At the zombie parade on Sunday, I bumped into my friend Darla, who suggested I go to something even more bizarre this week: An air guitar competition.
Yes. This actually exists.
So tonight Jeff and I headed to St. Vitus, a dingy, divey metal bar on the northern tip of Greenpoint, to meet Darla for the Brooklyn qualifier of the competition. The winners will take part in the next stage in Manhattan in a couple of weeks.
We stocked up on beers and elbowed our way into the packed backroom.
Before it started, I feared that everyone would take themselves far too seriously – that the place would be filled with computer nerds with metal t-shirts and bad hair (you know the type). The thing is – they did take it seriously, but they also treated it as a lot of fun… and had the crowd roaring with laughter.
The competitors were rated on their ‘guitar’ playing skills, their stage presence and their ‘airness’ (which ‘cannot be defined’). And there was a real variety of, er, talent. To showcase their best moves, many donned outfits – from a Queen Elizabeth-inspired get-up to some very tight tights and well-groomed facial hair. One by one, they rocked their air guitars, jumped into the crowd and grimaced for 60 seconds before they were scored by a panel of three judges.
The top five made it to the second round, where they listened to a random song and then had to perform to it. Everyone was hilarious – they all got so into it and it wasn’t as cringe-worthy as I’d imagined.
And as an added bonus, everyone there so nice. I was particularly taken with Aristotle – the Air Guitar U.S. Champion (and second best in the world). And at the end of the show, when audience members were invited to pick up their air guitars and rock out on stage, he was very complimentary of my slides and head bangs.
This was so much fun and a great introduction to a whole new, very bizarre world. My voice is hoarse from so much laughing and yelling. Who’s in for the next stage?