When a classic rock song starts, and you're sitting in your car with the ol' FM cranked, and the vinyl seats are hot and your soda ice has just melted enough and you're entering the happy zone, you have to decide one thing: Am I playing guitar, drums, or keyboard?
That can be a hard decision, and air musicians often flow through all three instruments over the course of one dashboard-thumping, steering wheel-stringed rock-out. (We're assuming you're parked, of course, because a mega rock-out requires your full focus.)
But not at the U.S. Air Guitar Championships. Participants are not there to solo on the cymbals or hit the synthesizer. They are there to make not-really-there strings sing via sweat, talent, and more gusto than can fill a sold-out stadium.
The championships have been a-rockin' for over a decade, but the big run-up isn't restricted to one city. There are several qualifiers, and a handful of semi-finals, and two of those dates are on the calendar for Los Angeles. Friday, June 6 is the qualifier for LA, and it is set to get loud 'n lively at The Viper Room.
You want to see the Southwestern semi-finals, you say? Okay. That's doing the phantom licks thing at The Troubadour on Saturday, July 19.
And is it all serious? You bet it is, serious as a mid-ditty jam that takes the chords down to a deep and dark level. That said, participants tend to costume up and take the stage with loads of cheek and maybe a touch of wink. But everyone has to hit those notes, display some showmanship, and ultimately please the judges.
So you're pretty good at air guitar, you say? At least while sitting in your car in the parking lot of the burger joint down the street? Could the U.S. Air Guitar Championships be your future reach for the brass ring, or, at least, a title and a ton of applause?
The good thing is you don't have to back up your ax and amp following your performance, right?