As any fan of Guitar Hero will tell you, pretending to play guitar is a very difficult thing to do. And while hitting colored buttons in perfect time on a small plastic guitar does require some skill, playing an imaginary Stratocaster or Gibson in a manner that is not only authentic, but also entertaining, calls for a certain charisma that no videogame or actual music lessons can ever teach. This Friday you can watch performers make something out of nothing as they passionately play the air at the Minneapolis leg of the U.S. Air Guitar Championships. The competition will travel through 25 cities in the states before heading on to the World Championships in Oulu, Finland. Air guitarists compete in two rounds. The first features one minute of music chosen by the individual, the second features songs picked by the panel of local judges, including City Pages music editor Andrea Swensson. Judges will be looking for three things during play: technical merit, stage presence, and perhaps the most important quality of all, "airness." 21+.
Fri., June 5, 8 p.m., 2009