The summer 2017 tour has been crayer than cray. Two dozen Qualifier shows — including festival stages, dive bars, and a first ever mid-set speed competition — fed into a half dozen Semifinal concerts in nearly every corner of the country (once again, Alaska and Hawaii get dicked over).
And it all culminates in the National Finals this Saturday night in DC.
Pundits universally agree that this year we packed more WTF into the 2017 season than ever before (think about it!). There was that thing with the robot head and the time TOMMY FRETLESS (Adam Lee) went park cor up the balcony then tumble-rumbled back down, somehow without injury. And that time when WILLIAM OCEAN, failing to hold onto the handrail as he slowly exited the green room, broke his ankle in ten different places before even setting foot onstage. Our sympathies are with Mr. Ocean and his family, but with past seasons of severed toes and major air-related surgeries, that our only significant injury occurred off-stage is hopefully a step in the right direction.
Also this season, we had a guy “raise awareness about homelessness in this country” through his cardboard sign telling the judges “to go fuck yourselves.” We learned the Facebook Live will gladly stream people killing each other but will flag our videos for immediate removal if someone plays Metallica. And thus our official “partnership” with Periscope (where we paid 99 cents for the app and they tell Lars and the gang to also go fuck themselves).
And now one of the finest groups of professional air guitarists ever assembled will descend upon Washington, DC at the National Finals this Saturday (tickets!). At the top of the top are this season’s first place finishers:
-Lumb-Air-Jack! (Will Herndon), San Diego
-The Maqruis (Rob Messel), Portland
-Romeo DanceCheetah (Matt Cornelison), Chicago
-Breeeze Wrench (Jaime Farnan), NYC
-Cind-AIR-Ella (Beth Melin), Kansas City
-Mom Jeans Jeannie (Nicole Sevcik), Philedelphia
Second and third place contestants also receive a DC-invite and a small but loving stipend to cover some of the snacks consumed on that cross-country Greyhound, 3rd class Amtrak, or sticky shotgun seat:
-The Shred (Lance Kasten) & Tommy Fretless (Adam Lee), Philedelphia
-Sonic Bitch (Rachelle Landreth), Kansas City
-Georgia Lunch (Brittany Diaz) & Twisted SistAIR (Marquina Iliev), NYC
-Flyin’ Finn (Andrew Finn) & The Jinga Assassin (Alexander Roberts), Chicago
-Cold Steel Renegade (Matt Feldstein) & Thirsty Motion (Derek Tobias), Portland
-Agnes Young (Rachel Sinclair) & Six String Sal (Saladin Thomas), San Diego
-Dick Diesel (Jerrod Dewey), DC
All styles will be on display this weekend, from the adorable Mom Jeans Jeanie (Nicole Sevcik), and COLD STEEL RENEGADE (Matt Feldstein) to the sentimental ROMEO DANCECHEETAH (Matt Cornelison), BroZone Layer (Mike Katz), and 17th Century powerhouse MARQUIS (Rob Messel). It’ll be costumes vs. purists, glitter vs. leather, shirts vs. skins, and the highest level of talent to descend upon this great nation’s capital in a decade.
Dreams will become a reality, faces will be melted, and one person will be crowned the 2017 US Air Guitar Champion. We’ll then send that lucky guy or gal across the Atlantic and Baltic Sea (lower deck steerage, next to the engine room exhaust pipes), to compete against the rest of the world in the Air Guitar World Championships. Team America this year will have at least two representatives, as Staten Island’s AIRISTOTLE (Matt Burns) will be defending his 2016 World Title.
We’ll be disseminating vital information via twitter, facebook, this blog, and any place else with good taste and loose content restrictions. In the meantime, enjoy some more pics and we’ll see everyone Saturday night!