October 5th, 2013 at 7:43 AM ^

night games, cheap LED strips all over the instruments and glowsticks in the stands? They should put on the shows vs crappy teams and rivals we should go to tradition.


October 5th, 2013 at 8:04 AM ^

"Every year, a team of students and staff meets in January to begin designing the shows that will be performed more than seven months later during the halftimes of home football games. The group is a cross-section of students from different classes and sections who meet with band and Athletic Department staff to come up with ideas for each game."

I don't want to sound disagreeable, but the above paragraph should give you an idea of where complaints are best lodged if it is your desire to complain. I am sure the students and staff who make up this group would welcome your input at these meetings. 


October 5th, 2013 at 8:12 AM ^

Let them have their fun. They are keeping the Block M, the backbend, and The Victors. Other than that, at halftime let them do their thing. Would it be a bad thing to have a respected band wow us?


October 5th, 2013 at 9:25 AM ^

Sounds like he's an enthusiastic guy trying his best at an impossible task: marry a 19th-century musical concept—a marching band—to 21st-century tastes in music and visual effects without the benefit of actually having any new original music written expressly for marching bands.

The band can either play old classic Sousa-type stuff that was written a century ago for musical groups very similar in instrumentation to marching bands, or they're forced into covering and interpreting contemporary popular music that was written for and performed by musical groups that couldn't be more different in size, instrumentation, and rhythmic fundamentals. The former probably doesn't appeal to anybody under the age of 60, while trying to do justice to the Beatles or Michael Jackson or Madonna or Queen with a 300-strong agglomeration of woodwinds and brass is a losing proposition in pure musical terms.

Bando Calrissian

October 5th, 2013 at 9:29 AM ^

It makes me more than a little uncomfortable that the Athletic Department now has a voice in what the MMB does (the "spirit department" and a Director of Marketing in the planning meetings?). I realize it's important to have a good relationship with Athletics, but that's a bit much. The DB administration finds nothing they won't try to influence and market.

But if Athletics is going to have that kind of facetime with MMB students and staff, perhaps that's as good a time as any for them nudge this "spirit department" about that strong Michigan spirit derived from Shout and Sweet Caroline at deafening volumes...

That being said, the quality of the shows they've been putting on the field this season are a testament to the great work Professor Pasquale is doing, and it seems the band is moving in the right direction. Very impressive stuff.


October 5th, 2013 at 11:57 AM ^

I'd like to see the MMB take over some of the PA music duties. Seven Nation Army sounds better with a university marching band playing it than as pumped in rawk. As I noted below, "Can't Turn You Loose" was a popular song when the MMB started playing it and made it their own. I'd just like to see more of that, blending the new into the tradition simply by having the MMB play their arrangements.


October 5th, 2013 at 10:52 AM ^

I don't read about other universities, do all fan bases complain about everything or is this unique to the University of Michigan?

Fashion, rabble rabble! Cushions, rabble rabble! Parking, rabble rabble! Attemps to make money, rabble rabble! The band wants to entertain, rabble rabble!

I was a Michigan fan from birth and my U of M baby blanket 17 years before my acceptance letter. If they want to wear pink frilly uniforms and do outrageous halftime shows I'll lose my voice screaming for a pink frilly outrageous team I love.


October 5th, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

We've had two of the most memorable performances in a long time. Sure, it'd be great if we could hear them a little more, but the it seems like we're going in the right direction.


October 5th, 2013 at 11:46 AM ^

I find Saturday is the best day of the week because of college football and the spectacle of the event, the anticipation, the excitement makes it so. Obviously, the band is a huge part of the gameday experience.

And for all the crass commentary related to DB, he is dedicated to making Michigan football the preeminent program in the country and that goes from making a ton of resources available so that Michigan can recruit the best athletes and wow the audience with a great game day experience. 

I really don't see what there is to complain about. If you aren't at the Big House, you don't even get to see the band. And until clicking that link, I hadn't seen how dynamic and dramatic that UTL 2 show was. And the fact that UTL 2 was a DB production, you can imagine how involved his creative people became. 

