurdity) and the actions of the guard, who use balance poles while pretending to tightrope walk on the yard lines.

The show proper begins with the horns playing chords backfield. It’s a typical BD hornline – In tune and powerful. Percussion actually dominates the intro with the snares and tenors on some kind of small single tenor drum, creating a very interesting effect. Once the percussion finishes with the single tenors, the tenors have a cool moment where guard members carry their drums and rotate around the tenor line as they play.

I’m not very familiar with the Sweeney Todd music (yet) but I do enjoy the Gordon Goodwin quote they use from his take on the Bach Intervention in C (or D, can’t remember that right now) minor. This is also one of the better drills from BD.

The 2nd piece is purposely schizophrenic, with the hornline playing backfield at a slow, chorale tempo while the drum line plays very phrenetically, interspersed with stabbing melodies from the horn line.

The corps uniform has received many alterations this year. The silver sequins on the front of the uniform are now a plain white material, matching new large white plumes, providing a strong contrast in colors on the uniform. The stripes added in 2006 are still there. Also added is a type of skirt on one side of the uniform, black on the outside with white trim and white on the inside.

Near the end of the ballad, the balance polls form a stick figure on the field which looks like a tight rope walker. Either that or one of those strange figures from South America you can only see from the air. Either way, it’s very cool.

After the ballad section of the show, the drum line expands on the body movement used during their solo a la last year. It is a very intense, difficult moment, both visually and musically, and they pull it off incredibly well.

The closer sounds like the close of a movie, most likely about acrobats or circus performers from teh sound of it, complete with closing theme pronouncements, a reprise of the pit theme from the pre-show, and a high-paced, loud ending. the corps also forms the stick figure which appeared earlier in the show, turned 90 degrees, almost as if it’s Superman flying across the field, before moving into the big finish.

This show has the total package and the corps is already performing it at a championship level. It will be difficult for other corps to top this show, although not impossible, but I forsee a 2nd straight title for BD in 2008.