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“. . .transfixing in its awesomeness…” Entertainment Weekly 081012

“. . .transfixing in its awesomeness…”  Entertainment Weekly 081012

It may not be unusual for Entertainment Weekly (USA) to engage in the type of hyperbole evident in the quote above, used to describe the halftime band show by The Ohio State University Marching Band (OSUMB) on 8 October this season.  Still, it is extraordinary to describe a marching band in those terms:

[On Saturday, The Ohio State University marching band performed a half-time routine during a home game against Nebraska that paid homage to videogames like Super Mario Bros., Pokémon, Halo, and The Legend of Zelda. It is transfixing in its awesomeness and simply must be seen to be believed.]

And it can be seen pretty well on You Tube.  In only the last two or three years, the quality of sound pickup and picture in small cameras evident on You Tube has improved markedly, and somehow one or two of those with cameras have been able to find perfect stadium locations to capture the marching band shows at Ohio State football games.  And there it is on YouTube; it is worth a look.  Adam B. Vary of Entertainment Weekly continues:

[While part of me wishes Sonic or Metroid had merited a shout-out, I’m just enjoying the mental picture of O.S.U. alumni of a certain age wondering what the heck a star has to do with falling blocks and a galloping horse. (Epona, we will never forget you!)   Oh, right, O.S.U. beat Nebraska 63-38. Obviously.]

Yes, I’m one of those alumni of that ‘certain age’ who had never heard of the Legend of Zelda or Epona the horse, but I had been a member of OSUMB years back.  The band was then well regarded by bandspeople and football fans alike.  Over the years there have been many improvements with more good brass and percussion players available and today the band may have the strongest following it has ever had.

This season saw a new director, Jon Waters, and he has carried the style of computer developed shows a step further with an advanced animation style of movement.  Also I think the band has recovered some of the snap in marching style and playing which might have faded a bit over the last few years.  I have been most impressed by the shows of this season (all can be found on You Tube) even though I am here in New Zealand 7000 miles away, and nearly 50 years from my OSUMB experience.  Not that it’s like actually being there (there is something unique about outdoor music live), but fascinating nevertheless.

A video version of this video games show taken by Bob Gender went viral on You Tube, having 1M hits the first day, and 3M by the end of the first week after the game.  However, look for ‘mbandfan2’ for the best sound pickup of the show.  The horse is awesome.

Richard Keller, 02/12/2012

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One Comment on ““. . .transfixing in its awesomeness…” Entertainment Weekly 081012”

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