2014 DC Qualifier Recap – No Doubt the beeriest, crotchiest, facemeltiest qualifier of the year
-This is a guest post by Doug "The Thunder" Stroock, currently officially the second best air guitarist in the world, owner of the world's best crotch thrust, and organizer of the DC qualifier.-
So, a WWE wrestler, a rock star, and an alcoholic walk into a bar. No, that’s not the beginning of a joke – that’s how the 2014 US Air Guitar DC Qualifier started on Saturday June 14th. Sponsored by DC Brau and Flying Dog Brewery, and hosted by me – the reigning World Air Guitar Vice Champion, Doug “The Thunder” Stroock, the qualifier had all the makings of great drama. The top 3 finishers from the 2013 Qualifier had all departed to greener, less congressionally oriented, stupider, other pastures…. So the field was wide open.
Like a call girl waiting for her next client, DC was begging…. Yearning to be taken…. But who would do it? THAT was the question.
The field was made up of a solid group of air guitar veterans – Shreddy Boop, Tobias Slaypool, G Tso $ He No Funny, Dick Diesel, the FAH King Rocker, Rear Admiral Kickass, and the Rockstache. One newcomer also joined at the last minute – Johnny Quest.
So, to make this quick and dirty, let’s do a time stamped replay of the event.
7:50pm - World Cup is just finishing up, and the crowd is getting antsy…. Yells of “Fuck soccer, we want AIR GUITAR” reign throughout my head the venue
8:00 - We finally get the sound from the World Cup turned off, and the air guitar intro medley begins…. 15 minutes and counting. That is, I think… I might have been a wee bit too drunk to count at this point.
8:14 - The lights turn down, and we begin. I opened the evening with a medley to get the air moving. I successfully complete the 3 minutes of air guitaring without obviously sexually molesting anyone, or farting loud enough to be heard over the music.
8:17 – Start the evening using the classic Bjorn joke – “who’s been to one of these before?” Quite a few cheers. “And who’s a virgin?” Dead silence except for one dude at the back. Seriously. Apparently, DC is a town that gets laid quiiiiite a bit. And is proud of it.
8:19 - We introduce the judges – 3 time reigning DC Champion Tommy Fretless, DC Brau’s CEO Brandon Skall, and Metal Chris of dcheavymetal.com. All judging veterans of this event. At least 2 judges are already drunk, and we’ve barely started.
8:22 - Battle Royale time! 7 minute medley, 6 songs, 3 groups of air guitarists…. Battling it out for stage supremacy. Whoever wins gets to pick the best spot, whoever loses… goes 1st.
8:24 - Battle royale is ON – Shreddy Boop takes the initial lead, but has a hard charging FAH King Rocker on her back. That sounds dirty. It was.
8:25 - He No Funny gets distracted from playing air guitar and starts wandering around stage, briefly examining stage backdrop. Is he trying to throw this thing, or did he forget to take his Ritalin. Unknown…
8:26 - Crowd is getting restless, the last group heads up, so I decide to join in. Immediately realize I am not needed as Dick Diesel straddles a supine Rear Admiral Kickass, and Kickass performs air fellatio on Dick Diesel’s air guitar during a stirring rendition of Ace of Spades.
8:28 - A photographer covering the event shows me the video and claims “this is the greatest thing I’ve ever captured on video.”
8:32 - The order is determined by Tommy Fretless, and we’re OFF!
8:35 - He No Funny turns into He So Funny and geeks the place out to an oldie but goodie – Yakety Axe by Chet Akins. The judges savage him for picking a not-rock song. Crowd boos lustily. I believe 4.0’s were given. His alter ego already qualified for the NYC Semifinal, so smiles all around.
8:39 - The Rockstache brought epic facial hair and airness, but forgot about the technical side of things. Gets savaged for wearing a tie and then lowballed on the scores.
8:45 - Rear Admiral Kickass cut his hair mid-performance last year, but comes to DC in 2014 with a brand-new do. No cutting to be done this year! Arrives on stage with a cape, hits the deck with a nice looking knee-slam, and leaves with decent scores.
8:51 – Newcomer Johnny Quest arrives on stage looking like he just arrived out of a J Crew catalog… ditches the flops, and rocks out to some Red Hot Chili Peppers, as provided via a youtube video. Brings some airness, and plays a 5 inch long air guitar. Has potential, and gets a mix of the best and lowest scores of the night so far… but will he make it to round 2?
