(PHOTO: The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps of Rosemont perform "Mad World" July 1 in Oswego. Courtesy of cavaliers.org.)
Last Thursday, I headed over to the AMC in South Barrington, plopped down my $18 and attended the live simulcast of the quarterfinals of the Drum Corps International World Championships taking place at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, the same place where Payton Manning makes a living.
I don't know what I found more disturbing -- the middle-aged woman in the row in front of me sitting with her legs up on a railing as if she were going to give birth OR that a good many of the bands played scary shows.
Times are tough, and it's reflected in the performances, which, for the uninitiated, can seem strange anyway.
Take, for instance, the Cavaliers of Rosemont. The theme of the group's 12-minute show was "Mad World," that Tears for Fears song remade a few years ago as a haunting ballad.
The drill team in the all-male Cavaliers was dressed in trench coats, which was way too much of a reminder of Columbine for my tastes. Actually, after looking at Cavalier pictures online, the coats also recall Billy Idol videos from the 1980s. The team bellowed military chants about their rifles as they twirled and contorted. They formed a "Mad Circle" with some props, too. And, when the corps performed the Charlie Chaplin chestnut "Smile," the members donned white masks.
I half expected Heath Ledger to return from the dead as the Joker during the performance, which also seemed like an outtake from the director's cut of the last Batman flick.
As of Thursday night, the Cavaliers were in second place, behind the Blue Devils from California.
More scarily fabulous, or fabulously scary, drum corps performances (including the corps from nearby Rockford), after the jump.