Now I know, it's a huge deal. So huge a deal, that the host of the competition, Bjorn Turoque (prounounced: Born ToRock) has written a book about it and starred in the documentary, Air Guitar Nation. He's also won second place a whopping seven times in the Air Guitar World Championships held annually in Finland.
The whole night was composed of inappropriate jokes, that only became worse once the few children in the audience left, and wild, unpredictable air guitar moves that had me laughing, scared and amazed. (You'll see why when you watch the videos.)
The impressive lineup of judges included guitarist, Emmett Van Syke, who will be working with mini-rockstars at the Redhouse's Rock Camp this summer; The Post-Standard's music writer, Mark Bialczak; assistant professor of music history and culture at Syracuse University, Theo Cateforis; assistant professor in the Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries, Ulf Oesterle; and Daniel Hege, former music director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. The judges ranked each guitarist on the Olympic figure skating 6.0 scale, judging on technical performance, stage presence and "airness." Yes, airness. Each performer had the chance to do a song of their choice in the first round and all were given the same song to perform in the second. These lucky contestants got to jam to Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane," a perfect choice.
A total of eight air guitar-shredders competed: Math Romancer, The Wizard Meat, "Air"moine Granger, Satan's Closet, Cornelius Aurelius, What about Bob, The Fantastic duo of Flint and Hall (which became The Fantastic Solo of Flint/Hall) and Woz.
...So. Yes. As you can possibly gather from that list of names, this was rock'n'roll at its finest.
See for yourself: (And trust me - watch them (you'll laugh), especially the last video of Satan's Closet...)
Flint/Hall solo, the only female competitor, ended up taking third, Satan's Closet moved up to second and Math Romancer was the lucky winner to get a bus trip to Boston to compete in a regional competition on June 7.
I guess all I can add to those videos (I think they speak for themselves) is congratulations to all the brave contestants, kudos to the Redhouse for bringing air guitar to Syracuse (thank you!) and God bless you to all the judges, who actually sat back and analyzed what turned out to be a night of complete insanity.
...I can't wait to compete next year.