Longtime readers will know that while I go to a lot of events each year -- concerts, sports, plays, etc. -- I have a clear favorite: the DC stop of the US Air Guitar championship. This year there wasn't a qualifier, just the regional finals. It also saw a venue change from the 9:30 Club to the Black Cat (which was a downgrade in terms of sight lines -- don't worry, I got my normal spot in the front row -- and a Debi Downer in terms of letting people on stage for the closing rendition of "Free Bird") and a change in hosts -- Doug 'The Thunder" Strook MC'd instead of Bjorn Turoque. Standard VIPs of recent years, Hot Lixx Hullihan and Nordic Thunder, were also absent and the overall quality of the contestants was lower than recent years, but it was still a great time.
The Shred had a dominating performance and took home yet another DC crown. Shreddy Boop was the only competitor anywhere close to Shred's quality in the first round, and unfortunately she hurt her ankle (hopefully a sprain and not a break) and had to go to the hospital, missing round two. But you don't care about that. You care about the super weird stuff that happens at these things. So let me take you through a picture recap of the highlights.
The first competitor "flew in from Australia" for the competition (a seemingly dubious claim, though she was Australian) then proceeded to do next to know air guitar in her performance. Maybe 7-8 seconds of actual air guitar in a 60 second routine (and that's a generous estimate). It was mostly quasi stripper dancing. Very bizarre.
But not as bizarre as the next guy who PERFORMED WITH A BABY ATTACHED TO HIS CHEST. I've seen a lot of things at these competitions over the years. The involvement of a baby is the most speechless I've been since a third-trimester pregnant lady performed dressed as a girl scout a few years back.
Dick Diesel had a killer routine going until he tried to end it on a standing back flip and landed on his face. Pretty sure he had a concussion but was too drunk to notice or care. Bless.
This guy went on stage last year to be in the "air band" for Bjorn Turoque's opening number and liked it so much that he entered this year. He went with a very complicated medical narrative involving a pill overdose, the nuance of which was lost of most of the crowd and all of the judges. He also works at HHS and walked off stage shouting "Don't fire me!" Epic.
The next guy was also dressed as a doctor, but for seemingly no reason. He was also covered in ketchup so no one wanted to touch him.
Tobias Slaypool has been a personal favorite of mine ever since he painted himself blue and dressed as a never nude a few years back. He's also set his chest hair on fire before during a performance. He did so again this year. Surely that breaks some kind of US Air Guitar record?
Where to start with this guy. His name was dinosaur themed (Air-a-saurus Rex). He came onto stage dressed as a vampire. Then he took that off and had an Elvis costume. Too. Many. Things.