I am finally in Lucas Oil Stadium sitting in the club room in the middle of the stadium. The Madison Scouts are on the field and I am watching them on video as I was just too late getting in due to a technical snafu on my email ticket. This I straightened out with the ticket window and the very courteous lady texted me my ticket for entry. I circumnavigated the Lucas Oil Stadium in the process. Unfortunately, the entry was a ½ mile away on the north and west side of the building from the ticket window on the south end. Now I am ensconced in my seat at the 30-yard line right, not bad I guess. The right side is the best side to be on this year and I am up much higher than in previous years. It will be great to see the drills from up here. So far, I have seen the Madison Scouts on the TV and the Colts just performed. It is my first time back in the indoor setting for drum corps and, up here, the echo is distracting. I will just have to get used to it. I know that the members have an adjustment period so tonight they might also be struggling with the sound that bounces around in this cavernous space. In addition to the performing corps, there are video presentations of corps who are not touring, and live solo performances on the music stage that is also broadcast on the large video screens. It is early in the evening and there is a lot of drum corps to go before the evening is over.
Yesterday was another fine day of trails and travel. There was no drum corps and no plan other than to finally ride my bike. After finishing my blog post in the private setting of the Town park, I decided to ride from Corwin to Oregonia, Ohio on the multi-use rail trail – the ODNR Little Miami State Park. It was a fast spin out and back for a total of 14 miles on the pedal. It was mid 90’s but I was cool making my own wind at 10 mph along the flat, paved straight-away. I observed over a dozen cardinals darting about alongside the trail. The habitat must be perfect for this specific species of bird. A rail or canal corridor is a unique edge habitat that provides for a more diverse plant types that are not found in the monoculture of the agricultural fields and the residential properties that these corridors traverse through. This is an example of the positive environmental impact of trails.
I was in search of the North Country/Buckeye Trail again and I found it at the Caesar Creek State Park where I hike a couple of miles along the shoreline trail. This was not the natural experience that I expected as the constant noise of the personal watercraft accompanied by the wafting smell of 2-stroke piston engines were dampening factors. Alas, recreation comes in many forms, some carbon burning like my 3,000 + mile lark. So much a lark that I was not sure where I was going to lay my head down that last night. I decided to head to Miami University to utilize the WIFI, bathroom, refill my water bottles and work on my blog. I would figure it out from there. Being 90 plus degrees, I was not interested in sleeping in the car again, so I got a great walk-in rate at the Hampton Inn where I refreshed the body and laundered five days of clothes before getting a great night’s sleep. Visions of drum corps danced in my head in anticipation of the next three days that would be filled with amazing sights and sounds at the final DCI Celebration for 2021. This morning was a nice cruise across the flat Indiana farmlands on two lane roads. I commandeered Siri into following my chosen route on town at time the entire way into downtown Indianapolis, amazingly arriving in just a few minutes later than her choice of I70 something. Intermission is over, so now it’s time to get back into the show.
Wow is the word that has become too trite to use to describe drum corps. I need help with some new superlatives. What a joy to the hippocampus (the part of the brain associated with pleasure) to experience such creative high-energy performing arts spread out across 1.32 acres of open level ground with fresh cut grass or the facsimile of. Not sure why we need those annoying white lines every five yards but I suppose they are good for reference for the 150 plus members who are not intentionally hitting each other. The Madison Scouts, Pacific Crest, Phantom Regiment, Blue Stars, Blue Knights, Spirit of Atlanta, Boston Crusaders, Cavaliers, The Cadets, Boston Crusaders and finally tonight, the Bluecoats all found their moxie in the oil can stadium. Oh, how I wish that I had a chance to hear and see them all outdoors this season. It is a shame and a blessing to be indoors. A shame because the quality of sound is very different with echoes that tend to drown out the details of the arrangements. The blessing is that we did not get rained on, the seats are more comfortable and spacious, and there are plenty of restrooms nearby.
The eastern caravansaries that have toured together were among the crowd favorites. The Boston Crusaders had the best performance of the night in my humble and biased opinion. Wow, what an awesome display from the color guard. Not one drop out of the hundreds of rifle and sabre tosses. This show has few equals on many levels including the brass. Another highlight of the evening was the Blue Stars featuring close to 100 horns and the power was evident. It is a great year to witness certain changes that are not necessarily according to the rules that normally govern the activity. No violations for having more that 154 kids on the field was cool. Of course, I am not able to articulate the finer points of each show since I have had no prior knowledge or viewing of any the corps other than those who toured together along my journey from Boston, Allentown, Akron, and Centerville. Perhaps as the week continues, I will be able to articulate some nuggets. Meanwhile, it’s time for some post drum corps show merriment with some of my drum corps bothers and sisters.