The show opens with a lone soloist playing the theme from The Stranger as the rest of the corps saunters around the field. After Brandt Crocker announces the corps, the running starts. First running in the drill as the corps plays backfield and builds to the first big hit from Italian Restaurant. The corps once again saunters during the hit, performing very laid back while wailing away. After the hit, it’s off and running again for the Cavies as they play the opening from Angry Young Man, which serves as the percussion feature. At one point, the horns do a ripple, half the line of a company front rolling and tumbling from left to right very quickly. This gets a positive reaction from the crowd. During a more introspective moment of Angry Young Man, trios of horn players drop out of the ensemble, do another roll on the ground, and pop back up. The pit gets a lot of work during this piece, playing the piano part of the song, which is full of triplet 16th notes. The song ends with one last build and blast from the horns.
The second piece, a medley of And So It Goes and the Intervention in C Minor, opens with a pit interlude, joined by a baritone soloist who plays a tasteful counter melody. The Intervention opens with each section of the horns blowing out from a straight line moving across the field from left to right, form arcs, and joining in a fugue-like musical moment, before returning to the And So It Goes theme. The guard is on sabers and beautiful violet silk flags. The song finishes with the pit and another horn ripple, this time having the front horn player fall back into the back horn player’s arms, then raising his hat in the air to form a line of white above the line of horns.
Pressure opens with the percussion playing a groove, stopping a couple times for the corps to whisper “pressure!”. This piece is all about drums and drill, although the brass has some moments of their own, including a moment during the “all your life is Time Magazine” section where the brass dissolves from a block triangle formation as a line of guard runs through the block from right to left, itself dissolving. During the percussion feature, we get a mini Fight Club moment before the horns come back in and build to the big Pressure theme finale. One final Stranger quote leads into the finish of the piece.
The closer opens with the pit returning to the And So It Goes theme before passing off to the horns with I’ve Loved These Days, which the corps plays backfield. A quick drill moment leads into a company front with the corps stating the Bottle of White, Bottle of Red theme fro Italian Restaurant. Earlier in the season, this was the end of the show, but the Cavies added the real closer around San Antonio, continuing with the Italian Restaurant theme, this time from the Ballad of Brenda and Eddie. Mellos get a chance to shine here. As has been the case during the Michael Gaines drill years, the closer is full of fast paced kaleidoscopic insanity. The show finishes with one last build to a climax, similar to the end of the opener.
Final impressions: The Cavaliers have been accused of not utilizing their brass, either in terms of difficulty level or volume, over the past few years. Whether or not this is true is for others to debate, but it should be said that the 2007 brass line was one of the weaker Cavaliers’ horn lines of the new century. Much of this can be chalked up to a larger number of rookies in the line than usual, although it is difficult to take pop or rock music and arrange it to the level of difficulty which modern drum corps demands of its top units. That Richard Saucedo accomplished as much as he did with his 2007 arrangements is yet another testament to his abilities. This was also the second year for Jim Casella’s percussion arrangements and, while the book was very tasteful and fit the theme, there was still an adjustment period occurring for the drum line.