Here are some highlights from my notes from the New York City Regional Air Guitar Competition (7/1/2014):
- high-quality video intro (where can I find this online?); sets the tone for the competition; establishes the “US Air Guitar” brand
- a lot of “U-S-A” chants (with a few anti-Russian comments from MC Dan and judges); a distinctively patriotic atmosphere (or was the patriotism ironic?)
- some choreography of the air guitar extended beyond music performance (ex. G Tso Money taking his guitar off of air stand and putting it back onto its air stand after the performance)
- Marteeka’s performance to Pitbull’s “Timber” stood out for a number of reasons: only person performing as a woman, song was outside of rock canon, and impressive acrobatics (splits and cartwheels made use of whole body more so than other performers)
- halftime show juxtaposed various male body types
- Windhammer took risk by not playing along with the second-round compulsory track; he chose to remain still until the lead guitar came in (about 10 secs into the song); the judges praised this selective playing along and felt it represented showmanship
- Aristotle (probably benefiting from going towards the end and hearing the compulsory song more times than others) nailed the transitions between the various guitar parts
- the compulsory song was particularly complicated, with complicated rhythms, multiple overlapping guitar parts, and an abrupt ending
- judges used improv terms (ex. “object work”)
- variety of audience members: Wall Street stock brokers, cupcake shop owners, students, air guitar fans, past performers, and friends of participants
Links to some good recaps:
- Camille Barichelo recaps the entire night.
- Here is the local CBS coverage of the night.
- Official recap on the US Air Guitar website.
- Slideshow of the night’s performances.