8:56 – Veteran Tobias Slaypool arrives on stage and rocks with a track he’s barely practiced (he decided a day before that he was going to compete). Still slays the room and looks to be Round 2 bound! I’m so excited, I go BACK through puberty and my voice starts cracking all over the place like an undersexed 13 year old.
9:02 – The room goes fucking nuts as long time DC air guitar veteran Shreddy Boop ascends the stage for her turn. The cut starts, Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”, and she immediately jumps off the stage, climbs up on a table mid-audience, and rocks out. Audience orgasms as the guitar solo hits its peak. She makes it back on stage just in time for a quick butt wiggle and the song ends. Definitely round 2 bound.
9:09 – Newly relocated air guitar veteran Dick Diesel gives his best Ultimate Warrior impression and wows the crowd with his muscles, hot dog-colored onesie, and airness. We have a flex-off while waiting for the scores, and I proceed back through puberty. Top scores of the night so far!
9:15 – Last competitor of the night, another DC veteran FAH King Rocker has awesome face paint to contrast with his slacks and collared shirt. Knocks the house dead – absolutely kills it, and moves into the 2nd round, just behind Dick Diesel!
9:20 – Amateur air guitar competition for some free tickets to see the Dead Kennedys at the Rock ‘n Roll Hotel thanks to Metal Chris! Lots of people on stage rocking out to Concentric Circles by DC metal band Boracho. Some lady named Margaret(?) wins it. She has potential! 2015 Contender??
9:24 – Round 2 announced – Dick Diesel, Fah King Rocker, Shreddy Boop, Rear Admiral Kickass, and Tobias Slaypool.
9:26 – Fake song played – Just a Girl by No Doubt. Crowd goes nuts….. Wait what? They want THIS song?? Well fuck them, we’re going Four Horsemen, Lt. Facemelter style.
9:28 – Compulsory round begins with a twist. The Beer Bonus! Our awesome sponsors, DC Brau and Flying Dog Brewery have provided a whole ton of beers and each competitor will receive 2. If they are able to appropriately incorporate the beers into their routine, they’ll gain .1 bonus point for each… if they waste the beer? -.1 point for each.
9:30 – I got first to give the competitors a chance to contemplate the beer bonus. After a multitude of crotch thrusts, I chug a DC Brau and take a Flying Dog Brewery Shower whilst standing on a table. Faux-hawk barely survives, and 2 days later I still smell like a fraternity house.
9:35 – Tobias Slaypool is first up and chugs a beer while setting his chest hair on fire. Forgets to air guitar a bit. Gets decent scores.
9:38 – Rear Admiral Kickass takes his shirt off and starts with a beer on his belly, shotguns it, and forgets to air guitar. Screams of “put your shirt BACK on” come from the audience. Beer belly scores a perfect 6.0, but otherwise, gets lowballed by the judges.
9:43 – Shreddy Boop shoves a beer down her bra, gets up on her shoulders and chugs it. Rocks the house, but gets lowballed by a judge with a 5.2... Crowd boos lustily and he succumbs to peer pressure and raises his score to a 5.3 to avoid riot police having to be called. She’s still in the top spot.
9:49 – Fah King Rocker ignores the beer bonus and just rocks out. Starts well but loses steam at end, and passes out as song ends. Does the song justice and scores well….. Crowd in ecstasy over his “thunder groin” – I take a selfie with it. He receives a 6.goo from one judge….. and the CROWD GOES SILENT. Wait, what? Yep. Stunned into silence. Confused into silence? Either way…. He’s in the top spot…. but will it be enough?
9:55 – Dick Diesel arrives on stage bedecked in a bright red bedazzled cape? Onesie? Either way, it was definitely somethin special. Looks like he might also ignore the beer bonus…. But No! The beer comes out and he pours the icey cold liquid into his crotch….. and then… he gets on his knees, and has a friend play the role of “beer fountain” – pouring the beer down Diesel’s throat while he absolutely destroys the solo. DONE. 6’s across the board. GAME. OVER.
10:03 – Scores are announced – Kickass 5th, Slaypool 4th, and moving on to the Mid-atlantic semis on July 26th are…. Boop in 3rd, Fah King Rocker 2nd, and Dick Diesel reigns supreme!
10:07 – Free Bird
10:14 – Holy shit this song is long
10:16 – Free Bird finally concludes, several judges are passed out, and thus ended a magnificent evening of Air Guitar. But I promise, the alcoholism continued long into the night.