Shred Moines, Iowa

Date: May 26th, 2018
Location: Johnson, IA
Venue: Doc’s Lounge
Host: Flying Finn (Andrew Finn)

The best Air Guitarists in Iowa and beyond came out in force to rock their way to winning the title of Des Moines Air Guitar Champion on Saturday, May 26th at Doc's Lounge. The show was hosted by the incredibly handsome and talented Flying Finn (Andrew Finn), who rocked his trademark yellow fringe…and his trademark audio issues…all night.

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The show started like any other Air Guitar show, but by the end of the evening, HISTORY would be made! Lost Heartbreaker (Rob Nechanicky) came out of retirement (again) and was the first competitor of the night. His song of choice was Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," but there was a technical SNAFU and the whole song played instead. Instead of panicking, half-way through the song he invited the rest of the competitors up on stage to shred with him. 

It was amazing and beautiful, but completely against the rules of competitive Air Guitar. It also was the most "Lost Heartbreaker" way imaginable to get disqualified. 

Following him was Def Leprechaun (Patrick McCammon) who finished 4th in Des Moines last year. Unfortunately, the judges Ross Peterson, from Sports Fanatics on KXNO,2015 Des Moines Champion Thunderball (Nielsen Nacis), and the now disqualified Lost Heartbreaker, were not quite sauced enough yet to give out great scores.

Then Mean Gene Simmons (Marc Von Ahnen) went full Hocus Pocus! He shredded. He yodeled. He ripped his shirt off revealing his recent surgery done to replace his nipples with googly eyes. Incredibly there was no visible scarring, so if anyone needs some work done, find out who his doctor was.

Up fourth was Misfit of Punk (Arthur Kern). With his luchador mask on, he attempted to take a shot (surprise—it failed), and then wiped the spilled booze up with a rag while continuing to shred with one-handed! The crowd went wild and the high bar to beat was officially set.

Stack Attack (Amy Stack) had the tricky task of following up to those two. While she absolutely killed her set, the judges weren't feeling it as much as the previous performers. Stack Attack may not have won the night, but she does win the Des Moines Air Guitar “Perfect Attendance” award for never missing a show and truly gets better every year. Rumor has it she may be heading to the Air Guitar World Championships to face off against the planet’s best, so keep an eye out for her to make her mark in Finland.

Virgin Airy (Sonic Bitch/Rachelle Landreth) hit up the stage next and made everyone in the room instant converts. She played "Heaven is a Place on Earth" dressed in full-on biblical garb. She also gave unto us an epic new move which would best be described as a glitter shower.

Her ability to hold a long note (like, really, really long) while also holding the attention of the entire venue could only be described as a miracle. Here's hoping her next appearance is on some kind of food item. *

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*Related note to self: Start selling Virgin Airy Grilled Cheese at shows.

Seventh up was a rookie making his debut appearance. Jampire (Jason Wright) torched his song, drank a goblet of blood, and turned everyone in attendance into his thralls. Especially for a first timer, he absolutely nailed every note and had enough power moves to look like a seasoned veteran. Clearly, he has secretly been practicing in his lair for the last 400 years while waiting for the world to catch up to his jams.

Next was BACK TO BACK DES MOINES CHAMPION, CC DeThrill (Brendon Snell) and DeThrill he did! He kick-started all of the hearts, hit his signature knee slide and slaughtered his set.

Last up for the night was Harvey Wahlbanger (Ryan Wahl). After 4 years of competing it seems that he’s finally found his stride. His first round was hands down his best round to date and the rest of the country better be ready to feel the Bang.

The second round consisted of CC DeThrill, Mean Gene Simmons, Jampire, Virgin Airy, and Harvey Wahlbanger. As usual, it was a bit of a blur, but know this:  

·     CC DeThrill BROKE A TABLE

That means Harvey Wahlbanger is off to New York City on August 2ndto compete in the official USAG Wild Card Semifinals! Winners of that competition will go head-to-head at the U.S. Air Guitar National Championships on August 4that Rough Trade in Brooklyn for a chance at the USAG title and a spot at the World Air Guitar Championship in Oulu. Finland.


Special thanks to: Doc's Lounge; Our sponsors and 515 Brewing; and our partners Girls Rock! Des Moines who put on a summer camp for local girls to learn how to rock!

Judges: Ross Peterson of Sports Fanatics, Thunderball and Lost Heartbreaker

Written by Flying Finn (Andrew Finn)

Kriston Rucker