Six World Class corps escaped the Indianapolis summer heat under the roof of Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday night, as the DCI Tour Premiere presented by French Lick Resort kicked off the 2016 Drum Corps International Tour.
However typical the weather was, the productions presented were all about the out-of-the-ordinary. The Boston Crusaders, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment, Bluecoats, Cadets and Carolina Crown each had new tricks up their sleeves.
The Bluecoats stole the show in more ways than one revealing their production title “Down Side Up,” on way to taking first place with a score of 69.700.
The corps no longer donned the uniforms traditional to their name, instead the color guard and horn line mirrored one another in tight-fitting solid yellow and white, sequentially, with a single blue line looping across their torsos.
“I feel like the show really tries to break the fourth wall between the corps and the audience,” Bluecoats drum major Samuel Crawford said. “I think the uniforms open up new possibilities.”
The Bluecoats used the Tour Premiere as the stage for their show reveal, not leaking any information beyond a list of repertoire before the corps took the field. Large ramps were placed on the field, allowing performers to play to the advantages of gravity while incorporating dance and free movement with traditional marching.
Just a half point behind the Bluecoats, Carolina Crown took second place with a score of 69.200 and managed to grab first place in both Visual and Music captions.
Prior to arriving in Indy, Crown had unveiled its fourth consecutive uniform redesign. Corps members’ pants are accented with a single paisley gold stripe down one leg.
The corps features a large stagecoach as a central element to feature soloists in its 2016 production called “Relentless,” which is billed as a “classic Spaghetti Western” with inspirations from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and Homer’s “Illiad.”
After taking first place during the 2015 season opener in Indy, the Cadets finished in third on Thursday night with a score of 66.950. Making their competitive debut with “Awakening,” the corps returned to the field this summer with the all-black uniforms it presented halfway through the 2015 season.
Telling a story of statues coming to life, the Cadets’ production features two pieces by John Mackey, “Turning” and “Wine-Dark Sea” contrasted with Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.”
With a score of 65.400, the Cavaliers matched their 2015 Tour Premiere fourth-place finish but managed to add 2.3 points to its opening score this year over last.
Like many of this year’s corps, Cavaliers members debuted a new uniformed look to fit the theme of their production, "Propaganda." Anchored by black vests and black pants, the sleeves, hats, and color guard attire display a variety of newspaper-like lettering, with only a hint of the corps' familiar kelly green.
On the scoresheets, the Cavaliers tied for fourth in total Music with home-state competitor Phantom Regiment. Regiment received an overall score of 63.450 for fifth place.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2016, Phantom Regiment pays tribute to its own vision of excellence with its show “Voice of Promise.”
“[This production] shows a strong connection to our past, and with that strong past comes a bright future,” drum major David Warren said.
Members of the Boston Crusaders had the honor of being the very first corps to perform during the summer of 2016. The corps’ production “Quixotic,” utilizes abstract windmill props as a nod to the story of Don Quixote.
“Being the first out of the gate, it was exciting knowing that we had a lot to prove,” drum major Aidan Williams said. “I think we did a great job.”
The Crusaders finished the night in sixth place with a score of 60.450.