Air Guitar Championships return to the Twin Cities this Friday


Looking for something entirely different to do this Friday night? Consider heading down to the Varsity Theater for the regional Air Guitar Championships, a competition that challenges participants to show off their rock star moves and invisible guitar prowess. Two-time regional champ Cami Phillipi, a.k.a "Airosol" (pictured at left, photo by Daniel Corrigan) will return to defend her title amidst a new batch of competitors. And against my better judgment, I have agreed to return as a judge with my cohort Brian Oake of Cities 97, and we will once again attempt to determine what "airness" is and who, exactly, has achieved it.

To brush up on your Air Guitar Championship knowledge, check out the column I wrote last year after judging for the first time. And if that isn't enough to whet your appetite, see Jessica Armbruster's A-List from this week's paper:

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.