Custer Air Guitar Keeps Getting Crazier!
Custer Air Guitar Keeps Getting Crazier!
2019 was a fantastic year of growth for Custer Air Guitar! We held the event at a brand new venue, the Custer Beacon. As an old warehouse converted into a music venue with amazing lights, sound, stage, it made for an absolutely phenomenal space for air guitar competitions. We put in the hard work ahead of time to pack the place with an estimated audience of 350!
Although the audience was huge, we were nervous about having enough competitors right up until the last minute. This year, about half of our regular competitors were unavailable—including 2018 Custer champion, The Jamitor, and last year’s runner-up, Iced B.
It was anyone’s guess as to who we’d be sending to Nashville.
Perhaps the highlight of the day’s delights (although an unofficial part of the actual competition) was our first-ever junior competition which turned out to be unexpectedly, and mind-blowingly entertaining.
The junior competition featured seven performances from kids between the ages 3-12. In the end, Cat Men took home the $25 ice cream gift certificate. The youngest performer, Gun Slinger, was a close second and, in this organizer’s opinion, robbed of the win.
The Big Show
Our 2019 Wild Card Qualifier judges were a diverse group: Daryl “Walter Ego” Stisser, the owner of Sylvan Rocks Climbing Guide Service; Claude “Deer John” Smith, owner of Black Hills Burger & Bun Co; Karen “Rose McAxel” Nielsen, a local insurance agent; Mark “The Griz” Tucker, of Lost Cabin Brewing Co; and Krystal “Claudia Pickman” Hegerfeld, of the Custer Wolf Pub.
By the time the competition started, we had eight performers signed up—a surprisingly high number, especially considering several of our local air guitar advocates were missing.
The evening kicked off with a performance by organizer Han Guitar Solo with Queen’s, “We Will Rock You.” Karese “The Airess” Madsen then took over as MC and totally rocked it with demonstrations of the rules and the ins and outs of air guitar.
Talking Shreds went first. He starting off the competition by setting the bar high for the judges. Other performers for the evening included Dale, Old Gregg, Air Spray, Rusty Chops, Mega Beth, Randall "the North Wind” Dupont, and Red Beard the Beer Dumpster.
The judges were lively and ready to party hard—like, really hard. One judge even became sick and was replaced with Carrie Moore, Junior Competition Judge.
At the end of the first round, Rusty Chops led the way. Air Spray & Randall “the North Wind” Dupont trailed just behind. With just eight competitors, the organizers let all performers advance to Round Two.
During halftime, the judges met to choose the Round Two song—and a curve ball was thrown. Rather than choosing one of the U.S. Air Guitar pre-cut songs, “Misirlou” by Dick Dale was chosen.
This unexpected song choice proved to be a huge hit. It inspiring Dale to rip his shirt off, Mega Beth to do the worm across the stage (which she totally nailed), and Air Spray hit us with some pyrotechnics and a sick head stand!
There were several stunning performances and it was clear that it was anyone’s game until the numbers were added up.
In the end, none of the tricks could match for the smooth moves of Randall “the North Wind” Dupont. He took the title with a perfect score in Round Two and a final score of 34.9!
Rusty chops took second by just .1 points with a 34.8, followed by Air Spray, with a 34.7.
The evening concluded—as is tradition—with the group “Free Bird” on stage. It was a great jam with a packed stage
All in all, it was an excellent year for Custer Air Guitar. We look forward to sending Han Guitar Solo and Randall “the North Wind” Dupont to compete in Nashville!
Daryl Stisser (Walter Ego)
Claude Smith Sr. (Deer John)
Karen Nielsen (Rose McAxel)
Mark Tucker (The Griz)
Krystal Hegerfeld (Claudia Pickman)
Competitors & Ranking:
Jason Deuhr (Randall the North Wind Dupont) 34.9
Andy Koosman (Rusty Chops) 34.8
Rene Ohms (Air Spray) 34.7
Ty Breske (Red Beard the Beer Dumpster) 33.8
MaryBeth Wells (Mega Beth) 33.5
Bryce Todriff (Dale) 32.5
Brent Kertzman (Talking Shreds) 29.4
Claude Smith Jr. (Old Gregg) 29.4
By Chris Pelczarski (Han Guitar Solo); Edited by U.S. Air Guitar