For part two of our double-header Hype, here are two extremes.
1. For your consideration, the 1984 Santa Clara Vanguard drum solo "Toccata". This was radical drum corps in the making, a drum feature where nothing was played louder than mezzo-forte and the keyboard instruments were the stars of the drumline. Nothing like this had ever been done in drum corps before -- a drum feature that made you listen by being quiet (and without amplification, I might add). It blew people away and changed drum corps forever.
2. In honor of the end of my summer short-track season and the beginning of preparations for my cyclocross season in the fall, here's the 1988 Canton Bluecoats playing a decidedly muscular version of their official corps song, "Autumn Leaves". There is so much going on in this video it will wreck your head. At 3:07, a soprano soloist takes a hit in the head from a badly tossed rifle -- and holds the note! Later, check out the madness as eight snares start playing, add players two by two and eventually become a snare line of twenty (doing the requisite drum-to-drum and backsticking visuals). Finally, just before the end of the number -- in a page taken from the 1984 Freelancers, who did it first -- the rifles and sabres drop their equipment, pick up horns and play on the closing chords. It's all totally overblown and yet totally tight; and if I'd been a judge at that DCI Finals show I would have tossed out the rule book and given the Bluecoats the highest General Effect scores in history.
It's been a good summer.