Competitive air guitar is coming to Boston.
T.T. the Bear’s Place, which recently announced it will be closing for good this summer, will host the US Air Guitar Boston Qualifier on Saturday, June 6. It’s organized by US Air Guitar, which is our country’s official governing body of simulated shredding.
One might think the art of riffing on an imaginary instrument would be difficult to objectively appraise, but luckily, there are official guidelines for judging criteria. Competitors are graded on technical merit, stage presence, and something called “airness’’—defined by the governing body as “the extent to which a performance transcends the imitation of a real guitar and becomes an art form in and of itself.’’
In the first round, competitors perform to a one-minute track of their choosing. The top five will move on to round two, where they will improvise to a surprise song. Scores from both rounds are added to determine a winner, who will progress to the Eastern Conference Finals in New York City. A nationwide champion will be crowned in August at the National Finals in Portland.
The United States got into the international air guitar game in 2003, when David “C-Diddy’’ Jung became the first American to win gold at the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland (it makes sense that the Nordic nation plays host, as they have the highest number of metal bands per capita). In the past 12 years, American air guitarists have either won or placed in the top three eight times.
For an idea of what you’re up against, here’s reigning US champion Matt “Airistotle’’ Burns’ silver medal-winning performance at the 2014 Air Guitar World Championships:
So come on, Boston, show them what we’re made of. Bonus points if you perform your metal miming to a local classic like “Walk This Way’’ or “More Than a Feeling.’’
You can sign up ahead of time here, or at the event on June 6.