It was funny to listen to the kids on the buses as we neared the stadium. Several of the new band members who haven't done this before were beginning to have the nerves hit and the 'old-timers' were trying to play it cool. I'm not sure it the cases of jitters were helped or exacerbated by us driving around and around Giants Stadium trying to find the entrance. It was not unlike the Griswold's visit to Big Ben in National Lampoon's European Vacation. "Look kids! There's Giants Stadium! Look! There it is again! Hey wow! Here comes Giants Stadium once more!"
We finally found our way in and got parked. The competition goes on for 2 full days. Hundreds of bands come over the course of the competition. It's quite interesting to see the differences as some of them pull into the parking lot in the most ramshackle looking vehicles and others roll in on sleek, personalized buses and equipment trucks. I think we leaned a bit more toward the ramshackle end of things but we looked sharp enough when we lined up.
I also have to say some of the uniforms, band fronts in particular, are seriously weird. One band marched in all wearing identical sunglasses, trench coats, and bobbed black wigs. The band front carried briefcases and the performance was a very strange homage to the Matrix films. Other band fronts looked like they had run through a spandex factory and grabbed whatever remnants they could to safety pin together for makeshift costumes. Those poor girls also looked like they were going to freeze their butts too because it was COLD!
As I said, our band doesn't compete. We are more or less like the rodeo clowns who come out after the really tough cowboys take their beatings. We whip the crowd up into a frenzy of fun and have a ball doing it. After the other bands do 'serious music,' we come in and do 70s rock and roll and get the crowd dancing and singing. We covered Van Halen, Steppenwolf, Chicago, Jimi Hendrix, and the Knack. Here's part of the band stirring up the crowd during 'Wild Thing.'
Ok, we also play Kenny Loggins and I don't know why they added him with the other groups we covered, but in case you're interested here is about 3 minutes of the performance. The cool thing about only being an exhibition band is the judges don't have to pretend to be impartial. The judge in the black trench coat high fived a couple of our members after the performance and said , "You guys were GREAT!" the kids floated out of the stadium after that.