Chicago may be home to the world famous Lollapalooza, which made its nest here after a decade of nationwide travel in front of millions of fans. But be prepared to be rocked again.
On Saturday, July 23, airguitarmageddon takes Metro on Clark Street, as the national finals of the US Air Guitar Championships rock the house. Air Guitar, which probably evolved side-by-side with rock 'n' roll music itself, has been a premier league competitive art form ever since 2003, when +1 Music, a music event promotion firm, brought it to life.
Air guitarists enter regional competitions nationwide, with top air guitarists competing on the basis of their air guitar technical merit, stage presence, and their "airness". The 2011 Turn It Üp to '11 tour hit big cities like New York, Chicago and Boston, but also more homey locales such as Kalamazoo, MI; Brooklyn and the musical mecca of Austin, TX.
More Dangerous than an Air Rifle. Prepare to be Rocked.
But this isn't just about some middle age guys clanging fake guitars from their parents' basement while mom and dad are out. No, these men and women are serious. As such, some serious rules apply. Rules like:
▪ Each rocker's performance is played to 1 minute of a song. The 60 seconds can start anywhere in the song.
▪ The instrument must be an invisible guitar, and if contestants abandon their guitar for another instrument, they are called out. Likewise, musicians must leave air drums and keyboards in the tour bus.
▪ Air roadies are allowed, but must stop tuning guitars and leave the stage before the performance.
▪ Back-up bands (air or real) are not allowed. Better know how to play that instrument.
In each round, a panel of independent judges rate performances on a scale from 4.0 to 6.0 – 6.0 being the highest possible, down to the decimal point.
Like any world class art form, Air Guitar is not with out its own stars and hall of famers. Such legends consist of David "C-Diddy" Jung, Air Guitar's first ever champ, as well as Taryn "Bettie B Goode" Kapronica and Erin "McNallica" McNally, both of whom have their own rock star fan following.
Doors open at 8pm and competition starts at 9pm. You can get advanced tickets for $20 a piece, now by going to www.usairguitar.com.
Andy Frye strums his blog about sports and life here, and rocks out like Foghat on Twitter at @MySportsComplex.