How The 1996 Blue Devils Changed My Life

I credit the summer of 1996 as the time when I decided to really take marching percussion seriously.

I mean, during my first few years in Band and Drumline, I thought it was pretty fun and I wanted to be good of course.

But when I went to my first Drum Corps Show at Cal State Fullerton and saw the Blue Knights rehearsing, I was amazed at the precision and high execution that was possible at the highest levels of the marching arts (of course, I didn’t know it was called the marching arts at the time lol).

I was certainly impressed and thought, “hey, that’s pretty awesome!”

I saw the Blue Devils at the same show and they of course won the show that night since they went on to tie with Phantom Regiment at Finals that year. They did a victory gig and I thought the show was pretty cool…especially their very loud opening statement.

But it wasn’t until I saw them a few days later at another show when their victory performance on that night literally changed my life.

So picture this: before the victory gig, my friend encouraged me to come up to the very front on the walkway in front of the bleachers. Of course, BD set up their arc on the track and my friend told me to sit inside of the horn arc. He told me that what I was about to experience will be one of the best things I will ever hear in my life.

He was right…

Holy crap…

I was so hyped after the performance, that all I wanted to do that very same night was drum the whole car ride home.

I even joined an independent Youth Band that would accept me IN THE MIDDLE of the season because I was so desperate to march.

Needless to say, I took my craft very seriously from that point on and I wanted to learn hybrid rudiments, learn drum corps exercises and march a drum corps in the summer. It also drove me to be one of the best drummer in my High School Drumline.

Without a doubt, if I didn’t have that experience in 1996, it’s possible I wouldn’t have reached my full potential and it’s possible I never would’ve gone on to become karldrumtech ;)

So, if you are not planning on going to a show this summer, I highly encourage you to go because you never know how it might inspire you.

If you have gone to a show before, have you ever had a similar experience as mine? Maybe a better experience?

Let me know!

Now, if you want to actually hear what that BD group sounded like, make sure you watch my vblog on this subject below:

Karl Arrieta