My beautiful rock and roll friends, the announcement is out - at a record early time - of the basics of the 2016 US Air Guitar season! You can, and probably have, read the announcement on the US Air Guitar site, but if not, you can look it over right here.
Boston Air Guitar Blog
Finally, the big show, the crowning acheivement of the 2015 US Air Guitar season - US National Finals were contested on Saturday, August 8th at the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland OR. Despite a truly dumb beer setup (the bar and drinking area was way at the back, all-ages [and thus boozeless] in the front), the show managed to go on and the air guitarists still managed to pull off their routines. Hey, you wouldn't host a swim meet without a pool, would you?
Portland, Oregon hosted this year's 2015 US Air Guitar Nationals weekend, which, by tradition, kicked off with the Dark Horse competition. This gathering of the "best of the rest" - people who didn't qualify through to the National Finals but still impressed on their journey there - is always really family-reunion night, a secret show that isn't publicized (so as not to take away attendance from the big show), where we can do the in-jokey things we might opt not to do on the more public stage since it's really for each other. Most years, it's the most fun night of the weekend. But while that happens, the serious contenders (and the less-likely-to-succeed crowd who are still committed to doing as well as they can) are doing their best and fighting for the last few spots in the Finals. Or, rather, the first few spots; dark horses always go first on the national stage. Either way, it's a lot of talent on a small stage, interspersed with untalented fools like yours truly to whom someone charitably gave another shot.
The last semifinal/Conference Final of the 2015 US Air Guitar season was the Eastern Conference Final, in New York. I had the immense good fortune of competing in it, so a few of my memories are a blur due to being immediately before or after my turn. But we'll do what we can.
All right. Two Conference Finals down, two to go. The two in the bag were the bigger ones, pulling in competitors from all over and sending (now) 5 air guitarists on to Nationals. The remaining two, the Atlantic and Eastern Conference Finals, pull in a smaller but still dedicated slate of performers, and send 3 each. Today we're going to talk about the Atlantic semifinal, in Washington, DC, last Wednesday.
I know the Atlantic and Eastern Conference Finals just happened, but we need to talk about the Western Conference Finals in San Francisco first. Because, just like the Central Conference Finals, they were marred by scandal. This season, you guys. Well, no - the regular season went more or less smoothly. This post-season is the thing that's having dramatics. Maybe semifinals need to be put together by regular air guitarists as well, like qualifiers are, since everyone has proven that they can do it pretty well.
Philly's Qualifier, the last one of the 2015 US Air Guitar "regular season," took place the same night as the Chicago semifinal. I feel like it got a little overshadowed by the bigger show taking place at the same time, especially since the bigger show had controversy and whatnot. But it was just as valid as any other competition, so let's not ignore it!
The Chicago semifinals, aka the US Air Guitar Central Conference Finals, took place Friday night at the Double Door (is it even possible not to call it the "Dumbledore"? I think not). They were streamed live, and they were rife with excitement. There was talent! There were costumed games of mistaken identity! There was even SCANDAL. I'll get to all of that in good time, but let me just say that if this is how the "postseason" is going to go, it's not going to be dull.
Boise, Idaho just had its first-ever official US Air Guitar qualifier! I want to say something about "things got noisy in Boise" but I'm sure that's just way too original.
The other weekend (I'm catching up, you guys), LA had their qualifier, and by all accounts it was a killer show, filled with talent and - it's LA - total babes. More on the babe factor in a minute. Six String General piloted this plane, to great effect - having a whole airline theme which was fantastic. I've got him penciled in to win the "Relentless Commitment to the Bit" award this year. Maybe one year he will make my head explode by playing a song by Providence, RI's Six Star General. Also fun: a handful of competitors were part of a group traveling the world having once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and competitive air guitar was one option on their list. I hope they liked it enough to make it a more-than-once-in-a-lifetime experience!