DC's Face Has Been Melted: A Recap

The following post is from Doug “The Thunder” Stroock (aka ThunderStroock), organizer and host of the 2013 US Air Guitar DC Qualifier: guest-blog-series



And the judge’s score was: “Holy Fuck Balls”


Yeah, it was THAT kind of night. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.


On May 11th, US Air Guitar hosted its season opening qualifier in DC at Solly’s U St Tavern. The event was sponsored by DC Brau and Flying Dog Brewery. So, when you combine awesome beer at special prices, and air guitar…. You know it’s going to be a special evening . . . and DC did not fail us.


Kicking off the event, host Doug “The Thunder” Stroock, Tommy Fretless, and Airistotle combined to get the air circulating in the room with a little Danger Zone/Master of Puppets/ Killing in the Name Of medley.


Round 1: Battle Royale


Combining the best aspects of musical chairs, competitive body building, and air guitar – the Battle Royale had the competitors clashing during a grueling 6 song, 7 minute medley to determine how the order was picked. It was a close match, but Baberham Lincoln took the top spot, followed closely by The Marquis, newcomer Justin Theair, and well….. everyone else.


Round 2:


“Holy Fuck Balls”


It could be said time and time again throughout the night, with neither pretense nor irony. 


Our first competitor of the evening, Lethal Tube Sock was no exception.  Great outfit, but Holy Fuck Balls . . . He apparently forgot his shredder at home.  “It looked like you were in a heroin-daze the entire routine” said one of the judges . . . And the performance, while far from the best of the evening, earned him a shot of Whiskey from DCBrau’s CEO Brandon Skall.


HR Pullin’ Stuff had to deal with the indignity of going 2nd AND having to suffer through some technical issues.  He killed the first 30 seconds, and then decided that his “Kool” pants and curly blonde rocker wig had to make a field trip to high-five the entire audience . . . Neither McKayla Maroney nor the judges, were impressed.



Re-enactment of HR Pullin' Stuff performance


Coming out of nowhere, newbie Justin Theair  - lived up to the opposite of his name, as he spent quite a bit of time on his knees and back (mostly because he tripped over himself mid-performance) but brought enough moxie to score a 5.6 5.6 5.8.


Baron of Bombast – Quite technical and well dressed . . . But much like his Metallica track, he faded out at the end.


Jean Luc Pickguard – Bald cap in place,  tore off his shirt to reveal a replica Star Trek the Next Generation uniform, jumping high in the air, and doing a backwards-reverse stage dive (back onto the stage) from the monitor.  Holy Fuck Balls! 5.9 5.9 5.8! And the competition is ON!


jean luc

 Jean Luc Pickguard reverse, backwards stage dive


President Baberham Lincoln – Did a killer mashup of The Devil Went Down to Georgia into the Metal Goes Down to Georgia . . . And Georgia will never be the same again.  “In pure metal heat,” as she said it . . . she proceeded to tear the place apart.  Her destruction of the field included confronting the judges mid-song, stealing one of their beers, and pouring it over her head (in the process, also destroying the phone of USAG Judge and @FlyingDogBrewery Manager Tommy Hunter, whose initial reaction was “that was awwwwwwwwwwesome!!!!”)



 President Baberham Lincoln rocks round 1


Holy Fuck Balls!


666.  Perfect scores across the board.


Next up, The Marquis from lands far, far away.  Bringing some class to air guitar, his cut was metal, and then baroque, and then metal . . . And with a sex appeal that only can be brought by white face paint, a huge blonde wig, and a rose given to an audience member mid-performance . . . he made all the women and most of the men a little bit moist.  But would it be enough?


6.0 6.0 5.9 ohhhhh so close to perfection!


Ok.  Let’s take a moment to go back in time.  Last year at this event, a well known competitor on the circuit, Captain Kickass, showed up . . . and without any preparation or track in hand . . . proceeded to kill it.  Killing it included doing a fully body slide on the quite sticky concert hall floor at Solly’s.  I believe pieces of his chest hair may still be embedded in that floor.  While that didn’t earn him a win in that event, it did however earn him a promotion.


So, who shows up this year?


Rear Admiral Kickass!  And what did he have in store for us this year?  Well . . . apparently another hairy performance . . . Which included  shearing off his pony tail manually with the bluntest pair of scissors this side of pre-school.  Holy Fuck Balls! It wasn’t all for naught this time, as it earned him a 5.8 5.7 5.6!



