Rock music has been influential in putting forward worthy causes and affecting change in society. And when you strip away those heavy layers, what it left is simply the unabashed joy felt by its fans.
Case in point, the Troubadour again welcomed the Los Angeles regionals for the US Air Guitar Championships this Friday night. Hosted by the antagonist of the 2006 documentary Air Guitar Nation, “Bjorn Turoque” (aka Dan Crane, of the band Nous Non Plus), the evening started with an introductory performance between he and former World Air Guitar Champion “Hot Lixx Hulahan” (aka Craig Billmeier). The judging of technical merit and “airness” was handled by Hulahan along with Jeff Davis and Dan Harmon. The guest judges put on the popular Harmontown podcast event at Meltdown Comics, with the latter being known as the creator and former showrunner of NBC’s cult favorite TV series, Community.
Embodying every rock and roll cliché, the over 20 contestants put on a show for the packed venue filled with flashy costumes and the best rock posturing one could do while playing an invisible guitar. The audience was treated to everything from a Mormon to a mummy to an orange “Human Being” (the normally grey-colored mascot of the community college featured in ‘Community’). The most heartwarming and surprising air guitarist was a woman celebrating her 62nd birthday and going by the handle “Some Old Broad.” So fierce and beloved was her performance that she was able to compete in Round 2 to decide the Los Angeles champion.
Although she, and favored to win Kei Tsutsumi, gave it their all in the second round, the Los Angeles title went to All-American boy “Six String General,” who will now head to Denver on July 21st for the National Championships. The ultimate winner in Colorado will go on to represent the country in the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland.
Photos by Leslie Kalohi.