College football is an invitation to the campus experience. And that is what is being enhanced regardless of how you perceive the connection between the AD's office and the band. They are providing more than just music to everyone's ears. And there are multiple threads on here today that demonstrate that people are interested in all aspects of the gameday package, its presentation and financial impact. So there is that, as well. 



October 5th, 2013 at 11:49 AM ^

Traditions don't materialize out of thin air. "Can't Turn You Loose" is a MMB tradition, enough for kids like Denard and Roy to dance to it at basket ball games. The first time MMB played that song, was 1980. They played it because the Blues Brothers act with the SNL band currently on TV.

I'm not even forty yet and had attended UM football games before "Can't Turn You Loose" became a MMB tradition. I'll bet the grey hairs back then were pissy about the band playing that rock and roll music for the "wow" factor that got the students all riled up. I don't remember, because I sat in familial student seats in the first row behind the band as a kid so my idea of tradition was born among those damned rowdy college kids.

Today's new thing the band does that pisses you off might just be the next classic MMB tradition.


October 5th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

Really? I've been to a lot of football games and don't really remember that song. Then again, they always played some old songs. Doesn't seem like tradition to me. I probably mostly ignored them because they were pop songs I had heard a million times elsewhere. I'm sure if they stopped playing it no one would really care.


October 5th, 2013 at 1:01 PM ^

I often find myself somewhere in the middle between the "purists" and people who just want some kind of pop experience, but...

"You’re a 17-18 year old kid watching the largest crowd in the history of college football with airplanes flying over and Beyonce introducing your halftime show, that’s a pretty powerful message about what Michigan is all about,” Brandon said.

So that says Michigan is all about...what exactly? If you want more celebrities, pop songs, stupid uniforms, etc., I won't complain. Things change. But at least just admit it's about generic, pop entertainment rather than some message that says something deep about Michigan football. It can't be something that makes you think Michigan if you see it and hear about it all the time. When I hear 7 Nation Army I don't think of Michigan football; I think of every college football game, especially Penn State.

On a related note, I was hiking in a group when one guy started playing music while we hiked. He asked if it bothered anyone and I said it did. I mean, I LOVE Tool, but there's a time and a place for Tool and it's not being played in crappy quality while I'm enjoying my own thoughts and the smells, sights, and sounds of the woods. I don't really care about the halftime show, but talking about the gameday experience in general, I don't get why you need the same sort of crap (e.g., Beyonce) that you already hear about or see every day.

matty blue

October 7th, 2013 at 4:30 PM ^

the money quote: 

"You’re a 17-18 year old kid watching the largest crowd in the history of college football with airplanes flying over and Beyonce introducing your halftime show, that’s a pretty powerful message about what Michigan is all about,” Brandon said. “That’s our job to send that message."

is what annoys me.  look, i get that having beyonce on the board is cool, and the flyovers, all that shit.  i get it.  neat.  and i'm NOT against new stuff.  i love that the team goes to the student section after a win.  i liked the 'victors walk' thing (btw, do they still do that?).

what i don't like is the fact that dave brandon and his merry band think they need to 'create branding experiences' (and i promise you, that phrase has been used at some point by these people) at every single possible turn.  if that means blasting music at literally ear-damaging volumes for an hour before the game, so be it.  it doesn't add to the experience, it doesn't add to the brand, it doesn't do anything except fill some 'void' that doesn't need to be filled.  it's a short ride from point a to point 'let's put a piece of macaroni outside the stadium' to point 'let's charge $100 a ticket to see akron." 

it's of a piece.  we already have a brand, and it's quite literally the best one in the country.  we don't need to mimic the nfl or the nba.  that we don't is part of what makes us special.  the paradox is that every time we 'add' something we actually take something away.

circling this back to the band - i LOVE the band, and i wish we'd let them do their thing without trying to hammer other shit into them.  i'm absolutely NOT suggesting that they have to stand in place and do sousa every home game.  the beyonce thing was great, but trying to 'wow' people and impress teenagers isn't really all there is, is it?  why do we need to have marketing types anywhere near the marching band?  i just don't get it.