Thursday, August 28, 2008

a non-baby related post

I want to share something about myself that many of you don't know about. This is non-baby related so if you're not interested, stop reading now and check in another day or two when I post about the next phase of our vacation.

I have a passion...actually it's more of an obsession. A healthy one at least. I am a drum corps junkie. "What is drum corps?", you ask...it's marching band on steroids. It's a bunch of musical athletes who tryout and pay to tour, rehearse, and perform all summer long. All these kids are high school or college age. What they can accomplish is insane. It's beautiful. It's loud. It's poetry in motion.

Simply said...I love drum corps. I have since 1990 and while I have never been to the world championships, I still try every year. This was supposed to be the year. It was Indianapolis and I had tickets. BUT a couple months before our vacation (which was timed so I could go to finals) they changed the venue to Bloomington, IN because the new Colts stadium wasn't ready yet. So knowing how little time we already had with family and friends, we decided another 2 hour drive wasn't possible. So again, no finals.

I haven't seen drum corps live since 2003. I buy the cds and dvds every year but it's not the same as experiencing it live. When we decided we wouldn't go to finals this year, I looked at the schedule to see if there were any shows within a couple hundred miles that maybe I could go to. Luckily, there was one.

My favorite corps is Phantom Regiment. They have been since 1990 when I heard them play Camille Saint-Saen's Bacchanale (look it up, it's awesome). Year after year, they continually put down emotional shows with tons of power and passion. I've watched this year's show evolved online and couldn't pass up the opportunity to go watch them rehearse in Toledo and then perform that night.

I drove out by myself in the morning so I could be there by 10am.

I could go on and on about how amazing this day was but I won't do it here. It was like a dream all day. It took me back to my high school and college years when I would go watch corps rehearse in the hot sun. I was always amazed at the volume they can produce. It can't be described..or duplicated. You HAVE to experience it live to understand.

This is the hornline going through some of their warm ups prior to the show. Again...you have no idea the volume. It is borderline painful but it's so ..... perfect. I LOVE it!!!!

You just can't understand the volume!


I had purchased the best seat in the house but didn't attend any of the show. I am so obsessed with Phantom, I ran back and forth between the hornline and the drumline while they warmed up before the show. As soon as they were done, I literally ran up to the stadium and found my perfect ($35) seat taken. So I just stood on the top row behind everyone and soaked it in.

I was beaming the entire show. Knowing the show pretty well from watching it online (a subscription that costs $65 a year...obsess much?) and watching them rehearse all day, I was able to just take it all in and really enjoy the moment.

You see, Phantom has been known for a long time as the brides maid. They've come in second place more times than anyone else and the only championship they have was a shared one in 1996. I never care about placements because I always love their shows, regardless of where it ends up at the end of the season. But this show was special. They were doing a theme from Spartacus. It was very theatrical...but very emotional performance.

Watching this show one week before finals...I knew they had the potential to win it all.

Here is the drumline warming up. Those of you who don't know...I am a drummer. I don't have many regrets but one of them was not pursuing drum corps. I think I had the chops to do it but never tried.


This last video is one of the features they play during the show. They spread out and rehearse some of the drill since it adds some difficulty. Listen to how clean these guys are. It's insane!!! Listen to the clarity between the 9 snare drummers.


I left the stadium the minute Phantom was done and drove the 2 hours back to Dayton...arriving at 1am, still with no voice from all the screaming. Yeah, I said I was a bit of a fanatic.

So how did it end? Phantom scored really high that night but was still 3rd overall heading into finals week. Quarterfinals, they were 3rd place. Semifinals, they moved up to 2nd place. Finals night??? THEY WON!!! They scored 98.125 to the second place 98.100!! Closest margin of victory in DCI history. Oh man I wish I could have been there!!! It would be eating me up more if I hadn't gone to Toledo that day.

Lisa has always recognized my passion for music and drum corps so it wasn't a surprise to me that she gave her blessing for me to take off for the day. I have thanked her many times for that.

Thanks for letting me share a little extra part of me that many people don't know about or may not understand. I still feel like I need to grow up and move on sometimes and then there are days like that day in Toledo. What an awesome day!!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of drum corps. It kind of reminds me of "Blast" http://www.blasttheshow.com/, but outside inside of in a theater. Yes? I can understand why you love it so much.

Laurie in OH

Christin said...

LOVE IT!!!! Connor is in AWE!

Anonymous said...

Cool. If they have the finals in Indianapolis in the future, remember you now have an in with Joel who is Executive Chef for the New Stadium.

Honey said...

Okay Andy, the mother must reply. As you know (and most others don't) my brother was in love with drums, but was forbidden to play them because "what ever in the world can become of a drummer?" When I saw his disappointment long ago I told your Dad, who was my "boyfriend" at the time, how unjust that was. I also told him if God ever blessed me with a child that wanted to play drums then so be it. I never thought that would happen, but happen it did and I love that you can play, that you love drum corps and that you will always be effected by the experience that fortunately keeps on going.

Thanks for the videos; they were awesome. And thank you for heeding the call and becoming my favorite drummer. Now could you please come get your drums out of my basement....*wink* Love, Mom