Rear Admiral Kickass' hairy performance


Last up?  G Tso Money – the first person I know of to shred at a USAG competition in stilts.  The space was small, but he made it work, and with some deft moves, earned himself a 5.9 5.9 5.8


Where does that leave us?  Well…. If you’ve been paying attention, our lineup for the 2nd round was….


1: Baberham Lincoln

2: The Marquis

3: Jean Luc Pickguard

3: G Tso Money

4: RADML Kickass

5: Justin Theair


Let’s take a quick break from the competition to talk about some other highlights of the evening.  Round one included an unplanned intermission, due to the judging panel drinking too much beer, and needing an emergency pee break.


Judging:  The panel included National Champion Airistotle, 2 time DC Champ Tommy Fretless, Metal Chris of DCHeavyMetal.com, and our 2 sponsors:  Brandon Skall - CEO of DC Brau, and Tommy Hunter – Marketing Manager for Flying Dog Brewery.   Did they do a great job?  Holy Fuck Balls yes!!!!!  Not only were they among the best judging panel I’ve seen in a while:  insightful, amusing, and very very drunk… and they also provided some killer beer for the competitors and audience! (And let’s be honest here, air guitar is waaaaaay better when alcohol is involved)


Intermission:  This was handled deftly by Tommy Fretless and Airistotle, putting on an air guitar clinic by re-visioning some of the greatest air guitar performances of all time.  Holy Fuck Balls!  It was so amazing, even the video camera’s face was melted (which unfortunately means this will only live on in our memories).  The performance included cuts from Peter Stiff Dickens, William Ocean, Dreamcatcher, Hot Lixx Hulahan, Seth Leibowitz, C-Diddy, and Nordic Thunder . . . Among others.  I’ll say it again . . . HOLY FUCK BALLS!



 Airistotle and Tommy Fretless Rock Halftime


Let’s move to Round 3!


With the official secret cut in hand, and the competitors on stage . . . the audience let it be known that THEY were clearly not impressed with Green Day’s “American Idiot” as the choice for round 2.  After a few discussions and a “met…tal…. met….tal…..met….tal” chant…..  Mean Melin’s super tough Megadeth cut was picked!


First up – Justin Theair brought the airness, but struggled with the technical.  RADML Kickass then tore off his shirt, but ran out of hair to cut off.


Next came Jean Luc Pickguard – enjoying his first trip to the 2nd round after many years of competition.  Maybe it was nerves . . . but his engine was only on impulse power for the 1st half of the song, but then his little MistAIR Scott got things workin’, and he hit warp speed.  Holy Fuck Balls!   5.9 5.9 5.9!


And then . . . The stilts re-arrived.  G Tso Money . . . Attempting to air guitar on stilts to Megadeth.  This is a guy who competes wearing a mouth guard for a reason.  After shredding hard from 8 feet up, he pulled off the backwards stage fall (almost like a stage dive, but more like the end of a colossal game of jenga).  Holy Fuck Balls!  Unfortunately, the judges did not agree . . . and G Tso came up a bit short with a 5.8 5.8 5.8.


Re-entering the arena . . . The Marquis realized that shit needed to get real – so off came the wig and half his clothing . . . re-energizing the female fan base (next year, perhaps he should go as Justin BiebAIR?) Holy Fuck Balls!  The mysterious Marquis can thrash with the best of them!  Money move?  Pole dancing while standing on top of a stage monitor. 6 6 6!!!


So, it comes down to President Baberham Lincoln.  Can she pull off the clean sweep?  Clearly a bit uncomfortable with the track selection, the still beer soaked Pres brought it as hard as she could . . . But was it enough?


Holy Fuck Balls!  6.0 5.9 5.9!  The Marquis comes from behind and takes the DC Qualifier crown by the slimmest of margins!



Final Scores


An epic battle, and luckily both The Marquis and Baberham will move on to compete at the Mid-Atlantic Semifinal held at the 9:30 Club in DC on July 19th.


If this evening was any sort of predictor of the 2013 US Air Guitar season, there’s only 3 words left to describe what we’re going to see:  Holy Fuck Balls!



 The winners! The Marquis and President Baberham Lincoln


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