First off the field was pretty rough with ruts and holes but the evening was warm and pleasant. The Westminister MD area seems to have a good high school band following and the stands were packed.
Refreshment stand was selling a great pit beef sandwich which sold out fast. Order more beef next year.
Jersey Surf the sole Div 2 corp led off the evening . Surf fields a good size corp this year and as always an entertaining show. Horns have good volume and drum line moves well and sound sharp. Show should develop in time and has nice moments with an Elton John ballard and a fun “Can Can” finish. Kick those dresses up ladies.
Magic took the field to present "IMAGINE...Joy, Love, Peace, Hope”. The show opens with familiar Bach melody and moves to a nice John Lennon Imagine rendition. The crop is small but works hard and the show is developing. Magic pit sounds great.
Spirit if JSU was next up and continue where they left off last year. This corp has arrived and fields a great horn and percussion lines. The college Drum Corp formula works and I would love to see more of new corps go this route. The show titled “Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue.” Opens with and closes with a great jazzy rendition of Old Man River and moves into “That Old Black Magic.” and a very nice ballard with pretty textured moments.
A staff member of the Crossman told me this is the “Bones is back tour”. The corp is out to erase last years disappointments and regain its spot in the top 12 of drum corp. The new attitude could be felt an the stands and the corp was received well as they took the field. After what felt like a slow opening the show catches fire with what might the most fun segment in drum corp this season. Bones spins the radio dial for us and takes us for a great ride. The use of amplification is great and the show ends strong. Crossman deliver a fun show I am looking forward to seeing again.
Carolina Crown and Boston Crusaders will probably battle it out again this year for the best of the middle. Boston was on first and has a show you will need to see a few times. The music is unfamiliar but sharp and uses props which I could not quite figure out and did not work well on the rough field. The BAC traditional “Conquest” theme appears again this year but is not what you are expecting. This corp is good but the show left me a bit confused.
Crown again has a great horn sound and more challenging visual show and came across great this evening. The music is more abstract than the past few years but sounded great and I am looking forward to seeing this show again. On this evening I give the edge to Crown.
Phantom Regiment is a welcome early visitor to the east this year and their show was highly anticipated following last years fantastic “Gershwin” production. The show titled Faust did not disappoint. Phantom again has a “GREAT” horn line and the stacked chords and textured sound of this corp is a wonderful thing to hear. The percussion line and pit is super and will be on of the top drum lines this year. I was a little nervous of the Faust theme being dark but not to worry as the ballard will blow you away. The trumpets exchange their horns for mellophones at one point and the symphonic sound produced is breathtaking. Phantom is again not to be missed this year.
Cadets finished the evening and delivered the best show of the evening. The Zone part II is engaging though not quote as edgy as last years production. The use of props are very cool and the percussion feature comes early and is very cool particularly a really neat snare moment. The Cadets take amplification to a new level with integration of the song voice into their show which works very well. Unlike last years show which took time to develop and be appreciated this years show pleases already and is not to be missed. The corp performs great and seems in mid-season form.