The Blue Devils talk a lot about Saturday nights. Each Saturday is the culmination of the corps’ weekly changes. It offers the chance to perform under the bright lights of a big stadium with massive crowds. It’s the payoff for all of the hard work in rehearsals.
The only problem is that there aren’t many left.
After this past weekend’s DCI Southwestern Championship presented by Fred J. Miller, Inc. in San Antonio, the Blue Devils have just three Saturday performance remaining, culminating with the DCI World Championship Finals on August 10.
And based upon their progress to this point, their show will look far different in Indianapolis.
“If I were to think back to our first shows in California and Stanford, it’s a completely different thing,” Blue Devils drum major Everett Kim said. “Big changes are coming and we’re excited to always keep pushing toward Finals day and get that final product.”
As of now, it won’t be easy for the Concord corps to overtake the Bluecoats at the top of the World Class standings. The Canton, Ohio corps took gold in San Antonio with a score of 91.213, fending off Blue Devils by just two tenths of a point. Blue Devils won the general effect and visual captions, but a fourth-place finish in music dropped them to second overall.
But that’s as close as the corps has been to the current undefeated leaders in any of four meetings this season. Saturday’s results have undoubtedly set up an exciting push toward the season’s end.
“It was a really big payoff for us to have an experience in a dome and feel what that’s like as kind of a precursor to what Finals is going to feel like,” Kim said.
Kim is in his fourth year with the Concord, California corps. Perhaps that’s why he is neither surprised nor disappointed with Saturday’s results. For one, there’s still three weeks left — three weeks to rehearse and refine with the potential to erase two tenths of a point.
He also understands just how talented and experienced the other contending corps are. According to Kim, the growth of the drum corps activity since he joined has spawned great competition all the way down the scoreboard.
He just wants to make sure that the Blue Devils are gaining valuable Saturday experience before the season comes to an end.
“There are only so many left and getting this one down and getting in that rhythm of leading up and pushing toward a Saturday night was really important for us,” Kim said.
Performing their production, “Ghostlight,” Blue Devils have never finished below second so far this summer. They finished behind Santa Clara Vanguard four times in the early season, and have four times taken second to the undefeated Bluecoats.
The first three head-to-head meetings between the Blue Devils and Bluecoats came last week with shows in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Katy, Texas, and, of course, San Antonio. Though Bluecoats took the top prize in each, the 18-time DCI World Champions have closed the gap.
In Broken Arrow, Blue Devils’ deficit was 0.650 points. In Katy and San Antonio, that number dropped to just three tenths and two tenths of a point, respectively.
“Ghostligtht” has the potential, Kim believes, to put the Blue Devils on top come August. That coming to fruition, though, is on the members.
“We were given such an amazing show and product by designers Scott Chandler and Jay Murphy,” Kim said. “It’s just such an amazing thing to work on, it’s like a canvas. What pushes us is that we determine how amazing it can be. We determine how great our show can be. It’s really in our hands as to what that final product will be in the end.